This summer has been unprecedented in many ways. Much of the world has been experiencing exceptional heat, there have been wildfires incredibly large in size, and nearly every continent in the world is currently in a drought somewhere. These unprecedented environmental anomalies are not isolated incidents. They are the symptoms of a world afflicted with climate change.
What’s been missing in much of the world, however, is a treatment for this harrowing global environmental disease. While people across Europe are being scorched alive as some regions experience temperatures above 40 degrees celsius (104 degrees fahrenheit), the media is pleading with meteorologists to be “happy about the weather” instead of acting as “harbingers of doom.” How can anyone be happy about weather that is causing thousands of deaths?
Meanwhile, in the U.S., a quickly disappearing Lake Mead – one consequence of the 23 year drought the western part of the country has been experiencing – has brought on virtually no response from the officials that were supposedly sworn in to serve us. What is the plan for how to get water to the 25 million people who rely on the Lake Mead reservoir? How will they offset the cost of supplying electricity to all those people who will no longer be able to rely on hydroelectric power from the Hoover Dam? The responses to this crisis have been inadequate and will likely end in the disappearance of the lake, unless drastic changes are made.
With that said, at least the wildfires across the globe are something everyone is doing their best to keep at bay, right? Wrong. There is no question that an increase in size, frequency, and scope of wildfires has occurred in recent years due to climate change and increases in global temperatures and CO2 levels. If we want to stop the wildfires, then we need to stop the production of oil, gas, and other fossil fuels that control the world economy and produce heat-trapping greenhouse gases like CO2. But very little action has been taken by the ruling class to do so. Why would they? Capitalism offers them no incentives to stop profiting off of the exploitation of our environment. Capitalist leaders might whisper promises of “net-zero by 2050,” but these pledges are hollow and no realistic actions have actually been taken by any government to ensure this is achieved. A capitalist system will never support such a change.
If we want a future led by science and commented on by a media that provides reliable and honest information, then we will need to fight for it. If we want a plan for how we will provide the necessary resources for everyone to live a decent life in a future climate-changed world, then we will need to fight for it. And, if we want a future at all, then we will need to fight for it. We must get organized to fight for our future!