A Simple Question of Maths, and its Political ConclusionGreta Thunberg once said that “The climate and ecological crisis simply cannot be solved under the current political and economic systems. This is not an opinion, it is simply a matter of mathematics.” She is absolutely right.
You only have to look at the figures to see that: the world emits about 40GT of CO2 per year; the 1.5° “carbon budget” (the total amount of CO2 that can still be emitted globally without exceeding 1.5°C) is only 500Gt (for a 50% probability of success – for 83%, it is 300Gt); according to the IPCC’s 1.5°C special report, achieving zero net CO2 emissions in 2050 requires reducing global emissions by 59% before 2030 (65% in developed capitalist countries, given their historical responsibility) 80% of these emissions are due to the burning of fossil fuels which, despite the political and media hype about the breakthrough of renewables, in 2019 still accounted for… 84% (!) of humanity’s energy needs; Fossil infrastructures (mines, pipelines, refineries, gas terminals, power stations, etc.) – the construction of which is not slowing down, or hardly at all – are major facilities in which capital is invested for some 40 years. Their ultra-centralized network cannot be adapted to renewables (they require another, decentralized energy system): it must be destroyed before capitalists can recoup their investments, and the reserves of coal, oil and natural gas must remain underground.Therefore, knowing that three billion human beings lack the essentials and that the richest 10% of the population emit more than 50% of global CO2, the conclusion is unavoidable: changing the energy system to stay below 1.5°C while devoting more energy to satisfying the legitimate rights of the poor is strictly incompatible with the continuation of capitalist accumulation that generates ecological destruction and growing social inequalities.The catastrophe can only be stopped in a manner worthy of our humanity by a double movement consisting of reducing global production and radically reorienting it to serve real human needs, those of the majority, democratically determined. This double movement necessarily involves the suppression of useless or harmful production and the expropriation of capitalist monopolies – first and foremost in energy, finance and agribusiness. It also requires a drastic reduction in the consumption extravagances of the rich. In other words, the alternative is dramatically simple: either humanity will liquidate capitalism, or capitalism will liquidate millions of innocent people to continue its barbaric course on a maimed, and perhaps unliveable, planet.
Source: Climate Disaster – The Bullet