Climate change

Browse audio by Workers' Liberty

Subscribe to, browse, play and download audio recordings from Solidarity, our weekly paper; various other publications; and several public meetings.

Marx, the environment, and "metabolic rift"

For the last twenty years the idea of the “metabolic rift” has become a key component in reconstructing an approach to environmental crises based on the works of Marx. This has been critically discussed in the pages of Solidarity, particularly by Paul Hampton who has suggested that these ideas are an important source for anyone seeking to understand how capitalism impacts on the environment but do not constitute a rounded theory.1 Here, I take a more critical approach and suggest that the idea of the metabolic rift may be a dead-end.2The idea of the metabolic rift has been popularised by John...

Support firefighters' Green New Deal motion to Labour conference

The Labour Party’s Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC) has sparked outrage by ruling out of order the “Green Jobs Revolution” motion promoted for Labour conference by the Labour for a Green New Deal (LGND) campaign and submitted by at least 21 Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs). They have ruled out 45 submissions in all, including one called "Build Back Fairer" about the pandemic and reconstruction, submitted by Newark and Newcastle East CLPs and promoted by Momentum Internationalists. It advocates taxing the rich to attack inequality and reconstruct society. LGND and others are protesting...

More cows will mend soil, will mend climate? No!

David Walters (Solidarity 586) highlights important environmental considerations concerning soil. The destruction, degradation, depletion of soil through intensive mono-cropping; the nitrogen run-off and energy use of artificial fertilisers; the numerous destructive impacts of chemical pesticides. Yet his key claim that “we need more ruminants (grass eaters) not less” does not follow and is untenable. In the first section I contend that Walters overstates the potential for soil to be used to offset historic industrial emissions, by implication underplaying their dangers, and by extension the...

Join the youth climate protests 24 September

The 24 September global youth climate strike has the potential to help reboot the climate movement. It has been called by “Fridays for Future”, the international organisation most closely associated with the wave of youth climate strikes initiated by Greta Thunberg in Sweden in 2018. Dubbed #UprootTheSystem, the call-out for this climate strike is openly left-wing and internationalist. #FridaysForFuture (FFF) are not deeply democratic, and assessing the turnout later this month is difficult. During the pre-pandemic waves of climate strikes, there was deeper democracy in the UK. UK Student...

Edinburgh Central sends radical "global climate justice" policy to Labour conference

Republished from Momentum Internationalists Edinburgh Central Constituency Labour Party has decided to send the "Global Climate Justice" motion which left activists successfully put forward in Momentum's policy primary to Labour conference (see text below). Vijay, the the CLP's Political Education Officer and one of its conference delegates, explained why Edinburgh Central wanted to call for democratic public control in the financial sector: "Regulation simply isn't enough - we need to nationalise the banks and financial sector because we cannot allow that much capital and power to remain in...

Animal products and the environment — readings

Many on the green left advocate a huge reduction in animal product consumption, society- and world-wide. They point to the industry's environmentally destructive impacts, and call for land to be freed up for rewilding, afforestation, and other climate interventions. Others see it as a distraction from tackling fossil capital, an incorrect assessment of agriculture, a concession to lifestyle politics, moralism, or even authoritarian. What should socialist environmentalists say and do? Workers' Liberty's monthly socialist environmentalist reading group will read the articles below, and discuss...

Letters: XR and the police; Vibes won't save us; The bureaucrats had choices; Other Afghanistan films

XR, the police and working-class politics The climate demonstrations organised by Extinction Rebellion and participated in by Workers Liberty saw multiple instances of authoritarian and violent policing not previously witnessed at mainstream environmental protests. The opening days of the two week long protest introduced the police’s van-mounted loud hailer belting out “Section 14” dispersal orders in central London, and by the Tuesday of the second week videos were circulating of police officers mounting an open-top-bus and swinging batons at protesters inside. This, in the context of the...

After XR actions, what next?

The 13 energetic days of XR’s “Impossible Rebellion” finished the same day as Hurricane Ida: Saturday 4 September. What’s next in the fight against climate crises? The priorities vary from city to city, from workplace to workplace, but I note some ideas below. On Friday 24 September a youth climate strike has been called, globally. Take the day off work if necessary, and go down to the local one. If you can find people organising for it locally, get in touch in advance, help them to build and prepare for it. Invite them to trade union and Labour Party meetings, and even organise a workplace or...

Socialist Worker and the banks

The SWP's paper Socialist Worker has published a number of articles (rightly) praising Extinction Rebellion's focus on the City of London.

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.