Climate change

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The G7: resistance in Cornwall

More photos below article My trip to Cornwall to demonstrate around the G7 summit (11-13 June) felt a bit like a set of concentric circles: I was part of and helping to cohere a delegation of Workers’ Liberty supporters and friends; we were seeking to imbue socialist politics, internationalism, and a working-class orientation into the wider anti-G7 movement; and that movement was challenging the G7 and the politics they represent. It was only en route towards the most southwesterly tip of this island, cutting through the darkening fog in a car-share with newly-acquainted comrades — and...

Malm: Further into the swamp

Second in a series of articles about the writings on climate politics of Andreas Malm. More here. Since the publication of his celebrated book Fossil Capital (2016), Andreas Malm has continued to expound his views on climate change. He has published several books, includingThe Progress of This Storm (2018), Corona, Climate, Chronic Emergency (2020) and How to Blow Up a Pipeline (2021), along with numerous journal articles. Malm’s evolution has been erratic, consistent only with his pseudo-profound pontification. His advice to the climate movement has veered from geoscience to acts of sabotage...

Their G7, our global solidarity

To the picturesque seaside resort of Carbis Bay, Cornwall, on the weekend of 11-13 June, the leaders of the “G7” group of seven of the world’s richest states flock. Fossil-fuelled reboot to an even more unequal, exploitative, violent and destructive world continues. It’s building back bleaker, as vaccine nationalism and pursuit of private profit permit this pandemic to tear onwards through societies, and to compound the evils of pre-Covid capitalism. Cornwall is seen as central to the UK’s green tech sector, so the choice of location is an attempt to flaunt green credentials. But a thin one...

Malm's "Fossil Capital": mired in slurry

Andreas Malm’s writings on climate change have been widely lauded across the left in recent years, including in Solidarity (Zack Muddle, 588, 14 April 2021). In my view, Malm is a charlatan, a pretentious poseur, who sows confusion on Marxism and climate change politics. This became clear with his book Fossil Capital (2016) and has worsened subsequently. Fossil Capital Britain was the first industrial capitalist state. Climate scientists estimate that Britain accounted for 80% of global emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion in 1825 and 62% in 1850. Therefore accelerating fossil fuel use...

Andreas Malm on climate politics: a debate

A debate about Andreas Malm's books on climate politics Fossil fuels and the rise of capitalism, by Neil Laker How class struggle shaped fossil fuel, by Zack Muddle Study guide to Fossil Capital, by Zack Muddle Letter: don't make a fetish of Malm, by Paul Vernadsky Three-part critique of Malm's books, by Paul Vernadsky

Climate change, shocks and growth

We don’t know how climate shocks will impact on capitalism. (See Todd Hamer, Solidarity 593, response to my letter in Solidarity 590.) We do know that capitalism is adept at making phases of destruction (wars, natural disasters) into prompts for booms, and that its chief trigger of crisis is periods of exceptional construction (booms). Capitalism’s great period of (relatively, and only very relatively) smooth growth was the 1950s and 60s. The last 40 years have brought slower growth (except in some countries, like China) and more and sharper crises. Triumphalism is increasingly shouldered...

Critique of Andreas Malm. 3: Vicarious chauvinism

Andreas Malm has developed a deeply authoritarian climate politics, using Marxist phraseology to mask a thoroughgoing anti-democratic, anti-working class position. His zigzags from compulsory veganism to sabotage badly mislead the climate movement. But his most heinous error is the proposal to import the approach of Hamas-type Palestinian “resistance” into climate politics. To do so would strangle the climate movement in its infancy. Malm rarely misses the opportunity to refer to “the Palestinian resistance” in his climate change writings. His latest book, How to Blow Up a Pipeline (2021) is...

Critique of Andreas Malm. 2: Further into the swamp

Since the publication of his celebrated book, Fossil Capital (2016), Andreas Malm has continued to expound his views on climate change. He has published several books, including The Progress of This Storm (2018), Corona, Climate, Chronic Emergency (2020) and How to Blow Up a Pipeline (2021), along with numerous journal articles. Malm’s evolution has been erratic, consistent only with his pseudo-profound pontification. His advice to the climate movement has veered from geoscience to acts of sabotage. Malm ends up peddling an anti-democratic, anti-working class, authoritarian climate politics...

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