If allowed to go unchecked further, the day isn’t far off when climate change will make life on our planet unfeasible.
Yet, when scientists portray climate change as an existential threat, the skeptics call it a hoax. Climate change suffers from an odd dilemma — its creators do not admit the stark reality!
Without a doubt, climate change is an unparalleled slayer. Having already killed billions of birds during last five decades, it also poses a threat to other species of life and raises extinction risks. Even while this risk inches closer to human beings, skeptics refuse to concede such details. Climate change’s ruthless march goes on unimpeded.
Tropical storms, stronger heat and cold waves, wildfires, erratic droughts and rains continue to destroy region after region. Permafrost (permanently frozen land) has melted, prompting media reports that, in Siberia, “hairy frozen mammoths buried under it for thousands of years are coming out in full as also corpses are rolling out from their graves.” Houses built generations ago have crumbled down and streets turned into water ponds.
Global warming has also melted glaciers and raised sea levels. Tiny islands, like Tuvalu, have since disappeared and residents moved elsewhere as ‘Climate Refugees’ – a new category of migrants. Skeptics label such events as natural disasters, the likes of which have been seen previously; but scholars point out that while disasters on this scale used to occur once or twice in a century, they now happen 4 or 5 times each year. The climate denier thinks like the proverbial pigeon that, on finding a cat close by, shuts eyes to trust that it has gone away.
Most of the skeptics are capitalists – conservative politicians, coal and gas tycoons, automakers and other multinational corporate interests. With the help of their think-tanks and hired media outlets, they want us to believe that climate change doesn’t exist at all. Following them are some self-styled intellectuals who join the chorus, “Climate change: a hoax, a trick, a fraud.” Evidently, the right-wingers are the same all over the world.
US President Trump, the world’s skeptic-in-chief, called climate change a hoax invented by China to beat the US economy. He took the United States out of the 2015 Paris climate pact and gives the slip to every international dialogue on the subject, including the recent one called by the United Nations. Right-wing leaders in Australia, Brazil and elsewhere stand behind Trump, unmindful of the plight facing all of us, and especially the millennial generation, if this monster isn’t leashed now.
Fossil fuels, burnt by capitalists in their profit-yielding industries and businesses, throw plumes of smoke, carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases into the sky. For monetary gain, they deforest lands, unmindful of the reality that trees absorb harmful carbon dioxide and give us oxygen – the key to life.
Many internationally respected scientists have called for replacing present industrial fuels with renewable energy resources like solar, wind, tidal and geothermal. Capitalists won’t do that, as the is transition is an expensive proposition that squeezes their profits. Hence, they deny climate change, ignoring every criticism and continuing with their money-making ventures. Profits and climate crisis are like conjoined twins that are hard to separate.
There are rays of hope. Thanks to the hard work of climate activists, efforts by the United Nations, and increased media coverage about the threats of climate change, the issue has gained attention the world over. Even some key automakers have acknowledged the climate crisis and unveiled plans to make zero-pollution electric vehicles. However, the million-dollar question is when skeptics like Donald Trump will see the light of day.
16-year-old Greta Thunberg has become a focus of the global fight against climate change. Her calls have received a unique response, inspiring millions of students to leave their classrooms and converge in the streets. When she told world leaders at the UN climate change summit, “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” she challenged an older generation to look beyond their noses and see what blurred future awaits their own children if calls to check the climate crisis fail to draw immediate attention.
Strange but true, voices against capitalism and for socialism now reverberate in the US, the headquarters of world capitalism. Speaking to a rally of 25,000 supporters last month, US Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders quoted early 20th century American socialist Eugene Debs, who said, “There is no possible hope unless by throwing over capitalists and voting for socialism.” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a young socialist politician, also addressed the rally and called upon masses to remain united in the fight for justice, equality and peace against Trump’s attempts to divide them by colour, racialization, religion or place of origin.
It is significant to note that the climate change movement has helped build the struggle against capitalism. First started by workers against “the exploitation of man by man,” the socialist movement has passed the baton to a new generation in the 21st century whose fight against capitalism more robustly recognizes the perils of exploiting the earth’s limited resources for profit.
The need of the hour is to combine a crusade against pollution with a decisive war against capitalism that gifts profit to a few and climate crises and miseries to all others. Sooner or later, this anarchy must come to an end with the dawn of socialist era.