Sunday, May 18, 2014

Strike Climate Change!

Strike Climate Change!
We ask you to read a segment from an article posted in Socialist Resistance by novelist, historian, and activist Jonathan Neale:
“What climate change will mean--
If we do not have comprehensive changes in global energy use, we are on course for rises of 4 degrees centigrade in average temperatures. The rises will be higher further north, higher in cities, and higher in the summer. So the average rise on a summer day in New York or Seoul will be about 8 degrees. Some days will be hotter. That means many summer days of 127 fahrenheit in Chicago, 45 centigrade in London and 50 centigrade in Shanghai. The electrical grid will often break down. That will mean no air conditioning, no lifts, and many people trapped underground in subway systems.
The climate will also become much more unstable. Rainfall and storms will increase in intensity, and hurricanes and cyclones will move north and south. Some places will flood, and in others drought will spread. Crops will fail in many areas and decline overall.
Small rises in sea level will be magnified by hurricane surges – giant waves that carry all before them. Look at the damage done by a Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which had a surge 29 feet high (8.5 meters) when it hit land. Katrina was a small, weak hurricane. We can expect to lose many coastal cities.
As climate change intensifies, there will be many disasters, in many places, in the same year. Governments will be unable or unwilling to cope. The poor will be hit hard. The worst hit will be small farmers in poor countries hit by drought, working class people in coastal cities, and those disabled people in every country who cannot run or climb.
For example, old people living alone were the majority of the dead in the Chicago heat wave of 1995. People in wheelchairs were especially likely to die in New Orleans in 2005.
The impact of these “natural” events will be massively increased by the way society is now organized, aka “capitalism.” Crop failures will become famines. Disasters will lead to hundreds of millions of refugees. Those refugees will come up against armed borders. They may spend years in refugee camps, or the rich may become “tired” of feeding them. And there will be wars.
This is not just a prediction. Because of climate change the rains failed across the Sahel, south of the Sahara, in 1969, and have never really recovered. The long drought has led to a combination of famine, refugees and wars across Chad, Darfur, Mali, Chad, Somalia and northern Kenya. These situations are complicated, and many outside powers are involved. But there is also a simple dynamic – herders and farmers are killing each other for disappearing grass.
No one knows the precise form serious climate change will take. We can guess that hundreds of millions will die. How many no one knows. Two hundred million? Eight hundred million?
No one knows the timing either. A minority of you reading this are over sixty. You will probably avoid the worst. But not certainly, and your grandchildren will be there. But probably the majority of people reading this article will live through that time.”
We need action now. We need movement now. We are asking you to join us on June 17th to completely avoid the use of oil for transportation. While we understand it may be difficult for many to avoid using electricity, which burns oil, coal, and gas, can you do your best on this day to minimize your electricity use to the greatest extent possible? Can you avoid using coal and gas to heat your homes on June 17th? Please try.
Reject corporate agribusiness on the 17th as well. Our food systems play a major role in the ecological collapse.
According to John Tummon, “The leading world authority on the politics of the food industry is Susan George, a prolific writer on the subject over many decades. She has pointed out that as much as half of all the food produced in the world – equivalent to 2bn tonnes – ends up as waste every year and about 1 billion people, or one in six of the global population, go hungry today, even though more food is being produced than ever. And yet, around the same number of people are overweight or obese and likely to have their lives cut short by diet-related disease. We have, in other words, a food system that is failing. It is a food system that is profligate with finite resources – with fossil fuels for agrochemicals, artificial fertiliser, processing, packaging and transport, with water that is increasingly scarce, and with soil that is being eroded and degraded. It delivers an excess of food that is unhealthy for the affluent and yet is incapable of producing enough calories for the poor. And it is a system in which the value of the food chain has been captured at each point, from seed to field to factory to shop, by powerful transnational corporations.”
Buy locally grown. If you need help finding locally grown foods, feel free to send us a message and we’ll do our best to offer any assistance we can.
Attached below you will find calculators to show you the relationship between bicycling, gardening, and your carbon footprint. You can make a real contribution. There is simply no other choice short of ecological collapse.
Biking vs. Driving Calculator
Money Saved, CO2 Emissions Reduced, Calories Burned
Gardening Calculator, Savings on Groceries
In solidarity,

The Socialist Party USA Ecosocialist Commission

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