[lbo-talk] The Planet is Fine

Joseph Green jgreen at communistvoice.org
Mon Dec 19 21:42:03 PST 2011

>> Joseph Green: Well, Carrol, the point is that you have no policy for the

>> environmental issue . . ..
> Carrol Cox:There is only one pronoun that can legitimately precede a phrase
>such as " have [a] policy for the environmental issue," and that pronoun is

Speak for yourself. You have no policy on the environmental crisis, and you don't seem to have bothered to examine the policies I and others have put forward on these issues over the years. And you certainly didn't bother with such things as the critique of the 2011 UN global warming summit at Durban, although others have. In fact, this exchange between you and me originates from your irritation that I would be concerned with such a thing.

> not "you" or "I." So you complement me here. And I certainly hope that you

> do not claim to "have" such a policy.

Yes, it would be such an inconvenience for you to have to examine the issue seriously, that I'm sure you hope that nothing serious was written by anyone else.

Some people may not have a policy because they are still studying the issue, or because they are absorbed in other issues, or for other reasons. That's understandable, and it's praiseworthy that many people take the issue seriously rather than just talking off the top of their head. But you are trying to hold people back from having a policy or even studying the issues involved. Because you don't have a policy, you are seeking to hold anyone else back from having policies. Because the political standpoint you have cannot deal with the environmental crisis, you want to push it aside.

But in fact, there are already struggles going on over different policies to deal with the environmental crisis. There have for some time been protests against certain of the market-based policies. There were mass protests at the 2009 Copenhagen global warming summit; there have been indigenous peoples protesting the policies of various governments; there was outrage against the way the US government dealt with the environmental refugees from Hurricane Katrina; there are people trying to fight against "fracking"; there are millions of people concerned with the environmental issues, and there will be millions more becoming concerned as the crisis deepens; and so forth.

* There is the question of the failed cap and trade policies, which the bourgeois government are still pushing.

* There is the question of the carbon tax, which would duplicate the failure of cap and trade.

* There is the question of the treatment of environmental refugees.

* There is the question of the harmful corn ethanol program in the US.

* There is the question of establishing overall environmental planning and regulatory control.

* There is the question of where the people in the countries expected to be flooded with go.

* And so on.

You don't have a policy on this, but instead a series of excuses.

Capitalism gives rise to many contradictions and many struggles. The environmental issues are going to be more and more of a major issue in the coming years, and already they are interlinked with a number of other issues.

> But perhaps you haven't read any of my
> posts over the past year, my emphasis on "we" as the pronoun governing
> anti-capitalist activity,

Far from emphasizing "we", you are almost a solipsist in how you deal with this issue. Emphasizing "we" isn't a matter of whether you use a pronoun, but whether you deal with the environmental movement, the protests, the masses concerned, the policies fought over, and so on.

> as well as my insistence on the unacceptable
> arrogance, the gross misunderstanding of human limits, encapsulated in
> attempts to provide recipes for the cook shops of the future.

So the fight over whether there will be cap and trade, the carbon tax, "fracking", and so forth is a fight over the "cook shops of the future"? You really are a passivist (not pacifist, but passive-ist). And you overlook the fact that it's more like a fight over whether there will be anything left to cook.

>I certainly
> have no recipes;

I seem to remember several fights on this list over your recipes for other things. You have recipes about some things, recipes that you are vehemently attached to, but you can't deal with the environmental crisis.



> Do you think They will stop global warming. I believe there have been some

> posts, either here or on pen-l, bewailing that even the few paltry steps

> They had projected are now to be postponed for 8 years.

So, just like "Somebody Somebody" you identify environmentalism with establishment, market-fundamentalist environmentalism. Instead of condemning market-based measures for their failure, you condemn the idea of environmentalism. Instead of bringing the class conflicts out into the open, you obscure them.

> Do We have a program
> in operation which will impose on Them the necessary policies?

The program is to rebuild the working class and activist movements and the mass struggle, and to encourage them to bring the class struggle into the environmental struggle.

> Can They,

> given the realities of capitalist copetition, even enact such policies if

> They so wished as individuals?

Would you say the same about the supposed impossibility of a public school system? Or a universal health care system? Or higher wages as a result of strikes and unionization? About changing the system of jails? About fighting various of the manifestation of racism? About past cleanups of water and air - - must not have happened, right?

The point, of course, isn't that the capitalists will be won over as individuals who will protect the environmental out of their supposed individual good will and benevolent nature. It's that mandatory regulation will have to be imposed upon them.

Environmental reforms, like other reforms, will be partial and subject to be taken back under capitalism. Given the likely conditions of economic life in the future, this means that this will increasingly become major sources of class conflict in the future. To help its prospects, it's important to encourage the development of a working-class environmental movement.

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