Socialists and capitalists together have ruined the planet.
by Pete Field
Even though climate scientists tell us we have not much time, their forecasts – despite their academic tentativeness – might actually be too optimistic. We already know for sure that man-made climate change is upon us and having an enormous effect on weather, climate and ecosystems all over the world. In some places it is more visible, especially in the Arctic and Antarctic, but in other ways it is also affecting the rest of the world, not least through sea level rise and habitat destruction.
forecasts – despite their academic tentativeness – might actually be too optimistic
Habitat destruction, whether at sea or on land, is caused by a rise in temperature because plants and animals have evolved to live within certain limits and cannot quickly adjust. The unprecedented man-made extinctions caused by deliberate and accidental habitat destruction and pollution affect every continent to the point where the web of life is stretched increasingly thin.
One of the features of the natural world is the fact that systems can flip from one stable state to another very quickly. Some patterns may be reversible but many are not. When many major factors are changing at the same time the system is then in a condition of instability which goes beyond its own homeostatic ability to readjust. Were it not for our continued and increasing pressure on natural systems they might bounce back, but we are overwhelming their ability to do so and we are doing this on a planetary scale.
Were it not for our continued and increasing pressure on natural systems they might bounce back
There are tipping points and actions at those tipping points reinforce each other, creating negative feedback loops that lead to irreversible and, to us, damaging change. None of this is new and it has been known for a long time.The numbers have been done. The workings of the system, though not perfectly understood, are nonetheless well enough understood to see where all this is going.
Our civilisation in its present globalised form, industrial and with high consumption by billions of people means that we not only have a very heavy unsustainable footprint, but we are also extremely vulnerable to disruption. Ultimately our entire society depends on the weather and climate for our ability to have breathable air and grow sufficient food. If anything happens to disrupt either of these we are in for trouble.
If all governments took immediate and drastic action to cut carbon, preserve the environment etc etc we might stand some small chance of survival.
If all governments took immediate and drastic action to cut carbon, preserve the environment etc etc we might stand some small chance of survival, but it now seems very sure that business as usual is a recipe for disaster. The only question is how much time we have to change radically and how soon conditions will become intolerable.
There is no wiggle room because the laws of nature are not amenable to persuasion. The only reasonable course of action is massive commitment to immediate drastic measures for a low carbon world that will allow us to survive. That would involve a very different lifestyle, but it is a price I would be willing to pay to help keep the earth in a fit state to live on.
Humanity has caused climate change and the only innocent people are the poor of the earth. Socialists and capitalists together have ruined the planet.
So far this year the British government has effectively done nothing on climate change. Luckily engineers and business people have low-carbon projects which are going ahead. It is actually the capitalists who are coming up with the solutions because they know the big money is moving out of hydrocarbons. Follow the money!
Life may or may not be too short to stuff a mushroom, but Marxist-Leninists appear to have taken their eyes off the ball. Humanity has caused climate change and the only innocent people are the poor of the earth. Socialists and capitalists together have ruined the planet. We missed our opportunity to act when the facts were first known so now we will have to do more and faster and without being ready with the perfect politics.
We could probably start by not shopping and not flying and not doing a lot of other harmful things. Plant stuff, cycle and walk, stop using plastic – there are many actions, including campaigning for massive government action at all levels. But it better start soon, it better start now. We may already be too late.
Pete Field was born in a small town near Newcastle. He studied Geography at Oxford where he was in the rowing team and then he left to France to work as the assistant to a Lumberjack among other jobs. He travelled around Europe picking up French, Italian, German and Spanish and worked as a teacher and translator. He also worked at Bell Schools for a period where he experimented with different methods of teaching and learning, resulting in a consultancy in Brazil. Pete worked at Manchester University for many years before working in the Middle East. He is an artist and illustrator and has illustrated several textbook series. He maintained his interest in geography and climate change and he has a particular interest in energy, the oil and gas industry and, in particular, renewable energy.