Marxism and Planetary Crises through Carbon Rift Theory
Approaches of Marxism towards ecological; climatic alteration and socio-ecological transformation is necessary for its resolution. In the age of capitalism, sense has been augmented that ‘production and consumption’, as well as input and output of carbon into the ecosystem. Consequently, socio-cide and eco-cide are common phenomena around the world. Increased commodity production demands that greater contribution of carbon di-oxide (CO2) into the biosphere via fossil fuel consumption. Recently, a publication from ‘Journal of Industrial Ecology’ explains that we consume food to knick-knacks is responsible for up to 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions and between 50 and 80% of total land, material, and water use. According to the diverse study, about four-fifths of the environmental impact of consumerism comes not from direct behaviors like driving cars or taking long showers, but rather from sources further down our products.
Global planetary crises as depend mostly on thoughts and strategies of production system, the sustainable development goals demand fruitful solution. In general, Marxism analyses on class systems and the ecology deals with inborn interconnections between nature and living organisms. Environmental critique of Marx has predisposed the development of ecological contemplation and performs while ecology has conversant socialist contemplation and practice. Around the word, mass people and nature is innocent victim of class violence and bioterrorism.
Imperialistic political power is based on fossil fuels, and the US military is the engine that consumes those fuels to produce that power. So long as there is American political elite that craves lucrative personal prestige and the ability to dominate internationally, the US economy will be fossil-fueled capitalism that maintains the military colossus. In this context, Climate change action would hamper imperialistic ambition, as the Sustainable energy is intrinsically a socialist form of powering civilization, because the energy to be used locally can be collected locally, which frustrates the capitalist culture.
Regarding global imperialism, it is impossible to power the trucks, tanks, gun-carriages, helicopters, airplanes, missiles, drones, ships and submarines of the US military with renewable energy like ? solar and wind power; only fossil fuels will activate that. Also nuclear power based on a fossil fuel, fissile uranium is used to propel particularly large destruction-projection platforms, specifically missile-carrying submarines and aircraft carriers. In general, ‘Green’ forms of energy — solar, wind, hydroelectric — are intrinsically of low energy-density; they are spread out over large areas from which they are collected rather slowly, rather than being chemically concentrated into relatively compact masses, like coal, petroleum, natural gas and fissile uranium, which can be ignited to release their stored energy. Local sources of ‘green’ electrical energy can power resident infrastructure almost anywhere, because solar, wind and even hydro power are widely available around the world.
Whatever, the utilization of fossil fuels – coal, petroleum, natural gas and uranium is higher in developed countries where poor countries unable to utilize these energy. Combustion of fossil fuels generates sulfuric, carbonic, and nitric acids, which fall to earth as acid rain, impacting both natural areas and the built environment. Fossil fuels also contain radioactive materials, mainly uranium and thorium, which are released into the atmosphere. In 2000, about 12,000 tons of thorium and 5,000 tons of uranium were released worldwide from burning coal.
USA, China, Russia, Japan and India use more fossil fuels and emit limitless CO2 (Carbon-di-oxide) which is contributing global warming and altering climatic scenario. The level of carbon emission in different countries is china-9040.74 million metric tons (28%), USA-4994.80(15%), India-2066.01(6%), Russia-1468.99(5%), Japan-1141.58(4%) and Germany-729.72(2%). Global ecological system owns carbon through 2 forms – carbon-di-oxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Both deforestation and emission of greenhouse gases linked to increased atmospheric carbon di-oxide (CO2) levels and altering the common indicator of climate – rainfall, humidity and earth’s temperature. Generally, climate change effects will be the cause of suffering of the various sectors of the country including agriculture, industry, infrastructure, livelihoods, marine resources, forestry, biodiversity, human health and utility services.
Clarification of ‘Carbon rift theory and Marxism’ and the exigency of Karl Marx eco-centrism are true both for developed and developing states. Carbon rift is a system where natural carbon moved and exchanged in nature through carbon cycle and which is closely interconnected with biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. When the fossil fuels are burned globally from its sustainable level then more carbon are spread from coal( 3510 gig tons carbon), oil ( 230 gig tons carbon), petroleum, gas ( 140 gig tons carbon) and peat (250 gig tons carbon).
Now the time to integrate global goals of sustainable development and Paris agreement on climate change that how to make sustainable society and reduce global temperature. As the global interest groups target firmly insertion of development regarding; water security and sanitation, life below water-ecosystem, life on land-ecosystem and climatic action, context employs the ecological understanding of Marxism. Marxism is a philosophy not only class struggle for equal society but also sustainable ecological development through limits the man-made threats. It is also a co-existence between nature and human being if we consider the eco-socialism.
Green energy is intrinsically a eco-socialist form of powering culture, as the energy to be used locally can be collected locally, which frustrates the capitalist impulse to monopolize narrowly-defined sites of high energy-density fuel deposits — like coal and uranium mines, and oil and gas wells — and tightly confined electrical generation plants that meter out their electrical power through a web of long distance transmission lines.
Today, global capitalism is based on surveillance capitalism and disaster capitalism. Regarding surveillance capitalism, it has been obligatory of capital as watchdog to push any society and economy. Other hand, disaster capitalism aggressively forced capital where it does not think about mass people, climate, nature and wildlife. These two formations just think and own profit and maximize the profits even killing the nature and setting terrorism. Consequently, it is obvious to emit more carbon to re-settle capital globally.
Dream for an Ecologically Sustainable Planet
A plethora of “blueprints” for an ecologically sustainable world have been produced by the dozens by Green groups here and around the world, containing logical and commonsense solutions to global warming and the general environmental crisis. They fail not because their proposals for a rapid conversion to renewable energy and the rational reorganization of production and consumption are far-fetched. They fail because they do not accept that capitalism is incapable of bringing them into being. Only a society that places the “associated producers” at its head and at its heart can open the way for the building of a genuinely feasible sustainable society.
A society run by and for the “associated producers” — a socialist society — would allow the controlling levers of the “treadmill” to be seized, bringing it to a halt so we can all get off and begin to think about, discuss and rationally plan the best way forward for both the planet and all its inhabitants. Profit will no longer dictate what is produced and how or determine the relationships of rich-country governments with the Third World. Almost immediately, huge material and human resources would be released to begin to rapidly reverse problems like global warming and the destruction of the oceans, as well as the wider global environment crisis, as well making a start on ending the poverty, hunger and disease that affect billions in the Third World.
Where from? For a start from capitalism’s war spending. Global direct military spending is running at more than US$1 trillion a year, of which the US accounts for almost 50%. When related spending is factored in, US military spending is set to be above $900 billion in 2008. The Australian defense budget is $22 billion a year and since 9/11 another $20 billion has been spent on the bogus “war on terror”. Just a fraction of these sums could eliminate starvation and malnutrition globally, provide education for every child on Earth, provide access to water and sanitation and reverse the spread of AIDS and malaria.
It would also enable the massive transfer of new and clean technologies to the Third World, to allow poor countries to skip the stage of dirty industrial development. With the end of capitalist domination, the plunder of Third World resources would end and genuine development could ensue. With the cancellation of the Third World debt, the now poor countries would retain vast sums to kick start their clean development.
On top of that, the “ecological debt” — described by the Ecuador-based Action Ecological as the debt owed to the Third World as a result of the “Northern” countries’ plundering of their natural resources, environmental damage and the dumping of wastes, including greenhouse gases — would begin to be repaid. This was estimated in 2004 to be at least $1.6 trillion a year, three times the $523 billion “owed” by the poorest countries.
The wealth of the former ruling class and the ending of its rule would also provide immense resources for the tasks at hand. According to a UN report released in late November, the richest 2% of adults in the world own more than half of all household wealth. The poorest 50% of the world’s population own barely 1% of global wealth. Europe, the United States and Japan account for most of the extremely wealthy. More than a third lives in the US. Japan accounts for 27% of the total, and Britain and France 5-6% each.
Genuine democratic socialist planning will allow priorities to be set on the production of certain items and limit or eliminate others. Just imagine the vast amounts of wasteful production of pointless commodities produced solely for sale that could be eliminated. Without the cynical manipulation of people’s insecurities and vanities by the billion-dollar advertising and marketing industries, not to mention its outright dishonesty, needless and wasteful consumption would plummet. The marketing-driven over-packaging of products could end, saving entire forests, and banishing billions of tonnes of “disposable” but environmentally indigestible plastic fast-food containers and beverage bottles from the rubbish dumps. The triumphant return of the humble but eminently sensible — and recyclable — glass bottle would be at hand!
Inbuilt obsolescence would end, and the corporate creation of fads and fashions would become a thing of the past. Products would be built to last for a very long time, and when they were due for replacement they would be as totally recyclable as possible. Such basic reforms would save massive amounts of materials and energy, all along the production chain.
With a huge boost to socially directed investment in research and development, reliable solar energy and wind power, other forms of alternative energy, could very soon become much cheaper than traditional sources, without many of the currently costly society-borne side-effects. We could begin to harness the sun’s energy, which every day delivers to the Earth 17,000 times as much energy as the entire population uses.
Right now, the technology is available to theoretically generate all the clean electricity we need. Combined with energy-efficiency targets throughout the economy, from the industrial level to house designs and household appliances, and socially organized recycling, greenhouse gas emissions could be not only slashed but reversed. If society chose, entire branches industry could be subsidized as they were force-marched into environmentally friendliness, or closed down overnight and the workers’ skills and talents utilized almost immediately in other industries, or retrained on full pay.
Capitalism’s dependence on the private car and truck would begin be reversed with the rapid proliferation of mass, free public transport systems. High on the agenda will be the reintroduction of extensive passenger and freight rail networks in rural, regional and remote areas. The reintroduction and expansion of coastal freight shipping will also be important. In time, cities will be no longer being designed around the private car, but around residential, community and work hubs linked by fast, efficient public transport.
And as the “associated producers” build the new society, wants and needs will inevitable alter, and so too will consumption habits. Capitalism’s warped view of normal human interaction is summed by the Orwellian-titled unreality show, Survivor. In this twisted vision of the workings of society, the last person standing is the victor! But all societies survive — even capitalist societies — not by bumping each other off to get the cash, but by cooperating.
In a society that is organized first and foremost to work together to produce enough to comfortably ensure people’s physical and mental well-being and social security — abundant food, clothing, housing, furniture and appliances, cultural pursuits, and lifelong education and training, and healthcare — and in which technological advances benefit everybody without costing the environment, a new social definition of wealth will evolve. It won’t be measured by personal wealth, or by how much “stuff” you’ve got.
In the words of Marx and Engels, social wealth will be defined by the degree to which it provides the means for “all members of society to develop, maintain and exert their capacities in all possible directions” so that “the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms,” is replaced “by an association in which the free development of each is a condition of the free development of all.” Social wealth — human development — will be not be measured by an ever-increasing consumption of goods and services, or expanding indices of “economic growth,” but in the shortening of the work day.
As society’s total disposable time — social wealth — expands, so too does the ability of all members of society to increasingly participate in running, planning and solving its problems, including finding solutions to the more intractable environmental or technological problems. Lifelong theoretical and practical education, made possible by this expanding disposable time, Marx states, will “convert science from an instrument of class rule into a popular force.” Only public ownership, popular democracy and planning, and a new definition of wealth based not on individual personal enrichment and consumption can possibly meet the dispute. It would not be too extreme to declare that humanity in the next 50 years faces a stark choice: capitalism or socialism and human survival.
Through the philosophy of ‘people-nature-ecology’, we have to transform all planning and actions from ‘appearance of things’ to ‘essence of things’; and shape the movement as mass movement against the global rent-seekers-grabbers grand alliance and imperialistic rulers to lower the emission of carbon which killing our life, nature, environment, eco-system and green-economy for pollution free next humane world.
The Writer is an Environmental Analyst & Associate Member, Bangladesh Economic Association.