Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Capitalism means environmental destruction -- fight for socialism!

Global warming, caused by greenhouse gas emissions, is leading to a climate crisis that threatens to kill off thousands of species, shrink coastlines, drown islands and cause widespread drought, famine and disease. Yet neither the Democrats nor the Republicans offer any real solution to this planetary crisis.

The Democrats call for emissions reductions, advocating market-based “cap and trade” programs, which involve selling emissions credits. Emissions credits systems allow polluters to buy the “right” to emit a certain amount of greenhouse gas. If the corporation does not use up the credit, it can sell the credit to another corporation, allowing them to emit more gases. Under the capitalist system, working people have no say in determining how much pollution is acceptable, even though climate change will, in the short term, disproportionately affect working-class people and poor countries.

The major candidates also explicitly or implicitly support the expansion of biofuels. These are fuels made out of biological sources, like corn, soy or palm oil. While these sources are all renewable, they also are food sources. Diverting food to fuel has resulted in rising food prices and other problems in countries throughout the world. In addition, the production and use of biofuels does not result in lower carbon emissions than the equivalent amount of fossil fuels.

Capitalism is the greatest threat to our environment. Capitalist corporations are allowed to continue polluting to cut costs and make more profit. As long as we live in a society where profits are prioritized over people’s needs, our planet will continue to be destroyed.

The La Riva/Puryear presidential campaign fights for the interests of working-class people. We demand immediate action to stop global warming. We call for mandatory emissions controls on big corporate polluters. Comprehensive public transportation programs must be created and fully funded to create jobs and take millions of cars off the road. There must be a rapid transition to using safe renewable energy sources. Energy conservation measures must be implemented now. Energy use in the United States could easily be reduced by 28 percent using low-cost measures and existing technologies to make buildings more energy efficient.

The La Riva/Puryear campaign believes that the only lasting solution for our environment is the socialist reorganization of society. Socialism is a system based on national and international, ecologically sustainable planning where the profit motive has been removed from the picture. Eliminating the tyranny of private corporate profit as the dominant feature controlling economic development opens the door to true working-class democracy. That is what we mean by “people over profits.” Rational social and economic planning, rather than production for the “market,” is the only method for the implementation of scientifically supported solutions to global warming.

Get involved in the campaign!Contact the Party for Socialism & • 202.543.4900 •

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