The perspective on the revolutionary power of climate change is provided by the Canadian journalist Naomi Klein and hes article on “How science is telling us all to revolt” published in New Statesman, October 29, 2013.
Klein became famous worldwide thanks to “No Logo”, the book manifesto of an anti-globalization movement that was born in 1999 in Seattle (US) during the course of the conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Already famous for her objections to capitalism without rules, deemed unsustainable, today Klein seems to be trying to chase her goal from a new angle: climate change.
Now that the scientific community is unanimous in defining the global warming phenomenon, caused by human activities such as unlimited use of fossil fuels and deforestation, it seems like it has gone back to using social discontent in order to direct it to the institutions so as to adopt the necessary corrections to stop the climate change catastrophe.
“Is Earth fucked?” is the blunt title of a conference, often cited by Klein in her article, that was held in December 2012 in San Francisco, United States. The protagonist of the conference was the geophysicist Brad Werner who explained through computer models that the hopes of salvation are slim. The studies led to the conclusion that, in order to avoid the upcoming catastrophe, it is no longer sufficient to protest for a single project but rather a real revolution has to be put in motion because “getting rid of this ruthless system to replace it with a new one- and maybe working with it even better- is no longer a matter of ideological orientation, but rather a necessity for the survival of the human species.”
There are countries that are likely to be inundated by rising sea levels (equal to 19 cm from 1901 to 2010, according to the IPCC “international panel on climate change”) caused by the melting ice at the North Pole or Greenland. This is, in turn, caused by the increase in average global temperature.
One such country is Kiribati, an archipelago consisting of 33 islands pat of Oceania, for an area of about 800 thousand square kilometers and inhabited by 103 thousand people. The possibility that this country will disappear from the map of the world by the end of the century (when the increase in rising sea levels will be between 26 and 82 cm according to the IPCC) has been extensively explained by the American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg in his “Kiribati Drowning” report that was published by Bloomberg Businessweek in November 21, 2013.
The President of the archipelago, Anote Tong, who has been in office since July 10, 2003, is fighting to find a new home to the residents who want it, when Kiribati will cease to exist. For this reason, Tong is making agreements with the governments of New Zealand and Fiji to give the opportunity to the citizens of Kiribati to migrate with dignity, for example by promoting the formation of young people abroad or even buying portions of land. Recently, Tong’s government has bought more than 2,400 acres of land in Fiji for $ 9.6 million (almost 7 million euros). Meanwhile, the there have multiple attempts to give a concrete form to the status of climate refugee, a term still not formally recognized by the international community.
However, it has to be mentioned that, we must not take for granted that people are willing to migrate and to accept refugee status, as they are often choices that they take without having an alternative and it often goes against their will. Goldberg’s article closes with the following words spoken by Tong, the President of Kiribati: “people understand that having to leave could go on forever and this is difficult to accept. We desire to survive as a people. I once lived in New Zealand. I thought I was in heaven. I could have all those different ice creams. But our people like it here. We will lose our home if the ocean will not stop climbing. It is very simple. We want to stay at home. This is where the spirits live. This is where we come from.”
The example of Kiribati shows us that putting an end to capitalism and the exploitation of natural resources without limits is no longer a question of ideology, nor politics. It is a matter of survival, because the consequences of global warming have already put millions of people at risk, along with thousands of plants and animal species that inhabit the Earth and that could soon become extinct because their their natural habitat is disappearing. Millions of people should put aside their differences in language, culture and religion to unite and demand that governments and international institutions find new form of development, starting from a more democratic social point of view to the issue of greenhouse gases whose buildup in the atmosphere is changing life on Earth.
I think that the problem is that a revolution can not be done, because capitalism is clearly supported by those who hold the economic capital and thus “the power”. It is for this reason that they would never allow a so-called revolution, because their purpose is not a necessarily linked to the wellbeing of humanity, but more rather to their own wealth. Hoping for the redemption of the lords of power may appear as pure utopia. The system that we deserve is what it that that has is able of balancing the hedonistic good of the world with the opportunity to research individual.
All one has to do to see to what alarming point the situation is getting to, is see how the ecological problems of the world have disappeared from the media since the economic crisis began. Apparently, you can only talk about environmental issues when you have a full stomach. But while we’re being completely clear, it would be a full stomach of food produced in an unsustainable way .
To see Naomi Klein’s full speech, click here.