Capitalists Exposed for Deadly Climate Carnage

Climate Crisis Protest

A recent report by the internationally renowned charity Oxfam, published in November, has again exposed the murderous role of the capitalist class in the climate crisis. To address this horrendous crime against humanity, the only solution is to overthrow capitalist rule through a socialist revolution.

Oxfam’s report reveals: “Since the 1990s, the superrich 1% burned through twice as much of the carbon budget as the poorest half of humanity combined.” Part of these emissions come from their extravagant personal consumption, such as private jets and yachts, but even more from investment in polluting industries. After all, as the Roman emperor Vespasian said,  pecunia non olet—money does not stink. By pointing out that “the superrich are burning our world,” the report correctly puts the blame where it belongs, despite the international bourgeoisie and their mouthpieces trying to portray the increasingly destructive climate disasters either as “natural” or simply “human.”

In 2019, this 1% accounted for the same amount of emissions as the bottom 66%—some 5 billion of the laboring classes. “The emissions … are enough to cause 1.3 million deaths due to heat,” concluded Oxfam. And this is for a single year! The international bourgeoisie, meanwhile, is investing twice as much in fossil fuels as the International Energy Agency (IEA) sees as the maximum in order to “avert a climate catastrophe.” Apparently unbothered by the blood dripping from every capitalist pore, US oil and gas production is “set to break record” in 2023.

Revolutionary Change Not Climate Change – Socialist Revolution NYC Climate Strike Contingent
The working class today produces immense wealth, more than enough to reverse the climate breakdown and drastically improve the living standard for the majority. / Image: Socialist Revolution

However, we should not just regard the capitalists as irresponsible individuals. As the ruling class, they dominate the world economy, politics, and culture. The Carbon Majors Report shows that 100 big companies are responsible for over 70% of global emissions. They wholeheartedly agree that climate change is terrible—terribly profitable! In fact, the reign of the profit incentive under capitalism leads to active sabotages of the transition toward clean energy. “Around $8bn worth of Chinese solar panels are currently sitting in European warehouses,” reported the Financial Times, “enough to power all the homes in London and Paris, combined, for a year.” However, these panels lay fallow as “supply outpaces demand,” i.e., it’s more lucrative for the companies to stock them for future sales.

These are glaring examples of the total irrationality of capitalism today, which threatens the very future of humanity. But what is to be done? Oxfam proposes that (capitalist) states should tax the rich (their masters) and use the money for social and ecological reforms, while lamenting that: “Sadly, governments are often too reluctant to intervene because they are blinded by neoliberal thinking or controlled by powerful elites.” However, they are not so “blinded by neoliberal thinking” when it comes to increasing military spending or bailing out big banks!

The more serious bourgeois must surely realize that a total environmental collapse would be detrimental to their own interests. But the logic of capitalism—confined by the narrow limits of private property and the nation-state—dooms any substantial action from them. International conferences like the recent Cop28, presided by the CEO of the UAE’s state oil company, Al Jaber, and attended by thousands of fossil fuel lobbyists, have no intention nor power to resolve the crisis. It would be criminally naïve to believe that the capitalist “world leaders,” who are systematically “failing to report their emissions accurately,” according to The Guardian, can negotiate and cooperate in good faith.

As communists, we do not put any trust in the capitalist state, which is an organ of class rule. The fact that the entire US political establishment backs Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza, while over two-thirds of Americans are in favor of stopping the massacre, again exposes the sham of bourgeois “democracy.” We also do not indulge in the illusion that the climate crisis can be resolved within the confines of capitalism—the system of those responsible for this crisis.

To be sure, militant working-class mass movements might force the capitalists to concede some concessions, and communists are absolutely in favor of fighting for these reforms. However, changes within the system do not address the fundamental problem. The culprits are left with their economic and political might intact, and their bloody business still provides enough profit incentive. But the workers and oppressed can’t remain mobilized forever. Unless they are capped with a victorious revolution, mass movements inevitably ebb. It is then that the emboldened ruling class takes back any gains won through struggle, as in the case of Roe v. Wade.

Fortunately, there is a way out: the socialist revolution. The working class today produces immense wealth, more than enough to reverse the climate breakdown and drastically improve the living standard for the majority. All that is needed is for the revolutionary workers and youth to take the means of production into their own hands and run our economy democratically, in a socialist society prioritizing human needs instead of profit-making. And we have the power to do so: not a wheel turns without the kind permission of the working class. Let’s fight for the communist future of humanity!

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