Friday, October 24, 2008

Profit versus the Planet

*Launch of new pamphlet -- Saturday 25 October*


Saturday 25 October, 6pm

SOCIALISM AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Speakers: Brian Morris (guest speaker) and Adam Buick (Socialist Party)

Chair: Gwynn Thomas (Socialist Party)

Forum followed by discussion.

Socialist Party Head Office, 52 Clapham High Street, London SW4 (nearest tube: Clapham North).

Questions regarding the environment are constantly in the news. If it's not global warming and climate change, there is concern over future energy resources and rain forest depletion. The environmental list seems never-ending with the increasing human impact making serious inroads on finite resources. Hardly a day goes by when politicians, economists, environmentalists and the scientific community are not voicing their opinions and offering various explanations for the continual global degradation. The Oscar winning film by Al Gore, 'An Inconvenient Truth' exemplified not only these concerns but also the solutions on offer. Without exception none of the solutions query the root cause of global environmental destruction. Consequently, all of the solutions are pro-market and pro-profit and the degradation continues unresolved.

Obviously, what is needed is an alternative solution outside of the capitalist mindset and one that takes into consideration the ownership and control of our productive processes; in short the social ownership of the means of life. Only then will we be able to address solutions which will not only benefit all of humanity but also the global environment. To this end the Socialist Party have recently published a pamphlet: 'An Inconvenient Question - Socialism and the Environment' .

You are cordially invited to attend the official launch of the pamphlet at our head office at 52 Clapham High Street, Clapham, London, on Saturday the 25th of October at 6 pm. The guest speaker, Brian Morris is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London and is well known for his fieldwork on human interaction and the environment. The Socialist Party speaker, Adam Buick, has written many articles on the environment, human behaviour and political economy. With both speakers holding different political perspectives, the launch promises some lively discussion on what positive action is required to replace the market incentives of putting profit first and the environment second. If you acknowledge that we are just as much dependent on the environment as the environment is dependent on us you will find this discussion forum educational and engaging.

Free refreshments and free literature.

New Pamphlet

An Inconvenient Question. Socialism and the Environment

In recent years the environment has become a major political issue. And rightly so, because a serious environmental crisis really does exist. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat have all become contaminated to a greater or lesser extent. Ecology - the branch of biology that studies the relationships of living organisms to their environment - is important, as it is concerned with explaining exactly what has been happening and what is likely to happen if present trends continue.

Since the publication of our Ecology and Socialism pamphlet in 1990 environmental problems facing the planet have got much worse. We said then that attempts to solve those problems within capitalism would meet with failure, and that is precisely what has happened. Recent research on increasing environmental degradation has painted an alarming picture of the likely future if the profit system continues to hold sway. Voices claiming that the proper use of market forces will solve the problem can still be heard, but as time goes on the emerging facts of what is happening serve only to contradict those voices.

In this pamphlet we begin with a brief review of the development of Earth and of humankind’s progress on it so far. We then examine the mounting evidence that the planet is now under threat of a worsening, dangerous environment for human and other forms of life. The motor of capitalism is profit for the minority capitalist class to add to their capital, or capital accumulation. Environmental concerns, if considered at all, always come a poor second. The waste of human and other resources used in the market system is prodigious, adding to the problems and standing in the way of their solution.

Earth Summits over the last few decades show a consistent record of failure - unjustifiably high hopes and pitifully poor results sum them up. The Green Party and other environmental bodies propose reforms of capitalism that haven’t worked or have made very little real difference in the past. Socialists can see no reason why it should be any different in the future. Finally we discuss the need, with respect to the ecology of the planet, for a revolution that is both based on socialist principles of common ownership and production solely for needs, and environmental principles of conserving - not destroying - the wealth and amenities of the planet.


Contents

Introduction

What is ecology?

Earth under threat

Profit wins, the environment also ran

The waste of capitalism

Earth Summits - a record of failure

Green reformism

Socialism - an inconvenient question?

To get a copy by post send a cheque or postal order for £2.50 (made out to “The Socialist Party of Great Britain”) to: The Socialist Party, 52 Clapham High Street, London SW4 7UN.