Planetary cataclysm: the 420 ppm atmospheric CO2 barrier is exceeded!
Actualizado: 22 nov 2022
Marxism and Collapse - Statements
The 420 ppm CO2 barrier in the atmosphere is exceeded!
The ecological catastrophe is now totally inevitable!
In recent days, the USNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) published a scientific report with data from the Mauna Loa meteorological station (Hawaii) where it is reported that the 420 ppm barrier of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has been exceeded. This is a level not seen on Earth in the last four million years. Let us recall here that atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the pre-industrial period never exceeded 280-290 ppm, with current levels representing a 50% increase compared to that period.
-Breaching of the 420 ppm atmospheric CO2 barrier (press)
This is of crucial importance because it suggests, among other things, that exceeding the catastrophic limit of global warming set at 1.5 degrees Celsius above the 19th century average planetary temperature baseline would therefore already be "physically" impossible to stop. In other words, the mere amount of CO2 present in the atmosphere today would ensure an increase in global temperatures well above that limit.
It should also be taken into account here, not only the fact that these CO2 concentrations will remain in the atmosphere for hundreds or even thousands of years, but also the fact that there is no technology available today (or that which could be developed in the next decades) capable of "removing" (or "capturing") a substantial fraction of these concentrations. This, at least, not before global warming shoots up to levels possibly much higher than 1.5 or even 2 degrees Celsius above the aforementioned baseline of the 19th century.
-Technology and CO2 concentrations (Interview with Peter Wadhams, Martin Rees and Hugh Hunt)
-Global warming spirals out of control: 1880-2021 (Graph)
On the verge of a super-catastrophic global temperature increase (Graph)
-Climate catastrophe, collapse, democracy and socialism.
A debate between Noam Chomky, Miguel Fuentes and Guy McPherson
Neither capitalism nor socialism can avoid collapse!
2.1. The green capitalism scam
A key issue associated with the problem of exceeding the 420 ppm atmospheric CO2 barrier is, among other things, that these levels would render obsolete all the answers that humanity would possess today to try to stop (or avoid) the onset of a super catastrophic global warming dynamic. The latter, in fact, without even considering the challenges (also largely unsolvable for modern society) that would represent for our species other indicators of the current climate crisis such as, among others, the melting of the Arctic ice and the decrease of the terrestrial albedo effect, the increase of ocean levels, the increase of atmospheric methane concentrations, the potential release of huge amounts of mercury from the Arctic into the seas as an effect of rising global temperatures, increasing ocean temperatures and marine acidification levels, the depletion of drinking water, the advance of desertification in all continents and its impact on the world's agricultural production systems, etc.
-The Arctic Peril (Interview with Peter Wadhams)
-Last hours (Last hours trailer)
In the case of the so-called "technological solutions" put forward as a possible solution to the problem of global warming within the framework of the market economy (proposals grouped under the generic concept of "green capitalism"); for example, the implementation of so-called "clean energies", there are in fact several studies that show that these would not in fact constitute any solution to the problem of current atmospheric CO2 levels. Worse still, their implementation on a massive scale could even worsen them.
This is due, among other things, to the fact that the development of energy systems based on these "clean sources" (which depend for their manufacture and operation on energy sources derived from oil or other fossil fuels) should be associated with a drastic increase in their "ecological footprint". This is assuming the continuity of current growth patterns, which are necessary for the reproduction of the industrial economy and modern mass society.
-Jorge Riechmann on the problem of "clean energies" (Presentation)
- "The Planet of Humans" (Documentary - full version)
2.2. Socialism will not save the world
The unprecedented levels of CO2 in the atmosphere suggest that neither a potential replacement of the capitalist mode of production by one based on the socialization of the means of production, workers' control and the abolition of bourgeois private property, would really be able to prevent either the surpassing of the 1.5 degrees Celsius barrier of global warming or the kind of planetary collapse that would be associated with the latter.
One of the explanations for this is that a potential world socialist system would have neither the technologies nor the resources necessary to deal with the levels of global warming associated with these atmospheric concentrations of CO2 (which could even exceed 600 ppm during this century!). The above, especially if we take into account that modern socialist projects have not become much more than mere "reproducers" of the technological systems created during the industrial revolution in the technological-productive field. In other words, they have neither discovered new sources of energy nor invented new technologies that would have a qualitatively different content from those of the last centuries. That is, they would possess in essence the same techno-productive weaknesses that characterize capitalist societies in dealing with the effects of the current planetary ecological crisis.
From this, it follows that socialist systems (at least as they have been conceived in modern times) should also be structurally incapable of dealing not only with the aforementioned problem of current CO2 levels in the atmosphere, but also with the other major contemporary crises that are beginning to develop in parallel with the ecological crisis. Some examples of such crises are, among others, the energy crisis facing our civilization as a result of the depletion of fossil fuels, the problem of world overpopulation and the beginning of the current (initial) phenomenon of super waves of migration, as well as the danger posed by the advance of an increasingly widespread phenomenon of global resource scarcity.
All this means that, regardless of the strategies adopted or the socio-political contents of this or any other "socialist model", it would be the project of modern socialism itself (in general), no matter whether it is a bureaucratic socialist regime or one of full workers' democracy, which would be doomed to inevitable collapse (or collapse) once the 2, 3 or 4 degrees Celsius rise in global temperatures is exceeded. In other words, with or without world socialism, with or without socialist planning, with or without workers' control, the planetary ecological catastrophe and the collapse of civilization would already be unstoppable.
-Global warming (4-5 degrees Celsius)
-Documentary video "There is no tomorrow".
-Documentary video "10 billion".
2.3. Socialist ecocide
Another reason for the structural incapacity of modern socialism to deal with the effects of a super-catastrophic ecological crisis dynamic can also be found in the industrial-productivist (anti-ecological) character that would have prevailed in practically all the socialist states of the past. That is to say, as a concrete historical manifestation, the projects of socialist societies during modernity have not differed much, at least in ecological-environmental terms, from the different models of bourgeois society prevailing in recent centuries. In other words, the destruction of the planet has advanced unalterably throughout industrial modernity, be it within the liberal capitalist democracies, the bourgeois developmentalist states of the mid-20th century, the Nazi Third Reich, the Stalinist regime, or even during some periods of greater consolidation of workers' democracies such as, for example, the early years of the Russian revolution under the influence of Lenin and Trotsky's Bolshevik party.
In the case of the Soviet Union, for example, there would have been no major differences at the level of industrialization policies promoted by this socialist state in any of its stages, that is, from its foundation in 1917 to its collapse in 1991. Suffice it to bring up here the fact that the industrialization policies defended by Trotsky during the first years of Bolshevik power did not present substantial differences, at least as regards the type of utilitarian-anthropocentric and developmentalist conception of exploitation and "appropriation" of nature that was at the basis of these policies, with those developed later by Stalin. In other words, the difference between Trotsky's and Stalin's industrializing policies would have been, from the point of view of safeguarding ecosystemic balances, rather of degree than of content.
Other similar examples can be found in the industrializing policies (alien to any environmentalist consideration) promoted within other revolutionary experiences such as those of China or Cuba. In the Cuban case, in fact, let us remember that Che Guevara was an enthusiastic defender of the use of agro-toxins and the "wonders" of some of the most polluting and predatory branches of the chemical industry. In more recent times, the support given by the Trotskyist left as a whole to some experiences of workers' self-organization such as that of the Cordones Industriales during the 1970s in Chile and, in recent years, that of the Zanon and Madrigaft factories in Argentina, also stands out. The latter, without bothering to develop any kind of critique of the role of these companies in the promotion of a series of techno-productive and economic chains which, not because they are under workers' control, would not have ceased to be less polluting or destructive in environmental terms. In the case of the Zanon factory, it is in fact one of the most polluting companies in the field of ceramics production in Latin America.
2.4. The historical disregard of Marxist theory for the ecological issue
This also applies to Marxist theory itself, which, except in more or less isolated cases (although today with increasing recognition), historically maintained an important anti-ecological imprint. In fact, except for the exploratory theoretical reflections of Marx and Engels on the concept of nature and its relation to human labor, a large part of Marxist theoretical currents did not give until recent decades a really significant role either to the theoretical treatment of the ecological problem or to the integration of the latter into their respective programmatic and strategic frameworks.
In this field, for example, the case of the elaborations of Gramsci and the so-called Frankfurt School, architects of an exacerbated historical-culturalist theoretical turn that, as Bellamy Foster states in his book "Marx's Ecology", literally excluded natural processes from the concept of dialectics. The latter by converting said concept, in the last instance, into a sort of historical-cultural entelechy disconnected from the ultimate basis of social development (i.e., nature itself). That is, erasing with one stroke of the pen not only Engels' theoretical reflections on the problems of the so-called "dialectic of nature", but also Marx's own elaborations on the role of nature in the creation of social wealth.
Another example of this exclusion of the ecological problem from Marxist theoretical and programmatic discussions can be found in some theorists of classical Marxism such as Trotsky, in fact one of the most anti-ecological thinkers of the Marxist tradition. As Daniel Tanuro has pointed out in recent years in his article "The Heavy Inheritance of Trotsky", the thought of this revolutionary would have been highlighted by a kind of "brutal-industrial" conception of social development based, among other things, on an idea of seemingly absolute and limitless dominion of humanity over nature "by means of the machine". All this in the context of an intellectual work marked by a constant (uncritical) apology not only for the achievements of industrial society, but also for some of its most harmful and polluting manifestations. Let us bring up here some of Trotsky's poetic writings mentioned by Tanuro in his aforementioned article, in which he expresses his deep admiration and true "aesthetic rapture" for the emanations of the industrial chimneys of the socialist industrial centers.
All this would thus refer to a situation of generalized "theoretical backwardness" of Marxism in the field of ecological theory that would only begin to be (partially) overcome as of the 1980s and 1990s with the elaborations of a series of ecosocialist theorists such as, among others, Manuel Sacristán, John Bellamy Foster or Michael Lowy. Also noteworthy here is the degree of development that, despite the adverse ideological scenario existing during the last century for Marxist ecology studies and the application of dialectical thinking to the so-called "hard sciences", achieved the work of a series of Marxist scientists such as Richard Lewontin or Richard Levins. The above in a context in which the application of Marxist dialectics to the sphere of natural phenomena came to be seen denigrated, especially under the nefarious anti-ecological influence of so-called "Western Marxism" and the kind of philosophical distortions produced in Marxism by its "academic drift" during the post-war period, as a kind of "naturalistic determinism" that would supposedly be alien to Marxism itself. Let us recall at this point, for example, the university theoretical fashion (so much in vogue in recent decades) of rejecting an important part of Engels' theoretical production because of the weight that the presence of a supposed "naturalistic determinism" would have had in it.
-Article "Trotsky's Heavy Inheritance" (Daniel Tanuro)
-Book "Ecocide in the USSR" (Murray Feshbach)
-Ecosocialism versus Collapsist Marxism. Michael Lowy, Miguel Fuentes and Antonio Turiel (Debate)
It is necessary to prepare for the Collapse!
A theory and program for the Collapse of Civilization!
(Section in process)
-An Introduction to Collapsive Marxism
-Socialist Revolution in the face of the abyss
-Planetary Cataclysm (Full Version)
-The Betrayal of the Argentinean PTS and Chilean PTR Leaders to the Ecological Crisis
-The PTS expels the Argentine ecological Marxism referents Roberto Andrés and Valeria Foglia!
*This statement constitutes a section of a larger programmatic document written by Miguel Fuentes entitled "Planetary Cataclysm!"
Marxism and Collapse
June 14-18, 2022