Climate change is a major issue, especially the production of greenhouse gasses such as CO2. Some known consequences are droughts and a sea level rise. It doesn’t stop at climate change however, a worldwide ecological shift is taking place. Ecosystems all over the globe are affected.

Consequences for humans and animals

Because of agriculture, 66% of Dutch insects has died in the last 27 years. That is almost 53% of the entire Dutch biodiversity. This mass extinction of insects is bad news for humans. Insects are responsible for the fertile ground on which we grow food and fertilize crops.
Without them we would not have coffee, apples, pears, etc. And this is just one small example of the reality that our ecological foundation is collapsing. Why is this worldwide climate change happening? There is a scientific consensus: humans are responsible.

But why?

Because in a capitalist economy the companies are privately owned. These owners have to make maximum profits to make sure they beat their competition, forcing them to produce as cheaply as possible. This means that capitalism is about more and more profits, or else the economy will collapse. This is why, under capitalism, economic growth will always be paired with increased pollution. Profits dictate everything, leadership and control are absent.

Who is really responsible?

We know that humans are responsible, but sometimes people pretend like we are all equally guilty. Nothing could be more wrong. Just 100 companies are responsible for 70% of the total global pollution. If the oil corporations continue with extracting their current proven grounds (which they are obligated to do, since they promised this to their shareholders) more than 5 times the amount of CO2 allowed to keep the temperature rise contained to 2 C will be released. Keep in mind that scientists tell us that we don’t really know that will happen if the temperature rises more than 1.5 C!

Who will pay for this?

To maintain perpetual growth capitalism places profits above humans and animals, it thrives on this. Properly taking care of nature costs more money, and higher costs means….? Right, less profits. Companies keep the profits to themselves while the rest of society has to pay for the costs of the damages inflicted to our environment. Look no further than the big polluter Shell, who keep on receiving tax benefit after tax benefit.

Struggle for socialism

Not just humans, but the capitalist economy and the pursuit of profits of the big corporations and monopolies are the most responsible for pollution, for the worldwide climate change. The costs of all this will be left to us, the working class. Unless…. We choose a different path. We need a different economic system, and this is possible. Because capitalism is not permanent. Just as the slave societies and feudalism eventually disappeared, so too can we get rid of capitalism. What we need is an economy where we don’t produce for profits, but for human need. What we need is an economy where big decisions aren’t made by private companies, but by democratic control and planning. Fortunately, such a system exists: socialism. Socialism offers us a chance to provide for humans without destroying our natural foundation. It offers us the possibility to seriously cut back on our fossil fuel dependence by stimulating public transport. But above all, it offers us, the working people, a chance to take back control of our work and our lives.