GEOENGINEERING THE CLIMATE: AN ACT OF MAD DESPERATION

By CHRISTINE FRANK  As a last-ditch effort to curb runaway global warming, while avoiding a definitive halt to fossil-fuel combustion, scientists, governments, entrepreneurs, and even right-wing think tanks are advocating various highly dangerous technologies to block solar radiation or draw down atmospheric carbon to cool the planet. Touted as Plan B, these risky methods come…

Taking Sides at Standing Rock

By BILL ONASCH Socialist Action’s vice-presidential candidate Karen Schraufnagel has filed extensive reports to this paper about the confrontations last month in remote Standing Rock, North Dakota. Efforts aiming to halt construction of a pipeline from the Bakken fracking fields to refineries in Illinois drew world attention to several important issues concerning Indigenous People’s rights,…

Calif. climate activists set sights on COP21

By NICHOLAS ISAAC  As governments and some 40,000 corporate negotiators, scientists of different persuasions, and other mostly corporate-friendly parties prepare to attend the Nov. 30-Dec. 12 United Nations Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris, environmental and climate-crisis organizations are preparing massive and perhaps unprecedented mobilizations around the world. Fear is widespread that this 21st UN-sponsored…

Connecticut activists target fracked gas

By CHRISTINE MARIE  Connecticut climate justice activists are calling for a statewide mobilization on Sept 17 at the site of a state government hearing preliminary to the issuance of air quality permits to a power plant to be sited on Towantic Hill in the rural town of Oxford. On that date, a call to action…

Learning to Live with the Bomb

By BILL ONASCH  [Aug. 14 marked the 70th anniversary of V-J Day, the armistice with Japan that put an end to World War II.] There were some World War II firestorm air raids on targeted civilian worker neighborhoods in Hamburg, Dresden, and especially Tokyo that were nearly as horrible and deadly as the first crude…

Capitalism versus the climate

By BARRY WEISLEDER  The following presentation was given by Socialist Action (Canada) National Federal Secretary Barry Weisleder at the SA educational conference at the University of Toronto, May 22-23. “This Changes Everything” is the theme of this conference. But what exactly does it mean? Firstly, there are the obvious signs of dramatic environmental change. Sea…

Should ‘population’ be on climate agenda?

By CHRISTINE MARIE  The fight to save the planet as a viable home to our species will require the most powerful social movement ever organized. Necessarily central to that project is solidarity and collaboration with those who are most immediately vulnerable to the dire effects of the capitalist carbon-fueled economy. An international movement that fails…

Women and the Climate Crisis

On March 8, 2013, International Women’s Day, KFAI in Minneapolis presented a program, “Women and Global Climate Change.” The speakers were Christine Frank, Climate Crisis Coalition Twin Cities (3CTC), and a frequent contributor to Socialist Action newspaper; Patricia Shepard, Idle No More Minnesota Activist, Ojibwe and Prairie Band Potawatami; and Karen Redleaf (now Schraufnagel), 3CTC…

The Promise of Beijing

By BILL ONASCH It was a startling sidebar to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing. The heads of state of two economic and military titans, who between them are responsible for nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions warming our planet and altering our climate, announced measures to reduce them. President Obama and…

Socialist program to avoid climate disaster

The following article is based on several portions of the Socialist Action (U.S.) Draft Political Resolution, which was approved at the Oct. 17-19 Socialist Action National Convention. By definition, global warming is a global issue. All will suffer the consequences of advancing climate change. International coordination of remedial efforts is vital. But, not surprisingly, UN-sponsored…

Waterways & oceans face catastrophe

By CHRISTINE FRANK With the burning of fossil fuels, seawater temperatures are rising, giving impetus to fiercer hurricanes with more destructive winds and powerful storm surges. Warmer seas are eroding polar sea ice, allowing for the release of land-based glaciers from Greenland and West Antarctica, causing sea levels to rise. Gigantic plumes of methane are…

Obama’s climate proposals fall short

By CHRISTINE FRANK At Georgetown University on June 25, President Obama gave a major speech outlining his proposals to mitigate and adapt to climate change after making mention of its importance in his inaugural address several months ago. Obama presented what he called “a new national climate action plan,” which calls for cutting carbon pollution…

Film: Elemental

By GAETANA CALDWELL-SMITH The documentary film, “Elemental,” written and directed by Gayatri Roshan, should be seen by every cognizant human being on the planet, not only for its impact on one’s perception of climate change, but also for the realization that one person can make a difference. It focuses on three individuals in disparate parts…

Millions join protests against Monsanto

By MICHAEL SCHREIBER An estimated 2 million people demonstrated worldwide on May 25 to protest Monsanto. The corporation, headquartered in St. Louis, is the largest producer and distributor of genetically modified seeds (GMOs)—which are a grave and growing threat to the natural environment, the livelihood of small farmers, and a healthful food supply. GMOs are…

Film: Oblivion

By GAETANA CALDWELL-SMITH   “Oblivion” is an entertaining yet thoughtful film that has us pondering what would happen to humans once we kill Earth and all living things by blanketing the precious planet with deadly CO2. It stars Tom Cruise in yet another space, sci fi thriller, written by Karl Gajusek and Michael Arndt, directed by Joseph…

Labor must mobilize for the environment

By MARTY GOODMAN The following presentation was given in the labor workshop at the April 20 conference at Barnard College in New York City sponsored by the Eco-Socialist Contingent.  The conference was endorsed by 29 organizations, including Socialist Action, and brought together 240 participants in lively debate and discussion concerning an effective strategy to combat…

An ineffective solution to climate change

By CHRISTINE FRANK Since 2008, chief climatologist and activist James Hansen has been proposing fee and dividend as a means to curtail fossil fuel use and draw down carbon in order to prevent catastrophic climate change—a very real prospect that is looming ever closer. He has advocated the plan as an alternative to market-based carbon trading…

Capitalism damns the environment

By JEFF MACKLER Capitalism, the system—Chinese, American, or European style—has struck yet another devastating blow against all humanity. One of the world’s largest solar-panel manufacturing plants, employing 10,000 Chinese workers at the city of Wuxi on China’s east coast, has declared bankruptcy—a victim of its own “success” and capitalism’s inherent drive to destruction. The Wuxi…

Activists discuss how to stop frack attack

By CHRISTINE FRANK Three hundred grassroots activists met in Dallas the first weekend in March to share information, network, and strategize over how to end the hydro-fracturing of shale gas in their rural and suburban communities. The Marcellus, Utica, Eagleford, and Barnett shales were well represented, the latter two being in Texas. It was in the Barnett…

Climate movement must tackle profit system

By DANIEL ADAM The struggle against climate change is registering real signs of progress. The rise of indigenous struggles in Canada, including the “Idle No More” movement, and the two national mobilizations against the Keystone XL pipeline in the U.S. are particularly significant. Bipartisan backing for the acceleration of the most vile extraction methods in…

Mass climate change protest in DC

By JAMES THOMAS On Sunday, Feb. 17, as many as 50,000 people rallied and marched in winds and near freezing temperatures in Washington, D.C., to protest Transcanada’s proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. The demonstration, dubbed Forward On Climate Change, is believed to have been the largest climate change action in U.S. history. The Sierra Club, 350.org,…

Movement rises against XL pipelines

By BARRY WEISLEDER The movement to oppose Keystone XL is huge in Canada. It ranges from activists and scientists to indigenous peoples of the threatened Canadian plains and boreal forests, where the tar sands are located. It includes rural farmers and ranchers, and important sections of the labour movement. Dave Coles, President of the Communications,…