Recently I stumbled upon a VICE news article talking about an academic paper, written last fall, sending countless readers into despair. It spoke of impending societal collapse and I couldn't wait to see it. Not because I like the idea of global collapse, although I do see opportunity in destruction to start again anew, but because I thought the event possible, unlike many who dismiss such theories out of hand. I wanted to know the likelihood of extinction, so I read it all night. Immediately after, in a mentally exhausted, semi-asleep yet driven state, I wrote an email to all of my high school teachers, and posted videos to social media with a warning.
The response I received from some acquaintances, before they had read it themselves, was not surprising. However, I felt the need to counter the claims presented that: 1. I was hyping up the possibility of disaster to spread communism, 2. "Communism" is not eco-friendly, and 3. I am a hypocrite for being a communist living in a capitalist society.
The academic paper, written by Jem Bendell, a professor of sustainability at the University of Cumbria, cites current climate science as the evidence for a near-term climate catastrophe, including mass extinctions, starvation, and increased natural disasters. Regardless, Dr. Bendell neither suggests redistribution of wealth nor communism as a solution. Looking more deeply into his professional career, he is by no means anything close to a socialist. This disproves the judgement of his motives. On the other hand, my motives are clear. Not only do I actively support communism through conversation and have a post on this blog representing that, I also expressly stated my views on the post accompanying the climate alert. This is not to say that I wouldn't have spread the message if I hadn't been a communist, I would have, but I simply would not have added my recommendation of socialism as the necessary alternative to our current way of life. To sum this up quickly, unconstrained runaway production and consumption has directly caused the current predicament of the highest atmospheric CO2 and Methane levels in a million years. Not only was production under-regulated, but the science that opposed these practices was actively suppressed, false information intentionally spread by oil companies, and denial knowingly embraced by conservatives. The answer? At least the dissolution of the fossil fuel industry, a complete overhauling of the agriculture industry, and increased expenditure on sustainable practices. Unfortunately, it turns out that those industries are some of the largest in the world and have a tight grip on politics in the most affluent and influential countries, coercing policy in favor of profit. This leads to the conclusion that these circumstances must be changed, and can only be changed, by decreasing the power of these massive corporations, and that we need to reclaim democracy.
Socialism would be eco-friendly, given that it develops out of current day America, because progressives, the self proclaimed socialists, are also proponents of eco-friendly policy. Politicians like Bernie and Ocasio- Cortez, although not true socialists, represent most of the progressive views of Americans. By looking into any modern socialist party agenda, it's clear that green policy is not limited to democrats. And, socialism has no need to misconstrue climate science to save profits, because production and surplus would be in the hands of the workers. If steps are not made to reduce emissions, any society will not last long anyhow. If you think that confiscating surplus from corporations and shareholders will somehow decrease your wealth and make society worse, your backwards logic is the result of a long history of anti-communist conditioning, undeniably spread by the CIA, mainstream media, and most importantly of all the capitalist class. If you think that communism will steal more taxpayers wealth than employers, then you need to go read some Marx. The whole reason private ownership of production must be overcome is to allow workers to realize the full value of their labor and abolish class dichotomy. The source used for the idea that progressive democrats are communists is so flawed that it's laughably sad how anyone would take anything from it seriously. It claims that John Kerry, Hilary Clinton, and Barack Obama are all communists because they want "massive new carbon taxes", and must therefore also believe in global wealth redistribution. Just use any knowledge you have about any of their track records and you'd laugh too. I need not spend any more time on that.
Finally, as a communist, it is more important to spread truthful information about capitalism to people living within it than to run away to a 'communist' country, none of which exist. Communism can be loosely define as an economic system where capital is socially owned and good are distributed based on need, as opposed to distribution based on work as was the case in the U.S.S.R. Although I am supporting a capitalist country, there is virtually nowhere to go where I would not be supporting capitalism and still be able to make important contributions to the development of class consciousness; to make people aware of their exploitation, how capitalism works, and what must be done. Also, with the majority of my family here there is very little use traveling abroad before I have at least finished high school. Either way, I still do plan to travel and to oppose the capitalist system I live within, but it is futile to oppose it alone, which is why I am committed to joining groups which will further that idea.
On second reading of the climate paper and examining each source, societal 'collapse' due to global warming seems unlikely within the decade, but not impossible. Regardless, saving our ecosystem is only one of the many positives of socialism, some of which include reduced war and imperialism and neo-colonialism, increased prosperity including reduced poverty, more affordable higher education and more economic security, reduced incarceration rates and opioid addiction due to the lack of profit driven pharmaceutical industry, healthier food due to the lack of a profit driven agriculture industry and therefore generally healthier people, shorter work weeks, better benefits, higher pay, unfettered democracy, less crime due to increased economic equality, better infrastructure and public spending, I could go on. What is needed now however is a more informed public to the injustices of the system we are now in, and how best to surpass them. In the future, before jumping to conclusions about the accuracy of my stance and publicly challenging it, I suggest attempting to reason with me about the differences in our opinion, because I am always willing to talk to reasonable individuals.
The article about the paper: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/vbwpdb/the-climate-change-paper-so-depressing-its-sending-people-to-therapy