On the Weekend Tornados & Climate Change

This morning I posted pictures of the Kentucky tornado damage on Facebook and Twitter with this caption: “Increasing frequency. Increasing severity. It’s not a Hollywood movie anymore.”

The Kentucky Division of Emergency Management has indicated that “the tornado originated in Arkansas, and traveled more than 220 miles on the ground in Kentucky before ending. If the National Weather Service confirms that information, it’ll be the longest continuous distance ever traveled by a tornado.”

My posts this morning are true but incomplete. For a fuller picture and a vital perspective seldom seen in the voluminous media coverage of climate change, I suggest these articles:

Both articles are from The Militant newspaper reflecting the view of the U.S. Socialist Workers Party (SWP).

I’ll note that the articles tend to mistakenly downplay the urgency of climate change dismissing “prophets of catastrophe” with a few citations here and there. For instance, one article quotes the Lancet: “A recent study…found that while 116,000 more people died of heat-related causes they attribute to climate change each year, at the same time some 283,000 fewer people died from cold.”

Climate change is not a straight line. There are ups and downs — but it’s the overall trends that count. I do believe that climate change is a clear and present danger for which time is running out to take some kind of meaningful corrective action. To the Militant’s defense, there’s no question that the media and politicians can hype this and everything else to the point of absurdity. When a building is burning you take action, you don’t scream and run in circles.

With this one exception, however, everything else in the Militant says is spot on. Like that burning building, when it comes to climate change you take action. We won’t see that under capitalism where all decisions are based on profit, and where the capitalist nations around the world are all in competition. Capitalism will not solve the problem — it is the problem.

“Workers must not fall into accepting the common view — that is, the bourgeois view — that the environment … is a ‘scientific’ question, a ‘natural question,’ that somehow hovers, above classes and outside the class struggle,” writes SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes. This is a problem that only workers can solve. And we need to get to it soon!

Check out these articles.

All comments are welcome. I only ask that we remain civil and respectful of one another. If you clicked over from Facebook, please comment here rather than back there.

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