Since the Industrial Revolution, the techniques of advanced production have spread to every country of the globe. All countries contribute to the production of greenhouse gases and deforestation, which are the main drivers of climate change. As a result, any effort to halt rising worldwide temperatures must be inherently international to have any chance of success. Despite the claims of Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez and their allies, no reduction of greenhouse gas emissions within the borders of the United States would bring a halt to rising worldwide temperatures.
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For Marx, the narrow pursuit of value-based accumulation, through the “robbery” of the earth itself, at the expense of “eternal natural necessity,” generated a metabolic rift in the relation between human society and the larger natural world of which it was an emergent part.8Coupled with the related class contradictions of capitalism, these conditions pointed to the need for the expropriation of the expropriators.
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ERIC SCHECHTER—As I’ve already mentioned, people aren’t basically greedy and selfish. But our current culture certainly trains those traits into us. They’re built into the so-called “American dream”: You keep your stuff in your house, I keep my stuff in my house, and we’re taught that we don’t need to care about each other. Shootings in schools and shopping malls have become commonplace.
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Other senior scientists agree the link is clear. Serious climate change is “unfolding before our eyes”, said Prof Rowan Sutton, at the University of Reading. “No one should be in the slightest surprised that we are seeing very serious heatwaves and associated impacts in many parts of the world.”
It is not too late to make the significant cuts needed in greenhouse gas emissions, said Mann, because the impacts progressively worsen as global warming increases. “It is not going off a cliff, it is like walking out into a minefield,” he said.