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05 February 2020

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Greta Thunberg the Swedish student activist on 23rd January on her Davos statement  on climate change that she should study economics, a jibe which prompted the climate activist to say she did not need a degree to know the world was not meeting its climate targets. Asked about Thunberg’s previous calls to divest from fossil fuels, Mnuchin told a news briefing in Davos: “Is she the chief economist? I’m confused ... After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us.” Mnuchin lists a bachelor’s degree in economics from Yale University on his LinkedIn social network profile. This is what the imperialist leaders, the neo-fascists who are in power in majority of the countries and the imperialist think tanks tell the students and youth: you have no business to criticize or agitate against what we do, you are just students. But as the humankind is taken to the brink of an impending ecological catastrophe, it is the new generation going to raise their voice and revolt in the streets challenging the reactionary ruling system which devastate the human society and nature.

Earlier in the week US President Donald Trump and Thunberg sparred indirectly at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort. After Trump said the United States had committed to joining the one trillion tree initiative, Thunberg retorted that fixing the climate crisis was not only about trees. Thunberg, who has taken a year off school to advocate action on climate change, hit back on Twitter, saying it did not take a degree to know the world was not meeting its climate targets. “So either you tell us how to achieve this mitigation or explain to future generations and those already affected by the climate emergency why we should abandon our climate commitments,” Thunberg, said days after addressing a packed panel at the Davos summit, where she has been a star attraction.

But, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel rushed to Thunberg’s defence, saying in Davos that attaining the goals of the Paris climate accord, which the US has quit, was vital. “Time is pressing, so we - the older ones, I am 65 years old - must make sure that we take the impatience of young people positively and constructively,” Merkel said in her speech. There are many more like Merkel, who are not so arrogant like Trump who claims to understand the problem, but refuse to do anything to slow down the ecological degradation. Both sections defend the hegemonic imperialist system which intensifies the neo-liberal/corporatization policies which are devastating the nature.

Presently, the humankind is confronted by the challenge that without overthrowing the hegemony of capital in all fields, that is, without a revolutionary system change putting forward a sustainable, egalitarian and people oriented development perspective as an alternative, the ecological degradation cannot be reversed, the human species cannot be saved from extinction.  It is a political question, which demands political answer.

It is a fact that scientists and environmental groups have done enormous work, especially from the 1970s, to propagate the dangers confronting the ecological system, as the global warming, climate change like features were becoming worse. But, neither have they linked it with the dominant role of ruling capital system, nor the mainstream political parties recognized this fact. Instead, in almost all the countries, the ruling parties see the environmental movements as obstruction to development, and condemned them as environmental fundamentalists.

It is in this context, CPI(ML) Red Star and the revolutionary parties/organized  united in the International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations (ICOR) have recognized the contradiction of global capitalist ruling system and the nature as a major contradiction and took it up as an important program of action. Following this many campaigns are organized by these parties as well as ICOR against the intensifying danger of ecological destruction. What is required today is an ecological-political movement which shall struggle against the global imperialist system and fight for replacing it with fundamentally different development paradigm.

To effectively carry forward these struggles a unity of the scientists and environmentalists active in this field, the environmental groups and the political parties who recognize the impending danger of ecological catastrophe is urgent necessity.  Immediate initiative by all concerned forces is called for to achieve this unity and to launch countrywide and international level movements to achieve this goal. n

Kabeer Katlat

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