Copenhagen: sometimes, middle class tossers are right

December 7, 2009 at 10:35 pm (class, climate change, green, Jim D)

Something  just and sensible may or may not come out of  the global summit in Copenhagen. But , at least, the anti-science storm-in-a-teacup of the East Anglian emails seems to have made little impact, despite the best efforts of the ultra-reactionary oil lobby eminating from both Texas and Saudi Arabia. The fact remains that climate change “deniers” (when they’re not simply Saudi and Texan oil men) are a bunch of cranks, conspiracy theorists and ultra-right nutters who blithly ignore what  95% of reputable scientists in the world have to say on the subject.

It’s unfortunate, however, that the bulk of the green movement, in Britain and internationally, is made up of  middle class readers of the Guardian and similar publications round the world . That doesn’t mean they’re wrong: just that their failure to address the concerns of working class people plays into the hands of the deniers. Similarly, most of the reformist and revolutionary “left” (just like most bourgeois politicians) refuse to acknowledge that effective enforcement of  emissions requires a global enforcement reime, with the power to override national sovereignty: both US right-wingers and the  anti-EU “left” recoil from that.

But. most important of all, workers in Britain and the “developed” countries must not be driven into the hands of the anti-environmental backlash by middle class Guardian readers and ruling class parasites of the Zac Goldsmith variety. Nick Cohen (back on form) has some good stuff to say about this.


  1. John Palmer said,

    Wrong Jim – dangerously wrong. The left should be leading demands for a much more radical transition to a “sustainable” economy. Why? Because sustainability carries with it the potential to replace capital accumulation as the primary driver of economic development. Can this happen under capitalism? Yes. It has happened before (that is some other substitute for capital accumulation)? Yes it happens during war for example, when capital accumulation has to take second place to other priorities. More relevant a truly radical Copenhagen led move to serious climate change targets (backed by law) will set inevitably generate more and more friction points and outright contradictions between the priorities of tackling climate change and safeguarding sustainability on the one hand and capital accumulation led priorities on the other. The demonstrators at the weekend seem to sense this. When will the (allegedly) far left? Elevation of Guardianistas or even Z Goldsmith into the main enemy is just silly (it smacks of Schactman by the way).

  2. John Palmer said,

    To avoid misunderstanding: of course I agree about an enforcement regime with supra-national powers. I have been arguing for this for too long. But it is not “the Guardianistas” who play into the hands of the climate deniers. It is those who fail to see that at the heart of the sustainability debate lies the impetus for a post-capitalist economy. This was spotted some years ago by the late Michael Kidron.

  3. Jim Denham said,

    “It smacks of Schactman by the way”: ouch!

  4. Lobby Ludd said,

    “Nick Cohen (back on form) has some good stuff to say about this.”

    As in:

    “I won’t say there is an absolute causal link between oil and gas markets and dictatorship but, as the shifting of Venezuela from representative democracy to Peronist authoritarianism under Hugo Chávez shows, the two go well together.”

    ‘On form’ maybe, but ‘good stuff’? Shurely shome mishtake.

  5. Lobby Ludd said,

    Generally I find that automatically not being on the same side as Cohen, Hitchens (either) or Aaronovitch saves time.Of necessity you may agree that they make odd points worth considering. So what? These brave sayers of the unsayable (courtesy of coumn in the mass media) are nothing special.

  6. Jim Denham said,

    Lobby: what was it Trotsky said about “every sectarian a master theoretician”?

  7. Lobby Ludd said,

    Jim ‘Mr’ Denham:

    “Lobby: what was it Trotsky said about “every sectarian a master theoretician”?”

    How dare you! I may well be a sectarian, but ‘theoretician’? Sometimes you go over the top, Jim.

    I am very forgiving.

  8. David said,

    Its this sort of left wing brainless rantings without reason or logic that make you the laughing stock of the ‘green’ debate.

    Try throwing in a fact or two, you know, just for the sake of genuine debate 😉

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