Imperialism and hypocrisy • ISA
It seems that no matter how great the social crisis, there is always money for war. Less than a year after COP26, the Trudeau government is increasing military spending, including $19 billion for new fighter jets. These 88 F-35 jets working together would burn 5,600 liters of fuel per hour, or about 10% of the rate of gasoline burned by every vehicle in Canada. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Sweden and Finland join NATO, while the United States and China fight over Taiwan. The whole world is preparing for war as the world burns.
Droughts destroy food crops. In July, 43% of the United States was experiencing drought. The Horn of Africa is facing the worst drought in 40 years. More than 800 million people in the world suffer from extreme hunger. New studies show that glaciers are melting faster than expected, with sea levels on track to rise a foot by the end of the century. These glaciers feed the rivers on which much of the world’s agricultural land depends.
An estimated 600 people died from the heatwave in British Columbia (BC) in 2021. In Europe, more than 10,000 non-COVID deaths have been recorded during the current heatwave. Many people who died in British Columbia lived in apartments without air conditioning because they either couldn’t afford it or weren’t allowed by their landlords. Secure housing is unaffordable for many Canadians, but in 2021 there were 1.3 million empty homes in Canada, including many empty luxury condos.
More than three million private jet flights were reported in 2021, the highest year on record. Many of those trips were short trips – rapper Drake is known to fly his jet between Toronto and Hamilton. Workers are expected to pay more at the pump for a carbon tax, while large industrial emitters are exempt. The richest one percent of humanity produces twice as much carbon as the poorest half, but workers are ashamed they don’t want to pay more taxes that don’t really tackle climate change.
The Liberal government brags about mitigating climate change, but it is doing everything it can to ensure that Canada continues to produce fossil fuels forever. They claim that Canada can achieve emission reductions by making the oil and gas sector “greener”. But their “net zero” is based on capturing carbon and offsetting fossil fuel emissions. productionwithout measuring the emissions of burn them – since they are shipped to other countries first. But the atmosphere has no borders. To truly reduce global emissions, fossil fuel production must decline.
The government promotes unproven carbon capture technology. If carbon capture is to help the world stay below the 1.5 degree warming limit, 17 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide would need to be removed from the atmosphere every year. Even the technology’s most outspoken proponents do not claim that it will be possible soon enough to avoid catastrophic tipping points.
The 2021 floods in British Columbia destroyed sections of several major highways. Flooding in the east threatens to sever the only major road and rail link between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, requiring an estimated $200 million to $300 million to be spent on dike upgrades. And yet, the Canadian government gives $18 billion a year to the fossil fuel industry to keep it afloat! Despite its rhetoric, the government’s actions show that it is primarily concerned with two things: defending oil company profits and expanding the military to defend the interests of US imperialism.
Climate change is not a problem that can be solved by individual actions, and it will not be solved by liberal or conservative governments, both of which are in the pocket of fossil capitalists. The environment can only win if the fossil capitalists lose. Workers must build mass movements, organize in their unions to strike for climate demands and build an independent political party that will fight head-on the rule of the fossil capitalists.