Race, Class, Global Warming and Democracy.

Written By: - Date published: 1:06 pm, September 7th, 2016 - 18 comments
Categories: capitalism, class, Environment, political alternatives, racism, socialism - Tags: , , , ,

Is there a racist element to global warming? Well, if you consider that the majority of accumulated emissions come from nations of richer ‘whiter’ peoples and that the impacts of climate change will hit nations of poorer ‘non-white’ peoples hardest, then yes.

And so it makes perfect sense that “Black Lives Matter” closed down London City airport. Climate change and race are not separate issues.

Then there is the matter of class.

Piketty and Chancel (pdf) released a report on emissions last year around the same time that Oxfam released their own report on CO2 emissions. Both reports found that the vast majority of emissions are released by a relatively small clique of rich people. They found that the breakdown was true for populations within any given nation as well as for the populations across nations – ie, the global population.

The complete breakdown was that the richest 10% of people release 50% of emissions, the following richest 40% of people release 40% of emissions and the poorest 50% of people release 10% of emissions.

Many reading this are going to, yet again, wring their hands, draw the curtains and cling to familiar comforts. But what about you? You going to get off your chuff?

If you’re in Dunedin, there’s a ‘Protestival for Democracy’ this Saturday at 1 p.m. gathering at the dental school. It seems to have been organised by the group TTP Action Dunedin who recognise that the days of single issue politics are over. This from their face book page (public).

We in Dunedin will be taking part in the national day of action, on the theme of Reclaim Democracy – The People’s Alternatives, with a march and rally in the Octagon on the 10th September 2016.

We demand social and climate justice!

Our community opposes the TPPA, privatization, asset sales and attacks on public services and Treaty rights, exploitation of workers, oil exploration, fracking and continued damage to our environment.

So get out your hobby horse, high horse, bandwagon or whatever. Whether your passion is related to climate change, gender, trade, union rights or housing – whatever – they are all interconnected in a multitude of ways and all feed into almost any major headline statement in a variety of ways. Our job is simply to steer our passion nimbly and appropriately according to the headline of a given day.

Democracy’s an easy one, right? Okay, see you there.

18 comments on “Race, Class, Global Warming and Democracy.”

  1. The Real Matthew 1

    Let me apply your logic in a different way.

    Is there a racist element to Left Wing Blogs?
    The majority of writers on left win blogs are white.
    Left wing blogs organise protests at time inhospitable to shift workers
    Shift workers are predominantly non-white.
    Left wing blogs are racist.

    • Bill 1.1

      I wouldn’t describe that as logic, more like “clutching at different bits of shite and trying to make a shite ball of it all before throwing”

      But hey…

    • Fustercluck 1.2

      This is a rather limited argument that in the technical (rather than colloquial) sense does beg the question a bit. But if the shoe fits, you gotta wear it.

      The left should remember to think of shift workers when planning direct action.

      Thanks for the tip TRM.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    The complete breakdown was that the richest 10% of people release 50% of emissions, the following richest 40% of people release 40% of emissions and the poorest 50% of people release 10% of emissions.

    That makes sense. If people have enough money they simply go off and do stuff – travel, owning gas guzzling cars, etcetera – which uses up a huge amount of resources and fuel. Then you get the mid people who are still probably using too many resources and then the poor who simply can’t afford to use any resources.

    This all ties in nicely with my idea that we actually pay people far too much which results in far too many resources being used. In a market system we can’t afford rich or even just well off people as too many resources get used up.

  3. Chuck 3

    “Is there a racist element to global warming?”

    No, not if you look at current CO2 emissions by Country.

    While its true “white people” currently lead the accumulated emissions graph, “non-white people” are catching up fast and are now the main overall contributors to CO2 emissions.

    To see how the numbers can change and rankings (depending on how you measure the data) this is a good website to look at…


    • Bill 3.1

      Which countries get whacked by climate change the hardest Chuck? And which countries keep making pledges and then not honouring them? Hint: the two answers don’t overlap.

      • adam 3.1.1

        Don’t bother Bill, Chuck believes in conspiracy theories or makes up one when his world view is challenged.

        • Chuck

          I don’t mind a bit of Eminem so thanks for that adam.

          • Colonial Viper

            White people de-industrialised their countries and shifted all the factories over to poorer coloured nations. Basically we outsourced our pollution and get only the nice shiny finished products arriving in our ports.

            • Richard McGrath

              Don’t forget the people from the poorer nations who gained employment because of the factories.

              • Colonial Viper

                yes they should be glad of their tiny wage slavery forcing them to destroy their home regions to provide the west with crap.

                • Molly

                  Agree CV.

                  The disconnect between the supply of cheap goods, and the erosion of local AND international wages and working conditions is constantly apparent.

                  Had an interesting conversation with someone who has just travelled in Asia, after a lifetime of working and holidaying in NZ and Australia. He spoke of the price of brand items there, and the working conditions of the workers. He had a contemplative moment, after it was pointed out to him that those workers still provide the high priced merchandise available to us locally, and under the same working conditions. Not to mention the adverse environmental effects.

                  For this, our local workers also suffer as wages are suppressed further.

                  Our accepted definitions for cost and value are out of date. Also for global trade without responsibility – which is much more honestly described as exploitation.

      • Chuck 3.1.2

        Of course the answer is poor or developing countries.

        And the second part to your question…Japan and Russia would be top of the list, with Canada not far behind.

        India still has 300 million people without electricity, and are the fastest growing users of coal…so yes there is some overlap there Bill.

  4. weka 4

    Awesome action by BLM in London.

  5. One Anonymous Bloke 5

    Racism and other core right wing/National Party values affect policies at all levels.

    • Chuck 5.1

      I know you live in an echo chamber OAB…so to help you peer out into the real world…

      Half of all racists are LEFT WING.


      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1

        It’s an odd echo chamber that has you in it. An echo chamber with a parrot, perhaps.

        Has there been any attempt to replicate that study? Hodson & Busseri 2012, for example, found that low IQ predicts for racism and right wing political beliefs. I don’t think any attempt has been made to replicate that either.

        I’m not relying on Psychology to make my case, though. It’s a personal observation about values, not people. So even if Ray 1984 is replicated and robust it doesn’t address the argument.

  6. Bill 6

    In a worthwhile follow up to the piece linked to in the post…

    “These people” who had paddled across the docks in Newham, one of the poorest boroughs in London, were supposedly with the group called Black Lives Matter. But – shock! – they were all white. And black people, as you know, are not interested in climate change or air pollution anyway. The Mail was splenetic, saying claims that air pollution discriminated against minorities were “ludicrous”.


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