5 - Mick Brooks - Global warming_The deadly threat of capitalist anarchy

5 - Mick Brooks - Global warming_The deadly threat of capitalist anarchy

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After the Hague "Summit": Global Warming - The deadly threat of capitalist anarchy Written by Mick Brooks Tuesday, 14 November 2000 The collapse of the talks at the Hague has brought the issue of global warming back into the headlines. Mick Brooks looks at the reasons for the collapse of the talks, the failures of the Kyoto agreement, the responsibility of capitalism in the destruction of the environment and the need for a socialist alternative. The collapse of the talks at the Hague has brought the issue of global warming back into the headlines. And not before time. Even if John Prescott can't get his "pretty little head" round the detail, the reason the talks collapsed was because the American delegation had no intention of carrying out the promises they had made to curb noxious emissions at Kyoto in 1997. It is easy to blame the Yanks for global warming; easy because, though only a fortieth of the world's population, the USA is responsible for a quarter of all carbon dioxide emissions. Easy - but wrong. 56% of Americans are prepared, if offered the choice, to pay more tax to protect the environment. 52% believe the environment is more important than economic growth. And 55% want the USA to sign up to an international deal. So how come the clearly expressed wish of American voters doesn't get a look in on political decision-making? It's because, whatever the US Constitution says, the people is not sovereign. Big business is sovereign. They take the decisions. The political process in the States is dominated by business lobbies. The most important of these covers road building, the auto industry, road haulage and Big Oil. When this article was being written, it was still not clear who would be the next President of the United States. But never mind. In reality the fossil fuel lobby will be President. That's easy to see in the case of George W Bush. There are even "Bush stocks" - shares in the dirty industries such as petroleum extraction and motor manufacturing - that go up every time his chance of getting the big job rises. Bush is a sort of American Nigel Thatcher - a man with no visible means of support who used his father's presidency to make connections and emerge a multimillionaire. The Republicans have traditionally been in the pay of the oil companies. George Bush Senior used his influence to write to the government of Kuwait on behalf of Chevron and make them an offer they couldn't refuse. Chevron repaid the favour with a $657,000 contribution to the Republican Party's funds. George W's victory was certainly bad news for caribou and Arctic foxes - he's committed to handing over the national park in Alaska (one of the world's last great wildernesses) to his pals for drilling. Who really backed Bush? It was not the voters but an unstoppable wall of money - nearly $0.5 billion in business donations. Like Chevron with dad, they regard the money as an investment, not a donation. Would Gore have been any different? The Clinton-Gore administration has shown a slavish subordination to the
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5 - Mick Brooks - Global warming_The deadly threat of capitalist anarchy

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