“The ocean is rising, and we are too.” Climate change is no longer a thing of the future. Already, hurricanes are becoming more powerful, forests are burning, people are dying from heat waves, drought, floods, and famine. Such extreme weather events are quickly becoming the rule, not the exception.

The oceans are polluted by plastic and chemical waste, killing off fish and other marine life. Underground water supplies are drained or polluted, leading to a widespread scarcity of this most essential of resources. Every year, species are becoming extinct through the senseless destruction of ecosystems.

Immediate action is needed. A massive reduction in emissions and pollution levels is essential. And large-scale mitigation measures must be taken, such as the construction of flood defences and reforestation. But the capitalists and their political representatives are completely incapable of carrying out the radical changes that are required.

— From IMT statement: capitalism is killing the planet – we need a revolution!

Over the course of several days, Storm Beryl has wreaked havoc across the Caribbean, before landing in the USA. Island communities were flattened in a matter of a few hours and coastal areas were overwhelmed by flood waters. The lives of hundreds of thousands of people have been turned upside down.

COP28 was riddled with ironies from day one, being held in the United Arab Emirates, a key oil and gas economy; and led by Sultan Al Jaber, who is the chief executive of the national oil company Adnoc. “Is this a joke?” you might splutter, through increasingly polluted air. Far from a laughing matter, this is the ruling class’s best offer when it comes to ‘combating climate change’.

The division of the world into nation states – and the competition it engenders between national gangs of capitalist robbers – is making a mockery of the fight against climate change. Capitalist politicians and commentators rarely admit this obvious truth, but sometimes it’s possible to read an article by the more astute representatives of capital that suggests a glimmer of an understanding. One such article recently published in the Financial Times (FT) is titled ‘How China cornered the market for clean tech’.

Capitalist politicians are increasingly wrapping-up austerity measures in ‘green’ packaging – provoking a backlash amongst ordinary people, and polarising the working class. This article was originally published by our comrades in Britain in the wake of the expansion of London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which penalises thousands of working-class commuters in the name of protecting the environment.

An unprecedented number of wildfires have set Europe alight in the past month. Nine Mediterranean countries have been hit, leading to many people losing their homes and even their lives. These are the deadly consequences of capitalism’s climate catastrophe.

The recent media circus around the Nature Restoration Law approved last week by the European Parliament (which has been rendered essentially harmless in its concrete effects) is intended to conceal the EU’s real objectives: the revival of a ‘green’ protectionism, paid for by workers and their families.

The second-largest forest fire in British Colombian history. The town of Chibougamau, Quebec, evacuated in the middle of the night. A Halifax suburb burned down. Toronto and Montreal covered in smog. All of this occurring as early as May and June.

The future of our planet depends on the successful transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. We are in a race against time. Climate scientists estimate there is a 50 percent chance of global temperatures exceeding pre-industrial levels by 1.5C in the next five years. Recently, a flurry of major breakthroughs in fusion energy have demonstrated the viability of this technology as a limitless, zero-carbon source of energy, harnessing the same process that powers our sun. And yet, scandalously, investment in this technology has been throttled for the past 50 years. Why? Because it was deemed unprofitable.

A new study of in-house research by ExxonMobil has revealed that the oil giant had detailed and accurate predictions of the impact of fossil fuels on global warming as early as the 1970s. And yet, the company continued to downplay and cast doubt on man-made climate change until as recently as the last decade. The lies and deceptions of fossil fuel magnates will surprise no one, but this study reveals the true depths of cynicism that the capitalist class are capable of plumbing in defence of the crimes they commit for profit.

This summer, the world has been struck by calamitous weather events, including immense droughts across multiple continents. Satellite pictures show vast areas, completely desiccated by the heat. Europe experienced its worst drought in 500 years. Meanwhile, China was hit by its most severe heatwave in 60 years, causing a drought whose impact continues to ripple through agriculture and industry.

The devastating effects of global warming are being felt by billions of people all around the world. Meanwhile, capitalist fat cats are openly downplaying the risk of entire cities being buried beneath the rising oceans as a trifling inconvenience. Like Emperor Nero before them, the rulers of this destructive system are fiddling – this time – as Rome drowns.

In the past few years, Vietnam has been battered by severe storms, the effects of which continue to be felt and are compounded by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These extreme weather conditions are a global phenomenon, as demonstrated by super-storms around the world; tornado outbreaks in the Midwest and Southern USA; and massive sandstorms in China and Mongolia in late 2021. At root, the climate change which is to blame for these disasters is caused by the rapacious capitalist exploitation of the planet.

On Wednesday 9 February, climate activists Orla Murphy and Zac Lumley, will appear at the District Court in Dublin to face serious criminal damage charges, for which they could face up to a year in prison. The ‘crime’ they are accused of committing? Peacefully protesting against the inaction of the Irish government in the face of climate change by painting the words “No More Empty Promises” on the front of a government building. In the case of Zac Lumley, a supporter of the Irish Marxists (IMT Ireland), he is accused of merely live-streaming the protest.

Karl Marx once remarked that history repeats itself “the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” For the first two weeks of November, history repeated itself for the 26th time, as the world’s so-called leaders met in Glasgow and decided to do more-or-less nothing to deal with the climate crisis.

COP26 - the latest UN Climate Change Conference - began last Sunday in Glasgow. Politicians from across the world, along with business leaders, will be holding two weeks of negotiations, panel discussions and press conferences on the question of climate change. But, far from saving us, capitalism is killing the planet. We need a revolution.