As the Planet Burns, “America First” Fascist Regime Puts the Torch to Humanity’s Future

July 3, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


The climate change emergency has been accelerating over the past decade or more at perilous speed. The last three years have seen the highest global temperatures on record. Seas are rising, glaciers are disappearing, and Arctic ice sheets are melting. Droughts, floods, and extreme weather are becoming more destructive and frequent.

The leading cause of global warming is the carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases being spewed out by the burning of fossil fuels as part of the expand-or-die, profit-above-all-else workings of the global system of capitalism-imperialism. This environmental emergency is already devastating the lives of millions of people, especially in the poorest and most oppressed regions of the world—those who have done the least to cause the problem. In Africa, where large numbers of people are already suffering from famine and reactionary wars, there were more than one million “climate refugees”—people no longer able to survive where they’ve lived because of climate change—just in 2015.

And climate change is on a trajectory that threatens the future existence of humanity and many other species.

The U.S. makes up four percent of the world’s population but has poured far more CO2 into the atmosphere than any other country. America is responsible for 30 percent of the planet’s excess CO2. The rulers of the U.S. capitalist-imperialist system have been treating the Earth’s atmosphere like a greenhouse gas dump, and making the rest of the world pay dearly.

Now, the Trump/Pence fascist regime is making the climate crisis even worse—pouring gasoline on the raging fire. On June 1, Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the 2016 Paris climate accord that called for 195 countries to put forward voluntary targets for CO2 emission reductions. This agreement, drawn up by the U.S. and other world powers, came nowhere near halting the planetary environmental crisis. But that’s not why Trump rejected it. His move was another leap in a core part of the fascist regime’s program: removing even the most minimal constraints on U.S. capitalism-imperialism’s predatory exploitation and plunder, including environmental regulations. They have already begun gutting the Environmental Protection Agency and regulations on coal-fired power plants, auto emissions, oil and gas drilling, and more, while accelerating the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines.

The repudiation of the Paris accord is also part of the Trump/Pence regime more aggressively asserting U.S. global power and dominance around the world, including by setting new terms with other global powers—without being constrained by existing international law, norms, treaties, or the like. And Trump’s demagogic promises of jobs and wealth with the exit from the international climate pact are aimed at further riling up his followers—a fascist social base that is cohered around white supremacy, male supremacy, and jingoism and doesn’t give a fuck about science, truth, humanity, or the planet.

The Trump/Pence regime’s vicious assaults on the environment, and on humanity’s chances of survival, have to be met with defiant mass resistance throughout society—as a crucial part of the growing, determined movement to drive the Trump/Pence regime from power.

But people broadly also have to confront the reality that going back to the Paris agreement and the “normal” workings of this system will not fundamentally deal with the climate crisis and save the planet. The problem goes much deeper—rooted in the very nature and workings of the capitalist-imperialist system, which the Trump/Pence regime is an extreme expression of.

But there IS an actual alternative—a society with a different economic and political system, different relations between people and values, which would enable humanity to deal with the environmental catastrophe now looming. This is socialism—and the Constitution for such a society, authored by Bob Avakian and adopted by the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America)—lays this out, as well as addressing the myriad other contradictions and horrors that the current capitalist-imperialist system just cannot deal with.

This Constitution stresses that in all spheres of government and social activity, the new socialist state will energetically address the environmental emergency, uniting with people around the world to do so. For instance, one of the three core principles for guiding social production and economic development will be: “Protecting, preserving, and enhancing the ecosystems and biodiversity of the planet for current and future generations.”

As people go forward to drive out the Trump/Pence regime, the question of what kind of societal change humanity needs to get out of this madness is urgently posed for all those who yearn for a better world.



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