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Climate strike

Why build a global climate strike in Brazil?

Saturday 21 September 2019, by Fernanda Melchionna, Samia Bomfin

The last four years (between 2015 and 2018) were the hottest years in our history, since temperatures were measured regularly and on a global scale in the year 18001. Global warming is a reality, denied only by those who insist on attacking science. Excessive emissions of gases such as carbon dioxide and methane – mainly from the burning of fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) and the livestock – intensify the greenhouse effect, a phenomenon of heat retention on Planet Earth.

The most serious consequences of global warming are related to the environmental imbalance of the planet. We run serious risks of devastation due to hurricanes and floods; the melting of glaciers in the poles, responsible for the sea level rise, can cause the disappearance of islands and the flooding of coastal cities; agricultural activity, the production of food, can be severely compromised or even made impossible by the increase in temperature and the desertification.

Global warming and the international mobilization in defense of the environment pressured governments to elaborate and execute documents such as the Kyoto Protocol (1997) and the Paris Agreement (2015), guidelines for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In the world, industrial activity is the biggest responsible for the emission of these gases and because of this the implementation of agreements with this content collides with the thirst for profits of the largest companies’ businessmen. According to NASA, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continues to increase, with the concentration at the beginning of the 20th century at less than 300 ppm (parts per million) and in 2019 at more than 400 ppm2.

The climate crisis shows the most destructive face of contemporary capitalism. In addition to the human degradation caused by labor exploitation – even over-exploitation in large areas of the globe – the degradation of nature is a catastrophic consequence of the logic of infinite accumulation of capitalism, especially in its globalized and financial phase. The destructive production that characterizes the current regime of capital accumulation is producing a destruction of the planet with immeasurable consequences. In short, the environmental crisis is not only a characteristic of the global economic crisis, but the most brutal evidence of the destructive effect of capitalism as a mode of production.

In Brazil we live in a critical situation. In recent decades the country has been increasing its participation in the emission of greenhouse gases3, and in our country the main responsible for this increase is deforestation, promoted by the agribusiness sector4. With the Bolsonaro government and the Ministry of Environment controlled by Ricardo Salles, the situation has rapidly worsened. High-ranking members of the government have gone so far as to put the existence of global warming on the back burner5 or even question it6. Since January we have been living under constant attacks and the weakening of IBAMA and ICMBio, attacks that are directly responsible for the reduction in inspection that has allowed the existence of outbreaks of fire like the one that has hit the Amazon in recent weeks.

By being omissive and turning a blind eye to the deforestation of the Amazon, the Bolsonaro government is responsible for the increase in the emission of greenhouse gases, privileging only agribusiness, which in turn is concerned with its profits and exports, to the detriment of the global climate situation or even the production of food and the creation of jobs for the Brazilian people.

The international repercussion of the deforestation of the Amazon has put Brazil even more on the road to the construction of the Global Climate Strike in September 2019, an international movement articulated and convened by Fridays For Future7 that aims to denounce global warming and the connivance of the governments.

In the coming days we will march all over Brazil, in line with the Global Climate Strike. We will march alongside the indigenous people and quilombolas for the demarcation of lands, in defense of biodiversity, the Amazon, the Cerrado, the Pampa, for another world and for another system that privileges life and nature and not the profits of a handful of rich people! There is no Planet B, we must put an end to disaster capitalism.

18 September)

Left on the Move

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