Sham environmental strategy means more of the same

The Workers Party has heavily criticised the Northern Ireland Executive’s draft environmental strategy document, condemning its ‘business as usual’ approach – which completely ignores the fact that it is ‘business as usual‘ that has brought about the crisis in the first place.

The continuation of business as usual will lead to the continued destruction of the global environment now and for decades to come, the Party’s submission to the consultation document argues.

The very people who are making these proposals to save the environment are the same MLAs who granted licences for drilling and the use of cyanide for mineral extraction in Greencastle, Co Tyrone an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and a fracking licence using a cocktail of chemicals in the search for oil in an area in Co Antrim just a few hundred meters from a water reservoir supplying thousands of local homes.

This global, and human created, crisis is a direct product of capitalism, the multi-national organisations and the corporate tycoons.

The Executive’s draft strategy doesn’t just gloss over that fact – it completely ignores it.

Capitalism has always sought to make workers pay for the consequences of its actions and distract from its culpability

This draft environmental strategy follows that line slavishly and without question.

The Capitalist system is based on over production and continuous growth. To do this requires the relentless consumption of fossil fuels, resulting in growing emissions of greenhouse gases.  That in turn brings the environmental crisis we now face.

Everyone who is genuinely concerned about the current and future environment must look beyond the Executive’s ‘business as usual’ sham strategy, look beyond the attempts to put all the responsibility onto individuals and their life styles, and instead focus on the need for a fundamental social change to production for need rather than for profit.

The environment is not safe in the hands of the current Assembly. It is not safe in the custody of capitalist production.

Only a socialist government, free from the distortions of the market, which prioritises the needs of people and environments, can lead to real environmental sustainability.