“We live in a time when it is not only animal species that are disappearing; so too are the words, expressions, and gestures of human solidarity. A cloak of silence has been forcibly imposed on emancipatory struggle: the struggles of women, or of the unemployed, the ‘marginalized’, and immigrants – the new proletarians.” – Félix Guattari
On October 23–27, the city of Malmö hosts the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a “scientific and intergovernmental body under the auspices of the United Nations”, which is supposedly dedicated to provide assessment of climate change, forming the interface between science, policy and global politics. The IPCC is like the G20 for climate change. Namely, it is a confined group of politically powerful and scientific authoritative elite that produces “legitimate” knowledge for our common future, despite a self-proclaimed definition of a bottom-up process. The IPCC is another site where capitalist antagonisms and nationalist agendas are taking over the discussion for climate change. Government representatives are seeking to meet their own responsibilities toward their respective governments by upholding their countries’ interests (both state and private). The IPCC report in general reinforces the dominant idea that renewable energy can save us and there is no need to question the commitment to affluent living standards and the pursuit of limitless economic growth. In other words, the report and its supporters do not suggest any radical change in the way capitalism treats the environment, but proposes to move towards cleaner energy systems and “greener” living standards.
Climate change and environmental degradation are not matters to be solved with greenwashing reforms, as the IPCC report suggest. As long as we live in a normality that presupposes an everyday degradation of life through the blackmail of wage work, climate change cannot be merely confronted with individualistic lifestyle changes and renewable energy sources. Political parties and mainstream media, the other side of capitalist enterprises, throughout the planet systematically terrorize and manipulate local populations and precarious classes that the only solution to poverty is a total capitulation to the wishes of the international investors (whoever that are). From the mining threats to Jokkmokk’s (Sweden) wilderness to the contamination of groundwater by South Africa’s coal mines and from Standing Rock’s (North America) environmental racism to Skouries (Greece) environmental state repression, the capitalist message is clear: your chance to labour and economic prosperity imply surrendering any ideas of protecting indigenous populations and nature.
In the same manner, social resistance to environmental degradation is often portrayed by hegemonic narratives and bourgeois media as “terrorism”, “mere violence”, “irresponsible stance” that will “scare investors”, “destabilize economic growth”, and “decrease employment”. In reality, the international capital and the dystopia of economic growth are the major oppressors of our lives. The destruction of nature and further deprivation of precarious classes are not the result of unfulfilled economic growth and/or the lack of renewable energy sources. Renewable energy sources actually already exist and support the same kind of economic model of environmental degradation by feeding the central energy greed/grid and not a decentralized self-organized economic structure based on respect for nature and low-scale production of energy. The idea of renewable energy sources, which the IPCC promotes, has been already recuperated by state and capital for making profits through the smart grid, the smart house, green economy, green products and so on, without any significant positive impact on climate change.
Climate change is the result of state-capital exploitation of people/nature. This is the culture of pollution and brutal enforcement of the “economic growth” logic that the IPCC also endorses. We do not want to live as wage slaves in environmentally degraded landscapes. Today, we visited the E-On, one of the main polluters in Sweden, premises in Malmö to symbolically show that the culture of pollution, exploitation and subjugation cannot be reformed, it can only be smashed! We want to live, not to merely survive. We do not wish sustainable cities, but meaningful lives. This is our struggle for land and freedom..