By Michael Mottern
When thinking about the world’s climate catastrophe, I am reminded of what Michael Harrington declared at the start of the “The Twilight of Capitalism”: “Capitalism is in crisis!” According to its scientific definition, global warming is a shift in the poles, a cold front of weather patterns around Europe and North America. When the cold front moves South (slowly creating a second Ice Age) that is directly linked to climate change with more severe weather patterns. Everyone from moderate Republican agricultural persons to members of the scientific community are issuing dire warnings, especially when it affects our crops directly. But that’s the scientific definition, not what the cult of Trump followers say it is: a hoax along with Covid-19 regulations and the school board hysteria!
It is also said that nobody knows severe weather better than hunters and anglers because they are constantly exposed to the elements both in the woods and at sea, and because of the change in weather patterns, hunting is not as good as it used to be. Ever since 1996, I’ve noticed the weather was slowly changing, depending less on my snow gear and more on my rain attire. I remember when my father said one Thanksgiving, “We have to turn back. We don’t have the gear for this severe weather!” If it’s not heavily snowing, the rain is getting more severe when I hunt. Anglers are saying the same thing in Canada because of global warming. In Wood Buffalo National Park, a Canadian reserve populated by wood bison hunted by wolves, there is a nearby gas company that encroaches onto the bison’s habitat and adds to global warming by spewing large smokestacks of carbon into the air.
Climate change is probably the most important issue as the Earth stands today in crisis! So when we read Michael Harrington’s “The Twilight of Capitalism” let us remember how Harrington was calling for intervention on behalf of the people by the government like the government intervened on behalf of the steel industry and the coal industry. How has it intervened? By subsidizing corporations and serving the public with ultimatums when the climate is in peril, and the public then has to flip the bill for the cleanup, especially when it comes to factory farming, hog waste runoff seeping into our water system and carbon polluting the air. After the recent Brussels Climate Summit, we have to think about the environment first and foremost so that our generations of children can have the future with a cleaner environment that is safe and not hijacked by corporations and greed.
So what has SDUSA been up to lately about this? First, we passed a resolution a few years back referring to a caucus called “Hunters for Regulation & Environmental Protection”, dedicated to the preservation of the environment, gun regulation, indigenous rights, and helping out with ethical farming practices. Helping farmers that help the environment! Second, after SDUSA chartered its new chapter in Houston, Texas, our social democratic comrades there are planning a new climate emergency conference via Zoom, in order that we can give more importance to conservation, the environment and the weather!
Michael Mottern is the first vice-chair of Social Democrats USA.