There is no longer a serious debate about whether or not greenhouse gasses are causing climate change. Current discussion centers around how fast it will happen and how bad will it be. The only "scientists" who dispute the greenhouse effect are those lackeys of the highly organized and well- financed oil industry and their supporters. The fact that a significant number of people still think climate change is in doubt is a measure of the oil industries success.
The planet is entering a period of permanent climatic crisis that will only be worsened by the inequalities and inability to plan that is endemic to capitalism. Capitalism cannot begin to deal with the problem of climate change in any rational, humane way. Consider three of thousands of examples: (1) In 1995 a section of ice the size of Rhode Island broke off the Larson Ice shelf, ending its 20,000 year existence. (2) The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries dengue and yellow fever, has been generally unable to survive above 1000 meters, due to the cold. Recently it has been reported at 1240 meters in Costa Rica and 2,200 meters in Columbia, and at high elevations in Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. (3) During the summer of 1995 hundreds of people, mainly elderly and poor, died during heat waves in Chicago and India.
The possibility of greatly reducing the flow of greenhouse gasses exists now, as proven technology. We do not need to wait for new inventions or discoveries. What is needed to stem the flow of greenhouse gasses and thus limit climate change is a complete reorganization of production and a move away from fossil fuels. This will not be accomplished short of a socialist revolution. A revolution that will, among other things, make existing technology available to anyone who needs it, without regard for profit.
When the Kyoto treaty comes up for adoption in the United States, we can expect another flurry of false information and economic nationalism. The Militant owes it to its readers to keep abreast of these developments.
Against land mines
The recent articles and editorials praising land mines (e,g., "For Land Mines, Against Ottawa," Dec. 22 issue) have blithely ignored the fact that most victims of this weapon are poor people in countries like Angola and Cambodia that have been harshly exploited by imperialism. At one time in the late 1980s, the manufacture of prosthetic limbs was the largest industry in Angola, a sad confirmation of this. The impoverishment of many countries in the underdeveloped world is exacerbated by mines, which render arable land unusable. According to one source, the land available for agriculture and livestock in Afghanistan would be increased by 88 percent without the presence of mines. Other necessities of life for working people - such as shipment of medical supplies and food - are disrupted by mines as well.
While you correctly expose the hypocrisy and duplicity of the big war-makers who tout the recent land mine agreement, you go overboard in unthinkingly echoing the remarks of Cuban general Rospide about land mines being "the weapon of the poor." Many amputees in southern Africa and southeast Asia would beg to differ. Any military strategist, the Cuban general included, would be bemused and/or horrified by your ignorance about the place of land mines in struggles of the oppressed.
I am inquiring about receiving a subscription to your newspaper. I am a Shiite Muslim of Islam, a revolutionary warrior, and a man. Some people have also labeled me a radical because I will not accept oppression and genocide of my people, people of color. I am Spanish-Sicilian and Mayan Indian. I have been placed in Administrative Segregation Security Detention because I refuse to bow down, to give up on my people, myself, my histories, and I keep my self dignity intact. Plus I teach the people around me the truth. I take off the blinders as they were taken off of me!
I would rather die a Revolutionary Warrior, than die less than a true man equal to all men. I am a prisoner in the Texas Dept. Of Criminal Injustice System. I would like to ask that this be printed in your newspaper, so that I and my organization known as "The Free Men of Incarceration" may start and maintain contact with other people of our ideals and beliefs as Revolutionary Warriors. All mail will be answered immediately by myself or another member of our organization. I would like to know if any donation of books, literature, pamphlets, etc. are available.
We wish you and all our brethren well in our struggles as Revolutionary Warriors. Don't forget about us on the insides of these walls.
New Boston, Texas
Pass the `Militant' to others
I am a prisoner in the Special Housing Unit and have been now for three years and seven months. Can you please send me a few of your back issues so I can keep up on current events as well as broaden my knowledge on things? After reading the newspapers I will pass them to other prisoners here with me in the Special Housing Unit.
Pine City, New York
The letters column is an open forum for all viewpoints on subjects of general interest to our readers. Please keep your letters brief. Where necessary they will be abridged. Please indicate if you prefer that your initials be used rather than your full name.
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