As the Green Party sell out, how can our environment be saved?

By Cillian Gillespie

US military to remain in Shannon warport, M3 motorway to go ahead, corporate donations to remain… it would appear that Green Party TDs would have sold their own grandmothers in order to get a seat at the Cabinet table! After the sell out of the Greens many workers and young people will wonder how can the destruction of our environment can be halted.

Whatever happens within the lifetime of this government we can be certain of one thing it won’t do – take decisive action to reduce carbon emissions and cut across global warming. In the past 15 years Ireland’s carbon emissions have grown by almost 25% while transport emissions have increased by a massive 140%. This increase will have enormous consequences for future generations living in Ireland. According to one report issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, global warming will result in Limerick being permanently flooded within our lifetime.

In the past the Greens have sought to imply that society as a whole is a collectively responsible for global warming. Socialist Youth and the Socialist Party reject this viewpoint and lay the blame for the destruction of our planet firmly at the door of big business. The bosses are the people whose short term drive for profit, regardless of the consequences, has led to a dramatic increase in carbon emissions. They are the ones who produce 85% of waste in this country. The waste that the rest of us produce comes from the lack of recycling facilities and the unnecessary packaging we receive through goods we buy.

Despite the massive resources at their disposal, their friends in successive governments have failed to invest in a properly funded public transport system as an alternative to the use of cars. Nor have they sought to put the money into renewable energy as a step towards phasing out the use of fossil fuels.

The business and political establishment in Ireland have failed to confront the potential catastrophe that will result from our environment’s destruction. Experience will show that this will not be done by making cosy deals with Fianna Fail to suit the careers of a few. This is why Socialist Youth will be posing the need for an alternative to the parties of big business. We will fight for a socialist society where the future of our planet is put before the profits of a small wealthy minority.

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