Thursday, July 06, 2006

An Inconvenient Review
"While an analysis of Gore’s motives in making this film and how it may fit into the strategy of the Democratic Party in 2006 or 2008 are beyond the scope of this review, we do need to be clear that Al Gore himself is a representative of the capitalist/imperialist class in the United States and approaches the issue of global warming from that perspective. It is not fundamentally a question of whether Gore really cares about global warming or is “using” the issue for political purposes. The central point is that Gore’s class position and perspective blind him from being able to really get to the truth of the causes and solutions to the global warming crisis.

In his analysis of the root causes behind the climate crisis, Gore cites three issues: rapid population growth, increased technology, and people’s thinking about the environment. While these factors are part of the picture, what Gore leaves out is actually the central point: that global warming and the destruction of the environment is rooted in a global system of capitalism and imperialism, where production is determined not by social needs or environmental sustainability but by profitability and where a few countries dominate the world economy.

For example, Gore talks about how almost 30% of the CO2 released into the atmosphere each year is the result of burning brushland for subsistence agriculture and wood fires for cooking. But the burning of forests is not being done by peasants in the third world for no reason. It is happening because imperialist globalization is forcing people off of lands where their families have farmed for centuries and, in order to survive, people are driven by necessity to burn down forests for farmland.

While Gore cites statistics that show that the U.S. is responsible for over 30 percent of global warming, he does not question the division of the world where the United States, with four and a half percent of the world’s population, account for such a huge percentage of the world’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Besides the morality of such a small percentage of the world’s population consuming such a large amount of the world’s resources, it is doubtful that such a lopsidedness in the world is sustainable from an ecological standpoint.

Gore does not situate the problem within the current necessity facing U.S. imperialism. These are not times where imperialism is likely to pump large amounts of resources into retooling industry with a green orientation! The strategic goals of the U.S. today are centered around restructuring the world, with U.S. control of the Middle East and, in particular, the large oil reserves there, central to their plans. And the Bush regime is willing to wage unbounded war in the pursuit of this goal."


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