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Arguments for socialism :: Nationalisation
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This week's 'It's time to act' march will see many thousands on the streets of London calling for meaningful action to combat devastating climate change.
Action against climate change is being taken not only by 'greens' and eco-warriors, but working class people and the labour movement. Many national trade unions, as well as the National Union of Students, have taken the historic step of coming together to call for a national programme of government-funded new climate jobs.
Such a massive programme of public works would be on a scale not seen since the creation of the National Health Service in the 1940s.
The report - A Million Climate Jobs - shows how to achieve a dramatic reduction in energy consumption, greatly increased energy efficiency, and a programme of renovation and insulation of all homes and public buildings, to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40%.
At the same time, wind (mainly offshore) along with wave, tidal and solar power could generate twice as much total electricity as now, and all of it renewable - enough to meet the energy needs of buildings, transport and industry, etc.
While a handful of climate change 'sceptics' still pretend that a low-carbon economy would mean a return to the dark ages, such a switch would actually create skilled jobs on a massive scale.
Manufacturing wind, wave and tidal turbines, the construction of tidal lagoons and barrages, zero-carbon buildings, efficient electric vehicles, rail and other transport infrastructure - these could easily add up to a million and more new jobs here in Britain.
The trade unions are right to call for government action to achieve this.
However, none of the establishment parties support such a radical plan as they are subservient to big business - a capitalist system that puts the pursuit of profit for a rich minority ahead of the worldwide needs of billions of people. All the more pressing reason therefore to build a socialist electoral alternative in the coming elections (see page 5).
The recent fall in oil prices shows just how vulnerable national economies are to the vagaries of the capitalist market.
From the Canadian tar sands to the oil and gas rigs of the North Sea, thousands of jobs are disappearing. Meanwhile, many plans to develop new sources of oil and gas have been mothballed.
A socialist plan for energy production, geared to the needs of the planet and its people, is the only long term solution.
While 'A Million Climate Jobs' calls for an expansion of rail transport, and its renationalisation, the Socialist Party would go much further.
We believe that the transformation of entire industries will require nationalisation of the key players - banks, energy companies, and the big corporations that dominate construction and manufacturing. Democratic socialist nationalisation would form the basis of a sustainable plan of production.
Only that way can we guarantee the kind of future envisaged by the report and by the many thousands who will be marching for the climate on 7 March.
Assemble: Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, WC2A at 12:30pm. March sets off at 1pm, rally about 2.15pm outside Parliament (Abingdon Street).
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Article dated 4 March 2015
The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party
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