Socialist Worker

School climate strikes called as heatwave hits

by Sophie Squire
Issue No. 2762

School students in London strike for the climate in 2019 to demand fundamental system change

School students in London strike for the climate in 2019 to demand fundamental system change (Pic: School Strike 4 Climate)


Youth Climate group Fridays for Future has announced a global climate strike on 24 September.

The group said, “Together we will fight for a just future where no one is left behind.

“The historical victories of collective action have proven the need for the youth to stand united with the multisectoral, intergenerational struggle for a better future for all—a future where people and planet are prioritised.”

The strike was called as terrifying new evidence of the severity of the climate crisis exposed itself in a heatwave last week.

And in a show of bosses’ destructive pursuit of profit, an underwater gas pipeline burst in the Gulf of Mexico, causing flames to burst from the sea.

The pipeline is under the control of Petroleos Mexicanos or Pemex, which is owned by the Mexican state.

Extinction Rebellion protests take on media tycoons’ silence on scale of climate crisis
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Climate activists used the incident to condemn the extractive oil and gas industry, which pollutes the planet but and can never be safe.

Greta Thunberg spoke about the blaze in a video posted to social media. She said, “The people in power call themselves ‘climate ­leaders’ as they open up new oilfields, pipelines and coal power plants—granting new oil licences and exploring future oil drilling sites.

“This is the world they are leaving for us.”

Meanwhile, hundreds of people have been killed by a ­heatwave sweeping parts of the United States and Canada. In Canada it is feared that up to 700 people have died due to the rising temperatures.

Recorded

Lytton, in the province of British Columbia, recorded temperatures of nearly 50 degrees Celsius last Tuesday—a new record for Canada.

The death count in Oregon, in the US was 95 on Sunday.

The heatwave has been attributed to a “heat dome”. This occurs when air from the Pacific Ocean becomes trapped and is heated.

Layers of hot air have increased the thickness of the atmosphere across the region, creating a “dome.”

The heat increases the thickness of the air, further raising temperatures.

The climate crisis will mean that extreme weather events such as this will become more common. Across the Pacific Northwest in the US, the infrastructure is unable to cope with the increased temperatures, causing dozens of deaths.

The region, which usually has mild weather, is suffering electricity ­blackouts, and water shortages.

Some bosses are ­concerned that the heatwave will affect the fruit harvests throughout the region.

But they offer nothing to protect fruit workers.

Season

The United Farm Workers union tweeted, ­“Washington does not require employers to provide us (farmworkers) with the heat protections needed to save our lives. This must change.

“It’s the cherry season, so conditions are incredibly dangerous. With labour needs at peak capacity, ­workers from 12 years old to over 70 are out working.”

And the extreme weather isn’t confined to the Pacific Northwest. Weather ­warnings were in place in ­California and Nevada. President Joe Biden ­admitted that the US needed better infrastructure to deal with the effects of the climate crisis in a speech last week.

He is currently pushing for an infrastructure bill. This will supposedly provide more funds for roads, ­broadband and public ­transport—although it’s far less than Biden originally promised.

But activists say it doesn’t provide enough ­funding for climate adaptations.

Biden’s assurances that he is committed to ­fighting climate change didn’t stop his Secret Service from arresting dozens of climate activists protesting ­outside the White House.

The youth activists from the Sunrise Movement successfully blocked all ten of the White House’s entrances on Monday to demand that Biden invests in more infrastructure and job creation.

Unless there is ­immediate action to begin to tackle ­climate change, there will be more horrors like the present heatwave—and worse.


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