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DEMAND URGENT ACTION ON GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE JUSTICE, AND START THE SHUTDOWN OF NUCLEAR PLANTS ON WORLD CLIMATE DAY

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By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
23 November 2011

On December 3, 2011, people from around the world will mark World Climate Day by demanding urgent action on global warming and climate justice. World Climate Day will be observed while the annual climate talks of the Conference of Parties (COP17/MOP7) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are taking place in Durban, South Africa from November 28th until December 11th 2011.

Thousands of people from around the world will hold protest actions and various other activities to convey their collective resistance against the hypocrtical character of the conference and the unrestrained destruction of the environment by the imperialist powers. These keep on making promises from conference to conference to safeguard the environment but they persist in destroying it as they continue to engage in the plunder of human and natural resources in the course of what has been termed as “development aggression.

The global ecological crisis under the rule of monopoly capital has worsened and reached colossal proportions. Imperialist governments and transnational corporations are directly responsible for continuing to pump massive amounts of greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere as they extract and consume most of the Earth’s natural resources–such as our forests, minerals, energy reserves, freshwater supplies, agricultural lands and marine areas–in the pursuit of super-profits.

The relentless plunder and breakdown of the world’s ecosystems are destroying entire communities and countries and resulting in ever increasing calamities, disasters, destruction, and deaths.The past decade was the warmest 10 year period in recent history as carbon dioxide and equivalent gases have breached existing record levels. Oceans are acidifying and terrestrial ecosystems are failing. As East Africa now faces its worst drought in sixty years, more than half of the world’s population are rendered vulnerable to the catastrophic effects of climate change.

While experts are now warning that the world has less than a decade to alter our current emission rates before climate change becomes irreversible, the agents of monopoly capital and their governments continue to push profit-driven and market-oriented responses that have dismally failed to stem the increase of greenhouse gas emissions. The false technological solutions they promote and pursue further endanger the world and threaten to aggravate and compound global warming with worse global catastrophes.

Nuclear power is one such example of a false solution. It is being promoted as an alternative to fossil-fuel energy and packaged as an alternative clean source to reduce emissions. Yet nuclear fuel and plants are not carbon neutral. As Fukushima and other major nuclear catastrophes such as Three Mile Island and Chernobyl have shown, nuclear power has serious risks and consequences– both possible and inevitable – which makes it incalculably risky and uncontrollable considering the world’s current levels of technology and capacity to deal with nuclear waste. No state or community of states has yet succeeded in solving the problem of high level nuclear waste disposal, which remains a deadly threat for thousands of years.

As hundreds of millions of people condemn the continuing disaster in Fukushima and the Japanese government’s cover up of and connivance with TEPCOon their joint irresponsibility, worldwide opposition to the building of new nuclear power plants and the shutdown of existing ones has grown. In line with this, and in conjunction with the observance of World Climate Day 2011, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle is uniting and coordinating with the International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations and other forces and with the broad masses of the people to intensify the campaign for the shutdown of all nuclear power plants and the ban and destruction of all nuclear weapons

We call on all member organizations of the ILPS, our allies and the people to hold protests and demonstrations to call for the shutdown of nuclear plants as well as to conduct other activities such as signature campaigns, forums and discussions during this coming World Climate Day. We must expose the fact that the crisis of global capitalism further propels profit‐driven and unsustainable development that causes irreversible damage to the world’s environment. We must oppose false solutions, such as nuclear power evades the root of the climate crisis, which is the unsustainable system of monopoly capital plunder and production.

We reiterate the 25 September 2011 joint call of the ILPS and ICOR for a one-year worldwide campaign: Shut down all nuclear power plants! We must confront the following facts: that at today’s level of technology the production of nuclear energy poses incalculable and irresponsible risks; that today there is no safe and permanent possibility to deposit nuclear waste, and that this will still be radioactive in a million years; that the health and lives of those people working in the nuclear industry are permanently endangered – whether in uranium mining, or in the operation, transportation, maintenance and dismantling of nuclear facilities; that in some countries the construction of nuclear plants is mostly a cover for nuclear arms projects; and that atomic energy is in no way neutral with regard to the emission of climate gases and is only bringing maximum profits for the big corporations because it is subsidized by the state to the highest degree

The catastrophe of Fukushima has generated a worldwide wave of mass protests. Some governments have been forced to stop their plans for building further nuclear power plants. Even in countries like Japan or France, where for decades atomic energy was claimed to be “without alternative“, the people’s resistance has been developing. With strikes, blockades and mass demonstrations the masses are opposing the plans of international finance capital which, even after Fukushima, are continuing with their plans to further operate and build more nuclear power plants.

We must expand and intensify the worldwide resistance of the people. We must wage the struggle for shutting down nuclear power plants as a part of the comprehensive struggle to prevent an environmental catastrophe which can destroy the foundations of the existence of entire humankind. We must consider the struggle for the preservation of the natural environment as a part of the struggle for the national and social liberation from imperialism.

Let us be guided by the following:

*Active resistance to shut down all nuclear power stations and plants!

*Compel the corporate owners of nuclear power plants to bear the costs of shutdown and clean up operations!

*Demand compensation and appropriate medical support from the state and from corporate operators or owners of nuclear power plants for all victims of illnesses arising from exposure to nuclear power plant radiation and toxic wastes!

*Save the environment from the greed for profit of the monopolies!

* Pursue and expand research, promotion and propagation of environment-friendly power and energy sources!

*  Ban and destroy all nuclear, biological and chemical weapons!

*  Strengthen the international front of active resistance for the protection   of the natural environment!

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