Mark of the beast

Trying to ‘influence those with the greatest power’ to ‘minimise’ the ‘harmful effects of climate change’ with the ‘utmost speed and resolution’ has proven to be a predictable failure, argues Jack Conrad. Instead of soggy protest politics, we need the politics of power

Anthropogenic climate change represents the most acute danger to human civilisation - well, that and generalised nuclear exchange. Only if truly revolutionary measures are taken do we stand a chance of preventing some sort of collapse into a new age of barbarism. Yet governments, whether of the conservative, liberal or left-reformist type - despite now routine eco-posturing - are all in thrall to accumulation for the sake of accumulation, production for the sake of production. The mark of the beast being M-C-M'.

Even if we take seriously their solemn commitments, made in Paris 2015, of reducing CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050 - and only a fool would - it is, in all probability, too late. The opportunity to limit global warming to well below 2oC above preindustrial levels, and “preferably” to just 1.5oC, has, in all likelihood, already passed. Emissions of CO2, CH4, N2O and other greenhouse gases continue apace. The Copernicus Climate Change Service has recently reported 11 record monthly temperatures in a row. Sea surface temperatures have been at a record high for the past 13 months.1 This results in well-reported deadly-pockets of extreme heat and precipitation.

A clear majority, some 80%, of senior climate scientists - authors of the influential Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports - see the world as giddily, crazily, on course to exceed the 1.5oC limit as the global norm: the “central estimate” being 2030-32. After that the general expectation is of a rise to “at least 2.5oC above preindustrial levels”.2

Will it stop there? The danger of 3oC, 3.5oC, 4oC might be avoided, but only if we act with the utmost decisiveness. Given present trends, a 4oC world “may be reached as soon as the 2060s”.3 Such an increase would see the polar ice caps substantially shrink, masses of fresh water released into the oceans, sea levels heading for a 10-metre rise and a possible further feedback surge in global temperatures.

Large areas of the tropics become uninhabitable. The North American wheat belt turns to desert. Millions are displaced. Countless cities are inundated: Alexandria, Dhaka, Jakarta, Bangkok, Kolkata, Miami, Houston, New Orleans, Rotterdam, Rio de Janeiro, Osaka and Shanghai lie top of the list. Along with much of Europe and western Asia, Britain eventually fragments into a series of islands. Manchester becomes Manchester-on-Sea.

Given that such a prospect might conceivably be merely the prelude to climate catastrophe and a mass extinction, including of our own species, it is clear that protests in the name of Green New Deal, Just Stop Oil, Insulate Britain, Extinction Rebellion, Fridays for Future are, for all their good intentions, woefully inadequate. Nor are strikes, occupations or the sabotage of oil pipelines anywhere enough. The politics of protest must surely be superseded by the politics of power.


To appreciate the dangers we face our best guide is the paleoclimatic record. This actually provides a blueprint for what we need to do to preserve, what the renowned climate scientist, Michael Mann, calls our “fragile moment” on a planet that has survived much more than what we humans could.4

Earth dates back around 4.6 billion years to the formation of the solar system. During the Hadean eon, the planet’s molten surface slowly cooled and hardened into a solid crust.5 The first atmosphere had abundant amounts of CO2 - perhaps between 10 and 200 times as much as today.6 Solar winds stripped away the lighter, volatile gases. Because of the much closer proximity of Earth’s giant moon compared with today, together with churning volcanic activity and countless asteroid and meteorite strikes, a second atmosphere formed: besides CO2 there was ammonia, methane, carbon monoxide and water. Earth was a hothouse - more like present-day Venus than present-day Mars.7 Surface temperatures were a sizzling 230°C. Despite that, there were oceans. Heavy atmospheric pressure, maybe up to 90 bar, prevented liquid water evaporating into steam.

According to the famous theory developed - independently - by Alexander Oparin and JBS Haldane in the 1920s, shallow seas constituted a “primeval soup”.8 The abiotic processing of CHNO compounds resulted in the building blocks of life: ie, prebiotic compounds. Others, more recently, have argued for hydrothermal vents.9 Either way, as shown by the fossil record, simple, heterotrophic (food-eating) life, spontaneously began some four billion years ago. Five hundred million years later, tiny, single-cell blue-green algae were converting carbon dioxide into oxygen through photosynthesis. Eventually there was enough oxygen in the atmosphere to react with the methane and turn the sky blue.10 So Earth’s third atmosphere is the product of co-evolution. Indeed our climate results from the interaction of atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere … and biosphere.

The ozone layer formed 600 million years ago … and as a by-product provided vital shielding from the sun’s biologically harmful ultraviolet rays.11 However, the evolutionary leap into complex life forms happened in the balmy seas of some 540 million years ago. The Cambrian explosion occupies a mere few million years - in geological terms, a blink of the eye - and led to “virtually all major groups of modern animals”.12

Temperatures in the deep past were mostly much higher than today. The Cambrian (600-500 million years ago) was 14°C hotter. The Ordovician (488-443 mya) 4°C hotter. The Silurian (4443-419 mya) 4°C hotter. The Devonian (419-358 mya) 10°C hotter. The Permian (298-252 mya) 3°C colder. The Triassic (252-201 mya) 10°C hotter. The Jurassic (201-145 mya) 8°C hotter. The Cretaceous (145-66 mya) 4°C hotter. The Palaeocene (66-55 mya) 10°C hotter. The Eocene (55-33 mya) 4.5°C to 12°C hotter (all figures being my rough and ready estimates).13 Doubtless, some of these temperature changes were due to planetary wobbles (Milankovitch cycles) and variations in solar brightness. But there is also plate tectonics.

Three billion years ago the vast mass of the Earth’s surface seems to have been covered with water. There were only a few spots of dry land. Arctica (or Arctida) was perhaps the first supercontinent, and arose some 2.5 billion years ago (there might well have been others, but, if so, only mere geological fragments remain). Eventually Arctica broke apart, but after many more millions of years there were other succeeding continents and supercontinents: Kenorland, Columbia, Rodinia, Pannotia. Beginning in the Neoproterzoic, about 550 million years ago, most of Earth’s land masses are found joined together in the Gondwana supercontinent.

Meanwhile, in the seas, giant plankton blooms resulted in oxygen increasing to about 20% of the atmosphere - roughly the same as today - conditions ripe for terrestrial flora and fauna. Probably the migration from the seas began some 500 million years ago.14 Complex life, however, underwent five mass extinctions: the Ordovician-Silerian (444 mya); late Devonian (360 mya); end of the Permian (250 mya); end the Triassic (200 mya); end of the Cretaceous (65 mya). Rapid climate change caused by glaciation, volcanic activity, asteroids and tectonic uplift being the main explanations.

Something like our present configuration of continents appeared 60 million years ago. Doubtless this helped establish our contemporary algific - ie, chilling - climate regime. The North American and Eurasian land masses more or less encircle the northern pole; that and the Antarctic continental plate centred on the southern pole provide almost perfect conditions for ensuring an oscillation between cool and cold conditions. Moreover, the bulk of Earth’s fresh water is kept frozen in two gigantic polar ice sheets - which means much reduced sea levels.

Over the last million years there has been a glacial-interglacial, 100,000-year pattern. Each cycle has its own particular features and oddities. Understandably, though, as with any study of the past, data becomes ever more uncertain with increasing distances of time. So the best records we possess go from the interglacial, known as the Eemian, down to the present Holocene period - deep ice cores drilled from Greenland and Antarctica have yielded enormous amounts of information.

In terms of climatic transition, the most reliable information is for what is called the Younger Dryas to Holocene, which ended the last ice age. At its maximum, some 15,000 to 20,000 years ago, the Arctic ice sheet extended all the way down to Chicago, New York, Moscow and London and saw much lower sea levels than today. What is now Britain was joined to France, the Netherlands and Denmark. Recent studies give a -6.1°C average temperature.15

The transition to our present-day climate regime occurred some 11,650 years ago and saw the retreat of the great ice sheets. The tipping point seems to have been only a decade or two long. It is argued that the “speed of this change is probably representative of similar, but less well-studied, climate transitions during the last few hundred thousand years”.16

During the present (Holocene) interglacial period, there have been cold and dry phases occurring over a roughly 1,500-year cycle, and climate transitions on a decade-to-century timescale. There have been little ice ages, as well as bursts of relative warmth. Between 1100 and 1300, for example, Europe experienced temperatures which were 0.7°C to 1.6°C higher than today (though, it must be emphasised, this was a local, not a global, phenomenon: elsewhere things were cooler). That allowed for more productive agriculture throughout the continent and saw flourishing English vineyards. It is also worth recalling, though, that the Thames regularly froze solid during mid-17th century winters and that the years from 1805 to 1820 were comparably cold and bleak.

What we are experiencing at present certainly needs to be put into the context of the transition from the little ice age, which finally ended around 1880. Temperatures would be expected to rise … very slightly. But, of course, what we have seen is way beyond that: temperatures increased on average by 0.08°C every decade since 1880 and by an average 0.18°C since 1981.17 The main cause is human-induced greenhouse gases: eg, in the 20th and 21st centuries “the level of carbon dioxide rose by 40%” - now the highest for some 20 million years (UK Met Office).18

Weather campaign

Our potted history of global atmosphere, temperature variation and continental drift helps explain why those with even a passing knowledge of Earth sciences consider the Campaign against Climate Change such a weird choice of name. Despite being promoted by the Socialist Workers Party, the CCC (founded in 2001) is politically safe, soggy and, quite frankly, stupid.

Capitalism, socialism, the working class all go unmentioned. And, of course, crucially, ‘climate’ and ‘change’ go together like ‘weather’ and ‘change’. The two are inseparable. The weather changes from hour to hour, day to day and month to month. Imagine a Campaign against Weather Change. It would be too, too silly. According to its ‘mission statement’, the CCC exists to “influence those with the greatest power” to “minimise” the “harmful effects of climate change” with the “utmost speed and resolution”.

Flattering courtiers similarly pleaded to Canute - the 11th century king of Norway, Denmark and England - to reverse the incoming tide. Needless to say, as he famously showed (purportedly on Thorney Island), no-one, not even he, could pull off such a feat. Nor, despite CCC “street demonstrations” and avoidance of “detailed questions” in the attempt to “bring together as many people as possible”, can we really expect “those with the greatest power” to agree an “international climate treaty” that will actually “minimise” the “harmful effects of climate change”.19

Well, of course, since that ‘mission statement’ was first written, an “international climate treaty” has been agreed. With much fanfare, Cop21 was adopted on December 12 2015 in Paris, signed on April 22 2016 by 195 parties and supposedly made effective on November 4 2016. But will this international climate treaty “minimise” the “harmful effects of climate change”? Hardly: CO2 emissions have reached a record high: 419.3 parts per million - 50% up, compared with preindustrial times.20

Surely then, to “minimise” those “harmful effects” our sights must be set far higher than “street demonstrations” (and sit-down road protests, attacking art works and disrupting sporting events). We must talk about capitalism. We must talk about socialism. We must talk about organising the working class into the ruling class. The CCC ‘mission statement’ needs more than a long overdue update. No, an entirely different kind of politics is needed.

Tipping points

Climate is big weather. Karen Bice gives the following definition: climate “is simply weather ‘averaged’ over a time period of one year or more”.21 In other words, there is nothing fixed about the climate. Climate change has never ceased, is ongoing and must therefore be considered inevitable. Notions of a static, unchanging climate are, to put it mildly, therefore badly misconceived.

Yet, while the climate constantly undergoes change, that happens within a self-adjusting system: that is, within a relatively stable equilibrium, and hence distinct geological epochs and periods. However, yes, there are tipping points - often accompanied by mass extinctions.

Till recently, most scientists thought that all large-scale climate change took place over a timescale of many millions of years: ie, at rates unnoticeable during a human lifetime. Not least for political reasons, gradualism was the ruling orthodoxy. No longer. Eg, “All the evidence indicates that most long-term climate change occurs in sudden jumps rather than incremental changes.”22 In point of fact, through mathematical advances, supercomputers and new modelling techniques that link together weather and climate, scientists can now make extraordinarily accurate predictions, including when quantitative change tips over into qualitative change. That is what got Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann and Giorgio Parisi their 2021 Nobel prize in physics.23

Such conclusions were anticipated by GWF Hegel and his objective idealism. Marx and Engels, of course, turned Hegel upside-down (onto his feet). What Hegel developed as mysterious laws of thought - all leading to the ‘absolute idea’ (though often illustrated with striking examples drawn from nature and history) - could be put onto solidly materialist foundations and presented in a straightforward manner. According to Frederick Engels, writing in his Dialectics of nature (1873-86), there are three general - dialectical - laws of nature and human society: (1) the transformation of quantity into quality; (2) the interpenetration of opposites; (3) the negation of the negation.24

Long before Marx and Engels (and Hegel), it should not be forgotten that the best of the ancient Greek philosophers saw the world in ceaseless flux, coming into being out of a fiery chaos, and things changing into their opposites. Similar, wonderfully impressive, dialectical insights can be found amongst Chinese and Indian sages too.

However, in particular during the 19th and 20th centuries, the bourgeois establishment lived in dread of sudden change. The French revolution of 1789, the 1793-94 Reign of Terror, Chartism, the 1848 revolutions, the 1871 Paris Commune, the rise and rise of mass Marxist parties and the world-shaking 1917 October Revolution saw to that. Sudden change - well, until the promotion of ‘colour revolutions’ - was equated with artificiality, aberrance, threat and disaster. Therefore, (Tory) fixity, and its opposite, (Whig) gradualism, were the ruling ideas, and not only in politics.

Isaac Newton allowed for the movement of the planets, but on orbits given fixity by “universal gravitation”25 - the first impulse being brought about by the finger of god himself. The steady state theory of the universe was only finally overthrown in the mid-20th century. Edwin Hubble’s observations, and calculations made by Albert Einstein, allowed Alexander Friedmann to show that the whole of the universe is expanding, along with space itself. Fred Hoyle represented the conservatives’ last stand. The coup de grâce came with the work of Martin Ryle on quasars and the accidental discovery of the cosmic microwave background to the big bang by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson. Beginning with a superdense singularity some 13.8 billion years ago, the diameter of the observable universe is today around 93 billion light years.

Similarly with biology. Lorenz Oken, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Karl Ernst von Baer and above all Charles Darwin overthrew old Linnaen notions of the fixity of species. Instead they argued for evolution - one species led to another. Studies of the fossil record, studies of domesticated plants and animals, studies of variations in the wild - all proved it. Famously though, Darwin endlessly delayed publication of his On the origin of species (1859). He feared outraging Christian sensibilities. He also feared Chartist revolution.26 And precisely because of its revolutionary implications, Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection was determinedly gradualistic in presentation.

Most modern readers fail to notice how much of the Origin consists of a defence of gradualism rather than simply being one long argument about natural selection. After all, in the concluding chapter, Darwin declared his commitment to the postulate: “Natura non facit saltum” (nature does not proceed by leaps).27 It was Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge who finally broke through this orthodoxy. In 1972 they presented their theory of punctuated equilibrium. Species undergo genetic drift, but are essentially stable as phenotypes. Crucially though, the emergence of a new species - speciation - occurs via “sudden” transitions.28 The debt to Marxism is all too apparent. Many other such examples in science could be cited, but that would be tiresome. The tipping point, jump, sudden shift, phase transition, call it what you will: the dialectical leap is generally accepted in fact, if not always in name.


Climatic change can doubtless produce new opportunities. Palaeontologists note that growing polar ice sheets and the spread of the African savannah 3.6 to 4 million years ago coincided with the “split” in the “evolutionary line” between ourselves and chimpanzees and gorillas.29 Our ancestors came down from the trees and began to walk upright. Subsequently, other glacial periods and lower sea levels eased migration into Australia and then the Americas by fully modern humans. Getting to Australia from Asia some 60,000 years ago needed only a short hop from the (much larger than it is now) island of Timor. With Siberia connected to Alaska by the Bering land bridge, tribal groups - perhaps just five of them - simply wandered into America 22,000 years ago and 10,000 years later had peopled the whole of the Americas all the way down to Tierra del Fuego.30

The beginning of crop agriculture in the Middle East certainly corresponds very closely with a sudden warming event, which marks the onset of the Holocene. Desertification slowly squeezed people into remaining riverine strips of greenery - a mixed blessing. For the emerging elite there came power, palaces, luxury goods and leisure; for the masses a nutritionally much reduced diet and backbreaking toil.31

However, there are numerous yanking civilisational collapses: eg, the great Bronze Age states of the eastern Mediterranean, the Harappan in the Indus valley and the Khmer in southeast Asia. The Mayan cities of central America were abandoned one by one and “most cultural activities ceased”.32 True, there is the danger of elevating climate into a monoexplanation. Invasion by neighbouring tribes or states, civil war, disease in crops and humans and the class struggle all play their part too.

Nowadays, there are still a few determined cranks who think “global warming can be good for us”.33 Crops grow faster, plants absorb more CO2, less severe cold weather, ice-free roads, etc. Some even look forward to ‘normal people’ living in Antarctica. Despite the sunless four-months of winter there is abundant coal, oil and other mineral resources to exploit. However, the overwhelming scientific consensus lies with ‘climate change is bad for us’. The danger is not just the collapse of civilisation on a local or even a regional scale, but globally ... and maybe the sixth, the Holocene, mass extinction. The current rate of species extinction is estimated at 100 to 1,000 times higher than the natural background extinction rate.34

The IPCC has already issued a “code red”. Human activity is changing the climate in ways “unprecedented” in thousands - or hundreds of thousands - of years. Some of the changes are likely to be “irreversible” over centuries or millennia - including melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels and more and more droughts, floods and fires.35 And, while Antarctica might become habitable by ‘normal people’, large parts of the so-called third world, especially in the tropics, which are today home for 40% of the human species, become uninhabitable. People cannot cope with temperatures of 42oC-plus for any length of time. It is beyond our “physiological limits”.36

With this in mind, Tim Palmer, professor of climate physics at Oxford, warns that we face “some kind of hell on Earth”.37 The reason why is surely all too obvious: M-C-M'. Under capitalism, money is laid out for the production of commodities with one overriding aim, making more money (ie, profit). The secret of making something out of nothing lies, of course, in the exploitation of labour-power. Surplus value is pumped out from workers and realised through market sale. Using money to make more money is, though, a never-ending imperative. Capital is an alien force which stands over and imposes itself on each and every capitalist (they are mere personifications of capital). “Accumulate, accumulate! That is Moses and the prophets” (Marx).38 Invest, invest, invest. Grow, grow - overcome all barriers to growth. Unless they convert the greater part of surplus value into capital, they fall behind, lose the race and bankruptcy beckons.

With its never satiated lust for profit, capitalism is almost tailor-made to trash nature - and, despite its different political economy, the Soviet Union and its ‘socialist’ bloc made no difference here. As for China - today the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases - it is fully integrated into the global capitalist economy. Hence, while some still talk of the Anthropocene, as if it is an undifferentiated humanity that is to blame for global warming, it is surely better, more accurate, to talk of the Capitalocene.

Covid socialism

For many on the left, not unreasonably, capitalism is defined as categorically incapable of carrying out the radical measures required: eg, “... we should have no illusions that the ruling class will do what is necessary going forwards” (The Communist).39 “… to save the planet, we need to kill capitalism” (Socialist Worker).40 “Can this climate emergency be halted under the current world economic, political and social system - capitalism? … No” (The Socialist).41

However, even the most fabulously wealthy billionaires or the system’s top politicians and state actors - well, in the main - are not so blind that they cannot see that something must be urgently done. True, it is hard to imagine present-day governments carrying out a programme that would actually achieve net-zero emissions - after all, that would require a dramatic restructuring of the entire global economy. Therefore, in all probability, today’s crop of lying, narrow-minded, bribable establishment politicians will continue with gestures, cheap platform rhetoric and legislating for an electorally safe distant future. Meantime it is more nuclear power plants, more roads, more air travel, more poor-quality housing … crucially, more of everything - ie, more economic growth.

Yet, as seen with the Covid pandemic - and World War II and World War I before that - the ruling class was prepared to allow governments to temporarily suspend the law of value. The normal workings of capitalism were overridden, curtailed or tightly directed in order to achieve agreed state aims.

The more intelligent sections of the left have written about how governments introduced Covid socialism - roughly equivalent to the Kriegssozialismus (war socialism) put into effect by the German high command in 1916: ie, the use of concentrated state power to deal with a dire emergency. The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is a good example. Developed double quick, produced on a non-profit basis, it was then rolled out and administered according to need by the NHS. In terms of the general interest - more particularly the general capitalist interest - governments will take what are usually regarded as extreme measures.

Faced with Covid-19, then Tory chancellor Rishi Sunak talked about tearing up his economic textbooks, doing what is necessary, thinking the unthinkable, and so on and so forth. Though fraught with horrendous difficulties - not least because capitalism (from the level of the firm to that of the state) is characterised by internally generated contradictions - we should not categorically discount the possibility that this will happen with the climate crisis. After all, the capitalist class lives on the same fragile planet as the rest of us (even if Elon Musk would like to rocket off to a frigid, lifeless, almost airless Mars).

So climate socialism imposed by a firefighter state - maybe urged on by Friends of the Earth, the Green Party, XR and CCC demands for the declaration of a ‘climate emergency’; maybe with ‘beyond politics’ green advisors, enlightened technocrats and the armed forces playing a leading role - such a state could conceivably impose draconian restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions by reorganising industry, transport, housing and agriculture.

That was certainly the hope of Gaia theorist James Lovelock. He declared: “Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change”; and that “it may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while” to deal the global ecological emergency.42 Astrophysicist Lord Martin Rees too: “… only an enlightened despot could push through the measures needed to navigate the 21st century safely”.43 Likewise one of France’s leading climatologists, François-Marie Bréon: “We can say that the battle against climate change is in conflict with individual freedoms and therefore with democracy.”44

Of course, climate socialism, or something like it, would have to happen in all the major countries if the rise in global warming is to be limited to “well below” 2°C. Adding to that little difficulty, the imperial hegemon, the United States, is in visible decline and is, as a result, bent on destruction - not the construction that marked out the post-1945 world order. So there is no effective power that can enforce the general good.

Even on a purely national level, we should have no illusions about any eco- or climate socialism being introduced, overseen and enforced by this or that capitalist state (or, for that matter, China’s hybrid regime). As with war socialism, if climate socialism happens, there will be stupid blunders, severe restrictions on civil rights, attempts to drive down popular living standards - all accompanied by endemic corruption and corresponding opportunities for well connected insiders to enrich themselves beyond the dreams of Croesus. Nor will such a climate socialism evolve peacefully and smoothly into proletarian socialism. True, we reach a partial negation of capitalist production - the outer limits of capitalist society. But, because there is a swollen, parasitic, aggressively repressive bureaucratic state, what we have is the extreme opposite of proletarian socialism.

Nonetheless, there is a relationship between climate socialism - in reality capitalism attempting to save itself on the back of the working class - and proletarian socialism. After all, in the paragraph above, substitute the firefighter state by the working class organised as the state power. A state based on extreme democracy, closely coordinating with other similar states across the globe, that radically reorganises power generation, industry, agriculture, transport and housing; a state that reduces greenhouse gas emissions to net zero and then below; a state that subordinates production to need.

Then it is clear that such a state is nothing more than capitalist climate socialism that really does benefit the whole of humanity - and therefore represents the negation of capitalism and the first step towards a classless, moneyless, stateless and ecologically sustainable communism.

  1. wmo.int/media/news/global-temperature-record-streak-continues-climate-change-makes-heatwaves-more-extreme.↩︎

  2. The Guardian May 9 2024↩︎

  3. www.lboro.ac.uk/news-events/news/2021/november/what-would-four-degree-global-warming-feel-like.↩︎

  4. See M Mann Our fragile moment: how lessons from the Earth’s past can help us survive the climate crisis New York NY, 2023.↩︎

  5. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadean.↩︎

  6. sciencing.com/earths-first-atmosphere-contained-gases-2034.html.↩︎

  7. Atmospheric pressure is measured according to a bar unit. At sea level the average atmospheric pressure on Earth today is roughly 1.013 bar and on Venus around 90 bar. See pubsapp.acs.org/subscribe/archive/ci/30/i12/html/12learn.html.↩︎

  8. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primordial_soup#Heterotrophic_theory; AI Oparin The origin of life Mineola NY 2003; S Tirard, ‘JBS Haldane and the origin of life’ Journal of Genetics November 2017.↩︎

  9. See www.nature.com/articles/nrmicro1991.↩︎

  10. forces.si.edu/atmosphere/02_02_03.html.↩︎

  11. See www.albany.edu/faculty/rgk/atm101/ozone.htm.↩︎

  12. SJ Gould Wonderful life: the Burgess shale and the nature of history London 1990, p24.↩︎

  13. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geologic_temperature_record.↩︎

  14. www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/news/2018/february/plant-life-on-earth-is-much-older-than-we-thought.html.↩︎

  15. www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2617-x.↩︎

  16. J Adams, M Maslin and E Thomas, ‘Sudden climate transition during the Quaternary’ Progress in Physical Geography March 1999 - www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/transit.html.↩︎

  17. www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-temperature.↩︎

  18. www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/climate-change/causes-of-climate-change.↩︎

  19. www.campaigncc.org/aboutus/missionstatement.↩︎

  20. www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide.↩︎

  21. web.archive.org/web/20091130044534/http://www.beloit.edu/sepm/Earth_Works/Plate_Movements.html.↩︎

  22. www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/transit.html.↩︎

  23. physicsworld.com/a/syukuro-manabe-klaus-hasselmann-and-giorgio-parisi-win-the-2021-nobel-prize-for-physics.↩︎

  24. See K Marx and F Engels CW Vol 25, London 1987, p356.↩︎

  25. I Newton The mathematical principles New York NY 1846, p385.↩︎

  26. J Bellamy Foster Marx’s ecology: materialism and nature New York NY 2000, p30.↩︎

  27. C Darwin The origin of the species Harmondsworth 1972, p435.↩︎

  28. N Eldredge and SJ Gould, ‘Punctuated equilibria: the tempo and mode of evolution reconsidered’ Paleobiology Vol 3, No2, spring 1977, p148. For the original essay - N Eldredge and SJ Gould, ‘Punctuated equilibria: an alternative to phyletic gradualism’ - see TJM Schopf (ed) Models in paleobiology San Francisco CA 1972, pp82-115.↩︎

  29. J Gribbin and J Cherfas The first chimpanzee: in search of human origins London 2011, p217.↩︎

  30. See S Oppenheimer Out of Eden London 2003.↩︎

  31. See S Mithen After the ice: a global human history 20,000-5000 BC London 2003.↩︎

  32. www.ncei.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/2021-11/7 Drought and the Ancient Maya Civilization - FINAL OCT 2021.pdf. See also RB Gill The great Maya droughts: water, life and death Albuquerque NM 2000.↩︎

  33. M Ridley, ‘Why climate change is good for the world’ The Spectator October 19 2013; ‘Why climate change is good for us’ Spiked February 15 2022.↩︎

  34. G Ceballos and PR Ehrlich ‘The misunderstood sixth mass extinction’ Science June 2018.↩︎

  35. V Masson-Delmotte et al (eds) Climate change 2021: the physical science basis New York NY 2021, p28.↩︎

  36. www.technologyreview.com/2021/07/10/1028172/climate-change-human-body-extreme-heat-survival.↩︎

  37. ox.ac.uk/news/2021-08-09-oxford-climate-scientists-no-doubt-about-climate-change.↩︎

  38. K Marx Capital Vol 1 London 1970, p595.↩︎

  39. The Communist December 14 2023.↩︎

  40. Socialist Worker April 2 2024.↩︎

  41. The Socialist September 15 2021.↩︎

  42. The Guardian March 29 2010.↩︎

  43. Prospect Magazine September 2014.↩︎

  44. Libération July 29 2018.↩︎