Editorial: call to action – Kc Journal NO 27 July 2011 – July 27, 2011


Khanya Journal is committed to social justice, and as a journal for activists, we cannot be silent in the face of the looming disaster that climate change poses for all forms of life on planet earth-including humanity. The struggle for climate change is now! And must be integrated into analysis, our daily struggle and our everyday life.

Climate change is a result of the particular capitalist form of production patterns that is based on plunder and expropriation of the world’s resources-both human and natural-in the interest of making profit for an alite. Huge corporations pursue their profit-making agenda with no respect for the environment. For instance, in South Africa, the mining companies together with the huge polluters like SASOL and ESKOM have caused degradation to people, animals, the land, the water, the fish and all life forms.

This has reached crisis proportions internationally, with disastrous implications for the planet and for nature. Increasingly humanity experiences this as floods, tsunamis, droughts,desertification, food insecurity and human rights violations.

Environmental plunder and degradation usually includes the abuse of communities’ and individual’s human rights, denial of access to ancestral land, access to traditional livelihood (such as fishing), and to live in harmony with nature. We see this in the struggle against Shell in the Niger Delta in Nigeria, against rubber corporations in the Amazon and golf courses in the Southern Cape. Popular environmental struggles have resulted in brutality and violence like the execution of Ken Saro Wiwa in Nigeria, the assassination of Chico Mendes in the Amazon in Brazil and the brutal displacement of people who dare to resist.

The struggle for environmental justice itself undergone changes over the years as a result of the resistance and the human rights struggles and the palpable effects of climate change.

The arise and intensity of widespread popular environmental struggles have historically contributed to developments within the environmental movement, from the struggle of individuals to ‘save the penguins’ and ‘save the whales’ to contemporary popular struggles that challenge the heart of capitalism’s destructive tendencies.

These includes amongst others, the struggle for basic services and sustainable energy, agriculture and food insecurity, sustainable production and social justice. These struggle demonstrate the environmental justice is impossible under capitalism, the very source of the degradation and the alienation that has grown between been human beings and nature. We therefore cannot stand by idle while the planet is destroyed!

The struggle- of poor communities, of indigenous people and working people all over the world demonstrate that human beings are themselves part of the integrity of nature. The first nations or indigenous people like the San, the Khoi and the Kung believe that whatever is taken from nature must meet basic needs, and must be no more than is needed. This wisdom obliges us to seek sustainable development, livelihood and production in the interest of all life forms.

Organise and Fight

In the runup to the 17th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Conference of the Parties (COP17), of governments, will meet in Durban later this year.

While we are mindful that the United Nations and many of these conferences are made up the polluters themselves who defend capitalist profit-making, this is an opportunity to mobilise for climate justice, to ensure that an international agreement is reached in Durban to reduce environmental degradation (carbon emissions) and to implement this agreement consistently. A first step is to keep the South African Government accountable to the people and the struggle for climate justice now!

The Khanya Journal calls on all militants:

‘Arm yourself with knowledge, Organise and Fight’

Climate Justice is not negotiable!


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