Why the climate crisis raises the question of power

An activist documentary that summarizes the crisis situation and compares it to the radical “utopia”: a revolution beginning in Germany in 2024. Photo: Labornet TV

A new documentary presents the premise that the climate crisis cannot be overcome without a revolution and the overthrow of the capitalist system. The movie also shows how this can be achieved.

The Roaring Spring documentary with an interlaced clip from “reflective fiction” is not another film about the impact of the climate crisis. You will search in vain for guidance on how to live in a neutral climate through technical solutions. The subtitle “Together Out of the Climate Crisis” is not a call for more sustainable living practices. The Noisy Spring spreads only the overthrow of the capitalist system, through revolution.

According to the analysis by writer Joanna Schilhagen and those interviewed in the film, ie Andreas Malm, anything else would make sense. According to this logic, “green capitalism” is not part of the solution, but part of the problem, because it cannot slow down the logic of capitalism’s growth and resource hunger.

The film is 62 minutes long and will be shown for the first time on August 2, 2022 at Cinema Tonneau in Berlin-Weißensee.

There is already a lot of criticism of capitalism from the climate movement, but the climate movement hardly gives any idea how to bring about change in the system. This is the point at which the ‘Noisy Spring’ begins and incorporates elements from different labor movements. Revolution in the Marxist sense means workers’ control of the means of production. This is the only way to stop the destructive overproduction of capitalism.

“As winners, we are forced to participate in an economy that is destroying life on Earth,” says author Joanna Schilhagen. At the same time, human labor is also where the capitalist system depends on the great masses of people. And that’s exactly why it’s so important to bring the climate rebellion into the workplace. Die hier aufgezeigte Idee der Revolution, die von Arbeiter:innen wie sozialen Bewegungen ausgehen und in einer Selbstorganisation etwa in Stadtteilversammlungen und übernommenen Betrieben münden soll, folgt wohl am ehesten postoperaistischen Ideen (einer marxistischen Strömung, die antistaatlich und auf den Kampf gegen die Fabrikarbeit fokussiert he is).

The Labornet TV collective, to which writer Joanna Schilhagen belongs, has produced several documentaries about labor disputes. It often has to do with struggles that have arisen outside the big unions, such as organizing “cyclists” – food delivery workers on bicycles – or the strikes of migrant warehouse workers in Italy.

The current film also makes no reference to the role of trade unions in fighting the climate crisis, perhaps because there is not much to say about it and at least German trade unions have always supported the capitalist growth model on which industrial jobs depend. are based.

The writer’s voice accompanies us throughout the film from the beginning and at the beginning explains her personal motives:

I have been photographing strikes and social movements for 20 years and I am long overdue in realizing what the catastrophe of climate change is. When the exchange rate finally fell, I decided I wanted to try to transfer everything I had learned from the striking workers to the climate movement.

The following images from the Paris climate conference, the devastation caused by the mining of fossil raw materials and the severe weather are brief, and there is no need for long explanations here that the world is heading toward disaster.

This quickly raises the question of why governments, if recognizing the problem, would do nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – because these have not gone down since the start of the climate conferences, but are up 60 percent. Just a few numbers show how serious the mismatch between declarations of intent and action is.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), approximately $200 billion in fossil fuels are extracted annually in the G20 countries alone. Other studies come up with much higher amounts. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), direct and indirect subsidies to coal, gas and oil (including the costs of damage to health and the environment) will reach $5.9 trillion in 2020, money that the country must also raise. Countries. According to the intergovernmental organization IRENA, only $128 billion was made available for renewable energies in 2017. At the same time, states help fossil fuel companies, as evidenced by the example from Colombia, in order to advance projects against the population, if necessary using military force (para. ).

Despite these inconvenient facts, countries are selling the promise of green capitalism and talking about a technological solution to the climate problem. However, green capitalism will not solve resource scarcity, there are new environmental problems and neo-colonial exploitation, says economist and activist Matthias Schmelzer.

Parts of the climate movement, such as “Ende Gelände,” are highly critical of green capitalism and advocate not only lower consumption of fossil energy, but also growth in general. Despite great popularity and public perception, the climate movement has a blind spot, as the author sees it: How to build the power to transform? It is at this point that her view turns to workers, with the initially formulated thesis that labor is the weak point of capitalism.

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