SCIENCE OF CLIMATE AND ECOLOGY
* In May 2013, scientists recorded in the observatory of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii a concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere above 400 parts per million (ppm), breaking a record of three million years. Such CO2 levels on the planet had not been seen since the Pliocene period, 3-5 million years ago, long before the human species appeared on earth. These CO2 levels are likely the highest in the past 20 million years. From observations of air bubbles trapped in the Antarctic ice, scientists know that for at least 800,000 years CO2 levels in the atmosphere fluctuated in a narrow deviation of 180 ppm in the glacial periods to 280 ppm in the interglacial periods. It has been proved that global temperatures and CO2 levels are closely related. Accordingly, there have never been such high temperatures in the history of humankind as those measured during the 20th and the 21st century. During the whole period of existence of the human species on earth, CO2 levels have been relatively stable and correspondingly global temperatures have been relatively stable. Since 1880, when measurements of the atmospheric temperature started, the globe has never seen a record-breaking cold year. The warmest years in the history of mankind were recorded starting in 1980 and afterwards. 1998, 2005, 2010, 2014, 2015 have been the warmest years so far. 2015 was the hottest year on record, with an increase of the average global temperature by 0.90οC compared to the 20th century average global temperature. In 2015 the average global temperature on land was 1.33οC above the average global temperature of the 20th century on land, whereas the average global temperature at sea was 0.74οC higher than the average global temperature of the last century at sea. This rate is faster than the climate change that marked the end of the last ice age, approximately 10,000 years ago. It is obvious that the continuing existence of the irrational capitalist economic system of thoughtless wastage of the earth natural resources, having the effect of continued increasing of CO2 in the atmosphere, will sooner or later create a climate so hot that it will burn any form of life on the planet. According to an International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) report, the oceans have already sucked up an enormous amount of heat due to escalating greenhouse gas emissions, affecting marine species from microbes to whales. The scale of warming in the ocean, which covers about 70% of the planet, is <<truly staggering>>, according to the report. The upper few metres of the ocean have warmed by around 0.13οC a decade since the start of the 20th century, with an increase of 1-4οC of the global ocean temperature by the end of that century. The ocean has absorbed more than 90% of the extra heat created by human activity. If this amount of heat, which has been buried in the upper 2 kilometres of the ocean, had gone into the atmosphere, the surface of the earth would have warmed by a devastating 36οC, rather than 1οC, over the past century. At some point, the report says, warming waters could unlock billions of tonnes of frozen methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, from the seabed and boil the surface of the planet. This could occur even if emissions are drastically cut, due to the lag time between emitting greenhouse gases and their visible consequences.
The atmospheric concentration of CO2 reached record levels in 2013, as signs proliferate that the absorption of the gas from oceans and forests decreases. <<We know without any doubt that our climate is changing and that the weather conditions become more extreme due to human activities such as fossil fuels’ burning>> said the general secretary of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Michel Jarraud, during the publication of the Annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is increasing faster than emissions, which probably means that planet’s capacity to absorb the gases decreases. <<This can be due to reduced absorption of CO2 from the biosphere>> Jarraud said, adding that more research is needed. <<If confirmed, it will cause great concern>>. If the oceans and plants absorb hereafter less CO2, larger quantities of the gas will remain in the atmosphere, accelerating climate change. Due to the CO2 already absorbed, oceans have reached unprecedented levels of acidity. According to WMO, ocean water becomes acidic at rates that are unprecedented in the last 300 million years. <<The total increase in ocean acidity since pre-industrial period is 25%, while 6% occurred in the last decade>> said the head of the atmospheric research department of the WMO Oksana Tarasova. Even if anthropogenic emissions are reduced by 80% until 2050, the inertia that exists in the climate system will ensure that there will be not any noticeable improvement at least until 2100. <<Emissions from the past, the present and the future will have a cumulative impact on both global warming and ocean acidity. The laws of physics are not negotiable>> Jarraud said. <<Our time is running out>>. In 2013, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere reached 396 ppm, i.e., it was 2.9 ppm higher than that of 2012. This is the biggest annual increase since 1984, when reliable global measurements began. The atmospheric CO2 now shows an increase of 142% compared to its levels of 1750, before the industrial revolution started in Europe. Its large increase in 2013 is attributed not only to increased greenhouse gases’ emissions but also to reduced absorption of these gases from the terrestrial biosphere, something which concerns scientists. The last time there was such a <<failure>> of the biosphere was in 1996 when there had been extensive fires worldwide, coupled with the emergence of the phenomenon <<El Nino>>. <<As in 2013 no corresponding effects occurred in the biosphere as in 1996, this development is more worrying>> said Oksana Tarasova and added that, at present, it is unknown whether this is a temporary or more permanent trend. <<It may mean that the biosphere reached its limits, but we cannot say it for sure>> said. Although the average global temperatures have not increased accordingly with the increase of CO2 and of the other greenhouse gases (something which has allowed some always sceptical scientists to claim that climate change has been <<slowed>>), the WMO data actually show that between 1993-2013 it took place an increase of 34% in global warming, as these gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, etc.) remain in the atmosphere for a long time. Especially, CO2 stays in the atmosphere for hundreds of thousands of years. In 2013, in Yakutia and in other regions of Siberia were found giant holes on the ground, which caused great surprise to the local population and interest in the scientific community. Scientists said they needed to study the causes of the phenomenon, but the most likely interpretation has to do with the melting of the permanently frozen ground (permafrost), which releases methane trapped into the soil. The melting of permafrost is another indication that the biosphere reaches some critical, borderline points of resistance.
In 2013 the ice sheet of Greenland became darker by 5.6% compared to that of the previous year. Jason Box, a glaciology professor who works for the Geological Survey of Greenland, just finished his 23rd expedition to the island since 1994, said he had never seen before something like that, neither in the archives is mentioned anything similar. <<The rapid darkening of the ice sheet is probably due to the increasingly rare summer snowstorms and the transport of dust and soot from the air, consequence of the record number of Arctic fires this year>>, said Box. Even worse, it may be the beginning of a destructive feedback system: the darkening of the Greenland ice sheet is the result of global warming and will further heat up earth’s atmosphere, as the accelerated global warming overheats the Arctic, resulting in increasing darkening and melting of its ice, thus reducing its ability to reflect sunlight into space, which in turn heats it further, darkening and even further melting its ice, etc. The melting of ice and snow in the Arctic makes the ground more hospitable for micro-organisms, adding dark biomass on the surface, while at the same time it exposes dust that can be transported by air to other snowy surfaces. Jason Box said: <<I was stunned by how large an area had such a dark appearance. I expect the ice and snow to continue darkening. Everything indicates that the Arctic climate will continue warming and the number of wildfires will keep increasing.>> Separate studies show that as the Arctic warms, forests are burning at a rate unprecedented in the last 10,000 years. <<This year much of the smoke and soot produced by these wildfires drifted to Greenland>>, said Box. More than 3.3 million hectares of forest were burned in Canada’s Northwest Territories that year. The destruction of the Amazon forest, the largest rainforest on the planet, named also <<lung>> of the planet – such is the importance of it for the earth –, not only did not stop, but continued accelerated under the social-traitors’ governance of the Workers Party of Brazil. According to figures released by the Brazilian government, the destruction rate of the largest rainforest of the world increased by 29% in 2013. Satellite images showed that in 2013 were lost about 6,000 square kilometres of forest, number higher by 29% compared to that of the previous year, reflecting the reversal of the downward trend observed since 2009. In the last 50 years it is estimated that 17% of the Amazon rainforest has been cleared, mostly for livestock farming. These figures cause great concern in scientific and ecological community, as the Amazon is home to about one in four species of terrestrial organisms, as well as an important stabilising factor of the planet climate. Other factors leading to increased deforestation are illegal logging and the expansion of public deforested lands near major infrastructure projects, such as roads and hydroelectric dams, according to the environmental organisation WWF. Deforestation is responsible for 15% of the total annual emissions of greenhouse gases. Worldwide forests exhibit loss of 150,000 square kilometres each year, according to WWF figures. According to a WWF study, the world population of birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and mammals declined by 52% from 1970 to 2010. The population of freshwater species suffered the largest decline, experiencing a fall by 76% in the last four decades, while the populations of marine and terrestrial animals decreased both by 39% over the same period. The most affected area is Latin America (–83%), followed closely by the Asia-Pacific region. The causes of this decline: loss and degradation of ecosystems (due to deforestation, creation of cities, agriculture, irrigation, hydroelectric dams), hunting, overfishing, climate change. Mankind over-exploits the land, consumes more natural resources than those which the planet can restore: consumes more fish than those which are born, emits more CO2 than that which forests and oceans can absorb. <<Today we need the creative ability of one and a half earth to have at our disposal the ecological services we enjoy every year>> WWF reminds. And the <<bio-capacity>>, i.e., the space available to secure these goods and services, does not stop to shrink with the global population explosion. From 1961 to 2010, the human population grew from 3.1 to almost 7 billion inhabitants and the available per capita bio-capacity decreased from 32 to 17 acres worldwide. <<As the world population will reach 9.6 billion inhabitants in 2050 and 11 billion by 2100, the available bio-capacity for each of us will continue to fall into a world characterised by the degradation of soils, the lack of fresh water and the rise in the cost of energy>>, according to WWF. Extinction rates of plant and animal species are a thousand times greater than the geological statistical norm. Thousands of species are disappearing before they could be classified. Scientists estimate that we have classified less than 10% of the planet species. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 17,000 of the 50,000 endangered species are threatened with imminent extinction. The IUCN estimates that during the 21st century 70% of plant species, 30% of reptile species, 12% of bird species, 40% of river and lake fish species and 20% of mammal species will disappear. The mankind is causing the sixth great species’ extinction in planet’s history. Responsible for the species’ extinction are the natural environment destruction, climate change, and the animal species’ decimation by the horrible ecological criminals named hunters. It is undeniable that all animal species suffer any kind of insult, torture and murder by humans, although people depend on all species of animals, all species of plants, soil, seas, rivers and lakes, and generally the entire natural environment of the earth to survive. All species of plants and animals – and humans – originated from very simple unicellular forms of life, appeared on earth approximately 3.5-3.8 billion years ago. It is striking the fact that the chromosomes of all species of plants, animals and humans have a similar composition. All genes are made of the same type of chemical substances: proteins and nucleic acids. The recent decoding of human genome revealed that the genes in human DNA are just a little more of the genes constituting the DNA of the most simple forms of life – even worms –.
There is a natural continuation between humans and animals, as people came from the evolution of animals. Thus, humans have the same basic instincts with animals: the instinct of the struggle for survival (self-preservation) and the instinct of seeking sexual pleasure. People and animals have also the same senses: sight, hearing, joy, fear, pain, etc. The climate change effects have already been manifested in all their repulsiveness. Tremendous decrease of snowfall and rainfall in all regions of the planet, long periods of heat waves and drought throughout the world, even in the northern countries of Europe, Russia, USA and Canada, melting of the Siberia permafrost, melting of the Arctic ice pack, of the Greenland ice sheet and of the Antarctic ice sheet, melting of the eternal glaciers of the Himalayas, of the Alps, of the Andes, of the mount Kilimanjaro and of all the earth great mountains, enormous fall of the water level in rivers and lakes across the globe, with more typical the case of lake Victoria in Africa, launching of uncontrolled forest fires by the thugs of the capitalists, forest drying, increased frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones , terrible decrease up to extinction of plant and animal species vulnerable to climate change. Climate change already produces a massive migration of plant and animal species to ecosystems in northernmost latitudes and higher altitudes to escape from the increasingly warmer and drier ecosystems in which they were adapted and lived for millennia. The plant and animal species already living in northernmost latitudes and higher altitudes will simply disappear. Furthermore, climate change produces a massive migration of fish and other ocean organisms to seas closer to the North and the South Pole of the planet, to escape from the increasingly warmer marine ecosystems in which they were adapted and lived for millennia. The fish and other ocean organisms already living in seas closer to the North and the South Pole will simply disappear. The increasing of the earth average global temperature is also known as greenhouse effect, as CO2, methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), halocarbons (CFCs) and some other chemical compounds, when they are in the atmosphere have the ability to trap the reflected infrared radiation (thermal energy) from the earth surface, thereby preventing it from going back to space, overheating the atmosphere. CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas because of its long stay in the atmosphere (hundreds of thousands of years) and of its continuously growing concentration in it due to the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) and deforestation. CO2 is the gas that animals breathe out as the waste product of respiration and the plants absorb to grow up. CO2 is created when a chemical substance that contains the element carbon is burned. The burning of chemical substances containing carbon with oxygen releases large amounts of energy stored in them. In this process, one of the products discharged is the colourless, odourless gas carbon dioxide. Eighty per cent of the energy generated in the world – mainly for the production of electricity – and virtually all fuels used for land, sea and air transport depend on the burning of one of the three types of carbon-containing substances: coal, oil and natural gas. CH4 is 20 times more powerful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas and it is stored in hundreds of millions of tonnes in the permafrost of Siberia and of the Arctic Ocean, but it has shorter stay in the atmosphere. Scientists have found escaping methane from the permafrost of Siberia and the Arctic ice pack which melt as a result of the global warming. The melting of the Arctic sea ice has already begun, while scientists expected to begin 80 years later. The Arctic ice pack, the Greenland ice sheet and the Antarctic ice sheet operate as global mirrors of the solar radiation, i.e., they reflect into space the sun’s thermal energy, cooling the planet (hence their name as planet refrigerators). Therefore, the reduction of ice extension ends up in increased absorption of solar radiation, which in turn causes temperature increase and larger ice melting. It is a devastating vicious circle, a catastrophic deadlock. Climate change is tragic and very fast. The incredible paranoia of the industrialists and their political puppets is in such a high degree that they are making plans for exploitation of the oil and natural gas fields estimated to lie beneath the Arctic submarine permafrost, when the sea ice will have significantly melted during the summer. The imperialist countries USA, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Russia are already creating military forces specifically for Arctic conditions. Their schizophrenia is such that they do not hesitate to plan wars for the Arctic natural resources in a planet already climatically devastated from the Arctic sea ice melting. Capitalism proves constantly its nightmarish suicidal character, it proves constantly to be incompatible with the continuing existence of the human race and of all the other forms of life on earth.
THE ECOLOGICAL DISASTER OF CAPITALISM
The capitalist economic system, based on the unstoppable, unregulated economic development, the capitalists’ chase of the greatest possible profit at any cost, at the expense of the natural environment and the people, the irrational waste of huge quantities of natural resources and energy for the overproduction of luxury, useless, toxic commodities and military equipment, the incessant launching of wars for the conquest of territories to plunder their natural resources, the accumulation of larger and larger amounts of useless and toxic wastes in the soil, in the sea, rivers and lakes, in the air, has caused a whole series of ecological crimes: climate change, forest destruction, desertification, plant and animal species’ extinction, overfishing which has devastated vast sea, river and lake areas of fish and life, incredible animal suffering by humans, stratospheric ozone depletion, soil, sea, river, lake and air chemical pollution, genetically modified organisms, permanent danger of nuclear war.
It is estimated that climate change in the 21st century will cause: 2-6οC increase of the earth average global temperature in relation to the 20th century average global temperature, heat waves, droughts, more frequent and destructive tropical cyclones, sea level rise that will submerge islands and coastal areas, ocean acidification that will kill the coral reefs and an incalculable number of fish, 20% to 50% plant and animal species’ reduction. If the changes that have already occurred in earth’s climate have caused such enormous disasters with just 0.90οC increase of the planet average global temperature in relation to the 20th century average global temperature, then how will the planet look like with 2οC increase? Will there still be life on the planet and what? The most likely scenario is that with 2οC or greater increase in temperature, the earth will soon resemble the planet Venus which has a surface temperature of 450οC and it will be a planet without life. According to climate scientists, the changes that have already occurred in earth’s climate are immense and unprecedented, are made with frightening speed and we are approaching the point in time in which they will become uncontrollable and irreversible. The tremendous global destruction of forests by the capitalists and their thugs – as forests do not yield any profit to capitalists – and the overwhelming dominance of private over public transport – as private transport yields huge profits to the capitalists of oil and car industries, while private cars are elements of wealth display for the bourgeois and bourgeois mentality workers – constitute the foundations of destruction of the climate and of the planet ecological equilibrium. It is absolutely clear that there is no crime on earth that capitalists and their thugs could not commit in order to ensure their – full of blood and tears – profits. Capitalism therefore cannot provide any solution at all to the planet environmental problems and to the problem of conservation and reproduction of all plant and animal species. An economic system in which capitalists and their political stooges – along with their thugs and the bourgeois mentality workers – are wasting precious natural resources and huge amounts of money on armies, military equipment and military exercises, on countless large and small wars which cause tremendous ecological disaster – in the imperialist invasion of the Soviet Union by the fascist Germany the fascists bombed and burned millions of acres of forest, in the USA imperialist aggression in Vietnam the US fascists bombed and burned millions of acres of forest, in the NATO imperialist aggression in Serbia the perverted NATO fascists bombed several national parks of Serbia, burning vast woodlands along with birds and animals, the only residents of those parks –, are wasting precious natural resources and huge amounts of money on the research and production of nuclear weapons threatening at any moment the globe with nuclear devastation, are continuously constructing roads, private cars – the continuous and uncontrolled construction of roads is causing a daily genocide of animals as the drivers of the innumerable private cars kill any animal moving on them –, airports, airplanes, are burning and destroying forests to replace them with asphalt and cement and lately also for biofuel production, are uncontrollably hunting birds and animals so that they have wiped out of life the minimal forest and natural areas which have not yet turned into asphalt and cement, are overfishing the fish to such an extent that they have turned vast sea, river and lake areas into deserts, have created cities-monsters filled with huge monstrous apartment buildings and skyscrapers, roads, private cars, parking areas, without parks, without air, with terrible sound pollution, flooded at night with countless blinding lights causing an incredible light pollution, have caused an uncontrolled human population explosion due to their need for permanent and uncontrolled reproduction of slaves for their factories, as well as fodder for the cannons of their wars, cannot provide any solution at all to the planet terrifying environmental problems and to the problem of conservation and reproduction of all plant and animal species.
In primitive communist society there was absolutely no oppression of animals, on the contrary there was a system of equality among living species. In that society man was a hunter and hunted animals for the preservation and reproduction of his own species, but did not consider himself of being superior to the other animals, nor different from them. The killed animal was considered to have an immortal soul and hunting was always accompanied by a prayer of forgiveness for its execution. The primitive hunter was the exact opposite of the modern hunter who considers this abhorrent activity as amusement – and achievement –, killing completely defenceless animals. About 10,000 years ago, with the transition from the primitive communist society based on the common ownership of land to the class society based on the private ownership of land, came the domestication of animals and consequently the private ownership of animals by humans. Animals became means of production and consumer products. Since that time humans began to believe that they are superior to non-human species and appeared the ideology of speciesism, namely, the superiority of humans over the other animals. This unacceptable ideology dominates today stronger than ever in the <<civilised>> capitalist societies. Hunting causes the death of many millions of animals every year. Hunters – in reality horrible ecological criminals – consider this repugnant activity entertainment, and they feel proud, executing completely defenceless animals. Not only. These scums exterminate mainly the young and healthy individuals who could reproduce. Their loss is added to the loss of the aged, sick and injured of a given population which die from natural causes or are killed by other predators, with final result the collapse of the population. Hunters, industrialists and merchants of hunting articles constitute a powerful gang which should be crushed in the new, socialist society.
In capitalist society there is a huge fishing industry, which – operating under the general anarchy of industry – consists of many colossal fishing vessels and countless smaller with many thousands of fishermen. Fishermen use immense nets – very often use nets that sweep the bottom of seas, rivers and lakes making incredible destruction – from which not even newborn fish can escape, causing an incredible overfishing with resulting collapse of fish populations and of all the other aquatic organisms living in seas, rivers and lakes. Many times the nets are left or lost by fishermen, causing entrapment and death of fish and other aquatic organisms living in seas, rivers and lakes, as well as of birds from starvation or suffocation. The innumerable and completely uncontrollable anglers complete the destruction of life in seas, rivers and lakes. Overfishing is added to the chemical pollution and the accumulation of ever increasing quantities of useless wastes in seas, rivers and lakes, causing total disaster.
The pet trade in capitalist society is a profitable business based on torturing animals throughout their life. It consists of an entire international gang of animal kidnappers, traders and manufacturers of cages and aquariums. These horrible kidnappers abduct the animals from their natural environment and close them into cages or aquariums, to be sold then by criminal merchants to <<animal lovers>>. The unfortunate animals are converted this way in private ownership first of their kidnappers, then of their traders and finally of their buyers. These miserable <<animal lovers>> keep the unhappy animals in cages or aquariums up to their death, turning their whole life into hell. The absolute indifference and incompetence of the capitalists and their political puppets on climate change is clearly demonstrated in the international UN conferences on climate change held every 1-2 years in various cities of the world, in which all these scums gathering there are discussing on trade and economic agreements, economic sanctions and wars against countries not fully dominated by them, and on anything else except the confrontation of climate change for which the specific conferences are supposedly held. At the end of these conferences, in order to throw ash in the eyes of the naïve waiting some even limited agreement, they sign a completely useless paper in which express their hypocritical wishes for a future agreement, while – shamefully lying – they promise to try to mitigate the consequences of climate change, which at every moment make worse because of their criminal policies.
According to dialectical materialism, everything is matter. Everything is material bodies in interconnection and interdependence, always in motion and in incessant change, coming into being and going out of being, through contradiction and struggle of internal and external opposite forces. The universe is infinite in space and time. Matter is infinite in the macrocosm and in the microcosm. All material bodies in the macrocosm and in the microcosm and living organisms undergo a dialectical constant change from one state to another.
The laws of Dialectical Materialism are three: 1. The law of unity and struggle of opposites and of transformation of one opposite into the other. 2. The law of passage of quantitative changes to qualitative changes and vice versa. 3. The law of negation of the negation.
According to the law of unity and struggle of opposites and of transformation of one opposite into the other, the very existence of matter itself, its movement, its evolution, and its passage from one qualitative state to another is determined by the unity and struggle of internal and external opposites and of transformation of one opposite into the other, in the infinity of space-time. The opposites, having opposing tendencies, are mutually exclusive and in state of permanent struggle. However there are together, and not only coexist but are organically interconnected and transformed the one into the other, thus representing the unity of opposites. The time of struggle of the opposites during which occurs the passage of one opposite into the other, marks the dissolution of the contradiction and the passage of the material formation or condition to a new qualitative state. The unity of opposites is always relative, whereas the struggle of opposites is absolute. The relative character of the unity of opposites is expressed in the fact that there is for a definite time, and as a consequence of the development of the struggle of the opposites that constitute it – and of external opposites – is dissolved and replaced by a new unity, which under the development of the struggle of the opposites that constitute it – and of external opposites – is also dissolved and replaced by another unity of opposites, which after existing for some time is dissolved under the development of the struggle of the opposites that constitute it – and of external opposites – and another one takes its position, and so on to the infinity. The absoluteness of the struggle of opposites consists in that it is present at all the stages of existence of this or that unity, in that it – the struggle of opposites – is the link that makes the union between this unity and the other that replaces it, and in that it is on its basis – of the struggle of opposites – that is produced the emergence, the development of any given unity and its passage to a new unity. For example, the fundamental contradiction of the capitalist society is the contradiction between the bourgeoisie – represented by the bourgeois parties and their governments, as well as by its military-fascist dictatorships – and the working class – represented by the historical Marxist party of the specific country –. To the degree of development of the capitalist production, this contradiction is sharpened, and finally dissolved with the socialist revolution, as a result of the struggle of these internal opposites – or also external opposites, e.g. with the economic or military aid at the historical Marxist party of a capitalist country, or with the military invasion of a capitalist country by a socialist country (military invasion of Georgia by the Soviet Russia in 1921, military invasion of eastern Germany by the Soviet Union in 1945) –. During the socialist revolution, the working class from exploited and oppressed class becomes dominant class and establishes its dictatorship, while the bourgeoisie is thrown out of power and becomes oppressed class. The opposites were transformed the one into the other. The old qualitative state of society – capitalism – was dissolved and a new one was formed – socialism –, which is accompanied by new internal and external contradictions. According to Dialectical Materialism, the contradiction is a universal mode of existence of the matter, a universal form of being. The contradictions of the opposing forces of a material formation or condition are called internal contradictions. The contradictions of the opposing forces of two or more material formations or conditions are called external contradictions. Examples of internal contradictions are: within molecules the contradictory processes of attraction and repulsion. Within atoms the contradictions of protons and electrons, positrons and electrons, protons and antiprotons. Inside electron the wave and particle contradiction. Within a living organism the contradiction of leukocytes and pathogenic microorganisms, the contradiction of life and death of its cells, as well as the incessant contradictory processes of inheritance and mutation, absorption and rejection, stimulation and inhibition of nerve function. Into a capitalist country the contradiction between the bourgeois regime (bourgeois government, bourgeois parties, bourgeois army, police and secret police) and the historical Marxist party of the specific country. Inside North Korea the contradiction between the socialist system (socialist government, Workers Party of Korea, socialist army, militia, police and secret police) and the internal counter-revolutionary forces. In mechanics the contradiction of action and reaction. In electricity the contradiction of positive and negative electrical charge. In magnetism the contradiction of north and south pole of the magnets and planets. In physics the contradiction of positive temperatures (above 0οC) and negative temperatures (below 0οC). In mathematics the contradiction of + and –. In meteorology the contradiction between the days of drought with sunshine and the life-giving days with rainfall or snowfall, etc. Examples of external contradictions are: the contradiction between the attraction and repulsion of the molecules. The contradiction between a positron and an electron. The contradiction between fire and water. The contradiction between herbivores and carnivores, e.g. the contradiction between a zebra and a tiger. The contradiction between North Korea and a capitalist country. The contradiction between the attraction and repulsion of the planets, etc. According to the law of passage of quantitative changes to qualitative changes and vice versa, all the qualitative changes in the universe are the result of quantitative changes. Engels wrote in his book <<Dialectics of Nature>>, dated 1883: <<. . . in nature, in a manner exactly fixed for each individual case, qualitative changes can only occur by the quantitative addition or subtraction of matter or motion (so-called, energy).>> Qualitative changes are called leaps. The leap is the process of passage of the material formation or condition from a qualitative state to another, accompanied by a break in continuity. The leaps are divided in two types: the leaps produced in the form of rupture and the leaps evolving gradually, by gradual accumulation of elements of the new quality and detriment of the old quality. The feature of the leap-rupture is the fact that takes place suddenly, impetuously, violently, and changes the previous qualitative state as a whole. Examples of leaps-ruptures are: the transformation of positron and electron into two photons by their collision. The killing and eating of a pigeon from an eagle, during which the pigeon is destroyed and converted into vitality, muscle strength and kinetic energy of the eagle, as well as ability to reproduce and feed its chicks. The armed socialist revolution, during which occurs an impetuous and violent transformation of the old capitalist economy into the new socialist, e.g. the armed socialist revolution in Russia, East Germany, China, and in the other former and current socialist states. The feature of the leap in the form of gradual accumulation of elements of the new qualitative state and of detriment of elements of the old qualitative state is that it takes place relatively slowly, and that during the leap the quality does not change neither impetuously nor entirely, but gradually. Examples of leaps of this type are: the emergence of new plant and animal species as an evolution of the old, which extends over several thousand years, and is carried out with the gradual accumulation in the old species of new external features that reflect the evolution of the natural environment, as well as with the gradual transformation of the morphology and function of their organs. The conversion of a lake into ice at a temperature equal or lower than 0οC, during which the lake is not converted at once into ice, but gradually. The leaps are also distinguished not only by their development, but also on the qualitative transformation produced as a result of the concrete leap, and are of two types: the revolutionary leaps or revolutions – or counter-revolutionary leaps or counter-revolutions – and the evolutionary leaps or evolutions. The revolutionary leap or revolution is the leap during which the transition to a new qualitative state is accompanied by the radical destruction of the old quality of an inferior material formation or condition and by the appearance of a superior material formation or condition having a new quality foundation, a new substance. Examples of revolutionary leaps or revolutions are: the transformation of an elementary particle into another, e.g. the transformation of a proton into a neutron. The transformation of a chemical element into another, e.g. the transformation of oxygen (O2) into ozone (O3). The transformation of the archosaurs into crocodiles in the Triassic period, about 200 million years ago. The transformation of prehistoric fish into sharks in the Ordovician period, about 420 million years ago. The armed socialist revolution in Russia, East Germany, China, and in the former and today’s socialist countries. The formation of planets from cosmic dust. The counter-revolutionary leap or counter-revolution is the leap during which the transition to a new qualitative state is accompanied by the radical destruction of the old quality of a higher material formation or condition and by the appearance of a lower material formation or condition having a new quality foundation, a new substance. Examples of counter-revolutionary leaps or counter-revolutions are: the death of the dinosaurs and of most plants in the Triassic period, some 66 million years ago. The death of a lion from microbial infection. The capitalist counter-revolution in the Soviet Union, East Germany, China, and in the former socialist states. The evolutionary leap or evolution is the leap during which the transition to a new qualitative state takes place within the framework of the given substance of the material formation or condition, without radical destruction of its quality foundation. Examples of evolutionary leaps or evolutions are: the passage from ice into water and vice versa (as the chemical composition of the water does not change). The transition from socialism to communism.
According to the law of negation of the negation, the negation of a material formation or condition and the transition to a new material formation or condition is an inevitable development of the struggle of internal and external opposites. The non-typical dialectical negation is the negation of a higher material formation or condition and the transition to a lower material formation or condition, as a result of the struggle of internal and external opposing forces. Examples of non-typical dialectical negations are: the death of the dinosaurs and of most plants in the Triassic period, some 66 million years ago. The death of a lion from microbial infection. The killing of the youngest chick of an eagle by the older chick in their nest. The killing of a hawk by another hawk in order to defend its own territory. The death of an elephant from old age. The crushing of a snake by the fall of a rock. The capitalist counter-revolution in the Soviet Union, East Germany, China, and in the former socialist countries. The typical dialectical negation is the negation of an inferior material formation or condition and the transition to a superior material formation or condition, as a result of the struggle of internal and external opposing forces, during which everything positive there was in the negating material formation or condition is retained and transferred to the superior material formation or condition. Examples of typical dialectical negations are: the life and evolution of trees. The trees (e.g. firs) produce many seeds during their lifetime. These trees die later, denying themselves. But some seeds from those produced, which fell on favourable ground, sprouted and created new trees, denying themselves. As a result of this negation of the negation we have trees again, but many times more. Yet we do not only obtain more trees, but also qualitatively improved, more resistant to changes in the natural environment, diseases, and insect attacks. Birds (e.g. penguins) lay numerous eggs during their lifetime. These birds later die or are killed, denying themselves. But some eggs from those laid, produced chicks, thus creating new birds, denying themselves. As a result of this negation of the negation we have again birds, but many times more. Yet we do not only obtain more birds, but also qualitatively improved, more resistant to changes in the natural environment, diseases, and more able to fly (in the case of penguins: swimming) in order to escape more easily from their predators (for penguins: sharks, orcas, leopard seals), but also to chase faster their prey (in the case of penguins: krill, squid, fish). All peoples begin to organise their economy and society with the common ownership of land, namely, primitive communism. In all the societies, just beyond a certain stage of development of the agriculture, the common ownership of land becomes an obstacle to production. The common ownership of land, namely, primitive communism, denies itself, and is converted into private ownership of land. In a higher stage of development of the agriculture comes about the reverse: the private ownership of land becomes an obstacle to production. It emerges the necessity of its negation and of its conversion into common ownership of land. As a result of this negation of the negation we have again common ownership of land, namely, communism, but in a higher, scientifically and technologically more developed form, which will not at all become an obstacle to production, but will liberate it and will enable full use of the modern scientific and technological achievements.
MARXIST PHILOSOPHY ON ECOLOGY
Humans and animals are part of nature and develop their ideas and practice in unbreakable relationship with the rest of nature and the universe. Marx and Engels viewed people not as something separate from nature, as capitalist ideology does, but dialectically interconnected. Marx and Engels wrote in their book <<The German Ideology>>, dated 1846: <<Humans can be distinguished from animals by consciousness, by religion, by anything else you want. But they begin to distinguish themselves from animals as soon as they begin to produce their means of subsistence, an advance determined by their physical organisation.>> Therefore, Marx and Engels considered that the difference of man from animals is not ontological, but it is due to an activity. So, according to historical materialism, also man is an animal. And as an animal it has the basic instincts of life that also the other animals have: the instinct of the struggle for survival (self-preservation) and the instinct of seeking sexual pleasure. Without absolute sexual pleasure, without sufficient sport and body training, without adequate sleep into a healthy and perfectly protected natural environment, man becomes physically and mentally disabled. Man can satisfy his basic instincts – into a healthy and perfectly protected natural environment – only into a liberated communist society. Marx and Engels were the first to have written on ecology. Marx wrote in his book <<Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts>>, dated 1844: <<Nature is man’s inorganic body, insofar as nature is not itself human body. Man lives on nature, that is, nature is his body, with which he must remain in continuous interchange if he is not to die. That man’s physical and spiritual life is linked to nature means simply that nature is linked to itself, for man is a part of nature. . . . This communism, as fully developed naturalism, equals humanism, and as fully developed humanism, equals naturalism. It is the genuine resolution of the conflict between man and nature, as between man and man . . .>> Marx predicted that the resolution of the ongoing conflict humans-nature in capitalism would take place only with its overthrowing, into a global communist society. Marx wrote in the first volume of his work <<The Capital>>, dated 1867: <<Capitalist production disturbs the metabolic interaction between man and the earth, i.e., prevents the return to the soil of its constituent elements consumed by man in the form of food and clothing. It therefore violates the conditions necessary to the lasting fertility of the soil. All progress in capitalist agriculture is a progress in the art not only of robbing the worker, but also of robbing the soil. All progress in increasing the fertility of the soil for a given time is a progress towards ruining the more long-lasting sources of that fertility. The more a country develops the foundations of modern industry, like the United States for example, the more rapid is this process of destruction. Capitalist production therefore develops technology only by sapping the original sources of all wealth, the soil and the worker.>> Engels wrote in his book <<Dialectics of Nature>>: <<The buccal organs of birds are certainly radically different from those of man. Yet birds are the only animals which learn to speak, and the bird that speaks best of all is the parrot, the bird with the most repulsive voice. Let no one object that the parrot does not understand what it says. It is true that it repeats chattering for hours its whole vocabulary, only for the pleasure of talking and communicating with people. But within the limits of its range of perceptions, it can also learn to understand what it says. Teach insults to a parrot, so that to have an idea of their meaning (one of the favourite amusements of sailors returning from the tropics). Tease it and you will soon discover that it knows to use its insults as well as a Berlin costermonger. The same is true when it begs for delicacies. . . . In short, the animal merely uses its external environment and changes it simply by its presence. Man by his changes makes it serve his ends, masters it. This is the last essential distinction between man and the other animals, and once again it is labour that brings about this distinction. Let us not however flatter ourselves overmuch for our victories over nature. For each such victory nature takes its revenge on us. Each victory, it is true, in the first place brings about the results we expected, but in the second and third places it has quite different, unforeseen effects which too often cancel the first. The people who in Mesopotamia, Greece, Asia Minor and elsewhere destroyed the forests to obtain cultivable land, never dreamed that by removing along with the forests the collecting centres and reservoirs of moisture, they were laying the basis for the present devastating condition of those countries. When the Italians of the Alps used up the pine forests on the southern slopes, so carefully cherished on the northern slopes, they had no inkling that by doing so they were undermining the dairy industry in their region. They had still less inkling that they were thereby depriving their mountain springs of water for the greater part of the year, making it possible to pour still more furious torrents on the plains during the rainy seasons. . . . Thus at every step we are reminded that we by no means rule over nature like a conqueror over a foreign people, like someone standing outside nature, but that we, with our flesh, blood and brain belong to nature and exist in its midst, and that all our domination on it consists in the fact that we have the advantage over all other creatures of being able to learn and correctly apply its laws. . . . Classical political economy, the social science of the bourgeoisie, in the main examines only the immediate effects of human actions in the fields of production and exchange that are actually intended. This fully corresponds to the social organisation of which it is the theoretical expression. As individual capitalists are engaged in production and exchange for the sake of the immediate profit, only the nearest, most immediate results must first be taken into account. As long as the individual manufacturer or merchant sells a manufactured or purchased commodity with the usual coveted profit, he is satisfied and does not concern himself with what afterwards becomes of the commodity and its purchasers. The same thing applies to the natural effects of the same actions. What cared the Spanish planters in Cuba, who burned down forests on the slopes of the mountains and obtained from the ashes sufficient fertiliser for one generation of very highly profitable coffee trees, what cared them that the heavy tropical rains afterwards washed away the unprotected upper stratum of the soil, leaving behind only bare rocks? In relation to nature, as to society, the present mode of production is predominantly concerned only about the immediate, the most tangible result. And then surprise is expressed that the most remote effects of the actions directed to this end turn out to be quite different, they are mostly completely opposite . . . .>> In the third volume of <<The Capital>>, dated 1894, Marx wrote in relation to his prediction about the socialist society: <<From the standpoint of a higher economic form of society, private ownership of the land by single individuals will appear quite as absurd as private ownership of one man by another. Even an entire society, a nation, or even all simultaneously existing societies taken together are not owners of the earth. They are simply those who share it, its beneficiaries, and they must hand it down in an improved state to the succeeding generations. . . . the associated producers will rationally regulate their interchange with nature, bringing it under their common control, instead of being ruled by it as by a blind force, and they will achieve this with the least expenditure of energy and under conditions most favourable to, and worthy of their human nature.>> Leon Trotsky, founder and leader of the Red Army and of the victory over the Whites and twenty-one armies of the most powerful capitalist countries of the world in the Russian civil war, turned later into enemy of the Soviet Union and of socialism, due to his paranoid view that it was impossible the building of socialism in the Soviet Union, a view that was in stark contrast with the reality of the Soviet Union itself, wrote in his work <<The Writings of Leon Trotsky 1939-1940>>: <<The chicken knows that grain is in general useful, necessary and tasty. It recognises a given piece of grain as that grain – of the wheat – with which it is acquainted and hence draws a logical conclusion by means of its beak. The syllogism of Aristotle is only an articulated expression of those elementary mental conclusions which we observe at every step among animals.>> Trotsky wrote in his book <<In Defence of Marxism>>, dated 1940, in relation to the animals’ ability of consciousness: <<Even animals come at their practical conclusions not only on the basis of Aristotelian syllogism, but also on the basis of Hegelian dialectics. Thus, a fox is aware that quadrupeds and birds are nutritious and tasty. On the sight of a hare, a rabbit, or a hen, a fox concludes: this particular creature belongs to the tasty and nutritive type, and chases after the prey. Here we have a complete syllogism, although the fox, we may suppose, never read Aristotle. When the same fox, however, encounters the first animal that exceeds it in size, for example a wolf, it quickly concludes that quantity turns into quality, and flees right away. Clearly, the legs of the fox are equipped with Hegelian tendencies, even though not fully conscious. All these demonstrate, in passing, that our methods of thinking, both formal logic and dialectics, are not arbitrary constructions of our reason, but rather expressions of actual interrelationships in nature itself. In this sense, the universe throughout is permeated with «unconscious» dialectics. But nature did not stop there. No little development occurred before interrelationships in nature were converted into the language of consciousness of foxes and men, and man was then enabled to generalise these forms of consciousness and transform them into logical (dialectical) categories, thus creating the possibility to go more deeply into the world around us.>> Trotsky clearly wrote that foxes and animals in general have the ability to think and act in accordance with the laws of formal logic and dialectics. Thus, according to Marxist philosophy, the defence of the environment – and of animal rights – is for Marxist parties an absolute priority, not at all detached but absolutely interconnected with the class struggle and the socialist revolution. Marxist parties should always and everywhere unconditionally support all struggles for the defence of the natural environment – and of animal rights – across the world, fighting with all their forces together with the environmentalists – and the animal rights’ activists – for the victory of these struggles, absolutely preserving their own party organisational independence and revolutionary programme, always striving to lead these struggles to the actual defence of the natural environment – and the actual animal liberation – and ultimately to the socialist revolution. According to Marxist philosophy there is no socialism without full protection of the natural environment – and full liberation of the animals from their enslavement to human beings –.
The most tragic consequence of climate change is the tremendous decrease in rainfall and snowfall across the longitudes and latitudes of the earth. A news item of such magnitude causes no sense in the vast majority of people. In the Greek folk calendar, October and November were called pluvial months. October and November of 2015 in Greece had surely the sad privilege of being named sunshine months. Marx wrote in the <<Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts>> that in capitalism man is alienated from nature and from himself. In the early 21st century – with the development of monstrous cities drowned in horrible apartment buildings and skyscrapers, cars, asphalt, cement, incredible light and sound pollution and the almost complete destruction of the countryside from the catastrophic frenzy of human <<civilisation>> – this alienation of the people reached its utmost limits. And may it be not true? Always we listen to the people’s conversations and the weather reports that sunshine is nice weather, while rainfall and snowfall are bad weather, something like disaster. The very few days now that it is raining or snowing, people run like mad to hide, as if they found themselves in the worst calamity. It is a complete reversal of reality. The water, according to the elementary principles of biology and astrophysics, is the absolute source of life not only on earth, but in the entire universe. The water in all its forms (water vapour, liquid water, ice) is the most basic chemical element of life, and is prevalent in the universe. Without water there is no life, not only on earth, but nowhere in the universe. When Marx wrote the <<Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts>>, he could not imagine to what extent the alienation of people would reach. People were alienated from the water itself, the absolute source of life in the universe. Instead of being rainfall and snowfall the greatest beautifulness and happiness of all life, the source of all life, they are considered by mankind as a disaster, who thereby reached and exceeded the most extreme humiliation and the most absurd schizophrenia. And how disgusting is the sight of almost all to cover their heads as hysterical with hoods or umbrellas when it is raining or snowing. People do not want to feel even on their face the delight of the life-giving cool of rain and snow. Humankind was alienated from the fundamental instincts of life which are common to all plant and animal species on earth: the instinct of the struggle for survival (self-preservation) and the instinct of seeking sexual pleasure. People were alienated from life itself. People strive with hysterical mania to cover and disappear from everywhere the soil and the grass, replacing them with asphalt and cement. According to the basic principles of biology, mud is the absolute form of life on terrestrial land. People do not want to see even the mud from which they were born and in which end up again. In vast territories of the earth they have turned night into day through an incredible quantity of blinding lights that cause an awesome light pollution. People do not want to see the night which is half of their life and the night sky. They strive with hysterical mania to exterminate all life on earth. Humankind has surpassed even the most extreme limits of the most delirious absurdity. It is obvious that for Marxist parties the halting of climate change and the reversal of the ever increasing decline in rainfall and snowfall is a top priority, inseparable from the class struggle and the socialist revolution, inscribed anyway in the DNA of Marxism as absolute protection of nature, as genuine resolution of the conflict between man-part of nature and nature. For Marxist parties it is quite clear that without the crushing of capitalism, without the public ownership of land and industry and the planned economy, i.e., without the socialist economy, there can be absolutely not any – not even the elementary – protection of the forests and the natural environment. But Marxism did not stay only in theory. Marxism has demonstrated its superiority not only on the pages of <<The Capital>>, but in practice, with the building of the planned state agricultural and industrial economy of the ex socialist states.
SOCIALISM AND NATURE PROTECTION
The Soviet Union developed some of the world’s most significant contributions to ecology, revolutionising science in fields such as climatology, while also introducing pioneering forms of conservation. Aside from its famous zapovedniki, that is, nature reserves for scientific research, it preserved and even expanded its forests. As environmental historian Stephen Brain observes, USSR established <<levels of forest protection unparalleled anywhere in the world>>. Beginning in the 1960s the Soviet Union increasingly instituted environmental reforms, and in the 1980s was the site of what has been called an <<ecological revolution>>. From the 1960s on, Soviet ecological thought grew rapidly together with the environmental movement, which was led primarily by scientists. In the 1970s and ’80s it evolved into a mass movement, leading to the emergence in the USSR of the largest conservation organisation in the world. These developments resulted in substantial changes in the society. For example, between 1980 and 1990 air pollutants from stationary sources fell by over 23 per cent. Very important was also the role the Soviet Union played from the late 1950s on, in the development of global ecology. Soviet climatologists discovered and alerted the world to the acceleration of global climate change; developed the major early climate change models; demonstrated the extent to which the melting of polar ice would create a positive feedback, speeding up global warming; pioneered paleoclimatic analysis; constructed a new approach to global ecology as a distinct field based on the analysis of the biosphere. Soviet ecology can be divided into roughly three periods: 1. Early Soviet ecology, characterised by revolutionary ecological theories and key conservation initiatives from the 1917 revolution up to the mid-1930s; 2. The middle or Stalin period, from late 1930s to the mid-1950s, dominated by purges of USSR leading ecological thinkers, rapid industrialisation and aggressive reforestation; 3. Late Soviet ecology from the late 1950s to 1991, marked by the development of a dialectical <<global ecology>> and the emergence of a powerful Soviet environmental movement, responding in particular to the extreme environmental degradation of the decade following Stalin’s death in 1953. After the victory of the October revolution in Russia, the Bolsheviks supported and implemented a groundbreaking ecological policy. Lenin had strongly embraced ecological values, partly under the influence of Marx and Engels, and was deeply concerned with conservation. He read Vladimir Sukachev’s <<Swamps: Their Formation, Development and Properties>> and was affected by the ecological spirit of Sukachev’s pioneering text in community ecology. Immediately after the October 1917 revolution, Lenin supported the creation of the People’s Commissariat of Education under the leadership of Anatoly Lunacharsky, which was given responsibility for conservation. In 1924 the All-Russian Conservation Society (VOOP) was created with an initial membership of around one thousand. Lenin and Lunacharsky were strong supporters of an ecological policy targeted towards rural sustainability, biodiversity and ecological research. All that despite the desperate economic situation in which the young Soviet state was found due to the destruction that the first world war caused and the unrestrained ferocity of the three-year civil war, waged against the Soviet Russia by the Whites and twenty-one armies of all the most powerful capitalist countries of the world. The Soviet Russia pioneered ecological theory and practice. Key Soviet ecological thinkers, besides Sukachev, were the Bolshevik government’s scientist Vladimir Vernadsky, who published his epoch-making <<The Biosphere>> in 1926 – the term <<biosphere>> includes the totality of an open system that supports all life and its interaction with the atmosphere and the energy coming from the sun –; Alexander Oparin, who in the early 1920s developed the main theory of the origins of life; the brilliant plant geneticist Nikolai Vavilov, who discovered the primary sources of germplasm or genetic reservoirs (known as Vavilov areas), tied to the areas of earliest human cultivation around the world. Others, such as the leading Marxist theorist and close Lenin associate Nikolai Bukharin and the historian of science Y. Uranovsky, generalised such discoveries in terms of historical materialism. Bukharin, following Vernadsky, emphasised the human relation to the biosphere and the dialectical interchange between humanity and nature. Zoologist Vladimir Stanchinsky pioneered the development of the energetic analysis of ecological communities (and trophic levels), and was a leading promoter and defender of the zapovedniki. Stanchinsky was the editor of the USSR’s first formal ecology journal. Physicist Boris Hessen achieved worldwide fame for reinterpreting the history and sociology of science in historical materialist terms. The Commissariat of Education, with Lenin’s backing, was the first in the world to establish the celebrated ecological reserves, called zapovedniki, namely, large tracts of land which were absolutely inviolable to any form of human intervention other than ecological research. By 1933 there were thirty-three zapovedniki, encompassing altogether some 2.7 million hectares. It was forbidden logging, hunting, crop cultivation, even tourism. These areas were linked to a nationwide network for the study and the effective protection of nature. Two days after the October revolution, the crucial decree <<On Land>> was passed, abolishing the private ownership of land. All land, forests, rivers and lakes, all natural resources became public property, so a plan could be set up for their sustainable use and renewal. In 1918 the Bolshevik government passed the decree <<On Forests>>, which set up a Central Administration of Forests of the Soviet Republic, with the mission of reforestation and sustainable forest management. Forests were divided into an exploitable and a protected sector. Another law on forests was passed in 1923, which further strengthened the protected status of forests. In January 1919 the civil war was at its peak. The Bolshevik-controlled areas had been severely curtailed around Moscow and Petersburg. The White armies were ready to attack Moscow and Petersburg, US, British, French and Japanese troops had occupied and controlled key Soviet ports, and much of the fertile land of Ukraine was under the control of the Germans. Under this dire situation, Lenin took time to personally meet with the famous agronomist Podiapolsky. Lenin requested from Podiapolsky to immediately draft a national legislation for nature protection and for the establishment of the first national park. After submitting the draft legislation, Podiapolsky received it back examined by Lenin the very same day. When the Soviet land was retaken by the Red Army, that decree <<On the Protection of Monuments of Nature, Gardens and Parks>> was signed by Lenin to law in 1921. In 1919 Lenin had passed the decree <<On Hunting Seasons and the Right to Possess Hunting Weapons>>, which prohibited the hunting of the endangered moose and wild goats and established closed seasons for the hunting of all the other animals, In order to ensure their sustainable reproduction.
The leadership of the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin eliminated many leading scientists and intellectuals, particularly those who questioned Trofim Lysenko, a dominant figure in Soviet biology for three decades, from the mid-1930s to the late 1950s, first through his directorship of the Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and then of the Institute of Genetics of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Noted scientists who resisted Lysenko’s often exaggerated claims that by various techniques, such as vernalisation and hybridisation, it was possible to speed up plant growth and generate greater productivity in agriculture, were purged. As a result, the USSR in that period lost some of its most creative ecological thinkers. Bukharin, viewed by Stalin as a rival, and Hessen, who was closely associated with Bukharin and Vavilov, were both executed. Vavilov, who had opposed Lysenko on genetics, was imprisoned, where he died a few years later of malnutrition. In 1927, the issue of using the zapovedniki for <<acclimatisation>> research (removal of wild and domestic plants and animals from their original habitat and placement in new habitats in an attempt to transform nature) arose in Soviet biology. Sukachev and Stanchinsky strongly defended the zapovedniki against those promoting the acclimatisation agenda, arguing that they should remain inviolable. In 1933, Stanchinsky came directly into conflict with Lysenko (and his chief ally Isaak Prezent) regarding the zapovedniki and acclimatisation, leading to Stanchinsky’s 1934 arrest, imprisonment and torture. He died in prison (after a second arrest) in 1942. The consequences for Soviet ecological science, particularly in areas related to agriculture, were disastrous. Membership in VOOP, which had risen to 15,000 by 1932, declined to around 2,500 in 1940. The zapovedniki were converted more and more from reserves for the scientific study of pristine nature into transformation-of-nature centres.
Nevertheless, in two major areas, forestry and climatology, Soviet ecology continued to develop. One of the key intellectual achievements was Sukachev’s first introduction in 1941, developed more fully in 1944, of the concept of biogeocoenosis, which was to be extraordinarily influential both in the USSR and in the wider world. A botanist and ecologist, Sukachev had been influenced by Georgy Morozov, considered the founder of Russian scientific forestry, who died in 1920. Morozov helped introduce systemic thinking into Russian ecology, by making extensive use of the concept of biocoenosis (or biological community). Sukachev’s concept of biogeocoenosis was a further development of biocoenosis, intended to incorporate the abiotic environment. It was conceived in dialectical-energetic terms as a more unified and dynamic category than the notion of the ecosystem. The concept of biogeocoenosis grew out of and had an integral connection to Vernadsky’s notions of the biosphere and biogeochemical cycles. Sukachev wrote in his work <<Relationship of Biogeocoenosis, Ecosystem and Facies>>, dated 1960: <<…each organism and each specimen is in dialectical unity with the environment. . . The biogeocoenosis as a whole develops through the interaction of all its variable components and in accordance with special laws. The very process of interaction among the components constantly disrupts the established relationships, thereby affecting the evolution of the biogeocoenosis as a whole.>> Sukachev wrote in his landmark 1964 work <<Fundamentals of Forest Biogeocoenology>> (written with N. Dylis): <<The idea of the interaction of all natural phenomena is one of the basic premises of materialistic dialectics, well proved by the founders of the latter, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.>> Like dialectical frameworks in general, Sukachev’s biogeocoenosis – even more than its main conceptual rival, ecosystem – emphasised internal dynamics, contradictory changes and instability in ecological processes. The dialectical, integrative approach in Soviet ecology promoted by figures like Morozov and Sukachev, which was rooted in detailed empirical research into specific conditions, led to the recognition of the extent to which forest-ecological-system health was essential to hydrology and the control of climate. That broad ecological understanding helped give rise in 1948 to the Great Stalin Plan for the Transformation of Nature, which was conceived as a grand attempt to reverse anthropogenic regional climate change in deforested areas, with an emphasis on the promotion of watersheds. Already in 1936 the Soviet government had created the Main Administration of Forest Protection and Afforestation, which established <<water-protective forests>> in wide belts across the country. While forests in parts of the Soviet Union were exploited relentlessly as industrial forests, the best old growth forests of the Russian heartland were protected, eventually creating a total forest preserve the size of France, which grew over time to an area the size of Mexico (roughly two-thirds of the contiguous United States of America). The Great Stalin Plan for the Transformation of Nature, introduced in the context of attempts at ecological restoration following the second world war, was the most ambitious plan of afforestation in all of history up to that point. It sought to create some 6 million hectares of entirely new forest in the forest-steppe and steppe regions, and constituted the world’s first explicit attempt to reverse human-induced climate change. The trees were planted in shelterbelts along rivers – and roads – and around collective farms, with the goal of staving off the drying influence of winds emanating from Central Asia, while protecting watersheds and agriculture. Although the plan had not been realised at the time of Stalin’s death (when it was discontinued), a million hectares of new forest were planted, with 40 per cent surviving. Yet, even while that afforestation plan was being carried out, some 85 per cent of the territory of the zapovedniki was formally liquidated in 1951 (to be reestablished under the leadership of Sukachev and others during the resurrected conservation movement of the late 1950s). One reason for the limited success of the Great Stalin Plan was Lysenko’s entry into forestry and his battle for control of Soviet afforestation. In 1948 Lysenko had achieved his greatest victory, with the Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences’ declaration that Mendelian genetics was a form of bourgeois idealism. With the introduction of the Great Stalin Plan for the Transformation of Nature, Lysenko turned his attention to forestry, taking direct control of the Main Administration of Field-Protective Afforestation. He concocted a <<nest method>> of planting trees, based on the notion that tree seedlings planted in dense formations would collectively defend themselves from other species, reducing the amount of labour required to clear areas for planting. Here, however, Lysenko was opposed at every step by Sukachev, who countermanded his orders on the ground several times and reported to the Ministry of Forest Management in 1951 that 100 per cent of the forest seedlings planted in the Ural territorial administration with Lysenko’s nest method had died. From 1951, two years before Stalin’s death, and continuing until 1955, Sukachev, as the dean of Soviet botany – director of the Academy of Science’s Institute of Forests, head of the Academy Presidium’s Commission on Zapovedniki, and editor of the Botanical Journal – courageously launched an intellectual war against Lysenko. In article after article that he wrote and edited for the Botanical Journal and the Bulletin of the Moscow Society of Naturalists (the journal of Russia’s oldest and most prestigious scientific society), Sukachev waged a monumental battle against Lysenko, sharply criticising Lysenko’s theories and methods. Later, in 1965, Sukachev accused Lysenko of fraudulent practices. Young biologists viewed Sukachev as a hero, and secretly flocked to his side. In 1955 Sukachev was elected president of the Moscow Society of Naturalists (MOIP), a position he occupied until his death in 1967. This symbolised a dramatic decline in Lysenko’s power and a shift in Soviet ecology (although Lysenko’s final removal as head of the Institute of Genetics took place in 1965, under Brezhnev). Following Sukachev’s election as president of the MOIP, a concerted campaign to reestablish the zapovedniki began. At that point the Soviet conservation movement began to rise out of the ashes. Membership in VOOP grew to 136,000 in 1951, and by 1959 had topped 910,000. The 1960s saw the spectacular rise of student conservation brigades nurtured by the MOIP under Sukachev. Meanwhile, Soviet climatology had been making extraordinary advances through the work of figures such as E. Fedorov, famous for his work on the Arctic, and Mikhail Budyko, who specialised initially in the emerging field of energetics, focusing on exchanges of matter and energy in a global context. Budyko’s pathbreaking Heat Balance of the Earth Surface, published in 1958, earned him the prestigious Lenin Prize. In that work he developed a method for calculating the various components of the heat balance of the entire earth system. This was crucial in opening the way to the founding of physical climatology as a field. Appointed in 1954 as director of Leningrad’s Main Geophysical Observatory, Budyko played a crucial role in delineating multiple aspects of the <<global ecological system>>. He was awarded the Blue Planet Prize in 1998 for founding physical climatology, formulating early warnings on the acceleration of global warming, developing the nuclear winter theory, and pioneering global ecology. Budyko built his theoretical and empirical analysis on Vernadsky’s biosphere concept and saw Sukachev’s work on the biogeocoenosis as essential in developing modern ideas of interrelations between organisms and the environment. Sukachev was to rely in turn on Budyko’s energy flow analysis in his own work.
The USSR’s state of its environment worsened in the first decade after Stalin’s death in 1953, with the discontinuation of the Great Stalin Plan for the Transformation of Nature and the more rapacious exploitation of resources. Six days after Stalin’s death, the Ministry of Forest Management was abolished and forest conservation was reduced to a much lower priority. Yet it was in the post-Soviet era that the bourgeois class stooge Putin signed altogether out of existence Stalin’s Group I of protected forests, those under the highest level of protection and preservation. The worst damage was done during the Malenkov and Khrushchev years. Partly as a result, those years saw the rise of what was to be an immense environmental movement, growing initially out of the scientific community. Khrushchev’s <<Virgin Lands>> programme, beginning in 1954, targeted the plowing up of 33 million hectares of so-called <<virgin land>> for the expansion of agriculture. Initial successes were obtained, but these were soon followed by dust bowls. In the late 1950s the Soviet leadership decided for the first time to interfere with the ecology of Lake Baikal, the oldest and deepest freshwater lake in the world. In the early 1960s the Supreme Soviet Presidium ordered the diversion of the two main rivers feeding into the Aral Sea, the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya, in order to provide irrigation for cotton farming in Soviet Eurasia. Consequently, the Aral Sea shrank to a tenth of its original size. Those developments were met with a powerful response from scientists and conservationists. In 1964 Sukachev, as head of the MOIP, sent a letter to Soviet geographers in order to draw them into the fight to save Lake Baikal. Two years later he was one of a group of scientists who signed a collective letter to the media demanding protection of Lake Baikal. Baikal became a symbol of ecological destruction, leading to the extraordinary growth of the Soviet environmental movement. By 1981, VOOP membership had risen to 32 million and by 1985 to 37 million, constituting the largest nature protection organisation in the world. In the 1960s, beginning with Brezhnev, significant environmental legislation was passed. During the Brezhnev to Gorbachev years, the Soviet leadership introduced more and more environmental measures. The number of zapovedniki by 1983 had gradually expanded to 143, beyond the 128 that existed in 1951, before the great bulk were liquidated under Stalin (and well beyond the thirty-three originally established under Lenin). Fedorov, one of the leading climatologists, headed the Institute of Applied Geophysics of the State Committee of the USSR on Hydrometeorology and Control of the Natural Environment and became a member of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Like most Soviet ecologists at the time, Fedorov accepted some aspects of the Club of Rome’s 1972 Limits to Growth argument, which focused on natural-resource limits to economic growth. But he insisted on an approach that more fully accounted for social and historical factors. Moreover, he argued that the authors of The Limits to Growth had erred in failing to consider the crucial challenge represented by climate change. Fedorov’s arguments relied directly on Marx’s theory of socio-ecological metabolism. He presented a Marxist environmental perspective in his 1972 work <<Man and Nature>>, writing in it: <<The authors of the materialist theory of social development regarded interaction (metabolism) between people and nature as a vital element in human life and activity, and showed that the socialist organisation of society would have every possibility to ensure optimal forms of such interaction.>> With respect to climate, he pointed to Marx and Engels’s early discussions of anthropogenic climate change on a regional basis (and the threat of desertification). Fedorov represented the USSR at the first World Conference on Climate in Geneva in 1979, where he stressed the urgency of action, declaring that <<future climate changes are unavoidable. They will probably become irreversible during the nearest decades if an international plan were not soon worked out.>> However, the scientific revolutions in climatology and global ecology in the Soviet Union had their main origins in the work of Budyko, who was the acknowledged world leader in the study of the heat balance of the earth. He was also the world’s primary analyst of the effect of the polar ice on the climate, and was the first to delineate the ice-albedo effect as a global warming feedback mechanism. Budyko was also the first to point to the dangerous acceleration in global average temperature that would result from such positive feedback. He went on to pioneer studies of paleoclimatic changes in earth history and to developing <<global ecology>> as a distinct field, based on a dialectical, biospheric analysis, in the tradition of Vernadsky and Sukachev. Budyko promoted a theory of <<critical epochs>> in earth’s history, which were characterised by <<ecological crises>> and <<global catastrophes>>, and he extended this theoretical analysis to the growing threat of <<anthropogenic ecological crisis>>. In 1961 Fedorov and Budyko called the All-Union Conference on the Problem of Climate Modification by Man in Leningrad to address the emerging problem of climate change, the first such conference in the world. That same year Budyko presented his work <<The Heat and Water Balance Theory of the Earth’s Surface>> to the third congress of the Geographical Society of the USSR, in which he arrived at his famous conclusion that anthropogenic climate change was inevitable under capitalism, and that human energy usage needed to be addressed. In 1962 he published his landmark work <<Climate Change and the Means of Its Transformation>> in the USSR’s Bulletin of the Academy of Sciences, in which that conclusion was again advanced, together with the observation that the destruction of ice cover could generate a significant change in the regime of atmospheric circulation. By 1963 Budyko compiled an atlas of the world’s heat balance system. <<Budyko energy balance models>> soon became the basis of all complex climate models. In 1966 he published (together with colleagues) a work on <<The Impact of Economic Activity on the Climate>>, describing the history of anthropogenic climate change. In it he indicated that human beings – through actions such as deforestation, swamp drainage and city construction – had long affected the microclimate, that is, local changes in the meteorological regime of the surface layer of the atmosphere. What was new, however, was that anthropogenic climate change was now occurring over large territories and globally. Yet, it was the discovery of ice-albedo feedback and its dynamic effect on global warming that was to change everything. Budyko had presented his basic analysis on this as early as 1962, in his work <<Polar Ice and Climate>>. But the extent to which the global climate, and not just the climate of the Arctic, would be affected was not yet clear. It was in his 1969 work, <<The Effect of Solar Radiation Variation on the Climate of the Earth>>, that he provided a full and concrete assessment of the polar sea ice-albedo feedback mechanism and its relation to climate change. The observations were startling. Similar results on climate sensitivity, pointing to catastrophic global climate change were presented that same year by William Sellers at the university of Arizona. From that point on, climate change moved from being a peripheral concern to an increasingly urgent global issue. Meanwhile, Budyko’s explorations of the effects of aerosol loading, led him to introduce the possibility of using planes to dump aerosols (sulphur particles) in the stratosphere as a possible geoengineering to counter climate change, given his belief that capitalist economies would not be able to limit their growth, energy use and emissions. All of these conclusions were expressed in his 1972 book <<Climate and Life>>. The discovery of significant feedback effects and greater climate sensitivity now posed the question of a potential runaway global ecological crisis in the approaching decades. It was Soviet climatologists, primarily based on the works of Budyko and G. Golitsyn, who first developed the nuclear winter theory in the case of a full-scale nuclear war, whereby over a hundred gargantuan firestorms set off by nuclear weapons would increase the aerosol loading in the atmosphere sufficiently to bring temperatures across whole continents down by several degrees and possibly several tens of degrees, thereby leading to the destruction of the biosphere and human extinction. That analysis was developed by the Soviets a decade before their counterparts in other countries. The enormous range and comprehensiveness of Budyko’s ecological contributions were particularly evident in his later work, where he sought to define global ecology as a distinct field. He played a foundational role in the development of paleoclimatic analysis, examining the history of global catastrophes in earth history associated with alterations in the climate. He used this analysis to develop further insights into the significance of anthropogenic climate change. In describing global ecology as a distinct area of analysis, he emphasised that previous ecological work had been directed overwhelmingly at local conditions, or at most an aggregate of local changes. Global ecology, in contrast, was that area of ecology concerned with the operation of the biosphere as a whole, and had arisen as a result of the sudden increase in the human capacity to alter atmospheric and ocean systems. Here again the emphasis was on the dialectical interaction between organisms and the environment. Budyko stressed Oparin’s crucial observation (associated with his theory of life’s origins) that organisms had generated the atmosphere as we know it, extrapolating this to a consideration of the human role with respect to the atmosphere. In his various analyses of the evolution of Homo sapiens, Budyko invariably went back to Engels’s work <<The Part Played by Labour in the Transformation from Ape to Man>>, written in his book <<Dialectics of Nature>>, of what is now known as <<gene-culture coevolution>>. Likewise, Budyko’s <<Global Ecology>> pointed to Marx’s comment in a letter to Engels on the desertification tendencies of civilisation. All ecological analysis, Budyko indicated, was modelled on metabolism, the process of material exchange between life and the environment. Some of Budyko’s early heat balance work had been carried out together with the leading Soviet geographers A. Grigoriev and Innokenti Gerasimov. The goal was a more integral dialectical science, capable of addressing the evolution of the biosphere. Budyko and Gerasimov postulated that it was paleoclimatic change that had created the dynamic conditions millions of years ago in Africa for the evolution of the early hominids. In <<Geography and Ecology>>, dated 1977, a collection of his essays from the 1970s, Gerasimov provided an elegant theoretical merger of the notion of geographic landscape with Sukachev’s biogeocoenosis. In his analysis of the social aspects of what he considered to be the approaching global ecological crisis, Budyko emphasised the limits posed by the capitalist system. All economic expansion is constrained by the fact that the stability of the global ecological system is not very great. He argued there was no way out of this dilemma except through economic and ecological planning, namely, a socialist planned economy aimed at the realisation of Vernadsky’s <<noosphere>>, i.e., an environment ruled by reason. Budyko connected his analysis to the ideas of Soviet social and environmental philosophers, specifically those of Ivan Frolov, the dynamic editor in chief from 1968 to 1977 of the USSR’s leading philosophy journal Problems of Philosophy. It was largely owing to Frolov’s efforts that Soviet philosophy in the 1970s and ’80s began to revive, based on the conscious reintegration of ecological values into dialectical materialism. In Frolov’s analysis, inspiration was drawn from Marx’s deep naturalism in his book <<Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts>>, as well as from his later ecological critique in his work <<The Capital>>. Frolov and others called for the development of a dialectical integral unity on materialist-ecological grounds. The resulting critical philosophy was rooted in the whole Soviet tradition of scientific ecology from Vernadsky to Sukachev to Budyko. Frolov’s work <<Global Problems and the Future of Mankind>>, published in 1982, represented an important first attempt in the creation of a new ethic of global ecological humanism. Moreover, a second work that he published that same year, <<Man, Science, Humanism: A New Synthesis>>, went still further in developing this new dialectical humanism-naturalism. The human relation to nature, he indicated, quoting from Marx’s <<Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts>>, needed to be governed not simply by the laws of sustainable production, but by the laws of beauty. He argued in those years for moving away from the illusion of anthropocentrism and rejecting the traditional hegemonistic relationship to nature. But perhaps the most astonishing product of that revival of Soviet critical ecological thinking was the 1983 collection <<Philosophy and the Ecological Problems of Civilisation>>, edited by A. Ursul. This collection was remarkable in that it brought together leading ecological philosophers, like Frolov, with such major natural-scientific figures as Fedorov and Gerasimov. The understanding of Marx and Engels’s ecological thought demonstrated here – though still treated in a somewhat fragmented way – was profound. As Gerasimov explained, <<Marx characterised labour as a process in which man «starts, regulates and controls the material reactions (metabolism) between himself and nature». . . . Man’s interaction with nature needs to be subordinated to the general principles of metabolic processes.>> Similarly, Frolov, in criticising the historically specific ecological depredations of capitalist society, wrote: <<The danger of an ecological crisis has become real not because of the use of technical mechanisms and devices in the «metabolism» of man and nature in itself . . . but primarily because this industrial development is realised on the basis of the socio-economic, spiritual and practical set-ups of the capitalist mode of production.>> It was essential, he argued, for society to focus on <<ecodevelopment>> or <<ecologically justified development>>, taking into account <<the objective dialectic and inner contradictoriness of the interaction between society and nature.>> A core aspect of Frolov’s stance was his argument that although struggles to create a more ecologically rational world ran the risk of utopianism, since they necessarily got ahead of the development of material-social forces, the severity of the global ecological threat nevertheless demanded a <<rational realism>> that was utopian-like in character. The various essays in <<Philosophy and the Ecological Problems of Civilisation>> displayed signs of the characteristic Soviet faith in progress and technology and the overcoming of ecological constraints. Yet, the ecological problems of civilisation were presented with considerable depth and sophistication, particularly where the more radical and scientific thinkers were concerned. For Fedorov, arguing from the standpoint of climate science, the challenge was that <<the scale of society’s activity>> now made it <<necessary to take into account the quantities of all our planet’s elements>> and the <<anthropogenic impact>> on them. He illustrated this by reference to global warming, citing the work of Budyko. Turning to <<the subject of forest biogeocoenosis>>, philosopher N. Mamedov emphasised the need for a restoration ecology that would reestablish the integrity of ecosystems. Ursul pointed out that Vernadsky had long ago taught that humanity was becoming a geological force, and emphasised that <<the extension of the scale of the ecological problem from a regional to a global, and even a cosmic one>> represented a new challenge to society, and in effect a new geological epoch. Late Soviet ecological analysis was well ahead of most ecological socialism in the West in understanding the new planetary dynamic, associated with climate change in particular, and in the construction of a distinct global ecology.
Gerasimov’s <<Geography and Ecology>> was remarkable in its direct confrontation with major Soviet ecological problems. Thus he explicitly, if somewhat schematically, highlighted in the Soviet context: 1. The history of the destruction of the Aral Sea, 2. The controversial diversion of rivers, 3. The causes of desertification, 4. The imperative of protecting Lake Baikal, 5. The need to restore the taiga forests, 6. Destructive forms of timber exploitation, 7. Irrational, non-scientific mining practices, 8. Controlling air pollution in cities, 9. Removal of industrial wastes from urban areas, 10. Actions to limit new forms of radioactive and toxic waste. What was needed, he insisted, was <<an ecologisation of modern science>>. As the preeminent Soviet geographer, Gerasimov took the huge step of arguing that ecology (not economy) should become the focal point of geography. Soviet economists in the 1970s and ’80s were engaged in a fierce debate over the proper relation of economic growth calculations to social welfare. P. Oldak took a leading role in those years in arguing for the replacement of the standard economic growth calculations with a new approach focusing on <<gross social wealth>> as the basis for socio-economic decisions. Lenin, Oldak pointed out, had made it clear that the goal of socialism should be the free development of each member of the population on the widest possible (i.e., not narrowly economistic or mechanistic) basis, taking account of qualitative factors. With this as justification, Oldak proposed a new accounting that would directly incorporate into the main planning criteria not only accumulated material wealth, but also services, the knowledge sector, the condition of natural resources, and the health of the population. He wrote in his work <<Balanced Natural Resource Utilisation and Economic Growth>>, dated 1985: <<Given an excess of the anthropogenic load on natural systems over their potential for self-regeneration, it might even be rational to choose to curtail production altogether for a time, in order to transition to a new (and more sustainable) production level.>>
In 1986-1987, Frolov became the editor in chief of <<Kommunist>>, the Communist Party’s main theoretical organ; from 1987-1989 he was one of Gorbachev’s key advisors; and in 1989-1991 he was editor in chief of Pravda. Frolov was responsible for much of the ecological cast that Gorbachev gave to his public pronouncements, which were accompanied by a speeding up of environmental reform measures. Following 1986, the Soviet environmental movement became more powerful. In addition to VOOP, some 300 major environmental organisations were operating throughout the USSR. From 1987 to 1990, all across the USSR, plants were closed, planned projects were re-sited or re-tooled for a less polluting type of production, or were cancelled altogether. The most prominent examples included the cessation of work on the planned river diversion projects, cancellation of the Volga-Chograi canal, closing of biochemical plants. Environmental movement pressure resulted in the closing down of over a thousand large enterprises in those years. Already in the 1960s the country had begun to shift from coal as its main energy source to natural gas. In 1988 carbon emissions peaked. They fell dramatically in two years after that, due chiefly to the aggressive switchover from coal to natural gas. Nevertheless, the much wider shift in power relations in the Soviet state and the destabilisation of the society that Gorbachev had introduced with glasnost and perestroika led to a deepening of Soviet political-economic contradictions, the rapid dismantling of its hegemony in Eastern Europe, splits in the top echelons of the Soviet leadership, and finally the demise of the USSR in 1991. Late Soviet ecology left a legacy of economic planning and an emergent ecological planning that represented a massive human achievement, from which we need to learn today if we are to find a way to regulate the human metabolism with nature and to surmount the present global ecological crisis. It began a process of ecological transition that, if carried out fully, could have had immeasurable positive effects. The American Marxist economist Paul Sweezy, wrote in his work <<Socialism and Ecology>>, dated 1989, that if <<the planning system>> represented by such societies would not be preserved <<and adapted to serve the needs of the new situation>> and if the existing socialist societies were defeated, it might simply be <<too late for civilised humanity to restore the necessary conditions for its own survival.>> This is a spectre that haunts us today more than ever. The answer to our present problems requires some sort of convergence with the notion of the planned regulation of the environment in accordance with human needs: the primary message of late Soviet ecology. The Soviet Union and the former socialist countries, despite their limitations due to the delay of the world socialist revolution because of the complete betrayal of the international social democracy and the constant hostile economic and military pressure and threat of nuclear war by the USA and NATO – and for these reasons socialism in the ex socialist states was imperfect –, which eventually resulted in the defeat of socialism in these countries, attained such incredible achievements in almost all fields of economy and social policy, technology and education, protection of the natural environment, which the capitalist countries did not manage – and they will never of course manage – to achieve even in the wildest dreams of the bourgeoisie. The most significant of them were the elimination of unemployment, poverty and crime, the eight-hour working day, the paid vacations and the retirement at 60 years for men and at 55 for women, the enormous development of mass sport, especially the obligatory mass sport in schools, the preservation and enormous development of the language, culture and popular music of all nationalities of the socialist states, the powerful military alliance of Warsaw Pact. The nuclear weapons of the Soviet Union constituted the global defence of Marxism and socialism. Socialism continues to exist today in the socialist state of North Korea, but under adverse conditions, as this socialist state is stiflingly surrounded, under the constant hostile economic and military pressure and threat of nuclear war by the USA and other capitalist countries – and for these reasons socialism in North Korea is imperfect –. This is the dialectical historical evolution of socialism in the ex and current socialist states, characterised by the state ownership of land and industry, under the constant hostile economic and military pressure and threat of nuclear war by the capitalist countries. The ex socialist states reached such incredible achievements in nature protection, which the capitalist countries can never attain. The most significant of them were the existence – and even expansion – of immense forests in the countryside and their effective protection – thanks to the state ownership of land and the employment of many thousands of forest rangers –, the endangered plant and animal species’ effective protection, the existence – and even expansion – of vast parks and forests in the cities, the preservation of the old architecture in the cities, and the full dominance of public over private transport, especially through the existence of trams and extensive tramways in the cities and trains and extensive railways in the countryside. Dresden in socialist East Germany was the greenest major city in the world, with the great majority of the city territory being covered of parks and forests. The great majority of Dresden historical buildings were reconstructed by the government of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, after they had been completely destroyed in the second world war bombing by the US and British imperialists. Dresden had also a very extensive tramway network. – The government of the Marxist revolutionary president Thomas Sankara in Burkina Faso planted 10 millions of trees during the years of his presidency, in 1983-1987, in order to prevent the desertification of the country. Thomas Sankara was assassinated by stooges of France in 1987. – As a result of all this, an actual ecological revolution took place in the Soviet Union and in all former socialist countries, despite their limitations due to the delay of the world socialist revolution because of the complete betrayal of the international social democracy and the constant hostile economic and military pressure and threat of nuclear war by the USA and NATO – and for these reasons the ecological revolution in the ex socialist states was imperfect –. An ecological revolution continues to take place today in the socialist state of North Korea, but under adverse conditions, as this socialist state is stiflingly surrounded, under the constant hostile economic and military pressure and threat of nuclear war by the USA and other capitalist countries – and for these reasons the ecological revolution in North Korea is imperfect –. This is the dialectical historical evolution of ecology in the ex and current socialist states, characterised by the state ownership of land and industry, under the constant hostile economic and military pressure and threat of nuclear war by the capitalist countries. Thanks to the state ownership of land and industry, the former socialist states were – as proved by history – the greatest achievement in the history of mankind, despite the temporary defeat of socialism. The Soviet Union, East Germany, China and the other ex socialist states may be lost, but live into the hearts of the Marxists throughout the earth, who live with the passion to revive them to a qualitatively higher level and are ready to fight and give their lives about it, as the heroic fighters of the Marxist parties of Donetsk and Lugansk fight today against fascism, for the revival of socialism in Ukraine. This time, however, socialist revolution would be absolutely impossible to limit itself within the context of the revived socialist countries due to the globalised economy and the frightening global ecological problems, but it will inevitably turn into a world socialist revolution, ending the capitalist nightmare. The reactionary nature of private ownership of land and industry and the equally reactionary nature of nation states are obstacles not only for the liberation of the productive forces, not only for the elimination of wars, exploitation, unemployment, suffering, crime, the ridiculously low mental capacity of the vast majority of people that surpasses any limit of imbecility and irrationality because of their submission to bourgeois values, bourgeois morality, religions, etc., which is due to the alienation of them from nature and consequently from themselves, but also for the very survival of man and of all the other plant and animal species on earth. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were uncompromising supporters of the world socialist revolution. If this was true in the era of the founders of Marxist philosophy, it is much more true today in the era of globalised economy, predicted anyway by Marx and Engels in the <<Manifesto of the Communist Party>>, dated 1848, and of the nightmarish global environmental disaster, which cannot be tackled by one or a few socialist countries, nor it can be limited by the bloodstained borders of the capitalist states. The world socialist society is the only alternative to the horror of climate change and the ecological or nuclear destruction of all forms of life on earth. On a global scale there are two opposing and hostile forces, whose peaceful coexistence is impossible: the bourgeois forces of reaction, horror, destruction and death, and the Marxist socialist forces of revolution, land, freedom and life. The conflict between them will be fierce and will not be decided by recourse to the articles of the constitution, but by the use of any kind of violence. So it is necessary to return to the sincere, unselfish and uncompromising internationalism of Che Guevara. Where the best quality of a revolutionary is to feel the injustice committed against anyone in any part of the world. The revolutionaries should feel absolute hatred for the enemy. But the moral support to the revolutionaries rebelling in any part of the world is absolutely hypocritical. It is not enough to celebrate for each dead soldier and policeman of the enemy and to mourn each dead revolutionary. This is self-evident. Marxist parties and Marxists must unconditionally give material support to the fighters for land and freedom anywhere on earth they take up arms, and that means financial support, but also the formation of internationalist brigades, for which the flag of Marxism under which they will be fighting, will be the cause of the world socialist revolution. In today that is translated into unconditional material support to our comrades of the communist parties of Donetsk and Lugansk who are fighting in through the antifascist militias against the army of the junta of Ukraine. It is obvious that the internationalist brigades will unconditionally fight for the defence of socialism – stiflingly surrounded but still existent – in the socialist state of North Korea in the event of military confrontation with the internal counter-revolutionaries and the capitalist countries, inviolable condition for the victory of the world socialist revolution.
THE WORLD COMMUNIST SOCIETY AS THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE TO ECOLOGICAL DISASTER
Lenin wrote in his work <<The Military Programme of the Proletarian Revolution>>, dated 1916: <<Capitalist society is and has always been horror without end.>> All that capitalist system reserves to us unless overthrown is an end in horror. The planet terrifying ecological problems – as well as the horrendous oppression of animals by humans – could be tackled and solved only into a liberated global communist society. A global communist society without private ownership of land and industry, of equality and respect of the different plant and animal species on earth, without nuclear weapons, without climate change, with full protection of forests, with massive reforestation of the deserts created from centuries of capitalist development, with ban on hunting, without plant and animal species’ extinction, with a fishing strictly oriented to the conservation and reproduction of fish and marine, river and lake life, without chemical pollution of soil, sea, rivers, lakes and air, without genetically modified organisms, without private cars but only bicycles and motorcycles, with exclusively public transport based entirely on electric trains and trams, with radical reduction of roads, without asphalt on roads, with the ground filled exclusively with soil and grass, with radical reduction of air travel and airports, cities with no parking areas, drowned in parks and forests, without repulsive apartment blocks and skyscrapers, with rescue and reconstruction of the 19th and earlier centuries’ architecture which was in harmony with each location climate and people’s aesthetics, without noise pollution, no light pollution, with disappearance of the contrast between town and countryside, without nation states, borders, armies, police, courts and prisons, without wars, with freeing of vast natural resources and forces that instead of luxury, useless, toxic commodities and military equipment production they could be used for ecological research and natural environment conservation, as well as for medical research and the radical improvement of human health, with planned production of only socially necessary products, without economic inequalities, without crime, no racism, with radical decrease of the human overpopulation, without private ownership of women by men, without private ownership of children by their parents, without private ownership of animals by humans, with a poultry and livestock industry in which animals will live a decent life, without production of fur from animals, with ban on animal testing, with ban on pet trade and prohibition of confinement of animals in cages and of fish and other aquatic organisms in aquariums, with forbidding of bullfighting, cockfighting and of any bloody <<sport>> of such type, without zoos, aquariums and circuses, with forbidding of any torture and murder of animals, with people freed from the capitalist society’s sexual oppression, without lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people discrimination, with people physically fit and freed from the exhaustive work time from which capitalists and their thugs get rich. Most will say that this is utopia. In reality it is the only realistic alternative to the hell of capitalism and the self-destruction of human race and of all the other forms of life on the planet.