The planet is warming. This is not new to the earth’s history, which is billions of years old. But why the controversy regarding this fact? Does it lie in the association between climate change and the man-made contributing factors to this change? Is it because of the reality of the impact of the industrial age; the very foundations on which modern capitalism and empire has been built? Many within these industries spend billions on promoting the idea that climate change is a naturally-occurring phenomenon. But scientists around the world show convincingly that man-made fossil-fuel economies (economies built on the use of oil and coal, which release massive amounts of pollution and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, creating the greenhouse effect and global warming) have contributed, over a short period of time, to rapidly accelerating the usual naturally-occurring effect. The impact has been, amongst other things, rising sea levels, increased drought and destructive weather patterns. However, this knowledge has been met by a strong response from capitalists – and the politicians they fund – to throw doubt on the role and culpability of the industries that are causing the most damage (and have made them very rich and powerful.) They continue to fund “alternative” research and media propaganda to do so.
Thus, what was occurring was not natural, but caused human activity for the benefit of the wealthy and powerful who controlled these industries. However, these are not the people who experience the worst effects of global warming. Their sole focus is how to profit even more from the labour of others, and how to continue to exploit the earth’s resources for their own, private benefit. They continue to do so through industries such as mining, oil, chemicals, timber and farming.
Melting ice caps and rising sea levels continue to endanger, or push certain land and aquatic species to extinction, e.g. the polar bear. Also, alterations to the global climate have seen increased occurrences of tropical cyclones since the 1970s. These will also cause, over time, the migration of millions of people from many cities and islands affected by these rising levels and changing weather patterns. This will create crises of historical proportion, a problem exacerbated by negative and violent attitudes towards immigrants and economies not created to dealing with people’s needs.
We cannot divorce the debate from a class analysis, regardless of its good or bad points. Nuclear projects are facing the risk of lack of funding from international donors. Banks seem unwilling to bear the risk of financing such projects. As such, policy-makers are devising schemes to extract the necessary funds from tax-payers via “cost pass-through” or loans guarantees by offering nuclear vendors fixed price terms . What this means today is that nuclear energy development is not a viable option for developing countries increasing the need for fossil fuels in these countries for their industrial projects.
 from a report by Professor Steven Thomas of the University of Greenwich in The Economist, July 2014.