Review: A Climate Emergency – Beyond a Capitalist Solution

Mike Downham reviews Ken Ferguson’s new pamphlet, A Climate Emergency – Beyond a Capitalist Solution.

In this short but comprehensive pamphlet, Ken Ferguson tells us: this crisis is huge – it’s ecological, not only about climate, as well as how we got to using fossil fuels and the current economic and political system which is the root cause of the crisis. It lays out that the same system has produced poverty, job insecurity and service cuts and therefore national governments are powerless to make a radical change. It’s the international corporations who have the power, which only a mass democratic working-class movement can match.

For such a movement to build, the immediate needs of the working class must be addressed. Ferguson argues that it won’t mean cuts in living standards, but that the starting point has to be a focus on public ownership of energy, transport and housing.

We’re not far from chaos, and we’re fighting for our lives – but this crisis gives us a golden opportunity to ‘open the road to another people and planet society’. We have that opportunity now and need to grasp it without delay. 

To get all that across in 21 pages is an achievement, and in doing so Ken, who is the editor of the Scottish Socialist Voice fortnightly newspaper, has made a significant contribution to the climate movement.

Ken’s final call is for the Scottish Trade Unions Congress, (which has 540,000 members) to act as a meeting point for the forces of workers, unions,  Extinction Rebellion, greens, socialists and others. That list should have included the school strikers.

A question not covered by Ken, but which is emerging as a priority challenge, is how can the large number of people in Scotland who are fighting on a daily basis to keep themselves and their families housed, warm and fed, many of them in work but perhaps not unionised, find ways to contribute their experience and add their strength to the climate movement. 

The pamphlet is available from for £2.00.


Book now for:

Just Transition: Employment, Energy and Environment
Thinking global and acting local

10.00-17.00, 16 November 2019
Greyfriars Charteris Centre, 138-140 The Pleasance, Edinburgh

A conference by ScotE3

Book on Eventbrite at


Endgames: Capitalism and the Climate Emergency
A day of anticapitalist discussion on the politics of the climate emergency.

9.30-17.00, 26 October 2019
Elvin Hall, Institute of Education, London WC1H 0AL

Free professional childcare
£10 waged • £5 unwaged • £20 solidarity (help fund unwaged tickets and childcare)
Organised by rs21


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