The UN’s IPCC released their Sixth Assessment Report on August 7 and UN Secretary-General António Guterres called it “a code red for humanity.” One of the many takeaways of the report is that warmer oceans and higher sea levels caused by climate change will lead to intense storms becoming more frequent — such as the Category 4 Hurricane Ida, which hit Louisiana this past Sunday — noting that the proportion of Category 3–5 hurricanes has rapidly increased over the last 40 years, along with more intense rainfall and flooding, such as the floods which killed more than 200 people in Belgium and Germany earlier this summer. President Biden pledged to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030, which is almost double our previous target under the 2015 Paris Agreement, in which the Obama administration committed to cutting emissions at least 26% below 2005 levels by 2025 — a goal which the U.S. currently isn’t even halfway to meeting. Even with this clear communication of urgency, if I had to bet $1 guessing whether this new commitment is just empty posturing that’ll inevitably lead to the can being kicked further down the road, I’m pretty sure I’d win that dollar.
Aside from that, easily the biggest news piece right now is that President Biden finally pulled out the last of our troops from Afghanistan, marking the end of the longest war in U.S. history. While this definitely doesn’t mean the end of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan entirely, since the CIA will undoubtedly still command the Coast Protection Force and the National Directorate of Security’s Special Forces in the country, the immediate question is whether this is less of a retraction from imperialism and more of a refocusing of attention and resources to what the U.S. government sees as the rising threat of China. With Iran soon becoming a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization — which is sort of like an Asian NATO — joining China, Russia, India, and Pakistan, among other countries, tensions may run even higher geopolitically. One can only hope that the majority of humanity realizes world socialism is our only solution before the climate crisis or political tensions boil over.
Originally published at https://wspus.org/2021/09/world-socialist-no-4-summer-2021/.