Socialism key to sustainability says Workers Party candidate

Workers Party media release

They key to creating an environmentally sustainable society is to put production in the hands of workers, says the Workers Party’s Christchurch Central candidate Byron Clark.

“Right now production is done for private profit, rather than human need, which means environmental concerns are secondary for capitalism.”

Clark is an environmental sociology student but has little time for “modern Luddites and doomsayers.” He is advocating ecological modernisation as the way to deal with environmental problems.

This would include such things as ‘cradle-to-cradle’ style manufacturing, where products are designed and manufactured to produce minimal waste and be reintegrated into the production process at the end of their life.

“Environmental destruction disproportionately affects the working class- both inside and outside the work place- and people in developing nations, so workers have a class interest in protecting the environment, but with no control over the means of production, the only time they get to make ‘eco-friendly’ choices is at the point of consumption, and for people living on low incomes, there’s really no choice at all.”

Clark wants to see further research in science and technology, and says this would be best achieved though socialism. “When I hear about the research into sequestering carbon in charcoal that’s going on in Marlborough, or the latest developments in renewable energy, I always think, if even a fraction of the wealth currently expropriated by the rich was invested into this sort of research, how far could we come as a society?”

The Workers Party is contesting the party vote this year and fielding candidates in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.


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