Climate Struggles Meet Class Struggle


  1. Five Principles of a Socialist Climate Politics – Matthew Huber
  2. Tyrannosaurus Rex – Trish Kahle


  1. How are environmental issues generally discussed around you? How were they introduced (or not) in your high school? If applicable, how are they talked about on your current campus? In mainstream media?
    [Note: We recommend dividing the group into smaller groups to discuss this question and then sharing highlights with the rest of the group, numbers permitting. Make sure to encourage older members to pair up with new members.]
  2. Are climate politics about knowledge? Are they about information or lack of information?
    1. What if everyone “believed” in climate change, and thought it was something to be addressed? Would that be enough to stop it?
  3. What are the consequences of framing climate struggles in terms of “believers” vs “denialists”?
    1. Example from Mauna Kea:
      HAWAII: Mauna Kea was under attack this year when the sacred Native site was chosen for the construction of a $1.4 billion telescope. The approval for this project happened without the consent of indigenous communities, leading to a historical indigenous resistance supported by members of the local and global community. In much of the news coverage, however, indigenous resisters to the construction were often represented as belonging to the realm of belief, juxtaposed to “science” and “scientific progress”.
      Discuss this example – what does this framing hide?
      [Further resource on this – Citations Needed – Episode 90: How Western Media’s False Binary Between “Science” and Indigenous Rights is Used to Erase Native People]
  4. Show this short clip about the Yellow Vest movement- “What is France’s ‘Gilets Jaunes’ or ‘Yellow Vests’ Protest Movement?”
    1. What is the “Yellow Vest” Protest Movement?
    2. The “Yellow Vest” protests began in rural communities in response to President Macron’s proposal to raise fuel taxes. Why were these communities more heavily impacted than urban areas? 
    3. The protesters’ demands expanded to include calls for the reversal of Macron’s repeal of a large portion of the wealth tax in France, as well as Macron’s resignation. 
      1. What does this example show us in terms of the potential of mass movements?
      2. How does this example highlight the importance of a socialist organization in these mass movements? 
  5. How can we understand and frame climate struggles in terms of class struggle? Why is this important if we want to save our planet? 
    1. Why is important to differentiate class struggle as conflict between those who own the ability to invest, control, and direct production versus class as differences in income?
  6. How do ExxonMobil and other oil companies’ activities in Chad and the US underline not only the role of these corporations in the world’s ecological devastation, but also the importance of anti-imperialism in climate struggles? In other words, how do corporations’ economic power put countries’ sovereignty (ability of a group of people to govern their own state) into question?
    1. What is the role of the labor movement in these cases?
  7. How do we not only frame, but build working class power in the fight to save our planet?
  8. Bernie’s Green New Deal proposes to invest in a Green Climate fund – a $200 billion investment “for the equitable transfer of renewable technologies, climate adaptation, and assistance in adopting sustainable energies” to the “Global South”. 
    1. Discuss this example.
    2. What are other ways we can participate in internationalist climate struggles?