The future catastrophes looming as a consequence of climate change are multiple and nearly unimaginable in their horror: Prolonged temperature spikes, scorching heat, frequent raging wildfires, and drought disaster areas. Desertification in already dry areas and elsewhere torrid downpours, severe storm surges, and extreme flash floods. Snow pack and ice sheets shedding mass. Permafrost thawing. Oceans acidifying. Sea levels rising, possibly three feet by century’s end, inundating low-lying coastal areas, including those with major cities. Flora and fauna unable to cope with the changes. Species extinctions. A natural world in chaos.

We are in urgent need of a Left that recognizes the primacy of this environmental threat — and then organizes to bring about swift and radical change in response to it.

The catastrophes brought about by climate change will be not only biological and physical but also social. Rural people, displaced by extreme...

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