Climate Catastrophe Fires in Europe

For a Revolutionary Answer to the Climate Crisis!

By Laurence Humphries, RCIT Britain, 20th August 2022,


The planet is warming at a terrific rate, and it is shown with the consequences of the recent heatwaves in Europe which has dried the ground causing forest fires in Bordeaux and in Valencia. Fire fighters have had to battle to keep these fires under control. As well as these forest fires, flooding is taking place in many parts of Europe. The ice cap is melting, and nature is finding it difficult to replace the natural habitat to what it should be. This has immense consequences for the species besides humans who inhabit the planet. Many roads and runways have turned into warped sticky hot tar.

“About 600 firefighters, supported by six water-bomber aircraft, were on Wednesday battling to bring under control two wildfires in southwestern France, which have already burnt more than 1,700 hectares and prompted the evacuation of thousands of tourists. "Important human and material resources are being deployed to master the fires (...) local and national reinforcements are expected," said the local authority for the Gironde department, where the blazes are raging. The biggest of the two Gironde fires is around the town of Landiras, south of Bordeaux, where roads have been closed and 500 residents evacuated, with the blaze having already burnt more than 1,000 hectares.” [1]

“Many European countries, including Spain, Germany, Portugal, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, are enduring droughts this summer that have hurt farmers and shippers and promoted authorities to restrict water use. Andrea Toreti, a senior researcher at the European Drought Observatory, said a drought in 2018 was so extreme that there were no similar events in the last 500 years, “but this year, I think, it is really worse”. For the next three months, “we see still a very high risk of dry conditions over Western and Central Europe, as well as the UK”, Toreti said. Current conditions result from long periods of dry weather caused by changes in world weather systems, said meteorologist Peter Hoffmann of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research near Berlin.”[2].

There is no doubt that Europe and the world are experiencing severe climate change. Coupled with the continuing slump and inter imperialist rivalry it is driving capitalist nation states into extreme crisis. This is directly linked to the huge energy crisis which could pauperise thousands of workers and the oppressed. A social explosion is expected from the masses which will drive the crisis of capitalism further into an interminable crisis. Energy bills are being driven sky high with many people unable to pay for their energy. This will create anger amongst sections of workers and the urban poor.


Drought in Britain


The drought in Britain and parts of Europe has shown that water companies are facing reservoirs that are dry and with a lack of water. Hosepipe bans by many water companies and a restriction on the use of water will be in force. Many residents are facing outages water leaks which means Households are without water.

“The high temperatures follow the driest July in England since 1935, with parts of central southern England and the south-east experiencing the driest July since records began. February is the only month this year in England when there has been above average rainfall. The Environment Agency has declared drought conditions in eight regions across the south and east, with the West Midlands and Yorkshire expected to be included in the coming weeks. In central, southern and eastern England, river flows are forecast to remain exceptionally low until at least October, with a number of long-range seasonal weather models indicating drier than normal conditions prevailing across much of the south and east through the autumn.” [3]


Campaign against fossil fuels


Many climate change protesters have seen that it is the greed and avarice of large capitalist oil companies who are using excessive amounts of fossil fuel damaging the ozone layer and creating massive profits of more than £650 billion. Shell and BP are the worst culprits forcing energy companies to raise energy costs pauperising thousands of poor workers and their families. The leading protesters against the avarice of these oil companies have been the anarchist-based Extinction Rebellion, Insulate Now campaign and the Just Stop Oil campaign. Extinction Rebellion has used direct action to stop the use of fossil fuels and seek alternative forms of energy. They have used nonviolent direct action on motorways confronted Shell and other companies. Climbing their buildings, attempting invasions, and also broadening their campaign with Black Lives Matter to oppose through demonstrations pickets and sit-down demonstrations in opposition to the new Police Bill by the Tory government which is a fundamental attack on democratic rights and the right to protest and demonstrate.

Just Stop Oil, a new group with experienced organisers from Extinction rebellion has recently started protesting in Art Galleries by gluing themselves to some Old Master Paintings.

“Supporters of Just Stop Oil have once again glued themselves to a significant artwork in a major UK gallery, a day after invading the track at Silverstone and disrupting the British Grand Prix. Just before 2.30pm, two young supporters of the campaign stepped over a rope barrier keeping the public at the National Gallery in London a safe distance from The Hay Wain, by John Constable. They covered the 1821 oil painting with a dystopian reimagining of its bucolic scene, before supergluing themselves to its ornate gilt frame, prompting staff to evacuate the room of the assembled art lovers, tourists and schoolchildren.” [4]

The Just Oil Group has produced a Manifesto extolling how we must seek alternative energy consumption. They make clear their opposition to the extraction of new oil and gas and have said they will continue in any way possible to protest and demonstrate their opposition to further exploration of fossil fuels.

“Allowing the extraction of new oil and gas resources in the UK is an obscene and genocidal policy that will kill our children and condemn humanity to oblivion. It just has to stop. If we continue down our current path it will destroy families and communities. We will face the starvation and the slaughter of billions of the poor – and the utter betrayal of our children and their future. Does our government get this? They are actively enabling the fossil fuel industry through obscene subsidies and tax breaks for new fossil fuel extraction. They are wasting billions supporting unicorn technologies such as carbon capture and storage projects which provide a fig leaf for business as usual to continue. There has been no rapid and sweeping social change, no widespread adoption of low carbon technology, no war-style mobilisation. In eight years we need to end our reliance on fossil fuels completely”. [5]


No response from Starmer’s Labour Party


The pro-capitalist Labour Party under Keir Starmer has registered complete opposition to the campaign against fossil fuels. He has made it clear that he opposes the actions of Extinction Rebellion and the Just Oil Group. Individual figures like Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader of the Labour Party, support the campaign but the dominating influence has been the pro-capitalist leadership of the Labour Party. Starmer has recently suggested a tax on oil companies similar to a Windfall Tax but that is all he has said.

The RCIT in Britain puts forward the following transitional demands for unifying the campaign against fossil fuels as a first step in fighting for a socialist Europe and a workers revolutionary government in every country.

“The RCIT in its manifesto puts forward a programme of action against climate change. We show that without the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism it is impossible to secure the future of humanity.

Step by step, the big monopolies – mostly based in the imperialist states – destroy the climate and, with it, the natural living conditions for increasingly larger sectors of humanity. If we do not stop them, they will make the planet as a whole inhabitable. According to the latest data, 2020 ended of the warmest decade on record. It is likely the oceans are now at their hottest for 1,000 years and heating faster than any time in the last 2,000 years.

Only a radical reversal of the energy and environmental policy can save our planet and our future. The RCIT warns against any illusions in capitalist governments and their “climate summits”. The only way to combat climate change is the formation of a global mass movement fighting for an international emergency plan. The struggle for necessary environmental reforms must be combined with the aim of overthrowing capitalism, because only then can such an emergency plan be implemented fully and permanently”. [6]

* Support the campaign against fossil fuels. Oppose all construction of new oil and gas fired power stations. Put an end to nuclear power.

* For a united front with all forces fighting climate change including Extinction Rebellion and the Insulate Now groups and Just Oil Groups.

* Convert the energy and transport system - global phasing out of fossil fuels and nuclear energy production!

* Massive research into the use of alternative forms of energy such as wind, tidal and solar power! For a program for global reforestation!

* Nationalization under workers' control of all energy companies and all companies that are responsible for basic supplies such as water and agricultural products as well as the airlines, shipping and rail facilities!

* For a workers revolutionary government in Britain as part of a Socialist Europe.

* Join the RCIT as part of a Revolutionary International 5th International!



1) Wildfires rage in southwestern France with over 1,700 hectares burnt | Reuters

2) Europe’s heatwaves, droughts put focus on climate change risks | News | Al Jazeera

3) Weather tracker: drought declared in England after driest July since 1935 | Environment | The Guardian

4) Climate protesters glue themselves to National Gallery artwork | Just Stop Oil | The Guardian

5) Background – Just Stop Oil

5) Britain: Climate Change Protester Faces Prison over Damage to a Government Building - RCIT - Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (