Marxist IQ: The earth in crisis (answers)

April 17, 2020
Marxist IQ: The earth in crisis (answers)


1. Earth Day, April 22, was first celebrated in which year?

c. 1970

According to Wikipedia, which probably has this right, Earth Day was declared by then Senator Gaylord Nelson (Democrat of Wisconsin) following an earlier UN celebration earlier that same spring.


2. The most pressing environmental problem of the latter half of the nineteenth century, which Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote about extensively, was

a. depletion of soil fertility.

Marx and Engels exposed the inability of capitalism to sustain the environment in their discussion of the depletion of guano reserves in South America and the Caribbean that were being used to improve “exhausted soil.” They also wrote about the destruction of forests and the depletion of coal reserves, and, according to John Bellamy Foster, their writings “prefigured some of the most advanced ecological analysis of the late 20th century.”


3. The effects of the fossil fuel industry include all the following EXCEPT:

c. modernized and well-maintained infrastructure.

The nation’s infrastructure—its bridges, dams, transit, drinking water, etc.—receives low marks by the American Society of Civil Engineers and does not benefit from the vast wealth generated by extraction industries.  Answers a, b, and d are the effects of the fossil fuel industry.  The landscapes of West Virginia ravaged by surface mining and the fracking-induced earthquakes experienced in Ohio show the toxic effects of capitalist energy production. From Matewan to Upper Big Branch, thousands of energy workers have been killed or injured on the job, or for organizing their fellow workers. The Koch Brothers, among others, use their corporate wealth to fund huge right-wing projects.


4. According to climate activist Greta Thunberg, what percentage of all global emissions are caused by the most polluting 100 companies?

d. Seventy-one

Speaking at the UN Climate Conference in Madrid last December, Thunberg said, “Since the Paris Agreement, global banks have invested 1.9 trillion US dollars in fossil fuels. One hundred companies are responsible for 71 percent of global emissions.”


5. Progressive forces in the US have been rallying around the “Green New Deal.” The CPUSA’s position is that the Green New Deal

a. should receive full and enthusiastic support from our party and the entire labor movement.

At our 2019 convention, the very first resolution passed said, “The Green New Deal, while not a prescription for socialism, . . . deserves the full support of our Party [and the] full and enthusiastic support from the entire labor movement.”  The Green New Deal already includes attention to renewable energy sources and labor rights for workers.


6. Plans for a progressive move toward a sustainable environment that does not disadvantage workers is known as a

b. just transition.

Climate Justice Alliance says that “Just Transition is a vision-led, unifying and place-based set of principles, processes, and practices that build economic and political power to shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy.”  The terms in answers a, c, and d are invented.


7. For Communists, to address the global climate crisis means

a. demilitarization at home and abroad.
b. working in solidarity with international groups fighting climate change.
c. reining in the power of fossil fuel producers.
d. All of the above.

The correct answer is d.  In a resolution calling for demilitarization at home and abroad, the Party’s International Department argued that “worldwide operations of capitalism in crisis are leading to an intensification of climate change, global warming, and the endangerment of the survival of humanity.” Cooperation on climate issues forms part of our international solidarity, and reining in the big oil and gas corporations is central to our program.


8. In these days of the COVID-19 crisis, the Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency leapt into action and

b. suspended all enforcement of laws against dumping toxins into air and water.

According to Lois Gibbs in the People’s World, Trump’s EPA enacted a sweeping suspension of enforcement of environmental standards, giving polluters freedom to dump toxins into our environment for an indefinite period. This sliding back on environmental regulation will ultimately cause illness, displacement, and death in so-called “‘sacrifice zones’—places where the health of residents is permanently sacrificed to industrial contamination.”  The answers a, c, and d are about an EPA in an alternative socialist universe.


Score: 0 wrong: Theoretician. Write an article! Teach a class!!

1 wrong: Developed Marxist. Form a study group, join the party.

2 to 4 wrong: Class conscious worker – study harder.

5 to 8 wrong: Danger! deviations possible. study and then study some more lest you drift into the marsh of opportunism!


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