The environmental crisis

The Socialist Club holds an open discussion about the different solutions to current green issues

by Anna Frey

The Dawson Student Socialist Club held an open conference last Thursday at 6 p.m., inviting people to join in their discussion of environmental issues as well as the socialist perspective on these topics.

The conference, entitled “The Environmental Crisis and the Socialist Solution” was held in honour of Earth Week at Dawson, and was hosted by one of the founding members of the Socialist Club, Brian Lapuz.

“For me, personally, as an environmentalist, I am disappointed at the fact that no one is taking action,” said Lapuz. “It’s been 40 years of Earth Day celebrations and still nothing has changed, nothing has been done.”

The meeting, which drew a varied crowd of Dawson, McGill and Concordia students, focused mainly on the negative aspects of how the capitalist system affects the environment.

Lapuz opened the evening with a brief speech, which was followed by a moderated discussion between audience members.

The discourse remained informal, with participants raising their hands and speaking each in turn from their seats. Discussion was respectful and inclusive, even when dealing with such touchy subjects as religion and politics.

While the evening concentrated on environmental issues, many areas in that field were explored. Conversation ranged from the dishonesty of auto manufacturers, to light bulbs, to the backwards concept of engineered obsolescence, which is an expiry date built right into a product, meaning a new one must be bought after a certain number of hours of use.

“This is why your grandfather’s radio might still be working, but the one you buy at Future Shop will only last a year,” Fehr Marouf, member of the Socialist Club, explained.

The evening provided a new look at old topics and presented an informative review of how large corporations manoeuver their way out of being environmentally responsible.

“I don’t think [the oil companies] are so blind that they don’t see the profit in green technology, I just think they’re waiting to exploit it properly,” Mady Dobson, a current McGill student, said.

Many in the room shared this distrust of the capitalist fixation on profit over the environment.

Discussion in the room wound down after an hour, and brought the night to a close. Lapuz ended the event by thanking everyone for their participation and attendance

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