By Adefolarin A. Olamilekan
Last, week Thursday heavy down pour that result in flooding of Lagos have been predicated on the climate change state of affairs. As Lagosians were experiencing the environmental tragedy. Citizens of advance economics in Western Europe such as Germany, Belgium, Austrial and many others suffered same fate with 180 dead and many missing. Major, cities streets and underground drains and sewage system collapsed under the heavy flooding. This speaks volume of the threat in the offing of global climate alteration and wreckage of the ecosystem all over the world.
The flooded street of Lagos exposed the underbelly of a largely impromptu but broad populated city that lacks well-designed drainage system, compounded by grubby practice of dwellers and residents. Intriguingly, the lack of well-organized flood control infrastructure, combine with haphazard formation of physical structure and buildings flood and drainage channels is to blame for the recent Lagos flood.
Even though, this is not first time Lagos would be under flood water, infact, the case of July 10th 2011 flood disaster with casualties of 25 persons including children still remains fresh in our minds. It unfortunate, that even after then, Lagos and the entire Nigerian state have not learned anything. Apart from, prediction and warning from Nigerian Metrological Agency (NIMET) and experts, but if adequate measures is not in use to address the consequence of human abuse of nature we may remained the internment of flood debacle for long time.
This now take us to capitalism and Marxism been part of our polemic title framing. Capitalism over the centuries those not just survive at the enormous of human cost, it fundamental development horribly hangs on it disturbing activities that harmfully impact our earth. As Karl Marx, saw recession and crises expression of the original contradiction of capitalism. He also points out the fundamental contradictions of capitalism and nature. Within this process the ecological dimension of Marxism was demonstrated to unravel human kind’s relationship with and impact on nature.
Marx opines that all progress in capitalistic…not only of robbing the labourer, but robbing the soil, all progress in increasing the fertility of the soil for given time, is a progress towards ruining the lasting sources of that fertility. He added that the more a country starts it development on the foundation of modern industry, like countries in Western Europe, North America and Asia. For example the more rapid it gets the more it process get into destruction realm. Here Capitalist production, therefore, develops technology and coalesce together various processes into a social whole, only by sapping the original source of all wealth-the soil and labour (Capital, Vol 1, p474).
Interestingly, in the days of Karl Marx, the degradation of working people’s environment through pollution, sewage and through erosion and exhaustion of the soil is not far from what we are experiencing today. Undeniably, this logically correlate with Marxism and Marxist thorough philosophical on materialism and there conviction that capitalism system bring into being disparaging element that impinge on our earth.
Foremost, as Marxist in the last one decade have argued, further expansion of capitalism in the 21st century. By means of the discovery and establishment of scientific fact of the problem of humanly generated climate alteration has made it clear that the contradiction between capitalism and nature has reached a point of extreme predicament. For instance, many years of massive carbon emissions worldwide from fossil fuel, oil pollution, gas flaring and other carbon-emitting sources that has degraded both air quality, land and water surfaces.
Deplorably, the problem of climate change has it root in the destruction of rainforest, the danger posed by nuclear power, the threat to the ozone layer and so on. The concern is that as floods take a toll in different parts of the globe owning to climate change phenomenon, the biggest capitalist corporation such Exxonmobil, BP, Shell, Toyota, Mercedes and many others with vested interest in fossil fuel use are not marching there words with action.
Regrettably, state actors on behalf of their respective capitalist been world biggest carbon polluters- the likes of US, China, European countries, Asian Tigers and Combs, and India continue to down play their commitment cutting green house emission on international competition that define capitalism.
Obviously, capitalist apprehensions losing to its rival competitors is the scare of cut in emission is based on profits. More so, the fright of halting or restricting production is completely incompatible with capitalism.
What needs to be done is both known and relatively straight forward. International meetings, agreement and convention by states, state actors and non state actor’s commitment in mushroom are appreciated.
However, if there is no concrete commitment on the part of global capitalist, there would be steady escalation in extreme weather condition with immense human and economic consequences.
Lagos was at the receiving end of recent flooding of July 15th 2021 who knows which state is next. Although, we are all aware that many states in Nigeria are flood prone especially with the combination of natural and human factors at play.
It’s in the news that the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority (ORBDA) has sent alarm bell letters to the governors of Lagos and Ogun and other South West states on the looming flooding of both states.
Perhaps, the Nigerian state should appropriately spearhead measures to curtailing incidence of flooding even though it’s may not have that political will to curtail capitalist at home, example is the activity of oil multinationals in the Niger Delta region.