Are we going to let capitalism destroy life on Earth?
According to 99 percent of climate scientists – we'll know by the end of the century.
Scientists have agreed for three decades about what is causing
atmospheric temperatures to rise – humans are burning Earth's carbon
resources to fuel economic activity. But even before we knew what was causing the temperature to rise –
scientists warned about the dire global impacts of a two degree increase
in atmospheric temperatures.
Earth's climate has been basically stable for hundreds of thousands of years.
But that changed during the industrial revolution - when Great Britain realized the potential of coal-powered steam engines.
Soon continental Europe and the US followed suit.And more than 150 years later – coal, oil and natural gas dominate
the global politics and economics: wars are fought over oil; communities
are destroyed for coal; and increasingly scarce water supplies are
poisoned by natural gas extraction.
The Earth has already warmed about one degree Celsius above
pre-industrial levels - which means we have to change our energy system
completely before the Earth warms another degree in order to avoid the
catastrophic impacts of climate change.
Is it possible? Scientists say "Yes!" - BUT it will require us to take bold and immediate steps towards a completely renewable energy system.
The technology exists – the shortfall is in investment.
According to the IMF – oil companies get $5.3 trillion in subsidies worldwide per year. And the oil companies pay only a portion – if any – of the
environmental costs of ripping fossil fuels from the ground and burning
the CO2 into the atmosphere.
In other words, every living human being and government are paying
for coal, oil, and gas companies to profit from the destruction our
And that's not a market failure – that's how the market was set up.
Capitalism as we know it isn't the solution – it's the problem.
In a report in "Nature Climate Change" – scientists point out that we
can keep temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius – if every country
takes bold and immediate action to deploy current clean energy and limit
the use of fossil fuels.
Burning fossil fuels and releasing carbon into our atmosphere has
very real costs that corporations aren't paying for – costs that are
being kicked down the road for future generations.
In the US, we've let the fossil fuel industry become so profitable
that it relentlessly funds campaigns and lobbies to keep oil subsidies
in place and weaken environmental regulations - all at the expense of
our communities and our planet. Our current oligarchs claim that renewable power isn't efficient or
cheap enough to be competitive or to reliably replace fossil fuels – but
that's just not true. Solar, wind, and wave technology are all ready to be deployed at
large scales – and Denmark, Germany, the UK and China, among others, are
doing it right now. Our transportation system is ready for renewables – solar roadways in
the Netherlands are proving more effective than expected – and over two
dozen models of electric cars are now out on the market.
Our households are ready for renewables: LED lightbulbs and high
efficiency appliances mean that households use less energy – and
affordable rooftop solar means that households can meet a lot their own
We can make renewables competitive if we just cut subsidies to oil
and coal companies and enforce our clean air and clean water regulations
– but that means getting money out of politics so that legislation is
written in the interest of communities and the planet - instead of
Capitalism is great at creating profits and products – but it doesn't care about environmental justice.
Capitalism doesn't care whether we restore our forests and soils so
that the planet can begin to reabsorb the carbon we've dumped into the
Capitalism doesn't care whether streams are poisoned or if the air is
noxious – it doesn't care if a river burns because of pollution – and
it doesn't care if another technology is 'cleaner' - unless the 'dirty'
option becomes unprofitable.
Capitalism is to make money - but a government like our republic is
put into place to protect the people from those whose quest for money
harms society. We cannot replace democratic government with capitalism –
and climate change proves this.
In fact - climate change challenges capitalism at its very root – is
an economy really growing when all the costs are dumped on society while
a handful of corporations and billionaires take all the profits?
Science says that we can keep global temperatures from rising another
half degree – but it can't be left to a private sector that makes its
profits from leaving the costs to everybody else.
taken from here
The article above seems to hit the nail on the head but then wanders off topic by seemingly endorsing 'a nicer kind' of capitalism - bring it to heel with more regulation and by preventing huge profits to be take by 'those whose quest for money harms society'. By now we all should have realised that capitalism is not going to be reined in. To quote from above 'Capitalism is about making money.' Then surely the obvious answer is to cut out that as a possibility by abandoning the monetary method of organising production, distribution and everything else in our lives in favour of an egalitarian moneyless society in which all have free and open access to the necessities of life - and in which the planet can prosper.
Capitalism must go.