Bummer: Climate Is Totally Breaking Down, Hence, We Need Socialism

This time of year always brings the most dire of ‘climate change’ doomsaying, kicking it up to 15/10, as a Big Report always comes out a month or two prior to the next UN IPCC climate change meeting a great vacation spot where 10,000+ take fossil fueled trips. And we get stuff like

Climate is not just changing – it is breaking down

Climate change or climate breakdown? Growth or wellbeing? Growth as development? Degrowth? Prosperity without growth? Climate capitalism or ecosocialism?

It matters hugely how this week’s news from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is framed in public debate. The most authoritative scientists tell us that unless global warming is limited to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial times, the world faces extreme weather events, food shortages, wildfires, dying coral reefs, droughts, floods and poverty for hundreds of millions.

To avoid this outcome, the world economy needs a transformation of unprecedented speed and scale, involving far-reaching changes in society. We have only 12 years, they say, to achieve it by making huge strides towards eliminating greenhouse gases arising from fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas. The report underlines the qualitative difference between the 1.5- and 2-degree reductions previously seen as less stark. The case for radical action is reinforced by its finding that on present trends we are heading for more than a 3-degree increase by 2100 – catastrophic territory.

Climate change is an anodyne and demobilising way to describe such urgent tasks and prospective disasters, according to the ecological writer and activist George Monbiot. That’s why he calls his online movement #climatebreakdown. He makes a powerful case for the more dramatic word, to get more people talking about it and media to take the threats much more seriously.

Monbiot is a lunatic, and 25+ years of fear-mongering sure hasn’t worked out so far.

Climate breakdown on this scale poses huge conceptual, ideological and political challenges alongside the physical and technical ones. Herman Daly, whose book on steady-state economics in the 1970s pioneered modern environmental economic analysis, explains in a recent interview that steady-state comes from the realisation that “the economy is a sub-system of a larger system, the ecosphere, which is finite, non-expanding, materially closed”. We now “convert too much of nature into ourselves and our stuff, and there’s not enough to provide the biophysical life-support services that we need”.

Interesting. Steady state economics preaches about keeping the economy and the population at one size. So, population control. Who controls? Government, of course. Economy? Government is solely in charge.

Another signatory of the letter is Peadar Kirby of the University of Limerick, the author of several books on these themes. His latest work poses the question of pathways beyond the optimism underlying climate capitalism, which claims it will be possible to make the low-carbon transition by technical-scientific means, including large-scale geoengineering. Not so, says Kirby, because capitalism’s commitment to indefinite growth cannot be reconciled with a sustainable future for humanity.

In that case, he argues, we should draw inspiration from the Austrian socialist economist Karl Polanyi who argued in the 1940s and 1950s that capitalism disrupts social relations so profoundly as to provoke periodic movements to counter and reconstruct market power. We are living through such a period, he suggests. Ecosocialism, combining local sustainable initiatives with worldwide analysis and action, is his preferred way forward.

Such alternative ideas are badly needed in these dangerous times.

Huh. So, socialism. Government in full control of the economy. Which means the lives of citizens, too. Strange how Warmists keep going to this same well.

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One Response to “Bummer: Climate Is Totally Breaking Down, Hence, We Need Socialism”

  1. gbear says:

    Retroactive abortions for all climatistas and fellow travelers.

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