We Can Halt ‘Climate Change’ By Challenging The Logic Of Capitalism Or Something

Remember, ‘climate change’ is a serious scientific subject which has nothing to do with hardcore leftist politics

The only way to halt climate change is to challenge the logic of capitalism
We need to break with a system in which the value of everything is determined by how much money it can make for the wealthy.

Last Saturday, as Brexit continued to dominate the headlines, Momentum activists sought to draw the nation’s attention to a slightly more pressing issue. The group staged protests outside bank branches across the UK to put pressure on financial institutions such as Barclays to stop “financing climate chaos” after a report revealed that the bank is the largest single lender to fossil fuel companies.

And chaos is exactly what we are facing. On current trends, the planet is set to warm by at least three degrees by 2030. At such temperatures the environmental systems that sustain human life would start to collapse. Harvests would fail, water cycles would be disrupted, and extreme weather events would become the norm. Huge swathes of the planet would become uninhabitable, killing millions of people and displacing many more.

Good luck with this. The world’s temperature has gone up, if data is to be believed, by a mere .8C since 1850. Grace Blakeley is talking about over triple that in 11 years (I assume she’s talking Celsius, as this is a UK publication).

But climate change is, and always has been, a class issue. It has been caused by the wealthy, and its effects will fall on the poor. Just 100 companies are responsible for 70 per cent of all carbon emissions. Globally, the wealthiest 10 per cent are responsible for 50 per cent of all lifestyle consumption emissions. In the UK, the top 10 per cent is responsible for nearly 25 per cent of lifestyle consumption emissions, with the bottom 50 per cent responsible for just five.

And if climate change is a class issue, then decarbonisation should be a class project. The only way to halt climate change is to challenge the logic of capitalism itself: that the value of everything – land, knowledge, and even human life – is determined by how much money it can make for the wealthy.

Marx and Lenin would be proud.

But given the scale of the challenge, we must be far more ambitious. Dealing with the existential threat humanity is facing requires the kind of radical state intervention that no liberal government would consider and no international institution would allow: it requires a global green new deal.

Citizens must pressure their political leaders into implementing a just transition towards a zero-carbon economy. This would mean a huge increase in state spending – in the area of 30 per cent of GDP per year – to decarbonise energy and transport infrastructure and boost investment in green technologies. The costs of such a project should be imposed on the wealthy. This will require tax reform, constraints on capital mobility, and the replacement of private financial institutions with green, democratic, publicly-owned alternatives.

Huh. So the government would essentially take over the financial institutions, including banks. Do you trust your money there? And if citizens are stupid enough to demand this kind of authoritarian government, they’ll get what they deserve.

Providing for green growth over the long term would also require increasing public and collective ownership over the most important economic assets. Pension funds must be reformed and democratised so their members can put pressure on private corporations to take climate change seriously. The state should also start to act as an activist investor, using the funds from quantitative easing to buy up corporate bonds and pressuring companies to reduce their emissions. And some industries will need to be nationalised outright to deliver the levels of investment required to make the green new deal a success.

The green new deal must be global – states must work together to achieve these goals. But they will have to do so outside of existing international institutions. The kind of state intervention required to tackle climate change – democratic public ownership over most of the economy, dramatic increases in state spending, and the controls on capital mobility required to achieve this – are not merely frowned upon by the World Bank and the IMF, they are actively prohibited.

It’s almost like this is about politics and not science, eh?

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16 Responses to “We Can Halt ‘Climate Change’ By Challenging The Logic Of Capitalism Or Something”

  1. alanstorm says:

    The author at the new statesman is an idiot. He obviously had no conception of the horrible environmental record of socialist states.

    How shocking.

  2. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    Teach typed: So the government would essentially take over the financial institutions, including banks. Do you trust your money there?

    “essentially” is the most weaselly of weasel words, but that aside, do you approve of the FDIC?

    All reasonable people understand that the Earth is warming as a result of humans adding CO2 to the atmosphere. It will only get worse. The serious discussion is now about how to solve the problem – which is a political issue.

    • formwiz says:

      All reasonable people

      Who you calling unreasonable, darkman? A very few buy the global bull, and they’re all Commies.

      The serious discussion is now about how to solve the problem – which is a political issue.

      It called Leftist takeover. Of course you know, this means war.

      do you approve of the FDIC?

      Not after Danny Rostenkowski.

  3. Some Hillbilly in St Louis says:

    Sat Cong.

    • Elwood P. Dowd says:

      Whom are you threatening now? Or is your threat against an imagined ideology?

      • formwiz says:

        Kill Commies.

        For some, it’s a lifestyle choice.

        • Elwood P. Dowd says:

          And for you?

        • Elwood P. Dowd says:

          So can you “man” up and actually say you plan to kill those Americans with whom you have political disagreements?

          If not, why not?

          • formwiz says:

            You asked if you were being threatened, in your Alan Colmes voice. I merely translated.

            But, since you ask, I know that’s your philosophy and I believe in doing unto others.

          • Elwood P. Dowd says:

            You’re just lying again.

            I knew what sat cong meant.

            I was asking if it was a direct threat or a general threat.

            Too many right-wingers are terrified that they’re losing and are becoming increasingly violent.

  4. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    Let me ask you fellas:

    Do you consider any economic system that is not robber-baron capitalism to be communism?

    Is Germany a communist nation? Israel? Norway? New Zealand? Japan?

    • dachs_dude says:

      Jeffery said: “Is Germany a communist nation? Israel? Norway? New Zealand? Japan?”

      They are capitalist economies with varying degrees of socialist elements. Norway is probably the most socialist as their government owns 67% of every fossil fuel producer in Norway.

      So, what private property are you going to give up to go carbon neutral? You’re electric appliances? Your fossil fueled automobile. Or are you among the “have-nots”, who, through their poor choices expect the rest of us to be forced to give up what we earned and saved to make things “fair”. All in the name of “Glo-BULL Warming”.

      You should seen what Cuba was before the socialists got to it. Or even Venezuela.

      The climate’s not even co-operating with you, Jeff. It’s getting colder, and your electric company and your heating oil company knows it.

      • Elwood P. Dowd says:

        dachs,

        A problem is that the denial crowd believes what they hear from the likes of Trump, Limbaugh, Hannity etc.

        Transitioning from a fossil-fuel based economy to a renewable one doesn’t require a Soviet style command economy.

    • formwiz says:

      Interesting that somebody who has claimed to be a capitalist and entrepreneur describes capitalism that way.

      Laissez faire is the correct term

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