2-Pane Combined
Full Summaries Sorted

Climate Libor Kubala

Capitalism and climate change: are we doing enough to combat climate change?

Libor Kubala

In my opinion we are not doing nearly enough.

Is Capitalism main contributor to climate change? Yes it is.

Can we support capitalism and fight against climate change at the same time? No, we cant.

The most radical idea the neoliberal governments came up with is carbon tax. So let's say we go with the premise of carbon tax and let's imagine the best case scenario, scenario in which every country in the world would go above and beyond the best existing practices we can imagine. let's say we would set global price of carbon from $50 to $236 per metric ton and imagined technological innovations that would double the efficiency with which we use resources. If the global economy kept growing by 3 percent each year, we’d still hit about critical 95 billion metric tons of resource use by 2050, this would be unsustainable.

let's say we would set the price to $573 per metric ton, slapped on a resource extraction tax, and assumed rapid technological innovation spurred by strong government support. What would be the result? 132 billion metric tons by 2050.1

What can we see from the studies linked above? We can see that over consumption is direct cause of climate change, we can also see that even the best measures we could take would result in destruction of climate, this would cause deaths of millions of people.

What can we do to fight climate change?

Individual choices like becoming vegan or buying less stuff are meaningless. We must fight the system that directly needs overconsumption to survive. Why? Fighting environmental problems will require form of systematic degrowth. That's not going to happen while the economy is built to crash whenever growth isn't accelerating fast enough.

So what developed country is the most sustainable? Cuba. The Sustainable Development Index, measures each country’s environmental impact by recording its CO2 emissions per capita and comparing it against other parameters like income per capita, life expectancy and level of education.2

So how does country with limited natural resources and U.S. embargo do so well? The Cuban government embraced environmentalism like no country had done at this point in history and kick-started policies to reduce waste of natural resources and minimise the carbon footprint, all of which went a long way towards boosting the country’s sustainability. Cuba also has self-described socialist government.

So can capitalism survive climate change? Yes, climate change will cause natural disasters that will destroy capital. Destroying capital will increase the rate of profit and will generate cheaper workforces due to mass immigration. Capitalism can survive, but we will not.

So what is the best way to fight climate change? Advocate for system that doesn't have pathological need for consumption. That system is socialism.

Of course I don't have the space to explain all the talking points to detail, and all the points can sound utopian without explanation. The main thing people shoul take away from this is the need of systematic change, that must come from collective not from individual. All of this is hard to imagine. So let's end with a quote from Fredric Jameson "It is easier to imagine an end to the world than an end to capitalism".



DMU Timestamp: May 11, 2020 21:16

0 comments, 0 areas
add area
add comment
change display
add comment

Quickstart: Commenting and Sharing

How to Comment
  • Click icons on the left to see existing comments.
  • Desktop/Laptop: double-click any text, highlight a section of an image, or add a comment while a video is playing to start a new conversation.
    Tablet/Phone: single click then click on the "Start One" link (look right or below).
  • Click "Reply" on a comment to join the conversation.
How to Share Documents
  1. "Upload" a new document.
  2. "Invite" others to it.

Logging in, please wait... Blue_on_grey_spinner