Category Archives: Ecological affairs

Drought

Who knows, July and August will be recorded as the warmest and driest months in Europe since records began.

One can only hope that now, with all the fires and other natural disasters that are coming to our regions, there will be a greater awareness that something must be done to combat global warming.

Jewish Young Professional

Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-brown-bare-tree-on-brown-surface-during-daytime-60013/

Grass grows patchy in bristling brown spikes
(if it grows at all).  The smooth-complexioned 
face of land now cracks 
under unrelenting heat.  Fields once flush
with fruits go barren, pleading

through parched throats and chapped lips 

that no kiss of water
or answered prayer
 
has yet come to soften,

for August doesn’t care 
about religion or rain dances.

***

FOWC, W3, dVerse. I took inspiration from Timothy Price.

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J.B Mackinnon’s The Day the World Stops Shopping: Book Review

A very good question is to wonder if we have to buy things or to exchange things, and what would happen if we come to a society where nobody shall have to shop.
For sure in this capitalist world there is too much individualism and greed for having personal things, no matter what it might cost to others or to nature, to have those things in personal possession.

Sabbaths or Sundays used to be days when everybody took time for themselves and/or for God, not being bounded to work or material goods. Many, in the past, considered that one day of the week as a ‘holy’ day, in which there was no place for material gain, but all the more for spiritual gain. There was that one day in the week that people stopped, relaxed, and recharged for the week ahead, and stopped consuming for the day.

But in the capitalist world, such time for oneself is considered damaging the economic world and our society, which has continued to thrive on the expenditure of money. Money has become the modern god. Most people have come to worship Mammon, the god of money, and feel bad if they become limited or restricted in their game of gaining more and more personal stuff.

People should come to understand that the way of consumerism like it has gone with a bullet train since the 1980ies has to be stopped. Demarketing, the concept of using marketing to dissuade people from consuming, or encouraging them to consume less, offers a solution that marketing could provide to the problem of climate change and overconsumption.

 

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Preceding

P5 The Empire we’re in: Individualism & Consumerism

Summer holiday time to knock and ask, and time to share

Watch out

What climate activists can learn from Sunday School leaders

Less… is still enough

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Additional reading

  1. A look at materialism
  2. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey (Our World) = Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey (Some View on the World)
  3. Gang Fascism: How Capital Weaponizes the Social Ills It Creates
  4. Daily thought for July the 8th and the Summer months
  5. Today’s thought “Fools despise wisdom and instruction” (March 23)
  6. A way to prepare for the Kingdom
  7. Utopism has not ended
  8. Entering 2022 still Aiming for a society without exploitation or oppression

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Related

  1. When Will Enough Be Enough? Our Society Has a Serious Obsession with Growth.
  2. Overconsumption
  3. Overconsumption is what happens when an ecosystem can no longer sustain the use of its resources
  4. Overconsumption: uncovering the dark side of economic growth
  5. On overconsumption and Christmas shopping
  6. A Reality Check and A Challenge 
  7. The Unedited Truth About Why Americans Are So Unhappy In Life
  8. “I Don’t Want to Know”
  9. Column: Overconsumption has no place in the holidays
  10. overconsumption and the dulling of the senses
  11. The Occupiers Claim: Working for A Living is Slavery
  12. The case against consumerism: Part 1 – The real cost of our everyday purchases
  13. P5 The Empire we’re in: Individualism & Consumerism
  14. Consumerism’s Effect on Creating an Addictive Society – Pt. 3
  15. Buying more stuff won’t make you happy
  16. 11.11 sales are a symptom of the greater disease of mindless consumerism
  17. Green Consumerism: Who Cares About The Environment?
  18. “…Drop your weapons of greed and gluttony …for when you do, peace will return to society….”
  19. Sustainable Fashion: Less is More
  20. Explaining Fast Fashion
  21. The Curse of Fast Fashion
  22. Supply line panic
  23. There is no green growth
  24. Hunger Cycle
  25. From Sustainable Development to Developing Sustainability
  26. Overcoming Overconsumption
  27. Choosing a time to listen to God

Working Zillennial

What if the world stopped shopping? J. B. Mackinnon shines a light on the damaging effects of overconsumption on the planet and our health, wellbeing and happiness.


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As Europe Sends $300 Million per day to Russia for Oil and NatGas, TotalEnergies Looks After Customers in Tricky Decision

After the serious and unfounded accusations of “complicity in war crimes” leveled against TotalEnergies, the Company shares with its stakeholders its principles of conduct regarding its Russian related businesses in order to allow them understand how our Company is acting in a responsible manner. Considering the worsening conflict, TotalEnergies is also taking new steps.

TotalEnergies is a minority shareholder in a number of non-state-owned Russian companies: Novatek (19.4%), Yamal LNG (20%), Arctic LNG 2 (10%) and TerNefteGaz (49%). These companies are managed by their own staff with a limited number of secondees from TotalEnergies. TotalEnergies is also a 20% partner in the Kharyaga joint venture operated by Zarubezhneft. The Company did indeed contribute to the construction phase of these companies’ projects but has no activity or operational responsibility on those sites.

On Social Media.

This is a fascinating post from the Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne and some biting comments about how big business should / shouldn’t react to war. TotalEnergies isn’t abandoning Russia like other companies because that would hurt its customers.

Comments range from:

Sorry,Patrick Pouyanné. Time and again, you pick profits over morals as your primary responsibility to your shareholders. Shame on you for failing to rejectevil.

to

Very well stated Patrick. Thanks for your leadership especially in the face of this complex and dynamic situation……..energy just as water will always remain [a] potential weapon. Sanctions are easy to announce but often implementation comes with unintended consequences.

Here is a snip of Pouyanne’s Post

Patrick Pouyanné• Chairman and CEO at TotalEnergies — 1d • Edited •1 day ago

Responsibility requires us to seek answers to complex, sometimes dramatic,situations.

We are all deeply affected by the conflict in

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Dear 2021,

Whichever way we turn, in 2021 we were able to experience another year that tried to undermine mankind.

In the New Year, never forget to thank your past years because they enabled you to reach today! Without the stairs of the past, you cannot arrive at the future!
― Mehmet Murat ildan

It was already an understatement to say that 2020 swept us off our feet, 2021 gave us a run for our money. (Perhaps even literally as well figuratively)

100 years ago another virus had after that terrible Great War tried to reduce the population by large numbers as if that horrible 4 years of war was not sufficient. It had brought down mankind to its knees by a microscopic being. And as if it has to come back every century, we too could feel what it is when a dangerous disease spreads around like mad.

But like the previous 2 years, we could find lightbulbs burning in the darkness.
Set against a backdrop of human loss and misery, many could continue their journey that started off a year before. Several people found new opportunities in this time of malaise. We could see changes in people’s lifestyles, and it was as if man now, at last, gave some rest to nature, having lesser cars driving around. In any case, the Corona period proved beneficial to the environment, with pollution rates decreasing drastically.

Set against a backdrop of human loss and misery was a journey of discovery and realisation that many were just learning to undertake. It brought about a tremendous change in people’s lifestyles, perspectives and proved beneficial to the environment, with pollution rates decreasing drastically. Adoption of minimalistic living practices became the norm in view of the virus’ indefinite tenure. As death tolls rose in a staggering manner, people dwelled in a constant state of apprehension of what the future would bring….. {Dear 2020}

For many, 2021 was a difficult ride, but we all have grown and gotten through it, hopefully learning lessons and making memories in the process. And as you say, we also think, that’s something to be grateful for.

Random Specific Thoughts

In the New Year, never forget to thank your past years because they enabled you to reach today! Without the stairs of the past, you cannot arrive at the future!
―Mehmet Murat ildan

Gosh, I’m almost certainly sure I’m going blind from all the screens. I keep wanting to say it is your fault. Is it?

I’m sorry – where are my manners?

Dear 2021,

I hope you’re well and the packing is going great. You have but mere minutes before you turn into yet another history chapter. Unlike your predecessor, you weren’t cruel or a fan of surprises but you were clever and cunning. This has been quite the rollercoaster of a year and well, to be honest – I’m not going to blame you for it. I was rather harsh towards 2020 now that I think about i,t and I feel terrible about it.

You see, as humans…

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Being on the road in my dreams or with a Tin Can Traveler

In 2009 I was placed in retirement and had to find an end to my artistic dreams and (to be honest) also to my dreams to become someone. In the previous years, like I still do, I had worked under several names.  There was the choreographer, the teacher and the writer, plus the one who had many dreams, not having the money but in those dreams going to many places.

Like some American blogwriter

I used to inspire my students by giving them what I considered to be the ten most important two letter words for having a dream life. {About Annie How It All Started #1}

that blogger had decided it was time she granted herself permission to take on the power of the words:

“If it is to be, it is up to me” in living my own dream life. {About Annie How It All Started #1}

Would that be not marvellous if we all could do that, just going our own way, free in the world.

Limited by my health and by finances, I just seem to keep it to dreams only. Luckily on the net, we may find people who are able to travel a lot and do not mind sharing those lovely experiences they might have while going from one place to another.

For Annie who lives in a home on wheels (the Tin Can Cottage), a Winnebago Mini Motorhome, her dream life is:

living in a motor home aka recreational vehicle (RV), working at jobs around the country, and experiencing a never-ending journey of adventure and discovery via the open road. It entailed selling my house and furniture, walking away from my career, and in short, learning a brand new way of life..

Would that not be the dream of many:

having and learning to have a brand new life?

I would say, even if Omicron wants to waltz with us, let us keep far away from it, and though we might then be a bit isolated, let us enjoy the beauties of nature. That nature which has so much to offer, but is also, like us, in danger of a terrible disease, the “greed of man”, the bodies who do not mind destroying their own planet. But when we and each other individual making his ow bit to safeguard that nature, for sure we must be able to get some candle burning, shedding some light onto the necessity to do something against global warming.

We do not have to sell a home, sell all our belongings like Annie did, but we perhaps could use some similar mindset as she has.

The most unsettling list was the one with all the things I wanted to keep. I was delirious with materialistic greed, thinking I could still harbor all the flotsam and jetsam from 40+ years of pack rat proclivity.

Mentally, I had attached the stuff to me as so many outer coats that now had to be peeled away one by one. The only way to do it was to adopt a spirit of philanthropy. I saw most of my possessions off to good homes; only keeping what I thought I needed or would be useful.

It took me most of the summer and multiple parings but my home finally took on a cavernous look. {About Annie How It All Started #1}

This Annie is now living in an RV and travelling the country is her dream life, which is lovely she can build up such a dream life. We can enjoy her travels with a 26′ Winnebago, Class C which has been her home since 2007.  It’s 25 feet long with one slide-out.  Her tow car is a Subaru Impreza Outback with manual drive.

 It’s also my “toy hauler”  and totes my 10 foot kayak on the roof and my bicycle, Big Blue inside with the back seat down. {RV Living / Work Camping}

For 2022 I would advise you to have great days full of inspiration

enjoying the day and the road, autumn colors, beyond blue skies. {Bald Eagle’s Message (#755)}

let us have our eyes on the plants and animals around us, and yes … let us be carried away by a Bald Eagle who takes off into the air, flying off into the beckoning blue skies.

Many happy and pleasant dreams for 2022

feeling transported to another realm; spirit time; a time to walk with those on the other side of the veil.

 

Like this Annie Tin Can Traveler writes:

There is magic in immersing oneself in a personal reality without and within. It super-charges the soul, brings forth creative forces and that forever feeling of joy.

When I open myself to it, that is when I find the most incredible gifts only imagined in my mind’s eye. {Imagine Hearts… (#786)}

Hearts from Cape Cod

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An Open Letter to the People Who Are Trying to Kill Us

Riya Dani, a 20-something homebody with a million ideas and a thousand things planned on her to-do list.

Please try to see past the ugly words by the young woman Riya Dani when reading this open letter. It is an open cry that testifies to the despair of young people about the reality that many government leaders do not want to see. The composer of the open letter wants to bring her cry for discussions of Society, Environment and Science

It is more than necessary that the call to action is spreading all over the world!

Since it is already a quarter past midnight, it is understandable that some people are losing their faith in the leaders and want to stamp their feet hard in order to get a more hopeful result in time.

Let us all stand up and raise our voices!

Riya Dani

The world grappling with the ruinous results of Climate Change, everyone is talking about adopting sustainable strategies, but,

Are we doing enough?

We had high expectations from COP26 – they met, some slept.

All they did was preach the same words we have been screaming for years!

It’s Doomsday! We need to change” “To preserve our future! We need to Change” “Rise above the politics! We need to Change!

They pledged and promised and pleaded with people to change.

All these talks of change paint a very optimistic picture but,

Are we doing enough?

The trash that we produce keeps mounting, much like your promises.

The coal isn’t going anywhere, and the emissions being released keep breaking records.

The heat is breaking records, the fires are breaking records, the rains and floods and droughts are breaking records.

So, are we doing enough?

We shift to metal straws and…

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The Climate Crisis: It’s Not Just Consumers’ Faults

Much too often consumers forget that they have to bear the responsibility for our ecosystem. We still see too many people participating in the waste culture of packaging, plastics and not ecological produced goods, contributing to a too big ecological footprint.

We cannot just stand by and watch. It is time not only to make our voices heard but also to take action.

Regularly, the customers are reminded that this world expects them to spend their money on as many goods as possible. Soon we are having Black Friday again and commercials are luring the public again to get them to buy goods they do not necessarily need now.

We crossed the line of decency. We all are consuming much more than we really need and often we do forget the impact on our environment. As consumers, we are often as guilty as the producers, helping to pollute our earth. We too often forget that we are equal partners in this downward spiral of humanity.

Today the current culture of seeking materialistic pleasures or satisfaction makes many to enrich themselves not willing to see who is behind the making of those goods and at what cost for humanity and nature, as long as it is the cheapest for them.

For many it seems that this want for more keeps growing but not satisfying them. More than once we can see that wild chase of things people do not really need and sometimes even do not want. This wants and seeking only seems to create an emptiness in their lives, which they hope to fill by buying something new, in the hope to feel better.

We need more meaningful consumer engagement, with more reliable information and support provided for the choices we make.The governments should guide their citizens towards ‘greener consumption’. But to reach the targets set forward in Paris and Glasgow, the governments shall need help from manufacturers and retailers.

Supermarkets, online clothes retailers and other global companies should also be blamed for all the plastic waste which is polluting land and water. We’re encountering too much wrapping stuff unnecessarily in single-use plastic. We also often hear that we should avoid such plastic wrappings, but often we have no choice in the supermarkets. We’re told to buy loose fruit and veg, but it seems that the government is not putting the same pressure on supermarkets to sell loose fruit and veg.

Let us not forget:

Within this ‘money makes the world go round’ paradigm, though, advertising slogans are true indicators of how much we are being brainwashed into supporting the economy, at the cost of our autonomy, the developing world and the actual planet. {Programmed to spend}

 

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Preceding

The natural beauties of life

2016 look at food

A Snippet of Advice on Cultural Analysis

Less for more

Less… is still enough

Summermonths and consumerism

Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

The Proper Place of Excess

Looking for the consummation of presents

One can buy a lot in the supermarket, but not hope

The Culture of Excesses- Losing Humanity

Recrafting our World

Time to be strengthened, thankful and to be prepared

Are you doing Thanksgiving

Beginning of a festival of lights

To the Freeworlders

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Additional reading

  1. Ecological economics in the stomach #2 Resources
  2. Classes of people and Cronyism
  3. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #9 Consumption
  4. Greenpeace demands scale up of ecological farming
  5. Green Claims in Europe
  6. Time to consider how to care for our common home
  7. Fast-rising energy prices attract China to capitalise on them
  8. After a virus pandemic an energy disease
  9. Coming to Thanksgiving day 2020
  10. The time of year we remember our many blessings
  11. Dangerous climate change is already with us
  12. Each of the small voices important
  13. Young people at COP26 have to “Stay angry”
  14. Charities demand radicalism in face of officials’ delay

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Related

  1. Consumers need and want more help to go green 
  2. mental health and consumerism plus some answers;
  3. To save, or not to save: that is the question.
  4. Taxing Hight
  5. Is decluttering an answer to consumerism or a bullet wound to capitalism?
  6. How to Shop Black Friday Like a Minimalist
  7. Consumerism
  8. Everything That I Need, I Already Have
  9. I am not eco (but I want to do better)
  10. Accumulation.
  11. ‘Zero crashes, zero congestion, zero emissions’ – the perennial myths of autonomous vehicles
  12. We Need to Talk About Our Demand Chain Crisis
  13. Customer Service or Not
  14. How social media is changing Indian consumer behaviours
  15. There isn’t even a clear ‘least worst’ option
  16. That’s How They Get You: On the Tag
  17. B.L.M. and the Consumer Conundrum
  18. Influencers in the Wild; An exploration of Influencer Marketing
  19. The Culture of Excesses- Losing Humanity
  20. Programmed to spend
  21. alienation
  22. 11.11 sales are a symptom of the greater disease of mindless consumerism
  23. Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  24. Free From Modern Capitalism
  25. The problem with overpopulation
  26. How to Have a more Sustainable Christmas

freckles and thoughts

This has always bothered me, but I just read another article on BBC which is telling consumers how to reduce their CO2 emissions by a “fraction” and it’s honestly the last [plastic] straw.

Consumers are told to “stop watching TV in HD”; a Channel 4 documentary told us that our social media “addiction” is “killing the planet”; and Coca-Cola is telling us to “please recycle”.

Yes, consumers and individuals should be doing everything that they can to reduce CO2 emissions, energy consumption, food, water and plastic waste and save the planet. But, I’m honestly getting frustrated that so much of the blame and responsibility for the climate crisis seems to be put on us.

Bill McKibben: This Climate Strike Is Part of the ...

Consumers are blamed for how much single-use plastic we bin; but, why aren’t supermarkets, online clothes retailers and other global companies blamed for wrapping stuff unnecessarily in single-use plastic?

We’re told to buy loose fruit and…

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Half Time

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Preceding

Time for world to ‘grow up’ and tackle climate change, says Boris Johnson

A cry in the dark by scientists and medics

Us and climate change – We can do much more than we think

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Find also to read:

  1. Stepping forward with public commitments for Making different sectors carbon neutral by 2050
  2. EU well placed to protect and enhance citizens’ living standards while pursuing an ambitious transition to an environmentally sustainable economy
  3. 2019 was #1 a Year of Raising fire and voices
  4. 2020 in view #2 The 45th president of the U.S.A. not willing to go
  5. Cop26 presidency run from within the UK Cabinet Office
  6. Are you serious?
  7. The world is still on course for climate catastrophe
  8. Rome gathering before heading to Glasgow
  9. UK’s path to net zero set out in landmark strategy
  10. World leaders gathering in the Scottish city of Glasgow for the UN climate conference
  11. Dangerous climate change is already with us
  12. Activists rally at U.N. climate talks

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Related

  1. COP OUT
  2. Huge 4,000kg iceberg shipped to Glasgow to melt outside COP26
  3. Borrell Mission: EU urges Brazil to keep environmental commitments
  4. Tackling climate change – even regulators have roles to play
  5. Forests can’t handle all the net-zero emissions plans. Companies and countries expect nature to offset too much ‘carbon’
  6. Voting this Week – November 5, ’21
  7. thousands of young people march through the streets of Glasgow to call on leaders to action
  8. cop26, GLAS-NO
  9. COP26: Issues beyond global warming
  10. Greta Thunberg blasts COP26 and slams world leaders at Glasgow youth climate strike
  11. C C C C C – Climate – Covid – Commitments – Cash – Controls
  12. Climate change and fancy hospitals
  13. “Planet is fine, people are fucked”
  14. Mnangagwa claims even under sanctions ‘we are progressing well’
  15. Climate crisis, Cop26 and the wealthy. The screaming hypocrisy of the rich.
  16. Vegan Meat Boss Hits Out At COP26 For ‘Irresponsibly’ Serving Beef
  17. The pandemic barely dented the huge rise in carbon emissions since 1990

COP26 an activist's viewpoint

It’s hard to believe it, but COP26 is already nearly halfway through. So, what has actually happened? If you’re an avid absorber of the news, you’re likely to already know everything I’m about to mention, so feel free to skip this post (and feel a bit smug. It’s the weekend – put your feet up 😊)

The general consensus coming from inside the Blue Zone is cautious optimism; this is how the mainstream media seem to be reporting it. Some of my colleagues also, who perhaps have experience of previous COPs and weren’t expecting much progress to begin with, are treating positively anything that can reasonably be taken that way. Although, comments have been made about the inside of the COP being very much a place of status quo and business as usual rather than any attempt at system change.

The mood on the streets is less gracious, especially among…

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State capitalism and climate emergency

A continued look at {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

Continuation of

Capitalism and relevance to climate change

Capitalism and The environmental record of the communist world

In his article “Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it” Gezwin Stanley confirms that the climate emergency couldn’t have happened without fossil fuel driven industrialisation. But there is more:

human technology plus the very human inclination towards short termism tends to result in environmental degradation. It isn’t just capitalism that caused the climate crisis. But it is clear that capitalism, or rather the different varieties of capitalism, meaning any system where the few both control and benefit from the engines of wealth creation, the very same productive forces that can damage the environment, while also being best able to use their position to shield themselves against any environmental side effects, did and will dramatically exacerbate environmental damage. And, comparing state capitalism with private capitalism, it isn’t markets or consumerism that appeared to make the difference: the West had those in abundance, but the Communist world did not, and the outcomes were similar: critical environmental crises. The implication is that mass-scale industrial technology, combined with the control of that economy by a few who are compelled to strive for growth at all costs and to disregard, even deliberately hide, all externalities, is sufficient to cause environmental collapse, even if consumerism and insufficiently democratically regulated markets really don’t help. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

We must remember that important pressures contributing to current and future ecological collapse include habitat loss, habitat degradation, and habitat fragmentation, monocultures, overgrazing, overexploitation of ecosystems by humans, human industrial growth and overpopulation. The Soviet Union sinned against the respectful use of the earth by the practice of growing the same crop each year on a given acreage. The Soviet government found out, to its shame, that their large-scale plan of mass production or to produce huge quantities of cereals, vegetables and fruit, impoverished the country and did not produce good harvests. This because nonlegume crops usually exhaust the nitrogen in the soil, with a resulting reduction in yields. When they wanted to make the fertility level of the soil higher, they introduced fertilisers that poisoned the soil. The idea of greater flexibility in planning the system to meet year to year changes in the need for various crops, failed dramatically with food shortages and starvation as a result.

That environmental damage will be even more extreme if the masters of the economy, under private or state capitalism, are actively competing with each other whether for profit or to hit targets mandated by some dictator’s latest five year plan. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

writes Gezwin Stanley, admitting that

 the vital experiment, of a technologically advanced society that combines political and economic democracy, hasn’t as yet really been tried, perhaps because it is so offensive to the powerful and power-hungry.

Would such a society be able to better balance environmental and economic concerns? It certainly seems likely in theory, but in practice all we have to go on are smaller scale examples, often embattled and created despite huge challenges, such as the Zapatistas in Mexico or Rojava in Kurdistan. While environmentalism is a core thread of the ideology of both these movements (see for example: “What the Zapatistas can teach us about the climate crisis” or “Rojava is trying to build a green society”), how that would play out in the long term, in more stable conditions and at scale, has still to be determined. Though social democracy may be precarious, because the super-rich often buy politicians, parties and media influence, the historically more thorough-going social democracies may offer a clue as to what would be possible environmentally if economic control was more democratic, with (again according to the World Bank figures here: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.ATM.CO2E.PC) per capita carbon dioxide emissions in 2018 for Denmark being 5.8 tonnes, for Norway 7.0 tonnes and for Sweden 3.5 tonnes, compared to the USA at 15.2 tonnes, though the Nordic countries are at a similar level of technological advancement and average prosperity and overall have a colder climate. The same figure for the Russian Federation is 11.2 tonnes per capita and for considerably poorer China 7.4 tonnes. It may also be worth contrasting how Scandinavia confronted the problem of acid rain from the 1970s with how the former Soviet Union attempted to “bury” its multiple environmental crises. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

For him, it is no wonder that the state-capitalist communist countries of the past or the present were the cause of environmental calamities.

There have been more human generated greenhouse gas emissions since 1990 than in the rest of history (see this excerpt from “The Uninhabitable Earth”, published in 2019). Nor should we ever forget the whole corporate funded global disinformation campaign of climate change denial , and now “greenwashing”. For example, Exxon knew of climate change in 1981, but it funded climate change denial for 27 more years. None of this is surprising as the richest have an incentive to care least about climate change, because they can most easily escape its effects, from basing themselves in less affected countries, through being able to afford air conditioning, coastal defences and other protections to participating in the growing market for elite bunkers and safe havens (see “‘Billionaire bunkers’ that could shelter the superrich during an apocalypse”).

COP15 Logo.svgIf the economies of at least the most technologically advanced and richest nations had been run along lines of distributed economic power, of economic democracy as described here: https://gezwinstanley.wordpress.com/what-is-economic-justice-and-how-can-we-create-it/ , then there would most likely still have been a climate crisis. We are not angels. But without hugely powerful billionaires willing to conspire to deny climate change, and able to rig the political debate in many countries such as the USA, we would have acted a decade or two, possibly three, sooner. For example, the climate change deniers’ “Climategate” conspiracy in 2009 sabotaged the Copenhagen COP15 Conference and alone may have set back progress a decade, while none of the conspirators or those enlisted to help with the subsequent public relations have ever been brought to book. All that lost time could prove to have been crucial.

To resolve this conflict of interest we need to place everyone in control of the things they need to live and make a living. Then no one can disproportionately reap the economic benefits while disproportionately avoiding the environmental costs. That ensures everyone has an incentive to co-operate to create environmental regulations, pricing, taxes and subsidies, that avoid collective catastrophe, because no one can rig the deadly serious economic “game” of balancing economic output against environmental costs by largely reaping the economic benefits while passing most of the environmental impact onto someone else. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

 

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Filed under Ecological affairs, Economical affairs, History

Capitalism and relevance to climate change

Gezwin Stanley (if that is the name of the writer of the WordPress site gezwinstanley) does a small attempt to hold back the dark and summon the dawn, and seems to tackle some interesting points,though sometimes wanders off too far and presents too long articles, which better would have been divided in chapters or sub-articles.

For us today his article “Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it.” receives our interest and has some points we find interesting to share.

He looks at the relevance to climate change which is (according to him) likely already obvious. He writes:

Insane as it may be, even if collectively it threatens the extinction of human civilisation, singly, as individuals, organisations, businesses and countries, it might make sense for each not to worry too much about climate change. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

Such an attitude of ignoring what is happening in nature does not show much compassion for other living beings in nature. He then poses some questions, as:

Why, for example, pay for a more expensive carbon-neutral energy supply when a fossil fuel one is cheaper?
Why not let others make the sacrifice, allowing us to be richer? {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

For him

It is therefore clear that the “sinks” for our carbon emissions, the atmosphere and the oceans, are really just another “commons” liable to “tragedy”, and that we are all trapped in a giant “prisoner’s dilemma” but one where, if we take the selfish course, we end up not with a custodial sentence, but a sentence of death. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

He continues:

This is why addressing the issue cannot be left to individual action. Action cannot be entirely voluntary, because then the selfish will just try and freeload on the altruistic. Collective action is essential, from subjecting entities that don’t change their ways to peer pressure or “socialised sanctions” such as boycotts, through public measures such as regulations, carbon pricing and green subsidies, to directly taking control of key industries in order to force rapid decarbonisation. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

We can agree with the fact that:

Coordinated efforts are needed all the way up to the global level: carbon dioxide is no respecter of borders. Individual actions alone won’t work, and the extremity of the emergency means that only the more rigorous measures towards the end of the preceding list are likely to be effective enough quickly enough to avoid catastrophe. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

He looks at the tonnes per capita of carbon dioxide emissions and notes:

The 2020 Oxfam “Confronting Carbon Inequality” report estimates that “from 1990 to 2015, a critical period in which annual emissions grew 60% and cumulative emissions doubled… the richest 10% of the world’s population (c.630 million people) were responsible for 52% of the cumulative carbon emissions – depleting the global carbon budget by nearly a third (31%) in those 25 years alone,” while “the richest 1% (c.63 million people) alone were responsible for 15% of cumulative emissions, and 9% of the carbon budget – twice as much as the poorest half of the world’s population.” {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

And remarks:

This shades into another discussion. If greenhouse gas emissions are associated with inequality, especially when the rich get even richer, because wealth begets wealth, and then end up consuming more and more, and if capitalism exacerbates inequality, and ruthlessly strives for economic growth, to what extent is capitalism itself responsible for climate change? Or is the crisis just an inevitable consequence of human technological development, coupled with easily accessible, energy-rich fossil fuels and an understandable desire for a better life, especially during the prolonged period when the full import of greenhouse gas emissions was unknown, and with a large helping of human short termism added into the mix to make matters even worse? {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

That question brings us to another chapter, facing capitalism versus communism and Marxism.

Continue reading:  Capitalism and The environmental record of the communist world

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Filed under Ecological affairs, Economical affairs, Welfare matters