Naomi Klein rightly blames capitalism for climate change. But she doesn’t go far enough.
Naomi Klein is a longtime movement and media icon, a gifted synthesizer and popularizer who, over the past two decades, has been a leading chronicler of anti-corporate, anti-globalization, and anti-capitalist social movements (a series of “anti”s that undeniably needs some unpacking).
Our beautiful planet earth is suffering the very beginnings of a vast and multi-layered eco-catastrophy that will, if left unchecked, destroy our civilization and our species. As the most recent and most definitive Synthesis Report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has outlined, global climate warming is unequivocal. Concentrations of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are at their highest level in 800,000 years. The report warns that it is “extremely likely” that greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and other human generated sources are the domin
2014 may well be seen in retrospect as a turning point for radical climate justice: we had the 400,000 march in New York with many thousands more around the globe, the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report’s devastating report on the state of the planet, the public failure of Ban ki-Moon’s September summit of political leaders with its ambition dwarfed by the Sunday marchers and those who flooded Wall Street the day before it, and soon, I confidently predict, the spectacular failure of the global climate treaty negotiations in Lima — COP 20 — which run from December 2-12.
A gathering of civil society and social movements in Venezuela concluded last week with a strong demand for climate justice, writes Maruška Mileta. Rich countries must stop passing off their 'false solutions' - from nuclear power to geoengineering - and pay the costs of a rapid transition to low-carbon world that brings renewable energy to all.
Since the 1990s, climate scientists have been telling us that unless we suppress the rise of carbon dioxide emissions, we run the risk of crossing critical tipping points that could unleash runaway global warming, and precipitate the collapse of civilization and perhaps even our own extinction. To suppress those growing emissions, climate scientists and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have called on industrialized nations to slash their carbon dioxide emissions by 80 to 90 percent by 2050.
It is my contention that we are not facing the root cause of our problems, and until we do, there is no hope of solving the social and ecological problems confronting the world. The primary problem is the inner moving force of capitalism—its Achilles heel regarding the environment—the unending accumulation of capital, which means perpetual “creative destruction.” Produce and sell more stuff next year and more than that in the following year…for all of eternity.
By now, you’ve seen the photos. With over 300,000—likely closer to 400,000—marchers streaming through the center of Manhattan, the People’s Climate March exceeded the organizers’ expectations and my own. It made the record books and then some, marking a scale of protest not seen in this country since the beginning of the Iraq war.