There can be little doubt about the centrality and severity of the environmental crisis in the present day. Driven by the mindless "grow-or-die" imperative of capitalism, humanity's destruction of the biosphere has reached and even surpassed various critical thresholds, whether in terms of carbon emissions, biodiversity loss, ocean acidification, freshwater depletion, or chemical pollution.
The 21st century is a century of crisis. Capitalist economic collapse dovetails with dire inequality, international and civil wars drive displacement and humanitarian catastrophe, xenophobia creeps into laws, and rising biodiversity loss imperils the planet’s equilibrium. Climate change threatens to worsen every other aspect of these interlocking crises, making decarbonization the most urgent task on our to-do list.
In Rob Wallace’s most recent book, he reviews what is known about the development of the virus that causes Covid-19 in the context of industrial farming combined with habitat destruction. Inherent in his critique is a condemnation of capitalist agricultural methods, some thoughts on alternatives, and what forces in rural society are doing to create these alternatives. His book is a must-read for anybody who wishes to truly understand Covid-19.
With California and Oregon on fire as Climate Week opened in New York on September 21 “climate arsonist” Donald Trump took to the virtual floor of the UN General Assembly and slammed China for its environmental record while ignoring his own efforts to save the coal industry and boost fossil fuel consumption – actions that earned him that sobriquet from Joe Biden.
System Change Not Climate Change readers and viewers will want to take a look at the interviews referenced here from PCI.
Introducing “The Great Unraveling?”, a series of interviews with some of the world’s foremost experts on a broad range of environmental and societal challenges, culminating with a powerful discussion on what these converging and accelerating crises mean, and how we can respond.
One strategy for lowering CO2 emissions, favored by many environmental organizations and currently implemented in several states, is to formally impose a “social cost of carbon,” or SCC, at the point of production. Proponents claim that this would begin to ensure that previously “externalized costs” are accounted for in pricing mechanisms.