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Mon Dec 10, 2012, 07:43 AM

There Is No Stopping Climate Change Unless We Can Mobilize Against Plutocracy


Greenpeace activists and supporters along with other non-governmental organizations protest outside the Global Business Day conference in Durban. World talks on climate change struggled to overcome a rift on the future of the Kyoto Protocol with less than three days left to secure a deal.

Humankind’s greatest crisis coincides with the rise of an ideology that makes it impossible to address. By the late 1980s, when it became clear that manmade climate change endangered the living planet and its people, the world was in the grip of an extreme political doctrine, whose tenets forbid the kind of intervention required to arrest it.

Neoliberalism, also known as market fundamentalism or laissez-faire economics, purports to liberate the market from political interference. The state, it asserts, should do little but defend the realm, protect private property and remove barriers to business. In practice it looks nothing like this. What neoliberal theorists call shrinking the state looks more like shrinking democracy: reducing the means by which citizens can restrain the power of the elite. What they call “the market” looks more like the interests of corporations and the ultra-rich(1). Neoliberalism appears to be little more than a justification for plutocracy.

The doctrine was first applied in Chile in 1973, as former students of the University of Chicago, schooled in Milton Friedman’s extreme prescriptions and funded by the CIA, worked alongside General Pinochet to impose a programme that would have been impossible in a democratic state. The result was an economic catastrophe, but one in which the rich – who took over Chile’s privatised industries and unprotected natural resources – prospered exceedingly(2).

The creed was taken up by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. It was forced upon the poor world by the IMF and the World Bank. By the time James Hansen presented the first detailed attempt to model future temperature rises to the US Senate in 1988( 3), the doctrine was being implanted everywhere.

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Reply There Is No Stopping Climate Change Unless We Can Mobilize Against Plutocracy (Original post)
xchrom Dec 2012 OP
Javaman Dec 2012 #1

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:59 AM

1. I applaud these people and their passion...

but even if we put the breaks on right now and not emit another green house gas ever again, the earth will still see a 2+ degree rise.

The best we can do at this point is prevent such a rise that will basically make the earth uninhabitable.

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