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Sat May 11, 2019, 10:20 AM

The Climate Movement: What Next?

This is a great explanation of why, Greta Thunberg, Extinction Rebellion and other environmental movements are playing into the hands of the corporations and helping to neutralize the possibility of real revolutionary change.

What is required for planetary survival is degrowth. Degrowth is not possible in today's world, because virtually all economic and political power structures are allied in favour of growth. Therefore degrowth (the fundamental necessity) will not happen.

Que sera, sera.
Case closed.

The Climate Movement: What Next?

The climate movement, like all environmental NGOs, has been subject to the influence of neoliberalism and corporate capture. Neo-liberals love to attack government while totally ignoring the corporate control of the economy. In the USA the extent of government capture is just ignored (from the President down and not just the most recent President either). There is a general failure to link the social and economic to the ecological. Political analysis is lacking, social theory is absent and there are a dearth of substantive ideas as to alternative economies from the existing paradigms of economic growth and price-making markets.

Hence the climate movement promotes price incentives (taxes, carbon trading), innovation and new technologies, commodification of Nature (ecosystems as goods and services, natural capital), offsetting losses of biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions, and new quantitative measures of growth as progress.

The aim is for a large shift in financing towards new energy sources, which is basically the mainstream (neoclassical) economic argument that substitutes exist and the price mechanism will supply them. This relies on the belief that price mechanisms send the right signals and actually reflect resource costs rather than being determined by power relations, rules and regulations, subsidies and public infrastructure. If its cheap it must be good. There is little or no connection to politics, resource extractivism or biophysical limits (e.g., on the resources required for electric technologies), nor the need for demand control rather than supply increase. Technology will save us, markets work and there will be ‘free’ electricity for all.

The existing institutions of modern economies are those supporting economic growth. The growth priority has been made clear by the over 3500 economists supporting a climate tax and opposing structural change. Similarly, Lord Stern is the academic figure head of the New Climate Economy, a concept created by members of the Davos elite, with its ‘Better Growth, Better Climate’ reports. Their explicitly stated concern is that: “In the long term, if climate change is not tackled, growth itself will be at risk.” Change is coming and the corporations and billionaires are fully aware of this. They have been actively lobbying on climate and environment since Johannesburg (Earth Summit 2002) and were a dominant force at Paris. They have also long been seeking to control the environmental movement for their own ends.

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Reply The Climate Movement: What Next? (Original post)
The_jackalope May 2019 OP
CrispyQ May 2019 #1
The_jackalope May 2019 #2

Response to The_jackalope (Original post)

Sat May 11, 2019, 10:31 AM

1. Six billion miracles is enough.

I bought that bumper sticker at the turn of the century. Even on a progressive site like DU, one doesn't dare suggest that we limit the number of children people can have.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #1)

Sat May 11, 2019, 10:49 AM

2. I wrote an article on sustainability a few years ago

I concluded that a truly sustainable biosphere could contain 10-35 million humans, but only if they all lived as hunger-foragers. To which I would now add, and only if that population was kept fairly static by predation, disease and food supply limits. Otherwise ... well, after the Toba catastrophe there may have been just 10,000 humans left. That was only 75,000 years ago, and look where we are today.

But mine is not a popular or welcome view, here or anywhere else...

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