Skip to comments.It's capitalism or a habitable planet - you can't have both
Posted on 02/02/2006 7:40:25 AM PST by ZGuy
Our economic system is unsustainable by its very nature. The only response to climate chaos and peak oil is major social change.
There is no meaningful response to climate change without massive social change. We cannot sustain earth's life-support systems within the present economic system.
Capitalism is not sustainable by its very nature. And yet this ideological model remains the central organising principle of our lives, and as long as it continues to be so it will automatically undo (with its invisible hand) every single green initiative anybody cares to come up with.
Power concentrates around wealth. Only by breaking up corporate power and bringing it under social control will we be able to overcome the global environmental crisis.
Supermarkets are over. We cannot have such long supply lines between us and our food. Not any more. The very model of the supermarket is unsustainable.
We are caught between the Scylla and Charybdis of climate change and peak oil. Once we pass the planetary oil production spike (when oil begins rapidly to deplete and demand outstrips supply), there will be less and less net energy available to humankind. Petroleum geologists reckon we will pass the world oil spike sometime between 2006 and 2010. It will take, argues peak-oil expert Richard Heinberg, a second world war effort if many of us are to come through this epoch.
Catch-22, of course, is that the very worst fate that could befall our species is the discovery of huge new reserves of oil, because the climate chaos that would unleash would make the mere collapse of industrial society a sideshow bagatelle.
You can either have capitalism or a habitable planet. One or the other, not both.
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
He should start a party and run on that platform...Wait, the democrats already exist.
Blah blah blah blah.
Gee, if Capitalists are such environment-wrecking pigs, how come the USSR and China were/are some of the worst polluters the world has ever known?
A Green Economy. It's the new Marxism.
[Click HERE for hi-res image]
That is the scariest damn thing I've ever read.
It's pretty obvious that the more industrialized and capitalized an economy is, the cleaner it is. These people are too blinded by ideaology to see their noses.
China has the worst environmental record now, and they work hand in hand with 'capitalists'.
The free enterprise system is the best for protection of invidividual rights and the 'environment'.
Fine then. We'll take Earth, and you can have Mars. It's already "Red" and its got no pollution, no supermarkets, and no SUV's.
"A Green Economy. It's the new Marxism."
Yep. The same old tired communist are trying to do indirectly what they tried to do directly.
You can see this is you look at the funding of most of this junk.
Man, oh, man. What a maroon! Everyday and for all his life, this goober has gone to work in a capitalist system and bought food at a market. Yet, somehow he comes to the conclusion the two are incompatible and unsustainable. It's like denying sunrise or the seasons. Betcha he's a born and reared urbanite. He's also Captain Oblivious.
If you do it,pal,you can be sure that the Kerrys,Kennedys and Clintons will follow your lead.
Methinks this gentleman doesn't understand capitalism very well. Capitalism rewards those who provide a good or service that the consumers want. I *guarantee* that if a majority (or hell, even a plurality) of consumers began demanding environment-friendly goods and services, the providers *will* begin providing them. The hybrid car is a perfect example.
The beauty of capitalism is that it is a feedback loop. The consumer creates demand for a good or service, the provider provides it. As demand shifts, so must the provider change the good or service provided to meet the new demand. It's an endlessly self-refining cycle.
Yeah, and we all know that the Soviet Union and Red China were paragons of environmentalism.
What a pantload.
Email this moron.
Capitalism is not the issue, freedom is the issue. Capitalism is just the economic side of freedom.
My response in his language.
Blah blah blaaaaahhhhhh!
And a couple yada yada yadas.
This guy needs to read Michael Crichton's article on the complexity of world systems or some Julian Simon and educate himself. He's clinging to the outdated and discredited Paul Erlich philosophy.
Even National Geographic had several glossy spreads in the early 90's about the enviromental catastrophe in Eastern Europe. It didnt spring up within 6 months of the wall going down.
During the 1950s, the Chinese had carried out a program of land distribution coupled with industrialization under state ownership with grudging technical assistance from the Soviet Union. By the mid-1950s the situation in Mainland China had somewhat stabilized, and the immediate threat from the wars in Korea against the United States and in Vietnam against France had receded. The property of people perceived as capitalists by the new leadership had been expropriated in 1952-1953, members of the left-wing opposition imprisoned at the same time, and the remaining Kuomintang on the mainland had been eliminated. For the first time in generations, China seemed to have a strong and stable national government.
However, Mao Zedong had become alarmed by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's term since the Twentieth Congress. He perceived that far from "catching up and overtaking" the West, the Soviet economy was being allowed to fall behind. Uprisings had taken place in East Germany, Poland and Hungary, and the USSR was seeking "Peaceful coexistence" with what the Chinese regarded as imperialist Western powers. These policies meant for Mao that the PRC had to be prepared to "go it alone".
The Great Leap Forward
The Great Leap Forward borrowed elements from the history of the USSR in a uniquely Chinese combination. Collectivization from the USSR's "Third Period;" Stakhanovism from the early 1930s; the "people's guards" Khrushchev had created in 1959; and the uniquely Chinese policy of establishing People's communes as relatively self-sufficient economic units, incorporating light industry and construction projects.
It was thought that through collectivization and mass labor, China's steel production would surpass that of the United Kingdom only 15 years after the start of the "leap."
An experimental commune was established in Henan early in 1958, and soon spread throughout the country. Tens of millions were mobilized to produce one commodity, symbolic of industrializationsteel. Approximately 25,000 communes were set-up, each with around 5,000 households.
The hope was to industrialize by making use of the massive supply of cheap labor and avoid having to import heavy machinery. Small backyard steel furnaces were built in every commune while peasants produced "turds" of cast iron made out of scrap. Sometimes even factories, schools, and hospitals abandoned their work to smelt iron. The majority of this home produced iron was of extremely low quality and completely useless for any purposes. Simultaneously, the peasants were collectivized.
The Great Leap Forward is now widely seen both within China and outside as a major economic disaster. As inflated statistics reached planning authorities, orders were given to divert human resources into industry rather than agriculture. Various sources now put the death toll somewhere between 25 and 60 million people, with the majority of the deaths owed to starvation. The three years between 1959 and 1962 were known as the "Three Bitter Years," the Three Years of Natural Disasters (although this name is now rarely used in China), and the Great Leap Famine, as the Chinese people suffered from extreme shortages of food. It is believed by some to have been the greatest famine in history.
Droughts, floods, and general bad weather caught China completely by surprise. In July of 1959, the Yellow River flooded in East China. According to the Disaster Center, it directly killed, either through starvation from crop failure or drowning, an estimated 30 million people, while other areas were affected in other ways as well. It is ranked as the seventh deadliest natural disaster in the 20th century.
In 1960, at least some degree of drought and other bad weather affected 55 percent of cultivated land while an estimated 60 percent of agricultural land received no rain at all .
The Encyclopaedia Britannica Yearbooks for 1958 to 1962 speak of abnormal weather, droughts followed by floods. This includes 30 inches of rain at Hong Kong in five days in June 1959, part of a pattern that hit all of South China.
According to Jasper Becker - a journalist with long experience in China - in his book Hungry Ghosts: China's Secret Famine, most of the critics of the Great Leap outside China "watched China from Hong Kong." Thus, the conflict in the 1950s and 1960s over the Great Leap shaped up roughly along the lines of those who had experience living in Mao-governed China and those who did not.
Starting in the early 1980s, critics of the Great Leap added quantitative muscle to their arsenal. U.S. Government employee Judith Banister published what became an influential article in the China Quarterly and since then estimates as high as 30 million deaths in the Great Leap became common in the U.S. press. Critics point to birth rate assumptions used in the most widely cited projections of famine deaths.
However, estimations vary largely because of inaccurate data.
Today there is a growing exchange of ideas between China and the West. Discussion of population projection and statistical issues of the Great Leap is becoming more frequent.
During the Great Leap, the Chinese economy initially grew, and iron production increased 45% in 1958 and a combined 30% over the next two years, but plummeted in 1961, and would not reach the level it was at in 1958 until 1964. Despite the risks to their careers, some Communist Party members openly laid blame for the disaster at the feet of the Party leadership and took it as proof that China must rely more on education, acquiring technical expertise and applying bourgeois methods in developing the economy. It was principally to crush this opposition that Mao launched his Cultural Revolution in early 1966.
Mao stepped down as State Chairman (President) of the PRC in 1959, predicting he would take most of the blame for the failure of the Great Leap Forward, though he did retain his position as Chairman of the CCP. Liu Shaoqi (the new PRC Chairman) and Deng Xiaoping (CCP General Secretary) were left in charge to execute measures to achieve economic recovery. Additionally, this failure in Mao's regime meant that he became a "dead ancestor" as he labeled himself, a person who was respected but never consulted, occupying the political background of the Party. Furthermore, he also stopped appearing in public. All of this was later regretted by Mao, as he relaunched his Cult of Personality with the Great Yangtze Swim.
Insanity is defined as doing things over in the same way, and expecting different results. When will these maroons get Socialism out of their system?
May I reccomend suicide for him and all his followers...its obvious its the humans fault..so we need less humans...take the lead..and take yourself out....
Suffer now or suffer later; seems like an easy choice to me.
Check him out at Greenspirit. And check out his article, How Sick Is That? Environmental Movement Has Lost Its Way.
And if aliens invade with biological weapons that leave us defenceless, we will be wiped out. Or if a giant meteor hits the earth. Or if it rained for 300 daya and 300 nights all over the world. Or if an indestructable pest ate all the grain. Or if bird flu became a pandemic. Or if guys like this got into elected office ...
Good grief, this guy is completely stupid.
Yet, on the other hand, I see headlines like this: Global environment improving, report says
So which is it?
This author is an ideologue and a moron.
Have you ever read "Rainbow Six" by Tom Clancy? Wouldn't be surprised if the author of this piece wasn't of the same mindset as the enviro-wackos in that book.
I would ask this neo-hippy one question (and it's the one question I pose to all neo-hippies): And how many children, i.e. "planet killers", do you have?
Ding Chavez rules!
I just sent the author this email:
You are indeed a salted nut ball. After watching the fall of the anti-capitalist, communist eastern bloc, and witnessing the terrible environmental devastation wrought by those systems, how can you call for the elimination of mankinds only hope for survival, capitalism?
If you want to see true environmental disaster, schedule a holiday with your partner to the Black Sea. Witness, if you dare , the filth and pollution of the communities and villages of that area. Environmental devastation on an unthinkable scale. Villages that will remain uninhabitable for generations yet to come. Then travel to the "Rust Belt" of America and witness how capitalism has given the Americans there clean, healthful communities, with nary a trace of their big smokestack past.
Please do not think you fool us with your "green" stance. Your communist sympathies and goals are evident. ... And they are either a sign of your hopeless ignorance or a total inability on your part to take note of the real-life world around you.
When the individual has to conform to the wishes of some bureaucrat far away there is no pressure to maintain the local environment. ONLY when the individual has say in the matter, i.e. Capitalism. Does eviromentalism exist.
Nailed it. Well said!
Who would have thought.
"My Space initiative is proceeding and a return to the Moon will occur by 2019, the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. Today, I challenge the nations of the world to join my in a great challenge for humanity's sake. By 2050 all heavy industry will have been moved off planet with the attendant improvement in the living conditions within the biosphere."
That's a new one I hadn't heard before. Gee, I hope the good folks down at Whole Foods don't get wind of this. They're expending like crazy in my area, and seem to be doing quite well, selling consumers what they seem to want. The author of the article probably hates them for that, the dirty capitalists...
No, but I have read "STATE OF FEAR" by Michael Crichton. He just rips the enviro-whackos multiple openings. The best part is when the pompous Hollyweird celebrity "who plays the President on TV" gets eaten by cannibals.
Yeah, he does!
environmentalism = socialism
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