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Climate Crisis and Managed Deindustrialization: Debating Alternatives to Ecological Collapse


Why don’t you read Smith’s article on China, cited in his opinion piece: “China’s communist-capitalist ecological apocalypse.” Google it. In that article Smith argues that the combination of capitalism and Stalinism in China has produced an economy that is even more ecologically destructive than “normal” capitalism.


Ed, What I’m pointing out is that capitalism, per se is neither the cause nor is getting rid of it the solution, and that the article’s premise that it is is incorrect.

Humans seek to maximize their own well being, regardless of the economic system you place them in. The solution is not to change the form of the economy, the solution is to reduce the load on the planet.


Please elaborate, because I don’t understand what this sentence means.


Thanks for posting here. FYI, WWS is purely an ideologue, here only to push their ideology - in which, by definition, capitalism is “not the problem.” No argumentation will ever suffice.


Also i appreciate the frame in the headline: “managed deindustrialization,” to avert “ecological collapse.” i assume that is the author’s frame, not an innovation by an editor. But to note that deindustrialization has not been addressed in the comments.


Pro lemistotalconsumption,which is product of population and per capita consumption.


thanks Richard


From the article:

“The real culprit of the climate crisis is…the very way in which we globally produce, which is for profit rather than for sustainability.”

The second law of thermodynamics suggests that “profit” is illusory. Until we confront that reality, we’re just spinning our wheels.


Very simple - we are over populated


Too simple-a-solution, IMO — since population reduction, alone, doesn’t
systematically address already entrenched production//consumption
activities that’ve now become ecologically unsustainable/toxic/destructive,
no matter what the population.
Even with a theoretical earth population compulsorily reduced-to and
kept-at 3 billion humans (assuming that number was even achievable w/o
worldwide governments gaining unacceptable, tyrannical powers over
elemental human drives, worldwide), ecologically dangerous & stupidly
promulgated human activities [like Fukushima-type nuke plants, fracking,
micro-plastics in the food chain, etc., etc.] could still easily create a
humanity-fatal, global eco- crisis anytime in the present or unreformed
So: While population reduction methods that wouldn’t stupidly generate
trans-global civil unrest & chaos – are definitely needed right now, so
also there is simultaneously needed an eco conscious,
preferably-democratically-grounded, reform of ALL current techno-industrial
political-economic systems {capitalist/socialist/mixed/or otherwise),
that, today, still operate with too-little-accountability to, or even
self-interested concern for, preserving the known, natural dynamics of
Earth’s interlocked life support meta System.

I think that anthropologists are wrong in designating us modern humans as
"Homo Sapiens" (‘Wise Men’). We are, more provably, still stuck in that
earlier, self-designated anthro category they call “Homo Habiliis”
(‘Tool-making Man’), since our species has now devised radically-new &
unprecedentedly-dangerous kinds of tools – eco-System-cum-
species-annihilation tools, that our so-called modern-wisdom (allegedly
self-reflective, collective cognitive wisdom) fails to sufficiently
recognize, let alone admit, as such.

Were some of thise ancient Greek/pre-Socratic thinkers, like Thales and
Heraclitus, maybe “on to” something of profound trans-human import, when
they gropingly tried to intuit and name a phenomenon that they sensed in
the cosmos of created things/energies…? FWIW, Heraclitus called it
"Enantiodromia" – which, roughly transliterated into English mean
something like: the [cosmic] tendency of a ‘thing’ or ‘idea’ to become, or
reveal itself as, its Opposite…



We are indeed way overpopulated. The whole world needs a NO child policy, based on incentives not coercion, for a generation or two to bring the human population down to a sustainable level, especially to leave some room for other species. But population is not the main driver of ecological collapse. Capitalism is the overwhelmingly the main driver and if we don’t dethrone capitalism, capitalism is going to solve the overpopulation problem in the most brutal fashion – by cooking the planet, starving millions, and rendering life impossible.


OK, got it! Thanks for clarifying. Yes, we are overpopulated, which is a main driver of the sixth extinction, and the sixth extinction event is beyond any economic system at this point.