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No, Capitalism Will Not Save the Climate


No, Capitalism Will Not Save the Climate

Karin Nansen

We are facing deep-rooted climate, social, and environmental crises. The current dominant economic system cannot provide solutions. It is time for system change.

For Friends of the Earth International this means creating societies based on peoples’ sovereignty and environmental, social, economic, and gender justice. We must question and deconstruct the capitalist logic of accumulation.


Thanks to Karin Nansen!

We must question and deconstruct the capitalist logic of accumulation.

The climate catastrophe is interwoven with many social and environmental crises, including oppression, corporate power, hunger, water depletion, biodiversity loss and deforestation.

At its heart sits an unsustainable economic system, the sole aim of which is endless growth and profit. This system concentrates wealth, power, and obscene privilege with the few.

Now that wasn’t so hard to understand, was it kids?


Ah, capitalism! Is there anything it can’t do? In the context of destroying the ecosystem of an entire planet, I mean.

We must starve the beast in order to kill it. The libretarians have been pushing unrestrained capitalism on us for generations. I say, let’s show what libretarianism is all about. Everybody in it for themselves. The hundreds of millions of us who have debt worldwide? Just stop paying it tomorrow. Walmart? Don’t go there. Amazon? Stop ordering stuff. As a matter of fact just go to their stores and take what you want, you know, full blown, balls to the wall libretarianism. Dog eat dog.
Oh, the planet is still warming out of control? Well that’s just an added bonus to the mayhem.
All the good thoughts and prayers aren’t going to help. This is not going to end well.


The critique of libertarianism is well taken, but there are many democratic and socialist movements in the U.S. and abroad that are collective and can give us a sense of some ways to move to build enough power to challenge capitalism.


Do remember that the strain of Libertarianism that exists in the USA is very much different than that in Europe.

Libertarian Socialism is very different then what the Koch Brothers advocate.


This looks like a clone of Naomi Klein’s strategy of trying to exploit the carbon crisis to push a largely irrelevant social agenda that apparently has insufficient traction on its own merits. This is only hardening suspicions that this is not a real crisis. Even more precious that this advice on how to combat fossil carbon comes from an organization with a long record of opposing one of our leading low-carbon energy sources, currently opposes any development work to make it better, and is in open conflict with the recommendations of the IPCC and James Hansen.

I regret every dollar I ever donated to FOE.


Everything she says is totally bogus since she fails to mention the underlying cause.

Overpopulation and the cult of breeding!

You can’t just vote habitat into existence because it’s fair and just.

She says, “Genuine system change would radically transform the food system toward food sovereignty and agroecology: valuing local knowledge, promoting social and economic justice and people’s control over their territories, guaranteeing the right to land, water and seeds, nurturing social relations founded on justice and solidarity, and recognizing the fundamental role of women in food production, to provide an effective way to feed the world, and a counter to destructive industrial agriculture.”

Nonsense all of it.

What is the value of local knowledge? Which locality? You mean the locals who can barely read, eat at MacDonald’s and buy endless amounts of plastic high fructose junk?

Or is this some racial appeal that indigenous people have magical skills? (Meanwhile indigenous tribes own oil and gas companies, and casinos.)

Guaranteeing the right to land? WTF? So basically you can have as many children as you want, and the land will just magically appear, and everyone will own it, and our magical local knowledge, and the magical wise women of food production, will make resources spring forth. Thoughts and prayers will be the new science.

The right to water? Clean water is running out all over the world because the population of eight billion people depletes it.

The right to seeds? Are you kidding me? You do realize that it is a difficult science to turn a seed into food, which requires extensive labor, and just the right habitat. (Habitat by the way is not doing too well these days.)

But you have a right to seeds already. Just go to any store. They probably sell seeds. There are seeds for free on lots of plants. Go get some.

However, the education to know which seeds and how to grow seeds is another thing entirely.

And when was the last time you think Melania Trump went out and produced food, her being a woman and all? How about Ivanka? Hillary was out producing food?

Again, this assertion that women have magical food production skills is bogus. It’s some Disney version of resources and “tribal” knowledge.


It’s overpopulation. It’s the cult of breeding. It’s natalsim.

This bizarre magical thinking ignores that the children born today face an extremely disrupted and violent near future. I am just sure they will feel comforted knowing that they have the right to land and water, and that the women and indigenous people will provide for them with their magical knowledge of water and seeds as they and everyone else run for their lives.

Indigenous magic women knowledge will comfort them while they starve to death in refugee camps or run from fires, droughts, storms and floods.

And as long as this Is what “progressives” offer as a solution to climate change and habitat collapse, we will continue to devolve into chaos. (See the Atlantic Ocean today for details.)

You can not vote habitat into existence. Stop having children!


Great article, precise and outlines pretty perfectionaly what needs to be done to secure a just world for all.


Except it is singing to the choir and would lamestreet media cover those points? We need to trample abc, cbs, nbc, cnn, msnbc, et al with revoking of licenses or penalties.


And how exactly does that work? Where is the precision and outline besides saying that tribes and woman have magical food production skills?


I applaud your bringing up the core of the problems “over population” but most people won’t talk about it. Back in 60’s/70’s movement for zero population growth and how did that work out. I believe it be be true but …how do you legislate it? I don’t have a clue why young people are having babies in this chaotic world and expense of raising children. Even if you can afford we all need to ask ourselves “what is our footprint” on the planet in all our actions.


Okay let’s deconstruct this logic of accumulation.

It starts when people say let’s accumulate some children.

And then they stop there, not doing any research on resources and what it takes to actually allow humans to survive. This accumulation of children, without regard to habitat limits causes the climate catastrophe, social crisis, oppression, and water depletion, deforestation, and all the rest.

Wealth is relative. If you do not have habitat, you do not have wealth, no matter what the numbers say on your bank statement.

Many people are about to learn that lesson, one more time, as we head into yet another chaotic hurricane season.


How do you legislate it?

That’s very simple.

Your children are about to die from habitat collapse.


Starve the beast.

Wear a condom.

In fact, I think that’s a great new slang term for wearing a condom!

Starve the beast!


At the root of industrial capitalism is agrigionomics. Ever since civilizations arose from agriculture there’s been a struggle for resources. Mesopotamia set the stage to evolve to where we are today. Our civilization threatens Earth and her ecosystems that enable all life to survive. So…civilization is the real problem. With civilization comes the ability to overpopulate an area which forces a migration, etc. Well today there’s nowhere to migrate. Earth is being murdered by industrial civilization, capitalism in endemic to this system of civilization. Collapse is inevitable. I see no other outcome as things have gone too far to reverse it now. Whether humankind survives is problematic at this point. This date cannot be to terribly far in the future. The word in the first sentence is a hybrid of economics and agriculture.


The problem is not the economic system per se as much as it is in our willingness to adopt an economic system whose main function is to satisfy the individual human evolutionary survival benefits of greed rather than the common good. Today’s corporations exist mainly to make a profit off of the human addiction to greed; the desire for material possessions is no different that the desire for opiods and the end game is the same. There is a survival benefit to greed only in societies that lack the cultural lesson of long term survival by communal living. Unfortunately the human species originated long before communal societies or civilization so the guy/gal that got a squirt of “happy juice” from filling his/her cave with jerky and arrows was the one that survived. As time went on theirs became a learned recognition that collective “socialist” groups had a greater survival advantage over the lone wolff. Yes, socialist collective societies do enhance human survival. Capitalistic, dog eat dog societies…not so much, as they revert back to satisfying the primal instincts of human nature to the detriment of society and ultimately the species, as a whole.

In the world/environment we have created there is a slim chance of long term survival absent some sort of collective consensus. If we continue to run the world an a manner that satisfies only the brain stem demands of the rich and privileged we, and they are doomed. Little good it will do the rest of the world if an ignorant, despotic demanding American populace continues to prioritize life style over life.


That all depends on how you use the overproduction of agriculture. If you use it to feed people then not so much. If you use it’s excess to fund armies and churches then not so much.


I don’t think that it’s singing to the choir at all as many of the CD writer/editors don’t seem to actually understand capitalism or its central role in the destruction of the biosphere we call Earth.


also don’t shop at whole foods anymore - and not just bezos bought it


Capitalism can save the climate if it can turn out enough solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicles to meet the demand which it probably can. The problem is there is a lack of sense of urgency. Changing the system will not create a sense of urgency. I don’t profess to have any answers. Climate change unfolds very slowly compared with disasters that humans typically respond to. Rather than abrupt changes over days, weeks or months the changes occur of decades and many would not even be known to people without careful measurements by scientists. People are using climate change to take on capitalism and even in the unlikely event they were successful it wouldn’t matter much when it comes to climate. However, capitalism does require continuous growth and at some point it would seem that such growth would no longer be feasible and would lead to collapse. That does seem logical since at some point resources would get used up. One solution could be to obtain resources from other planets and from asteroids. That seems like science fiction but it appears to be at least a possibility given the advances in technology…