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The Climate Crisis Means the Wrong People Are Running the World

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/09/19/climate-crisis-means-wrong-people-are-running-world

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The “wrong people” are a product of a rapacious, predatory, and outdated economic and political system that maintains itself by generating a culture of idiotic consumerism, ignorance, and racism.

The part that I missed by scanning through this report was an interesting number recently produced by a just as credible study that had found out that the US’ DOD contribution to the Earth’s pollution is equal to that of 140 or so countries combined. Point is, there are so many ways to measure these things.

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That’s why it’s vital to get past the greenwash salesmanship cooked up by the same kakistocratic servants of necrotism, doggedly devoted to devouring Earth. I’m sorry, no. You’re not going to be able to continue wasting energy left and right like there’s no tomorrow, now that tomorrows are getting seriously scarce. You can’t avoid cooking Earth through buying and selling more stuff, even stuff with the official Greenwash Seal of Approval, for one simple reason: Earth is already cooked.

We now have an unmistakable sign to knowledgeable observers. The icecap literally holds the whole global system together. Nobody can hazard a guess what happens next, not without responsibly insisting it’s only a guess. This is September 19th, later than any previous Arctic sea-ice minimum, and the icecap continues to shrink below 4 million km2. The violent albedo crash anticipated is called the Blue Ocean Event, defined as less than 1 million square kilometers of Arctic sea-ice extent (15% coverage). We’ll probably see that in a year or two. M$MBS may never notice, for all I know.

That one, the (late) icecap, is our irrefutable evidence the PTB must be transitioned to ex-powers. This sort of thing should make us angry enough to get over the oppressive convention that it’s always unseemly and unhealthy to express or embrace righteous anger.

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It’s true that the sociopaths running the world are the key reason things have gotten so bad, and the reality that communities are unable to protect themselves against deadly pollution–because under law, most of the time corporate rights trump human rights–shows that our democracies are shams. But it’s also true that there is another piece in the equation of climate change. The demand all of us especially in the “developed” world put forth for cars and oil and gadgets and crap WILL be supplied–nobody is forcing us to vote for the worst offenders, to choose gashog vehicles and huge houses and fruit flown from the other side of the world (although we are being manipulated into these decisions). It needs to be noted that it isn’t only climate change that the sociopaths running the world are subjecting us to–it’s they who start the wars, who push for legislation arranging for the poor to become desperate and themselves to become even richer, who are now setting up systems of surveillance and control they hope will protect them from the coming global revolt. The 64 trillion dollar question is, why is it always sociopaths who get into positions of power and how can we change this?

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Not enough to just like that post. Great one, wildfire. Plus one and all that exclamatory online whatnot!

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It also means that the way of choosing people is wrong.

For the most part, authority over people and resources is assigned according to money. And money is gained–“earned” is a badly misleading term–by self-interested activity. Some people do honest work, of course. But work for the money remains self-interested. And people who gain large fortunes do so by profit, not by wages–and specifically by not returning large surpluses to any sort of beneficial system.

Again, despite the received wisdom of most of our upbringings here in the States, democracy and capitalism do not go together.

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I’m watching our EPA administer and other republican hacks on C-SPAN. All kinds of bogus reasons for re-smogging California’s air.
It is mind boggling to witness high level politicians laugh in the face of climate change. These people don’t care about life on this planet. Just so they can have the choice of the most polluting transportation available. They won’t get it until they can fry an egg on their foreheads.

These people refuse to be regulated into sanity.

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Oh no, I might have to steal that crisp line. Confessing in advance…

They won’t get it until they’re dead,
Just like my sister Rachel said.
Until the last drop is drilled and bled,
Until they fry an egg on their own forehead.

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Barack Obama may have been dignified, but he was not very courageous. He could have shown courage by holding Wall Street bankers accountable for their roles in the Great Recession. Instead, he let them off the hook - not one trial or conviction…or maybe there was one, some low level fall guy. Obama could have used his substantial bully pulpit to challenge the status quo gridlock of Congress and the influence-peddling lobbyists, to push for real “change we can believe in.” Instead he chose to bend over backwards to “compromise,” including his ‘grand bargain’ that would have put social security and medicare at risk - thank goodness Repubs foolishly did not take that deal.

We cannot afford to have a status quo Dem run again for office in 2020. We need a bold progressive who has the track record to put what they say into action.

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Sting nailed it

Durrrr!!! (Light bulb goes on - and not the incandescent type Trump prefers).

Great piece. Songless vessels really sums it up.

How can you make collective decisions when you feel no connection to the whole. And are warped beyond repair.

Right. So my comment to Dipti Bhatnagar’s piece belongs here, too: The “most intelligent” animal on the planet is going to insist on sitting on the beach enjoying the sun until the tsunami seen far in the distance actually gets close enough to be heard as well as seen, and then they’ll start a useless, panicked scramble to find something to stand on. It’s insane. As long as people’s response to what needs to be done is to say “but that will cost money,” or “but people will lose their jobs” we’re lost. Neutering capitalism is the first necessary step. Instead of doing nothing until it has been figured out how to actually profit from stopping climate change, concepts such as freedom, private ownership, market competition and especially wealth accrual need to be placed far below the first rule of life on this planet: sustainability. Until sustainability becomes the first requirement for both business and social organization, we are doomed.

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As one reader has rightly stated here, capitalism needs to stand up and take its share of the blame: As long as people’s response to what needs to be done is to say “but that will cost money,” or “but people will lose their jobs” we’re lost. Neutering capitalism is the first necessary step. Instead of doing nothing until it has been figured out how to actually profit from stopping climate change, concepts such as freedom, private ownership, market competition and especially wealth accrual need to be placed far below the first rule of life on this planet: sustainability. Until sustainability becomes the first requirement for both business and social organization, we are doomed.

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yes, the big corporations are greedy and irresponsible, but they are also meeting demands - for cars, airplanes, meat, ACs, convenience…its feel-good pandering to ignore this and just blame the corporations. Also bad guys are the religious leaders (all male) who impose rules that force women to bear children they don’t want, adding to the rapid population growth that fuels and grows the demand

“… how can we change this?”
[/quote]

The answer to the question is known by most of us here, but in bits and pieces. I doubt any one individual could write the checklist that says, “Fix these things, and humanity and our Earth will be just fine.”
–But that list needs writing.
And, of course, the how for each item that needs fixing must somehow manage to be good for people and Earth.

No biggie. Someone get to work.

" Ending state subsidies for fossil fuels $5.3 trillion globally– would free up funds for a complete transition to renewable energy."

That’s interesting considering the fact that I have never seen a 100% renewable energy transition study where the cost estimate was below $10 trillion.

I wonder what evidence this author is using to claim that $5.3 trillion is all that is needed to transition to renewables, when so many published studies do not agree in the slightest.

Infrastructure is complicated and expensive. The idea that this project can be quick and cheap is discussed by people who DONT WORK IN THIS INDUSTRY. Why on earth are these people being listened to over scientists, engineers, economists and contractors who actually have experience and research on the energy and energy infrastructure industries?

Climate refugees need to be welcomed at the nearest safe place.Those Bahamians were looking for new homes. The storms are becoming too powerful to live in their old ones.
There will be a flood of climate refugees in the coming years. There needs to be a flood of policies developed.

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anyone that wants to run the world is “the wrong people”.

I have no love for corporations whatsoever - they are amoral agents whose sole purpose is to maximize profit for their shareholders. But is it reasonable to assign all blame and responsibility for the current mess to them? Bashing corporations is a hot topic with everyone from Elizabeth Warren on down at it but what about the public that happily consumes the way of life that they sell? As just one example, if we have blown our carbon budget its at least partly because consumers were demanding and buying those gas hogs called SUVs. And if one corporation chose not to produce them you can bet someone else would have taken up the call. Its easy to sit there and bash corporations, but shouldn’t the public take some of the blame and responsibility too? If the public were busy demanding electric vehicles I think that corporations would have seen it in their interest to produce them