Capitalism & Climate Change: An Update

Published 19/12/2017

On the the original page Economics, History, & Climate change 101: A Crash Course., an article which I originally wrote out in various places in 2015, I ended the section on ecology with this paragraph:

“It is my belief that I have spotted something that our climate models missed and our world leaders either do not know about, or they do not want you to know the following. We only discovered the 37yr lag to effect in 2012. This means all warming experienced so far is prior to 1980, i.e. prior to globalization’s accent. Post 1980 we massively increased our rate of Co2 emissions year on year, in effect, we turned the gas up on the stove, and only now, 2015> do I believe we will see the full effects of this. If I am right, changes will happen far quicker than models previously suggested which in turn may lead to all life on earth being in terminal decline by 2100 as crops fail and resource wars rage.

The rate of warming has increased dramatically over the past few months. for now we are blaming el nino. I am not so sure. Time will tell…

Well, the years have turned, and, the verdict is in.

climate 1

The Paris Climate agreement is, I am sorry to say, already a failure.


The more scientifically observant of you may be thinking “the arctic floats on the water and won’t cause flooding”  correct, but the massive thermal expansion caused by all that white surface now being black water and the disruption to the global climate system as the northern hemisphere loses any remaining equilibrium with the south will make hurricane Irma look like a picnic and accelerate warming across the board along with fires, floods, the works.

Capitalism cannot solve climate change, it can only create technology to allow economics to outrun physics a little longer. We need an economic system which can grow living standards while degrowing our economic footprints.

Around 1930 Keynes was writing how the entire point of an economy should be to advance humanity to a state where work becomes secondary in our lives.  We have long since passed this point, today it takes one person ten hours to produce what it took two people a week to produce in 1930. Automation, computerisation, and robots are here.

All of this technology, funded generously from the taxes of every nation via rebates and credits, can be owned and work for the 1%, or it can work for us all. Democracy at work, will allow us to reduce our hours while maintaining to increasing our pay. This is not possible under capitalism as a handful of people, the major investors who are usually also the board members decide what, where, and how to produce, and what to do with the profits.

Under a new economic system, we the people who produce the wealth, should get the say on the above as equals. We can have this system via Democracy, which should exist in 100% of life, not the 30% of it when you leave work.

For example:

If we have control of our economics, we have control of our destiny, and perhaps we can mitigate some of the disaster that is approaching us, the alternative is the end of our civilisation as we have known it. If we continue as we are, this world will shrug the majority of us off into dust as she has done many species over billions of years, only we will be the first to be responsible for doing it to ourselves.