Capitalism Vs the Environment October 6

This topic was inspired by Naomi Kline’s book “This Changes Everything – Capitalism Vs. the Climate.” Essentially what she is saying is that we know how to stop Climate Change, to wean ourselves from fossil fuels and to save the earth, but the Capitalistic free market system is preventing us from doing so. Governments need to regulate greenhouse gases and other pollutants and invest in clean energy, but trade agreements and the capitalist system prevents that from happening.

This is a good article by Naomi Klein:

Or if you don’t have much time you can watch this 5 minute video.

Almost all of our “Free Trade” agreements prevent governments from treating domestic industries differently than international industries. As an example. As part of the Paris Climate agreement, each nation was supposed to develop a plan to address Climate Change. India made a good plan to lower emissions and install solar power, but they thought 10% of the solar panels should be locally made in India. The U.S. sued India, and the World Trade Orgnization (WTO} found that India couldn’t give preferential treatment to its own industry.

Likewise if governments try to regulate pollution they can be sued by polluting fossil fuel industries for “loss of expected profits”. “Free Trade” agreements would actually prohibit member countries from enacting many new environmental regulations, allowing those regulations to be challenged as “barriers to trade.” This strips a fundamental democratic right from the public to pass laws that protect our environment in favor of corporations’ “right” to profit from environmental destruction.

Europeans don’t want GMO’s and the European Commission has given EU member states the power to ban GMO cultivation for reasons beyond environmental or public health concerns. The WTO and the TTIP agreement would prevent the people from banning GMO’s.

This has become a moral issue and Pope Francis has spoken out against “Vampire Capitalism” harming the environment in a papal encyclical.  Pope Francis’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, convened an  inter-disciplinary  conference of over 60 of the planet’s top scientists and thinkers under the banner, “Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity. the Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Humanity.” An open letter from the conference participants on the Pontifical Academy of Sciences website linked the trend of growing global income inequality and the planet’s continued reliance on fossil fuels, predicting that if current trends continue, we will see “unprecedented climate changes and ecosystem destruction that will severely impact us all.”






About altruist1

I am a raging progressive and a writer. I received Bachelors degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Arts with a Secondary teaching certificate and a minor in Physics. I taught for about ten years, then did various jobs including welding,fabrication and traffic engineering, and am now retired. I am interested in science, energy, the environment, and architecture.
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