From Sleepwalking to Extinction. Climate Madness is coming, and to save us Richard Smith says we need an eco-socialist civilization! Jo Nova thinks we need people who can add up numbers.
Capitalism and the destruction of life and earth
Super Typhoon Haiyan has sent a chill through the global nervous system. Thousands dead. Weather scientists in shock. Lives destroyed. The greatest typhoon to touch land in recorded history brings with it more than total destruction. It ups the level of urgency for a new economic paradigm … one that puts the planet first. Radical economist Richard Smith shows us a way out of the “climate madness” about to descend everywhere.
So long as we live under this corporate capitalist system we have little choice but to go along in this destruction, to keep pouring on the gas instead of slamming on the brakes, and that the only alternative — impossible as this may seem right now — is to overthrow this global economic system and all of the governments of the 1% that prop it up and replace them with a global economic democracy, a radical bottom-up political democracy, an eco-socialist civilization.
What’s a radical bottom up political democracy if not the kind where every citizen can vote? Is that where cats dogs and chickens vote too? Or is it where everyone votes, but they can only pick a government Richard Smith wants?
In this parallel universe we are all deniers – even Obama
Hansen, McKibben, Obama — and most of us really — don’t want to face up to the economic implications of the need to put the brakes on growth and fossil fuel-based overconsumption. We all “need” to live in denial, and believe in delusions that carbon taxes or some tech fix will save us because we all know that capitalism has to grow or we’ll all be out of work. And the thought of replacing capitalism seems so impossible, especially given the powers arrayed against change. But what’s the alternative? In the not-so-distant future, this is all going to come to a screeching halt one way or another — either we seize hold of this out-of-control locomotive, or we ride this train right off the cliff to collapse.
At least he recognises the carbon taxes and fake free market is not the answer. Too bad he wants to throw out the real free-market too. I guess it’ll have to be state-run — what could possibly go wrong? Bring in the politburo!
The answer is always totalitarian
Emergency Contraction or Global Ecological Collapse?
If there’s no market mechanism to stop plundering the planet then, again, what alternative is there but to impose an emergency contraction on resource consumption?
(How about we wait until we get models that work, and scientists that predict things. Then we could try out some “bottom up democracy”?)
The good news is that Smith says that while we need to impose a martial law on resource consumption (like oil, coal, bricks, mining and metal) it doesn’t mean that we have to go without anything important.
This doesn’t mean we would have to de-industrialize and go back to riding horses and living in log cabins. But it does mean that we would have to abandon the “consumer economy” — shut down all kinds of unnecessary, wasteful and polluting industries from junkfood to cruise ships, disposable Pampers to disposable H&M clothes, disposable IKEA furniture, endless new model cars, phones, electronic games, the lot.
Somehow your house will be warmed, your old car will keep running, your old phone will turn up (and work), and furniture will appear in your group-share apartment. You will learn to like true retro-rusty-chrome chairs salvaged from 1965.
And who needs Pampers? Richard Smith will come to your house to help wash the nappies, right?