Monday, May 29, 2023
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Get out of capitalism with climate change

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François Bonnet. La Vie des Idées 

There is no issue in the world more important than climate change. In her latest book, Naomi Klein tries to prove that fighting global warming means getting out of capitalism. How?

"This Changes Everything" ("this" is global warming) explores the ways in which we can escape the ravages of disasters that accompany rising temperatures worldwide. It is not an academic book nor a collection of scientific data on climate change. Naomi Klein does not try to convince the reader of the reality of the problem. The author is a Canadian journalist and activist whose first book, "No Logo," sold a million copies and has participated in launching the movement for global justice. "The strategy of shock," her second book, was also a worldwide bestseller. "This Changes everything" defends the thesis that ecological sustainability is not compatible with capitalism and that climate change and its dire threats are an opportunity to get rid of it, because in the long term we will have to choose between capitalism and survival of the species. "This Changes Everything" is an intervention in public debate by a professional in social movements and an ideologue of the highest level of the twenty-first century Left.

Capitalism against climate

For Naomi Klein, nothing better illustrates the link between capitalism and global warming that that the international trade law and the World Trade Organization (WTO), the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, fought a legal war against each other to cancel subsidies for renewable energy in other countries. All policies designed to encourage short circuits is comparable to protectionism and in conscience, subject to appeal to the WTO, where judges make decisions crucial to the future of the planet, with the agreements signed between the countries as their only reference. At the 1992 Rio summit, it was agreed that the measures against global warming could not serve as a "disguised restriction" on international trade. The organization of the free movement of capital allows capitalists to travel the world in search of cheaper labour and environmental standards which are generally non-existent. As Naomi Klein said, work at low cost and dirty energy form a "package". "Fighting warming requires getting out of capitalism".

"This Changes Everything" includes that which will not work in the fight against global warming. Nothing can be expected from the large environmental NGOs such as Nature Conservancy or the Environmental Defence Fund, most of which are corrupted by multinationals. Nothing can be expected either from philanthropic millionaires, to which it dedicates a chapter. Nothing also expected from small everyday gestures. And above all, nothing to expect from carbon markets, whose negative effects are manifest. In India, a whole industry is dedicated to the manufacture of pollutants to destroy them and then they pocket the environmental subsidies. Little to expect either from "geoengineering" (as Bruno Latour or Stephen Hawking advocate), which does not aim to reduce emissions, rather to intervene on the effects of global warming, with practices such as carbon sequestration or dispersion of the sulphur in the atmosphere to lower the temperature. A solution advocated by the authors of Freakonomics, geoengineering provides endless potential for adverse effects and can only be the last resort of a planet adrift. "Humans would do better to radically change their lifestyle".



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