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  • This video is made in collaboration with  Second Thought. Make sure to check out  

  • their video on capitalism's  climate crisis after this.

  • Death is upon us. The death of glaciers  and ice sheets plummeting into the sea,  

  • the death of great swaths of forests, the  death of reefs bleaching white in pain,  

  • and the death of people killed by  storms, drought, fires, austerity,  

  • and the state. After making over one hundred  videos and reading countless articles,  

  • papers, and books about how human history has come  to this moment, it's clear to me what's driving  

  • this descent into climate chaos: CapitalismToday we wade into the muddy waters of capitalism  

  • in order to understand how our current global  market economy is killing us and the world.

  • Capitalism's Plunder of the Planet: Since its inception in the urban landscapes  

  • of England, industrial capitalism has been  a juggernaut of waste, driving plunder and  

  • reckless production of needless commoditiesBecause of this production it has also pumped  

  • billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the  air. Indeed, were it not for the relentless  

  • drive for increased productivity and growth  of early English capitalists, the use of  

  • coal would not have dramatically increasedCoal allowed capitalists to squeeze more from  

  • their laborers in less time and ultimately  expand their profit margins. This, in part,  

  • is why we start to see the rise of greenhouse  gases coincide with the rise of capitalist  

  • economies. Fossil fuels, with their energy  dense makeup, allowed Capitalism to flourish  

  • by fueling machines and allowing centralization  in factories, and of course, this was all at the  

  • expense of the workers and environment. The  core imperative of Capitalism is to grow,  

  • an imperative which runs in stark opposition to  the realities of what it means to live in balance  

  • with an entire planet. Indeed, as capitalism seeks  to convert ever more of the natural world into raw  

  • materials it does so at a rate far greater than  the natural world is able to replenish itself.

  • The Long Reaches of Capitalism

  • Fast forward to today and the global capitalist  economy has reached its final form. The speed at  

  • which corporations and capitalist markets extract  raw materials has reached extinction-level rates.  

  • Deforestation, fishery decline, and even the  disastrous response to the COVID-19 pandemic all  

  • have been connected back to industrial capitalist  plunder. Climate change represents the final nail  

  • in the coffin for capitalism's insatiable desire  for growth. Since 1988, 100 companies have caused  

  • 71% of greenhouse gas emissions, revealing  the simple truth that capitalist behemoths  

  • are driving climate disaster. And most  of these corporations are multinationals,  

  • or companies that have grown so large, gobbled  up so much, that they seek out new territories  

  • to exploit across the globe. I've donenumber of videos on multinationals like Coke,  

  • Amazon, Walmart, and Exxon, examining how they  use global markets to pay workers starvation wages  

  • while offloading any waste or emissions they  create into the surrounding environment.  

  • And fossil fuel companies are the epitome  of multinational exploitation. As it becomes  

  • increasingly clear that they are wreaking havoc  both on the environment and people, oil and gas  

  • companies seem to be working tirelessly not  to repair the harm they've inflicted on both  

  • people and planet, but to protect themselves  and the growth/profit paradigm they enjoy  

  • by greenwashing capitalism. Since their inception  oil corporations like BP have been at the  

  • forefront of this self-defense mechanism. Greenwashing Capitalism 

  • With the help of expensive public relations  campaigns and solidifying support from politicians  

  • through lobbying, BP has evaded any consequences  for what it has done to us. Its rebrand toBeyond  

  • Petroleumin 2000 and subsequent $200,000,000  marketing campaign claimed they were transitioning  

  • to renewable energy, while they actually were  pouring more money than ever into expanding  

  • their oil portfolio. BP also invented the  idea of the individual carbon footprint  

  • as a way to get consumers to focus on individual  solutions and not corporate activity. And now BP  

  • is once again claiming it's going to invest in  a green economy by achievingnet zero carbon  

  • emissions by 2050.” But net zero really just  means that BP will continue to pull fossil  

  • fuels out of the ground and then just get people  to plant trees for them to cover the carbon cost.  

  • Net zero isn't zero and BP knows it. In addition  to rebranding and polishing corporate images,  

  • corporations are grabbing seats at the tables  of international conferences and organizing  

  • sustainability conferences themselves. The  UN Conference of Parties, which produced  

  • the Paris Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol, is  increasingly inundated with corporate interests  

  • hoping to mold our global response to the climate  crisis. As a result, the international doctrines  

  • like the Paris Agreement were significantly  weakened, using non-binding agreements and  

  • employing market-based solutions that represent  nowhere near the action we need to take in order  

  • to stave off the worst of climate change. The  truth is, as Dorothy Grace Guerrero puts it in  

  • a paper on capitalism and the climate, that,  “as the impacts of climate change intensify,  

  • free-market ideology, big business and financial  actors increasingly shape the strategies and  

  • priorities in addressing it.” So, we need to  call these conferences and marketing strategies  

  • what they are: delay and obfuscation tactics  by capitalist institutions that allows them  

  • to continue burning fossil fuels, producing  useless commodities, and pocketing profits.

  • Disaster Capitalism in the Climate Crisis

  • As the world watched Texas and the southern  United States freeze in February of this year,  

  • it was hard not to draw connections. How could  we be so unprepared for such an event? Especially  

  • with the knowledge that climate change will  induce more erratic weather patterns in the  

  • future. Texas is a prime example of the dual  reality of Capitalism in the climate crisis.  

  • It simultaneously creates disasters, hollows  out any form of substantial defense or recovery  

  • method against disasters, and seeks to profit  off of what remains in the aftermath. In short,  

  • climate change-related natural disasters  and the human suffering they cause  

  • are good for capitalism. In 2002, Texas  deregulated its energy sector, purportedly  

  • hoping that if free-market capitalist competition  ran free, electricity prices would drop. But  

  • according to a 2014 report, deregulating the  energy market did the opposite. From 2002-2012,  

  • residents paid $22 billion more in deregulated  areas. And as we saw in Texas during the freeze,  

  • this extra money was doing nothing to increase  the quality of service or infrastructure. Energy  

  • companies skimped on infrastructure service in  order to save a quick buck, and the consequences  

  • inevitably fell on poor communities and  communities of color. For the fortunate few who  

  • did have power throughout the polar vortex, energy  companies ruthlessly ratcheted up energy prices,  

  • with bills sometimes reaching into the tens of  thousands for just a couple days of electricity.  

  • The profit motive of these capitalist institutions  meant a drive to minimize the costs and create  

  • the most profit, or in other words they sought to  simultaneously provide the least amount of service  

  • possible while pushing the limit on how much they  can charge. Which, in the case of an increasingly  

  • disaster-prone world, is quite literally  a deadly combination. On the global stage,  

  • capitalist operators are also using catastrophes  to engrain free-market ideas into the political  

  • structures of whole nations. An insidious  agenda known as disaster capitalism. From the  

  • U.S. backed Chilean coup in 1973 that overthrew  democratically elected Socialist leader Salvador  

  • Allende in order to prop-up an authoritarian  dictator Augusto Pinochet dead-set on implement  

  • the capitalist free-market ideologies of Milton  Friedman, to the wave of mass privatization in  

  • Iraq by U.S. multinationals like Haliburton after  the 2003 invasion, capitalist corporations use the  

  • shock of disaster and war to enshrine free-market  agendas into law. In the wake of Hurricane Maria,  

  • the right wing Puerto Rican governor attempted  to close down hundreds of schools, privatize the  

  • electricity grid, and even sell off some roads  and brudges. Of course, the history of Puerto  

  • Rico is marked with the colonial attacks of the  U.S. and Europe that have worked to hollow out  

  • public safety-nets and institutions in the name  of austerity and the free-market. For example,  

  • under the cover illegitimate debt the US Congress  passed PROMESA in 2016, a law that Naomi Klein  

  • writesamounted to a financial coupthat enacted  harsh austerity measures to supposedly solve  

  • Puerto Rico's debt. It's hard to bounce back from  hurricane winds when your government and colonial  

  • pressures have carved out all self-sufficiency  methods and made you reliant on fossil fuel and  

  • food imports. Yet, Puerto Ricans were resilient  in the face of disaster, much like the mutual  

  • aid groups that provided lifelines for those in  the frozen Southern U.S. The stubborn solidarity  

  • of these communities reveal that people, not  companies are the answer to climate chaos.

  • Paths Towards the Future

  • The path towards the future has to be  post-capitalist. We know this when we  

  • look at the dismal responses to Covid-19, to  natural disasters, and to capitalism's inability  

  • to curb emissions over the last 40 years. We  know this because that is also what science  

  • demands. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate  Change calls for societal transformation  

  • on a scale never-before-seen in order to  stave off the worst of climate change.  

  • The last time we had this much carbon dioxide  in the atmosphere, global temperatures were 3  

  • degrees celsius warmer and sea level was 30-40  meters higher. We're already in a climate crisis,  

  • and I'm scared. Business-as-usual is a recipe for  extinction, as is a slow and steady approach. Both  

  • uphold a status quo that for hundreds of years has  plundered the planet and destroyed or attempted to  

  • destroy Indigenous communities and ways of lifewhich means that the only path forward is radical  

  • transformation. Revolution. The paths towards an  environmentally ethical existence must draw upon  

  • the power of the people. Movements are already  building, especially in the Majority world. La  

  • Via Campesina and The Landless Workers' Movement  are flexing their collective muscles working to  

  • dismantle the capitalist growth paradigm and  hoisting up alternatives like championing food  

  • sovereignty and indigenous land rights. There  is no shortage of exciting, visionary ideas  

  • on how we can forge a better, more just worldPrinciples like democratic eco-socialism moving  

  • into higher stage communism, degrowth, buen vivirsocially-owned decentralized electric grids,  

  • plant-based and hemp-based production, just to  name a few, are showing us that capitalism is not  

  • only not an answer but also is far from our only  answer. These frameworks are being tested around  

  • the world, but all of them must consider that  a true transition to a zero carbon world, must  

  • be a just one. In order to be effective, and to  actually have staying power, our world must change  

  • not from the top down, but from the bottom up. The  red-green revolution must foreground the majority,  

  • the oppressed, the marginalized, the laborers  and not the ruling class and the well-being  

  • of corporations if it is to truly establish an  ethical world. At the end of the day there is  

  • no one solution to the climate crisis but paths  marked by struggles that push us toward a new  

  • post-capitalist, post-climate-crisis reality. That  world is possible, and united we can create it.

  • If you're looking for a broader overview  of capitalism and its many implications  

  • for climate change, definitely make sure  to check out Second Thought's video over  

  • on their channel! It's a great  episode for understanding some  

  • of the basics as to why Capitalism  can't handle the climate crises.

  • Unfortunately, videos like these, while  very important, do terribly with the  

  • YouTube algorithm and sponsors don't want to  touch them. But there is a way you can help.  

  • Becoming a patreon member helps  Our Changing Climate stay afloat  

  • and independent. As an OCC patron, you'll  not gain early access to videos, but also  

  • special behind the scenes updates, andmembers only discord channel. In addition,  

  • each month my supporters vote on an environmental  group that I then donate a portion of my monthly  

  • revenue to. Patreon supporters are the financial  backbone of the Our Changing Climate operation,  

  • without them I wouldn't be able to take creative  risks and dive into difficult topics. So if you  

  • want to help keep this channel alive  or are feeling generous, head over to  

  • patreon.com/ourchangingclimate or use the link  in the description and become an OCC patron. If  

  • you're not interested or aren't financially ablethen no worries! You can help by subscribing,  

  • liking the video, and commenting. I hope you  enjoyed the video, and I'll see you in two weeks!

This video is made in collaboration with  Second Thought. Make sure to check out  

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为什么资本主义正在杀死我们(Why Capitalism is Killing Us (And The Planet))

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    joey joey 發佈於 2021 年 06 月 12 日
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