字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 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: Capitalism. Today 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 commodities. Because 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 increased. Coal 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 done a number 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 to “Beyond Petroleum” in 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 achieving “net 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 writes “amounted to a financial coup” that 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 life, which 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 world. Principles like democratic eco-socialism moving into higher stage communism, degrowth, buen vivir, socially-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, and a members 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 able, then 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!