[Marxism] Looming Danger of Abrupt Climate Change ? CounterPunch:
mdriscollrj at charter.net
Thu Dec 26 21:52:53 MST 2013
Sorry for duplicating, but I'd like to put this in its place in the
discussion under the proper caption.
shaun may wrote
In a planned economy, even the controlled use of fossil fuels need not
be polluting as we have (and have had) for many years the science and
technology to prevent this and, indeed, to utilise the by products of
burning fossil fuels. The fact that the atmosphere and oceans are
concentrating carbon dioxide is the result of the fact that, under
capitalism, the implementation of technical processes to stop it are not
profitable and would take a massive, *unsustainable* bite out of the
produced surplus value and thus interfere with capitalist accumulation.
Just because climate change wasn't discovered until later, this does not
mean that it would have taken place to the same degree under both
planned and unplanned systems of production. If we conceive that there
is no difference between the two systems in terms of their destructive
effects on Nature's creation, then we do, indeed, replicate the
ahistorical, 'green' 'man in the abstract' destroyer of Nature notion.
I certainly agree with your proposition that a planned system of
production and distribution is an absolute sine qua non, but what
boggles are the enormous problems having to do with the cultural
changes, by common consensus, required to alter our historically
developed, massive proliferation of needs and counting, to say nothing
of the uneven development of human access to resources.
For example, there's the problem of breaking down our global exchange
system, in which components for production, food stuff, mineral and
other resources are shipped over vast distances with the accompanying
consumption of energy and time entailed. It is in despair at these
seemingly insurmountable obstacles that many drop the whole project; but
reformist solutions have been shown historically and absractly to be
inadequate as even palliatives, and we're left with only one way
through. See especially on the most recent effective statement of the
"Over the last decade and a half ecological researchers have utilized
the theoretical perspective of Marx's metabolic-rift analysis to analyze
the developing capitalist contradictions in a wide array of areas:
planetary boundaries, the carbon metabolism, soil depletion, fertilizer
production, the ocean metabolism, the exploitation of fisheries, the
clearing of forests, forest-fire-management, hydrological cycles,
mountaintop removal, the management of livestock, agro-fuels, global
land grabs, and the contradiction between town and country."
"Much of this work of course has its roots in the recognition that the
world is crossing crucial "planetary boundaries" defined by the
departure from the conditions of the Holocene epoch that nurtured the
growth of human civilization---a critical approach pioneered by Johan
Röckstrom of the Stockholm Resilience Institute and leading climate
scientists such as Hansen. Here the main concern is what could be called
the Great Rift in the human relation to nature brought on by the
crossing of the earth-system boundaries associated with climate change,
ocean acidification, ozone depletion, loss of biological diversity (and
species extinction), the disruption of the nitrogen and phosphorus
cycles, loss of land cover, loss of fresh water sources, aerosol
loading, and chemical pollution."
To be plausible to the uncommitted, any proposed change would have to
contend with these problems, at least conceptually. It is encouraging
that, from what shaun may and a few others are contributing here, we get
more analysis based on close study and reflective thought, and less
discussion of the peripheral.
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