The 350 ppm Carbon Dioxide Challenge and How to Achieve it
There are many within the climate movement who, if truth be told, would prefer it if the left’s now deeply seriously engagement with the climate challenge were to be soft-pedaled. We are not among them. The question that most concerns us is that of effective global mobilization, and at this point we’re not at all sure that the existing “social formation” (to quote Immanuel Wallenstein) is up to the job.
In this context, this little essay, written by Renfrey Clarke, can only be praised. It contains a few nuances that we could quibble with, but the overall framing of Clarke’s argument, and his angry tone, are entirely justifiable. And, frankly, he is a reasonable man:
“To argue that the capitalist system cannot afford to deal with climate change is thus at least technically wrong. The system has paid a similar – or much greater – cost in order to meet previous challenges. The central reason why the nettle of climate change is not being grasped is that private capital is exactly that – private, required to produce profit for specific people and corporations. Combating climate change means profits foregone, in the case of oil left in the ground and stranded assets, in the case of coal export facilities made idle. Both the oil and the coal trains are owned by particular corporations, able to lobby politicians, influence media outlets and fund political parties and candidates.”
There is nothing here to disagree with.