What every environmentalist needs to know about capitalism

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N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture
What every environmentalist needs to know about capitalism

What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism


John Bellamy Foster outlines the answer from the Marxist perspective.

1. The Planetary Ecological Crisis

2. Common Ground: Transcending Business as Usual

3. Characteristics of Capitalism in Conflict with the Environment

----- a. Capitalism is a system that must continually expand;

----- b. Expansion leads to investing abroad in search of secure sources of raw materials,

cheaper labour, and new markets;

----- c. A System that, by Its Very Nature, Must Grow and Expand Will Eventually Come Up Against the Reality of Finite Natural Resources;

----- d. A System Geared to Exponential Growth in the Search for Profits Will Inevitably Transgress Planetary Boundaries;

----- e. Capitalism Is Not Just an Economic System-It Fashions a Political, Judicial, and Social System to Support the System of Wealth and Accumulation;

IV. Characteristics of Capitalism in Conflict with Social Justice

----- A. As the System Naturally Functions, a Great Disparity Arises in Both Wealth and Income ;

----- B. Goods and Services Are Rationed According to Ability to Pay ;

----- C. Capitalism Is a System Marked by Recurrent Economic Downturns;

V. Proposals for the Ecological Reformation of Capitalism

----- A. Better Technologies that Are More Energy Efficient and Use Fewer Material Inputs

----- B. Nuclear Power

----- C. Large-Scale Engineering Solutions

----- D. Cap and Trade (Market Trading) Schemes

VI. What Can Be Done Now?

VII. Another Economic System Is Not Just Possible-It's Essential




In other words, brilliant as usual.


Brian White

The linked article is very good.  I have issues with environmentalists themselves.  I have "invented" the pulser pump. (It is too simple to call an invention) and it has been verified to work by a guy in England and a guy in the USA. My video on youtube got over 100 thousand hits but the people in accademia and the environmentalists are unmoved.  Why will none of them bother to get off their arses and verify it and see what it will do on a larger scale?

The environmental organizations get hundreds of thousands per year in donations but none of them seem able to do research.

I am also a member of solarcooking international and  I have stuff on their site.  They are fine with with helping me edit stuff and make my pictures pretty (they even put my stuff on their montly news page a couple of years ago) but they cannot bring themselves to test anything!

They had stuff on their site saying that although parabolic was more powerful than box cookers there are issues because the focus is sharp and it can burn people.

So I made a "compound" parabolic one that pretty much fixed that issue.  But if they do no comparison tests, what is the point?

It sits on their site forever in limbo! 

They have people in Africa and in India.  why cannot they pay them to test out some stuff?

I did the mechanical mathematician stuff specifically for traditional people in those places who are familiar with working with mud.

There is more than half a million dollars per year going through that organization.

And not a cent spent on research.  UNBELIEVABLE

They are sending american made box cookers to haiti.  Is that aid to Haiti or aid to America?

Surely if you make the things in haiti it is aid to Haiti?

 The capatilist system continues on its merry way to distruction.  If the environmentalists would only spend some money researching the alternatives, we might have a chance to slow it down.

There is now one solar cooking group where my every post is ignored because they do not want to think of new ideas and because half of them sell commercial solar cookers in their spare time.   Someone even comes in and gives my videos a 1 rating (the lowest you can give) in the first few viewings.  

Another group is owned by a good hearted texan lady who just wants to spread the ideas of solar cooking and she is very supportive.  (Solarcookingnut on youtube).  She currently has serious health issues.  Any move, big or small, she supports it.

So there are a lot of people with a stake in maintaining the status quo even in the environmental movement and the big weakness is that no research is being done. 

Steven Harper is closing down climate research in Canada at the weather station level either by closing down the stations or by removing staff so that results cannot get interpeted.   If the environmental agencys spent some money on their own (perhaps automatic) stations, then there would be a buffer against harper.

 But because they only interpet what comes their way from other people, they will have nothing to work with in a couple of years.

Anyway that is my take on the situation.  Many of the environmental agencys are just the new version of  what the churches used to do on sunday.

Making people have mushy feely goodey feelings for a few days and supporting their burocracy.




Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Brian, you might enjoy this: http://www.energybulletin.net/node/51601


The Problem With the Big Green's Naomi Klein Gripe   -  by Macdonald Stainsby


"Well known anti-corporate author and researcher Naomi Klein gave an interview in which she made some comments that apparently made some of the more corporate and right-wing members of the environmentalist establishment elite upset..."

Greens for Greenbacks..