The cost of Capitalism

There are many powerful, wealthy people who won’t accept this but there is a cost of capitalism that we’re all paying for. And that’s not directly out of our own pockets but it’s in the long-term sustainability of our precious planet. Exxon, has a lot to answer for. They are an oil extractor company and hold the prestigious title of earning the most pre-tax profits ever of 45 billion in a single year. And how do they do this? By using methods of extracting natural resources from our Earth. Essentially they are taking what’s essential for our world to retain its balance. Yes our world is resilient, but levels of extraction this large just aren’t sustainable in the long-term.

The sea levels are rising, the weather is becoming more erratic and unpredictable. And much to the denial of many ‘leaders’ global warming is a real thing. So whilst this may seem delightful for a country like England or Canada where a couple of degrees would be more than welcome. Consider countries like Australia who already have a warm climate, where bush fires wreak havoc in the desperately dry summer months. A country that by the way, just so happens to be massively underutilising its conditions of high sunlight, strong winds and wave power, in comparison with a country like Germany, which is darker, colder and rainier, but is still doing more to combat climate change.

“Climate change is the fight of our lives – yet we can hardly bear to look at it.” Naomi Klein

Capitalism is literally bleeding the earth dry and in the process big bullish companies are holding governments to ransom and using their economic weight to affect political and environmental decisions that money just shouldn’t be holding so much sway in. Companies like Exxon have made billions taking from the earth and are under absolutely no obligation to invest their money in developing ways to further the advancement of renewable energy. This is an essential investment in the future of our planet and promotes a shift towards the law ‘polluter pays’. And don’t you agree that polluter should pay, not us. At the moment, they are taking a finite amount of resources from the earth to fuel the economy. This can’t go on forever. There is only so much to take.

We need a revolution and it has to start from the top. It’s a false misconception to believe that half filling your kettle, putting tin foil in the recycling or turning off standby is ever going to make any real change. We are way past that point. It’s the responsibility of the leaders of today to be taking notice of what science is predicting. It is the scientists we need to be listening to hear not the economists or the business men and women that want to fuel the capitalist ideology and ruin the planet whilst burying their heads in the sand.

capital

Time and time again the individual has to be left propping up the economy,  for example in the 2008 crisis where the Bank of England decided to use quantitative easing as a strategy to hold up the banks, “Hey let’s just print more money” they said. Who does this effect? Me and you! Austerity measures, low-interest rates, increased inequality. We pay for the mess our leaders make and we’ll be the one’s paying the ultimate price when our planet is a miserable and scary place to live. The polluter has to pay and a change in the law can make this a reality.

We need radical change. We need a shift to economies that don’t just include a few fancy pages in their annual report about what they’re doing to be socially responsible. We have to remake the system. We need a revolution. We need carbon to stay in the ground. We need the big oil companies to stop going to even more remote parts of the world and fracking and raising the temperatures. We need governments to recognise that if these companies are going to make money from sucking our planet dry and causing all sorts of cataclysmic changes in the way our environment progresses; that they invest that profit in ensuring the future of our planet.

This is all well and good, but what can we do instead of feeling helpless and victimised by forces, which initially look outside of our control. My suggestion is to join the revolution, raise awareness and campaign to put pressure on those on the top so that they listen to the voices of the people they are supposed to be serving.

You can do two things now:

Share this blog and watch this video.

Picture credits:

C_ambler – Capital

Seattle times – Paddle in Seattle

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