John Bellamy Foster explains the ‘solution’ master-minded by global finance to resolve the imminent environmental crisis: create a multi-quadrillion dollar’s worth of assets on the back of everything nature does and expropriate it from the global commons to make a profit. Worse still: it is already happening.
It seems vastly easier to imagine the future as a dystopian nightmare than as a time when today’s problems are mostly behind humanity. For every work of optimism, such as Star Trek, there are dozens of works imagining a nightmare world of deprivation, environmental destruction and severe repression amidst a world of people scrambling to survive anyway they can in a war of all against all.
This is a communist intervention. It’s time to pull our heads out of our asses. Along with an ongoing fascisation process, capitalism-imperialism has brought the related and ever more imminent collapse of livable ecology and thus all prospects for a decent future. It is clear now that there are no meaningful or lasting solutions to the great problems of our time – economic/class inequality, patriarchy, racial oppression, nativism, war, oligarchy/plutocracy, authoritarian white nationalist fascism, and literal ecocide (the biggest issue of our or any time) – under the nation’s unelected and interrelated dictatorships of capital and empire. Nothing less than a popular eco-socialist revolution can begin to tackle these problems in a meaningful way.
This film is very much not a utopian vision of the future. In fact, the very different strategies of utopian and materialist thinking for imagining the future are discussed in the first part of the film. Instead of a utopia, the film presents a wide variety of issues, suffering and problems experienced by people, whose common source is the capitalist system itself. It then presents a vision of how things could be very different in each case, without the systemic priorities of the world capitalist system. This gives us a very different viewpoint upon ecology, technology and human flourishing.
Five years ago, an investigation from InsideClimate News confirmed what one might have intuitively suspected: that the leaders of Exxon Mobil were well aware of the science of global warming before it became a public issue. The investigation showed that as far back as the 1970s, Exxon had engaged in research that determined carbon dioxide was heating up the planet, corroborating observations about the effects of fossil fuels on the climate that scientists had been making since the 1890s.
The forces of fascism are trying to convince us of a deadly lie: that it’s desirable, natural, or inevitable for great amounts of poor and nonwhite people to die off because of climate change. This lie enters the discourse in many forms, both obvious and not. But every time it appears, it has to be countered with the declaration that we must not write off any lives as disposable or doomed; we must work to save as many people as possible throughout the coming catastrophe.
The power shutoffs and unprecedented fires that California has experienced in the last month are going to develop into something more deeply damaging than you might think. This is just the beginning of a long process that will force Californians-and all others in the capitalist world-to confront the unsustainability of how they’ve been living.
President Barack Obama joined world leaders at the UN climate summit–officially called the 21st Congress of the Parties for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP 21–in Paris this week, and promised to work for an “ambitious” agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. But climate justice activists who are trying to put forward an alternative vision–in spite of a ban on protests by the French government after the November 13 terror attacks–say that much more is needed than the leaders of the world’s most powerful governments are willing to consider.