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The left forum

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A powerpoint presentation done by Ghassan Karam at the Left Forum 2011 about the failure of green capitalism

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The left forum

  1. 1. Panel Chapman/Karam/Pajo
  2. 2. A Failure
  3. 3. <ul><li>Leopold *Mill </li></ul><ul><li>Roegen *Malthus </li></ul><ul><li>Daly *Zizek </li></ul><ul><li>Naess *Harvey </li></ul><ul><li>Hardin *Foster </li></ul><ul><li>Bookchin *Wilson </li></ul><ul><li>Mumford *Marx </li></ul><ul><li>Ehrlich *Goodwin </li></ul><ul><li>Hansen *Lovelock </li></ul><ul><li>Diamond *Sagoff </li></ul><ul><li>Speth *Taintter </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Total failure at all levels </li></ul><ul><li>Deal with superficial only </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasize symptoms </li></ul><ul><li>Never go to the root </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid rocking the boat </li></ul><ul><li>(teach what is known to be false) </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Net Primary Production </li></ul><ul><li>3/9 Planetary boundaries have been breeched </li></ul><ul><li>Millennium Ecosystem assessment Study. </li></ul><ul><li>Lovelock /Hansen /Speth projections </li></ul><ul><li>Peak Oil </li></ul><ul><li>Fisheries </li></ul><ul><li>I=f(P,A,T) </li></ul><ul><li>Water Scarcity </li></ul><ul><li>Desertification </li></ul><ul><li>Ecological foot print </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Solution is NOT in ecology itself. </li></ul><ul><li>Apply principle of Specificity. </li></ul><ul><li>Call for a radical change in structure that created the problem: CAPITALISM </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>What is it that we wish to sustain? </li></ul><ul><li>Intergenerational equity </li></ul><ul><li>Veil of Ignorance </li></ul><ul><li>Pareto Optimality </li></ul><ul><li>Free market cannot guarantee sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Allocations always favour the present </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>2 nd Law of Thermodynamics </li></ul><ul><li>The more we do the less we have </li></ul><ul><li>Substitutability vs Complimentarity </li></ul><ul><li>Simplicity: Is it possible to revert to it? </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Popularized by Daly </li></ul><ul><li>Given rise to CASSE </li></ul><ul><li>New Economics Foundation Tim Jackson </li></ul><ul><li>New Economics Institute Goodwin </li></ul><ul><li>Basic premise: Constant human population and constant physical output </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Competition and Tragedy of the Commons </li></ul><ul><li>New Indulgances (Ex. BAU and organic) </li></ul><ul><li>Greenwashing (Pretense: Climate Change) </li></ul><ul><li>Three R’s (Is Recycling the only one compatable with perpetual growth?) </li></ul><ul><li>Brown even wrote about a world with no need for new extracting activities lol. </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalism, ecological crisis, economic and financial crisis. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Growth vs limits </li></ul><ul><li>Could system be reformed ? (Not if the privileges of the global elite are maintained) </li></ul><ul><li>Climate change is the product of a specific economic system and its negative effects fall primarily on those least responsible for the crisis. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Green Capitalist( Hawken, Brown, Cairncross, Lovin, Gore…) </li></ul><ul><li>Belief to de-couple growth from carbon </li></ul><ul><li>Efficiency leads to more and not less. </li></ul><ul><li>De materialization is quite limited </li></ul><ul><li>Green often creates new problems ( Cut the amazon to plant sugar cane for organic food stores  and farm raised fish; certified wood) </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>In Us energy intensity dropped but energy usage increased. </li></ul><ul><li>EV vs source for electricity </li></ul><ul><li>Prius vs Nickel </li></ul><ul><li>60% of car pollution is in production </li></ul><ul><li>Clean Energy and base load </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Kyoto failed (Gr. & UK only 2 to meet target) </li></ul><ul><li>Cap & Trade failed ( because of T. of Commons) </li></ul><ul><li>Carbon Tax failed (They were kept too low) </li></ul><ul><li>Can we decrease carbon foot print and use non conventional oil? </li></ul><ul><li>Democrats and Republicans (RR, Bush Sr; Bush Jr ;Clinton and Obama oppose carbon taxes) </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Daily consumption 200 million B. Equivalent </li></ul><ul><li>Renewables represent 0.6% </li></ul><ul><li>The above indicates that large cuts are required but not for Green Capitalists: Sternest 1% cost in UK and Krugman 1.1-3% for US. ( That does not make any sense) </li></ul><ul><li>Stern targets 550ppm when Hansen speaks of 350ppm. </li></ul><ul><li>550 ppm increase temp. by 3C (That’s where we were 3 million years ago) </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Green Capitalists are dreaming </li></ul><ul><li>View that Max. exploitation and saving the planet are compatible is a farce. </li></ul><ul><li>CEO’s max for shareholders and not the public good. </li></ul><ul><li>Green Capitalists have been trying for 30 years: Eco system is still collapsing </li></ul><ul><li>Their diagnosis is accurate but their prescription is wrong </li></ul><ul><li>Underestimate severity of eco crisis and overestimate de-materialization </li></ul><ul><li>They conveniently forget that consumerism is not dispensable. </li></ul><ul><li>This is a capitalist crisis. It is about mode of production and system architecture. </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalist system carries within it the seeds of its own destruction since growth is not sustainable. </li></ul><ul><li>Einstein:” Insanity is to do the same thing over and over againbut expecta different outcome” </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Market based solutions have aggravated the problems: </li></ul><ul><li>organic </li></ul><ul><li>eco architecture </li></ul><ul><li>bio fuels </li></ul><ul><li>hybrid cars </li></ul><ul><li>carbon offsets </li></ul><ul><li>clean coal  </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>There is a crisis of capitalism that manifests itself in Econ. Finance and Ecological spheres. </li></ul><ul><li>Green Capitalism is for the Environment as long as it can profit from it. </li></ul><ul><li>Easterbrook: “What’s in it for me?” </li></ul><ul><li>Green Capitalism is the problem and so it cannot be the solution. </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>His is an “unquestioned belief that the answers to every human dilemma and desire is a gizmo… the very attitude that gave us Global warming to begin with” </li></ul><ul><li>How about abolishing obscene excesses, a modicum of equitable distribution? How about asking whether we are of the same specie , members of the same family and citizens of the same community? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there a moral obligation to others? </li></ul>

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