Category: ENVIRONMENTAL STRUGGLES

GQ correctly points out that billionaires are the leading cause of climate change; pisses off libertarians

LUKE DARBY—But the scope goes far beyond merely sowing dissent and skepticism. While billionaires and the companies they run have spent years insisting that climate change either doesn’t exist or is overblown, they’ve known the reality of the situation for a long time. PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel, for example, used to donate to the Seasteading Institute, which aimed to build floating cities in order to counteract rising sea levels. And Exxon Mobil allegedly knew about climate change in 1977, back when it was still just Exxon and about 11 years before climate change became widely talked about. Instead of acting on it, they started a decades-long misinformation campaign.

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Capitalism on a collision course with nature

JOEL KOVEL—I expect that many will find the views of The Enemy of Nature too one-sided. It will be said that there is a hatred of capitalism here which leads to the minimization of all its splendid achievements, including the “open society,” and its prodigious recuperative powers. Well, it is true that I hate capitalism and would want others to do so as well. Indeed, I hope that this animus has granted me the will to pursue a difficult truth to a transformative end. In any case, if the views expressed here seem harsh and unbalanced, I can only say that there are no end of opportunities to hear hosannas to the greatness of Lord Capital and obtain, as they say, a more nuanced view. Nor is hatred of capital the same, I hasten to add, as hating capitalists, though there are many of these who should be treated as common criminals, and all should be dispossessed of that instrument which corrupts their soul and destroys the natural ground of civilization.

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Climate Change and the Limits of Reason

MICHAEL F. DUGGAN—Humankind is a runaway project. With a world population of more than 7.3 billion, we are a Malthusian plague species. This is not a condemnation or indictment, nor some kind of ironic boast. It is an observable fact. The evidence is now overwhelming that we stand at a crossroads of history and of natural history, of nature and our own nature. The fact that unfolding catastrophic change is literally in the air is undeniable. But before we can devise solutions of mitigation, we have to admit that there is a problem.

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