THE POSITIVE DOOR OPENED BY THE ECOLOGICAL CRISIS

climate_change

The latest report from the ICC warns that a climate catastrophe will likely happen only twenty-two years from now unless drastic systemic action is not taken[i]. Of course, there is nothing positive about this emerging scenario, if we let it unfold it will be an absolute tragedy for humanity. Nevertheless, the ugly prediction itself does carry a positive mask, because it also comes with an emphatic cry to remodel our relationship with the world and with the technologies we created to improve our relationship with the world.

This last point is very important: the technologies we are using that are proving so harmful to the ecosystem, are technologies that were created to make the world a more comfortable place to live in. The planet goes dark at night, so we have technologies that give us light; the winters are cold, so we have technologies that keep us warm; the summers are too hot, but technology can make a space cool; there are huge distances between places, but we have technologies that can move us around quite quickly.

So, if the basic purpose of technology is to make the world a more comfortable place to live in, it is an absurdity to keep using technologies that are incrementing those same uncomfortable factors that they are supposed to be mitigating.

Here we have, what we call, the technology-world paradox. What we created to make us more comfortable is aggravating the discomfort.

Capitalism naturally defends this paradoxical relationship, because it is a perfect cycle for making money. The rising mercury in the thermometers will necessitate more air-conditioning, which makes it hotter, which will further boost the sales of air-conditioners. But not just that, an increase in natural disasters will also create an increase in the economy of reconstruction. Capitalism knows that in every catastrophe there is a potential fortune to be made. Of course, this is a perverse and ultimately internecine game.

Until now, our technology has been created without taking this absurd condition into consideration. However, what should change as the unfolding catastrophe gets closer, is precisely the political attitudes towards this paradoxical relationship. The logical (and anti-capitalist) position that is becoming more and more obvious, is that technology, the purpose of which is to make our lives more comfortable, cannot be allowed if it exacerbates the discomfort levels created by the natural environment. Technology must become clean.

For many of us, perhaps for most of you reading this article, this is an obvious statement; but we also know that capitalism is being stubborn with its propagation of dirty, fossil-fuel technologies, and it seems to want to exploit every single last drop of oil and the last crumb of coal that we have on the planet. For the old capitalism, all this oil and dirt is a marvellous source of free money for those who have created the infrastructures for exploiting it, and those exploiters don’t want to surrender the lovely privileges they have forged for themselves.

Yes, we know we now have the clean technologies to replace the dirty ones, but the catastrophe scenario only worsens, and that is because there is a complete lack of will in the capitalist wealth-system that we are immersed in to make that change.

The fundamental question facing us today, is not how we can change the technology, but how can we make those who control the current bad technologies change.

Currently, are global economy is driven by two kinds of ideologies which have the same liberal basis. On the one hand there is the neo-liberal ideology which opens the door to capitalist desires and promotes the prolongation of dirty technologies, and on the other hand, there is a social-liberalism that wants to put state funding investment into renewable-energy technologies to fill the lack coming from the private sector. As such, an avoidance of the ecological catastrophe depends on the triumph of the latter. And yet, as we get closer and closer to the fatidic date, now 2040, the success of the positive option seems to be growing less rather than more likely of coming about.

Yes, this ideological failure to make a common-sense change is very concerning. So, where is that door we claim to see beginning to open onto a positive scenario?

The positive door is actually created by the growing obviousness of the ineffectiveness of liberalism (i.e. capitalism) to mitigate, let alone resolve, the crisis.

This inability of the system to save itself, opens the door to a radical redrawing of the economy. Instead of financing the transition to clean technology, the real solution will have to come through making the need to finance that change-over irrelevant.

In order to make technologies that will make the world a more comfortable place without making the same world more uncomfortable, we need to pull the spanner out of the works – and that spanner is capitalism.

Until we recognise this, the struggle to save the planet is ultimately a futile one.

Our current hope depends on social democracies gaining enough power to take positive steps forward. Nevertheless, our democratic cycles indicate that those steps will eventually be removed by the arrival of neo-liberal, nationalist governments that will replace them. In other words, if the future of the planet depends on the whims of the voters who are manipulated by Wealth-as power through the media to decide according to short-term political and economic concerns rather than long-term progress, we are doomed. If we call the neo-liberal democracy -A and the social-democracy path +A, we get an equation of -A +A = 0.

What we see through the new door that is opening, however, is the need for a complete overhaul of our capitalist system, and a complete change of perspective on what our money is used for. Not a Marxist redistribution of wealth, but a redefinition of Wealth itself; unchaining wealth from the idea of accumulation of money and/or goods and anchoring it to the idea of human fulfilment. This simple idea revolutionises the concept of labour goals and the purposes of the entire economy. Making money is suddenly not the do-all and end-all, and when and where money is an impediment to fulfilment it should be phased out or restructured.

What this door offers is a new perspective that we can call B. The equation thus boils down to A against B – and the struggle is clearer. B knows who its enemy is. It is not confused like +A which doesn’t realise that a large part of its ineffectiveness lies in its own condition as A. B, on the other hand, is unambiguous. It knows where the root of the problem lies.

Of course, it doesn’t make the struggle any easier, but it does make it clearer.

[i] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/08/global-warming-must-not-exceed-15c-warns-landmark-un-report

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6 thoughts on “THE POSITIVE DOOR OPENED BY THE ECOLOGICAL CRISIS

    • i) The strategy for change can’t come until we all know what has to be changed
      ii) When we all know what has to be changed and have the will to do it, it will happen.
      iii) A strategy alone won’t change things; first of all there has to be a will.

  1. .

    yes …

    there has to be a will ….
    but if all those have no idea
    what they even could do ?

    because of all this anti humanity
    then how could this neccessary will develop ?

    I am more and more convinced
    that we have to do this via constitutional rights
    this is the only way the masses will be moving
    into the right direction

    only if it is a right and an order for all
    will they adhere to it

    other wise … if it is left to the individual
    he is tempted to just go on and on
    just as at the present ….

    as a matter of fact >
    if there is no enforced law
    they > the masses are going to
    competing with all this damage
    like the are doing now

    .

    • But in order to change the constitution you have to create a will to change it, and you have to know what exactly needs to be changed. In order to create a paradigm shift you have to completely rethink the constitution which is an anti-human historical construct and impose something closer to the Bill of Human Rights on each nation state. That can only happen if the nation states themselves have the democratic will to change and open up to humanity and the world instead of closing themselves off to it. Nothing can change unless the demos is inspired enough and has enough clear-sightedness to apply that change.

  2. .

    well … the federal republic >>>

    already has such a constitution
    guaranteeing any and all environments
    forced by the allied powers at the end of
    you know …

    https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_gg/

    and now imagine this ?
    they are not complying to this ” basic law ”
    being in existence for almost 70 years !

    so all we will have to do >>>
    is to find enough for a critical mass
    to force this constitution into
    a real ” basic law ” !

    meaning >
    that it be above any democratic insanity
    just as this ” basic law ” is demanding
    very specifically >>>

    in article 1 / 19 and 20a

    there by ending all capitalistic insanities
    all this cannibalismo

    all this wasting the environment
    wasting all future human existence

    and as soon as we have this achieved here in
    then we have the power to talk about

    in the united nations about this solution

    and then nobody can escape this fake reality
    any longer

    but we will have the chance to creating
    an authentic reality

    does any one have any better idea ?

    .

    • While nation states exist, authentic human rights cannot really exist. The ultimate purpose of human rights should be to abolish the nation state. How do we abolish all nation states? Shengen was a first step in Europe that needs to be developed and lifted into the political and not just economic terrain. A truly unified European Union would be a great step forward … but no political movement in Europe has that on its agenda as far as I know. Likewise, economic globalization needs to be considered as a political reality and not just an economic thing. If we believe a paradigm shift is necessary then we have to consider that a paradigm shift that would pull down the segregating barriers that make up our world political map could be a positive and possible step forward. Until this idea is taken seriously by societies, and ultimately humanity, there will be no positive change. I think the impulse for this change must come from Europe. At the moment though, Europe is moving in the opposite direction, driven by the enormous greed that is driving the rest of the planet’s economy and societies.

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