Also, while we’re on the subject: it’s not using plastic straws or taking half-hour showers that’s destroying the environment. It’s the fucking mega-rich.
Repeat after me, kids: Individual “choices” cannot fix structural issues. And as the article points out:
[T]here is no “free market” incentive to prevent disaster. An economic environment where a company is only considered viable if it’s constantly expanding and increasing its production can’t be expected to pump its own brakes over something as trivial as pending global catastrophe. Instead, market logic dictates that rather than take the financial hit that comes with cutting profits, it’s more reasonable to find a way to make money off the boiling ocean. Nothing illustrates this phenomenon better than the burgeoning climate-change investment industry. According to Bloomberg, investors are looking to make money off of everything from revamped food production to hotels for people fleeing increasingly hurricane-ravaged areas. A top JP Morgan Asset investment strategist advised clients that sea-level rise was so inevitable that there was likely a lot of opportunity for investing in sea-wall construction.
This is why we’re all going to die, by the way. Yes, the coming nuclear war with North Korea or whoever isn’t going to be pleasant, but some people will survive. No human will survive the coming temperature increase, and it’s going to happen because the science wing of the government of one of the biggest superpowers in the world today can’t talk about technological solutions to the problem because the people running that committee can’t even get past the fact that it’s really happening. It’s as if our house is on fire and when the firemen show up they say, “I’m sorry but we just don’t believe in fire.” And you’re like, “Wait, you what now?” And they say, “We don’t really have any evidence fire is real. What even is it? If it’s a solid then how does my hand pass through it? If it’s a gas why can I see it? How does it grow if it’s not alive? I read a scientific article on 4chan that says that fire is a Chinese conspiracy made up to frighten us into being chilly in the winter.”
When you’re dealing with someone that willfully stupid, your house is just going to burn down because by the time you answer all their stupid questions it will be too late.
Rebecca Watson throws rocks into the sea.
As someone who grew up the notoriously freezing Canberra, I’m nonetheless never so cold as I am when I visit, say, Sydney or Wollongong,1 particularly in the winter. I mean, it might be like -10°C at home, but at least we have central heating and a decent doona!
Apparently, cold houses are an endemic problem in Australia. Because there’s this myth it “doesn’t get cold”, houses are often built without things like insulation, or the aforementioned central heating. Which, yanno, sounds like kind of a minor complaint until you realize it quite possibly kills people.
- Never have I ever encountered a house colder than that of my in-laws. They built it themselves but they’re also from the West Australian desert, which means they put in things like a bottom floor level with effectively no access to sunlight. “Dark and freezing” doesn’t even begin to cover it… [↩]
To talk about climate breakdown (which in my view is a better term than the curiously bland labels we attach to this crisis) is to […] expose a programme that relies on robbing the future to fuel the present, that demands perpetual growth on a finite planet. It is to challenge the very basis of capitalism; to inform us that our lives are dominated by a system that cannot be sustained – a system that is destined, if it is not replaced, to destroy everything.
George Monbiot on climate breakdown.