Climate Change Changes California

Smog over LAShortly after the signing of an environmental protection bill in California, climate scientists reported this September that the Earth had passed the "tipping point" milestone of atmospheric CO2 exceeding 400 ppm. And so, the capitalist system has signed off on yet another chapter of what its historical legacy will be: environmental degradation and destruction, the sheer scale of which will have deleterious repercussions for generations to come.

Capitalism Pushes Climate Change to New Levels

climate change ice beach air pollutionAt the end of September, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, one of the oldest and largest centers for ocean and Earth science research in the world, published a blog post pointing out a grim fact: “It already seems safe to conclude that we won’t be seeing a monthly value below 400 ppm [parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere] this year—or ever again for the indefinite future.” 

Flint Poisoned: Capitalism’s New Normalcy

Over 25 years after Michael Moore’s film Roger and Me depicted the devastation of Flint after the collapse of the local auto industry, the city has become the poster child for something that “isn’t supposed to happen here.” As the severity of the lead contamination of the city’s water supply became known, it “went viral” as a subject of outrage on social media, and in the future will be remembered as one of the many provocations that finally broke the tolerance of the masses.

The “Pinocchio Agreement” on Climate Change

The real result of the Paris climate talks is a promise to increase emissions from current levels, doing tremendous harm to the environment in the process. The capitalist powers do not admit this, of course. Instead, they declare that they have promised to cut emissions and save the environment. These politicians can make these claims without their noses growing thanks to the curious nature of the promises made.

The Sound and the Fury

smokestacksPresident Obama’s recently announced Clean Power Plan, which calls for a 32% decline in US carbon dioxide emissions (from 2005 levels) by 2030, and which will go effect in 2022, is being heralded as a bold step forward in tackling climate change. Yet for all the hype surrounding it, Obama's plan amounts to little more than, in the words of Shakespeare, “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”