|← Clean, Safe and Environmental Friendly Food Production||Freshwater Aquatic Environment →|
Capitalism customizes the context of the majority of the world’s current replies to global environmental convention. It produces and it is formed by particular kinds of environmental alteration, and precedes the foundation of the political organization and social association that defines our own collective capability to effectively retort to environmental alteration. Yet, curious learners of global environmental alteration rarely denote to capitalism as the direct cause. Capitalism is forever present, yet principally unsaid, in major academic discussions on global environmental alterations. This is progressively at odds smooth with the establishment policy and rhetoric debates concerning new green contract, the ‘greening’ of the capitalism and calls for a consolidated diverse capitalism: one that is less disposed to instability and crisis and is consistent with the attempting climate alteration.
A research of the article’s title in this journal discloses one issue that is referred to as capitalism and one issue in another foremost journal in the arena, Global Environmental Politics. It is never the case that capitalism does not exist, however, it is usually seems in other appearance, as ‘globalization’ or in linkage to certain characteristics of capitalism like ‘growth’, ‘consumption’ or ‘property rights’. Clearly, there are great deals of essential work on matters like expenses for ecosystem amenities, attempts to commodity and value water, forests and carbon or about supplementary generic efforts to ‘marketize’ the environmental supremacy (Morse et al., 2001). However, the conventional global environmental alters’ community infrequently openly exposes about capitalism and environment. There are many radical and critical journals, which have no such reserves (Capitalism, Antipode and Nature Socialism being two palpable examples) and various disciplinary journals dedicate greater courtesy to the examination of capitalism, like Transactions or Geo-forum, however, again only handfuls of articles openly address the linkages among ecology and capitalism in those terms. There are as well large quantities of work that are cited below, which look at the linkage between capitalism and environment in generic terms, although thus, remote, they have endured outliers in the conformist study of global ecology change. What reason can be attributed to that and does it matter anyway? (Morse et al., 2001).
A notable piece of the past 50 years has become the growing realization that we cannot take the ecology for granted. Indeed, though we should endure to be contingent on the atmosphere as a basis of important sink and inputs for by-products of activities, it has currently become precise that we cannot ignore an unbounded capability for all of these characteristics. Unfortunately, more of the examinations are applied to all the developed frugalities and to the query of developments that have progressed on the foundation that the frugality is not fundamentally stressed by its surrounding environment. The revisions needed to this route of thinking are reflective, and will require a sea alteration in global standards with respect to the linkages of economies to the ecology, the real meaning of ‘progress’, and the start of ‘good life’, which are attuned with justifiable economic functions. The difficulties related with such alterations are complicated by the contemporary problems of dissimilar fundamental and development of global disparity. The problem modeled is no less affected than the results of failure. If we respect human existence, we should find various means to refabricate the mode of existence that both increases the forecasts of the deprived, and is able of being preserved into the unlimited future. Environmental issues, such as Global warming, are constantly in the newsflash. The Green Party based in the UK dues to be right wing and left wing as environmental matters exceed the traditional matters of course and the separation among poor and rich that define conservative political divisions and discussions. This is absurdity. The environmental predicaments and the probable environmental disaster the world is facing today are the conceptions of the capitalist structures (Hughes & Larsen, 1998).
Of course, it is not in the interests of the capitalists. However, things that occur under capitalism do not just reflect the welfare of the individual capitalists. Event follows the logic of the systems. This is the way Marxism explains ecological degradation, “As an individual capitalist is betrothed in exchange and production for the sake of instant profit, only the adjacent, most instant results should first be considered. What is concerning the Cuba Spanish planters? Who burned forests on the mountains’ slopes and obtained ashes from the sufficient fertilizer for only one generation of extremely lucrative coffee trees? Heavy tropical rainfall poured afterwards and washed away the uncovered upper layer of soil, leaving overdue only bare rocks. In association to nature, the present means of production is mainly concerned about the instant, most tangible outcome, and then astonishment is expressed that the more distant effects of engagements are focused on these end results to be different, the more opposite they are in character.”
The Greek islands reinforced a much more population in history than they know. They were once enclosed in trees that prohibited soil erosion. The persons, who cut down trees and established grazing animals, were really not stupid. They cut trees down to build ships or burned them to clear the land. They established goats since that was a quick means of making a living on the poor soils than cultivate lands. Short-term ‘rational’ decision produced environmental tragedies in the long run (Morse et al., 2001).
To get very specific, probably, the largest danger confronting the world nowadays is the global warming. This can be better referred to climate change because, according to the forecasts, not all sections of the universe will be universally warmer. There exists a consensus between scientists that climate alteration is occurring. This accord is overwhelming. It is a fact that if you find about global warming, you might get a different impression. Prominent hits among others are environmental degradation, which rubbishes the idea of climate alteration. It is endorsed by the Cooler Heads Coalition and is usually updated by Competitive Enterprises Organization. The carbon fuel companies are spending large amount of sums of money to cloudy the water on regarding this issue. They simply buy scientists, such as you can buy a KitKat. Their impact extends to the whole world occupied by a man, who makes his fortune from the oil and who trains his understrappers to assume or fabricate the scientific truth.
Back to the Truth
Firstly, the entire earth as a whole is acquiring warmer. Secondly, this is partially because of human acts. The earth has gone through colder and hotter periods, such as the ice ages, but further and further greenhouse gases, the most significant of which is carbon dioxide, are being released out into upper atmosphere. These operate like a blanket or a greenhouse in that, they admit warmth originating from the sun, although, then they trap it inside the atmosphere and, therefore, the earth gets hotter and hotter. The science is complicated. As the critics ague that if all the heat escaped from earth, there could be no life supported in the earth. However, particularly from the 1980s, the universe has been in the process of warming up at a higher rate than any other time before. This is accelerated by emissions from human beings, who are in the race of production, in the kind of burning fuels (fossil) that provide off greenhouse vapors, are factors to blame as well (Hughes & Larsen, 1998).
As a result of the continued environmental degradation, the US National Academy of Sciences has composed a report on climate change science that is an analysis of various questions, which accomplish the changes that are aimed over the past several years and most likely take place because of the continued human activities. The universe as a whole currently has become warmer than it has been for the last 400,000 years. In fact, it is a notable fact that polar ice and glaciers are melting in a quick way that they have been before. This contains a knock-on impact in that the dark water of ice caps is liquidated and it no longer ploys heat. The permafrost based on the tundra liquidities and it no longer traps out (carbon dioxide) CO2.
Other human functions make the circumstance even worse. As the current capitalists think concerning at the Amazon equatorial forest, consuming it away in flames of fire just as the Spanish planters based in Cuba in a more larger scale. The objectives once more are short-term gains in the forms of soya crops, cattle ranching or logging. Some of the denuded lands already have been confirmed to become exhausted. The Amazon equatorial forest makes a home to an estimated about half of the universe species. Biodiversity is a better entity in itself. Imagine, about how many unidentified medicinal floras have been exterminated already? To add on this, the forest makes a sink, as the forest hold carbon dioxide. However, as the tree are cut down or burnt, the carbon dioxide that was being trapped becomes added to the atmosphere after complicating and misbalancing the temperatures. This is what results in global warming (Hughes & Larsen, 1998). The resultant global warming is married to numerous problems on the surface of the earth. All these predicaments are attached to the distortion of the climate. Although the statistics do not indicate an extreme figure, the real overall raise in temperature is about 0.6-7% annually in the twentieth century. However, over a half of this raise has occurred in the last thirty years and a good part of it is attributable to human beings’ activities that concern capitalism. The said capitalists have quite strenuous effects that led to such disastrous effects as droughts, rising sea levels, which result to localized flooding and extinctions of species. The effects of capitalists are promising to be even worse than they are currently.
Overfishing is altering what people eat and the world general. Imagine a situation, where people hung their fishing nets between and among vehicles and plains in Africa. Such a situation would scoop up all the things in the environment. Predators, such as cheetahs and lions, would limber endangered herbivores, such as elephants and rhinos. Herds of wildebeests and impala, family groups of wild dog and warthog would be running up and down to save their lives. Pregnant women would be carried along as they have no energy to save their lives in such a competitive environment. The juvenile generation would be a bit lucky as they would easily move between the overcrowded environments. At long last, there would be no market for the fish harvested. This is because there will be too much fish that cannot be bought by the surviving population. Additionally, there would be no market since the fish will taste bad or because they will be too squashed or not too small to be bought at the prices the sellers are willing to sell. Piles of fish would then be found everywhere in the plains and valleys. This unselective method of killing animals is referred to as trawling.
There is a lot of overfishing in the universe today. This is because everyone is struggling to get maximum possible profits. Fishermen do not care about the size or the type of the fish they catch. They struggle to catch the highest number of fish or simply have the highest kilograms of fish. This should not be allowed to happen. In fact, research shows that there is a possibility of having some types of fish extinct within the next 100 years if the great care is not taken. Some nations have the Grand Banks closed, while the Atlantic cod is currently the endangered species. This is happening to the blue tuna, and it has occurred to the blue marlin. The dragnets have destroyed the food web at the bottom of the sea. This is endangering the entire aquatic lives. Since the Grand Banks closed in 1992, it has not been able to recover a fishery. These examples show how overfishing has become an environmental disaster as a result of capitalists’ greed.
European countries have been involved in serious overfishing. This is evident in the way they support financially the construction of trawlers to worsen overfishing. The fishing industry is begging for handouts since there is a lot of crisis in the fish stocks that is of its own creation. After raping their own fisheries, they are supporting their trawlers’ sail to invest in Africa and repeat the same sad story of overfishing. This is not only ethically wrong, but morally unacceptable. Capitalists’ greed is destroying the livelihood of local African fishermen, who have sustainably fished in their coasts for many years. This destroys the ecosystems of the entire universe. If this has to be the case, then people should only overfish in their coasts and let those, who value environmental sustainability, remain calm.
Authors, such as Wallis, Beder, Foster, Polychroniou, Magdoff, Butler and Williams, argue that environmental degradation is much confined to capitalism. These authors believe that capitalists have very selfish interests, which have caused the “death of the environment.” Therefore, it is not possible to solve environmental problems using the capitalist structure. Wallis pointed out that capitalists do not take wave and wind power and other sustainable energy sources seriously. This is because they cannot get a way of making money in these means. Therefore, they prefer destroying the environment and satisfying their selfish interest. They do not consider the environment and the future generation (Wallis and Sforza, 1999). To add to this point, Beder proposed that capitalism, which has dominated the world, cannot allow people to implement such wonderful ideas. This is because there are a lot of vested interests, for instance, the hydrocarbon capitalists dominate decision making in the White House. They determine what will be done in capitalist states. In fact, most sections of the capitalist class are carbon burning junkies (Beder, 1997).
According to Foster, capitalists’ states are captives to the capitalists’ vested interests. As discussed earlier, overfishing has many environmental disadvantages, but these nations value the profit they get from the fish more than the environment (Foster, 2002). Polychroniou supported this idea with the fact that capitalist countries are currently fighting each other over the scarce resources, which have resulted from their selfish interests. African countries have little possibilities to fight against European countries (Polychroniou, 2002).
Magdoff expanded global warming as being currently the world’s largest environmental problem. He claimed that capitalist nations met at Kyoto with the aim of coming up with a solution to this international disaster. Unfortunately, America opted out (Magdoff, 1998). The United States has less than 5% of the universal population. However, a quarter of the world’s carbon emissions come from America. Williams adds that most of the countries, which agreed with the Kyoto target, have not even started with step one. It is really difficult for capitalist states to control activities of thousands of capitalist companies that are responsible for emitting CO2 (Williams, 1988). In his view, Butler agrees that the Kyoto agreement will not solve the global warming problem. Butler argues that the first step, which the nations agreed to follow, has never been taken.
As Marx explained the reasons and in a letter to discussing books by Fraas, he observed that “The entire conclusion is that cultivation improvements are a primitive technique that cannot be consciously regulated since it leaves deserts behind like Persia and Mesopotamia. The problem remains that there is no planning on the concern regarding the environmental matters in an unintentional economy. The alteration is that now capitalist anarchy crops environmental tragedy on a much larger scale than that of history. Environmental predicaments are presented as a clash among nature humans. The greens argue that growth is not good because it harms the environment, and the fundamental problem is to halt persons from destroying the environment that they ultimately depend on. Actually, growth is not ‘dirty’, it does not always utilize up more capitals.
The greens have messed an important link in the causation. The predicament is not people against the environment as if are all isolated. As people are associated with the environment by means of certain means of production, the means they organize themselves to acquire their daily dough. The capitalist means of production is unintended. Environmental degradation is the balance sheets for the capitalists. Yet, the total of individual’s ‘rational’ controls threatens human life on the earth with environmental disasters. Man is only distinguished from beasts by consciousness and religion. They begin to differentiate themselves since they begin to crop their means of existence that is conditioned by their corporeal organization. By producing means of production, men are ramblingly producing their own material life. By progressively grasping nature in the labor process rather passively familiarizing to humans, they can change nature and, therefore, harm the earth. Externalities are issues, which do not impact the equilibrium and, therefore, firms do not worry. The firm produces steel and iron. It gets cash from the outputs. It as well produces smoke. It is a nuisance, although the industry is not charged and so, it does not bother about the amount of smoke it posses. We as the people pay the cost of this pollution through chest and lung diseases. This makes the reason why the notion that the market indulges the environment efficiently is quite ridiculous. Firms minimize costs since it is the best means of creating profits. However, they do not reduce the costs that other individuals must raise externalities (Hughes & Larsen, 1998).
Traditionalists, such as Hardin, Homer-Dixon, Hawkin and Werbach, viewed that global environmental issues can be successfully solved using the capitalist structure, which has dominated the universe. Hardin argued that the poor are poor because they inherited this status from their parents. He claimed that the poor should not claim that resources are scarce, while there is too much to be exploited (Hardin, 1978). According to Homer-Dixon, environmental problems can only be solved using capitalism since every citizen cares for his tomorrow. He claims that capitalists are likely to follow laws concerning environmental conservation as they want to earn the maximum possible in the future (Homer-Dixon, Thomas, 2000). Hawkin accepted the societal stratification. He claimed that capitalists’ structure can help to solve environmental problems since classes remain the same from parents to children. This means that introducing a structure, which supports environmental conservation to maximize profits, will be passed from one generation to another (Hawkin, 2000). According to Werbach, capitalist structure encourages people to utilize the environment to make maximum profit possible. Therefore, people can do everything possible to sustain the profits they earn from the environment (Werbach, 1997).
Considering the adverse effects of capitalism to the environment, one may ask, “Does the green program and analysis help us to solve environmental problems? The green programs do not really have an integrated body of ideas. However, there are two common propagandas, which come over and over from these green programs.
The planet is overcrowded.
Resources are too limited in the overcrowded planet.
Thomas Malthus is the founder of these ideas. He wrote his ideas in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. He came up with the idea that the universe had prepared a wonderful feast for the people. However, the feast was destroyed when the universe was overpopulated. Malthus argued that Britain is among the overpopulated regions. According to Malthus, the universe is under pressure, which it cannot support. By the time Malthus was writing his work, the universe had not more than ten million people. Additionally, half of the world population was involved in agricultural activities. If this was the case by then, what about today, when the world has billions of people? Currently, only about 5% of the population deals with agricultural activities. The largest population has concentrated with other money making activities and businesses. The universe is relying on the minority 5% to feed them and the growing population.
Countries manufacture food products and export to get profit. Other services offered help in paying for food. There are other countries, which do the reverse of the above. They engage in profit making activities and pay for food. They are hardly engaged in food production as it has less profit compared to top manufacturing and other industrial businesses. This shows that Malthus missed out the production point. The earth can support the growing population over time if people are concentrated on production of any kind. This means that if one does something to earn a living, he can purchase food from others, who have concentrated on food production.
Several researches have criticized Malthus’ ideas considering the continuous improvement in the living standards of working class members in the second half of the nineteenth century. The researchers claim that Malthus’ theory was impossible. Working class gains some benefits from the increased wealth they produce through class struggle (Merrit & Cummins, 2005). In real sense, Malthus’s theory on population was blaming the poor from being poor. Malthus was representing the landlord calls. Therefore, he deliberately ignored the fact that the society is divided into classes. The gratification in the society causes some people to get a bigger share than others. This is why the poor remain poor and the rich continue getting rich and their generations remain like that. It is factual that resources are limited (Fernando & Cheng, 2005). For example, taking example of oil, we do not even know how much oil is available in the entire world. The new century witnessed BP oil company report, which revealed that the expected oil reserves, which were believed to sustain the world for the next 300millions years, do not exist. This basically means that the world’s potential provision of crude oil is endangered. This shows that nobody can tell how much actual resources are available in the world. Scientists know how to extract oil and oil products from bituminous shale. However, capitalists term oil extraction from bituminous shale as uneconomical. This is why they do not encourage it. They prefer exploiting the environment and gain maximum profit.
If we accept Malthus’ argument that the world population is against the available resources, how should we respond to that? As a supporter of the wealthy, Malthus deliberately eliminated inequalities existing in the society and the classes from his analysis. The first step the people should take is to eliminate the lavishness spending of the wealthy, which wolfs down an inconsistent amount of the earth’s resources. Secondly, people should run an international inventory to determine exactly how many resources is available in real sense. The world should then look for alternatives to replace nonrenewable resources. It is important to sit down and think about alternatives, such as burning fossil fuels as a source of energy. Unfortunately, these solutions, which can save our environment, are limited by capitalism (Morse et al., 2001).
Considering the hindering reasons from caused by the capitalist, it is necessary to implement fair systems of rationing the available resources until alternatives are found (Fernando & Cheng, 2005). A question arises from this notion: how can this be possible under capitalism? Actually, it is almost impossible to implement rationing in the world. This is because the economists praise price mechanisms, which are essentially reactive. For instance, when petrol price goes up, fuel-efficient cars become the only solution. However, this only indicates that capitalism has really squandered the earth’s resources.
The Sound of Silence
There are several explanations for the striking neglect, which make the environment to continue deteriorating in the hands of capitalists. First and foremost, there exists disciplinary discrimination in the world. The propensity towards a site specific socio-ecological study in Geography and Development Studies, where links to broader frameworks of economic and political power are either absent, or under-played from the analysis, apart from in work, such as in the political ecology. There is a matching element between this idea and the reason why scholars fail in most International Relations to pursue particular socio-natural and sites relations, the impacts of power in international governance, which they illustrate in systemic concepts, such as world order and hegemony.
This may also be an operation of the predisposition among several Geographers to term space and scale in a way that makes these links to larger structures hard to counterfeit. Secondly, there exists hostility and unpopularity towards historical and Marxism materialism in academic world, which derives from an association with the unsuccessful political mission of communism. Most environmental activists and scholars are correctly decisive of the environmental trail-record of socialism or industrialism (Fernando & Cheng, 2005).
Global environment studies should not be left to those studying political economy traditions. Different filaments of historical greed provide an important resource for comprehending the allegation of different arrangements of economic and social power at the international and national level for attempts to challenge prevailing thinking and put up coalitions around evolution to sustainability. They assist in understanding why and how powerful actors reject environmental actions, and where and when opportunities for constructing positive changes might emerge, which oppose this power (Merrit & Cummins, 2005).
Capitalist Ecology and Ecologies of Capitalism
What is being proposed in this paper is that there are early versions of political environment that went some route towards forging linkages between ‘micro’ environment and the social practices that broaden economic and political structures. In achieving this, the familiar alterations of economist and determinism were invoked. Despite this fact, in very variant means, there is work on urban commodity chain analysis, political ecology and global environmental that justify across struggles and scales. This has endured the explaining and researching the intimate linkage between ecological and material %uFB02ows and the socio-political associations that make them and are formed by them.
As far as this issue is concerned, and as it is claimed in the above two points, there cannot be any discussions about the claims that capitalist society’s associations with the normal environment has proved to be catastrophic. Not just for health and the very survival of environment, but as well as for mankind itself that requires the environment in order to recreate itself through antiquity. It is equally irrefutable that capitalist society’s associations with the normal environment have been mediated and facilitated by the technology of the society. For the last one hundred to two hundred years, technology has basically been used in large scale in industrial production. It is not possible to solve environmental problems using the capitalist structure. Therefore, the questions ultimately arise: is it only the specific utilization of the capitalism that makes of the (and linkages) technology, which is the main determinant factor, or is it somewhat the technology that is main determinant due to its incomplete possibilities of usage?