Climate Change Vs. Capitalism
The idea that climate change and global warming is being caused by the existence of humans is not an entirely correct one, though it is the idea that is supported by use of the word “Anthropocene”. It would be more correct to say that these issues are caused by the transition from humans believing they exist as part of nature to humans believing they exist above nature.
This belief is one of the biggest issues with capitalism, in which people manipulate nature into profit. Capitalism is flawed in this way because people are encouraged to use “human ingenuity” to make the most money possible, regardless of the consequences to anyone or anything else. This is also the reason why it is hard to convince political institutions to consider the negative impacts of free-market capitalism on the global climate. They are tasked with creating policies that reflect what the people want. Currently, too many people have limited access to accurate and plentiful information regarding climate change and the ways to combat it. If there are still many people who deny the existence of climate change and believe in the right to use any resources needed to thrive, people within political institutions would have no reason to enforce policies that would cause change and limit people from making money the way have for decades.
Currently, within the United States, it is especially difficult to convince those within political institutions of the evils of capitalism because many of them have thrived off of it. The biggest example of this is Donald Trump. He will continue to deny the existence of climate change because he will not profit from accepting it. On Twitter, he has often refuted climate change because it is expensive to solve and because many of the big businesses in the United States thrive off of fossil fuels. The Twitter posts below are examples of how Donald Trump uses unsupported claims to support his idea that “global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!”
The question remains, Why do people continue to believe that capitalism is sustainable when fossil fuels are running out and by the time we have used them all, the planet will have sustained irreversible and devastating damage? Climate change has become a political issue within the United States, which means that it will not be viewed as an issue separated from the government. The government balances its issues with the good of the nation, which means that if creating environmental policies is not widely accepted by the public and does not solve an economic problem, they are not likely to make them. Likewise, if climate change is a political issue, people can more easily throw away their own personal responsibility in solving the issues and expect politicians to solve it for them.
It can also be said that many people in the United States believe that capitalism is sustainable because they were never taught to connect capitalism with fossil fuels and climate change. The school district that I went graduated from took great lengths to stress climate change, but still never taught about its connection to capitalism. People need to be shown that capitalism and the general greed that humans have for capital has caused the Anthropocene in order for the political institutions to make environmental policies that can have a more positive impact on the environment.