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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Capitalism could ruin humanity entirely by 2050. Hooray!

Are you worried about Brexit, Artificial Intelligence or World War Three?

The collapse of society and the end of humanity?…Trump?

Don’t be – we might all be dead by 2050 anyway.

Forbes has just published this cheery article by Drew Hansen, entitled: ‘Unless it changes, capitalism will starve humanity by 2050.’

OK, we’re intrigued.

This new voice of doom is based on these findings:

  • Species are going extinct at a rate 1,000 times faster than over the previous 65 million years. The Harvard Medical School Centre for Health and the Global Environment call it ‘The Extinction Crisis’.
  • 6 million hectares of forest have been lost annually since 2000 – almost the size of West Virginia, according to the 2010 report by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the UN
  • 15 per cent of Americans live below the poverty line – and 20 per cent of under 18s, according to US census data
  • The UN predicts that the world’s population will reach 10 billion by 2050
  • Timber extraction, agricultural practices and infrastructure development are contributing to habitat loss, accelerated extinction and climate change
  • Continuing reliance on fossil fuels and a lack of real investment in renewable energy is further contributing to climate change

According to the 2015 book Climate Change, Capitalism and Corporations, public corporations and businesses respond to consumer demand by increasingly exploiting resources.

The authors, Professors Christopher Wright and Daniel Nyberg, wrote:

Our book shows how large corporations are able to continue engaging in increasingly environmentally exploitative behaviour by obscuring the link between endless economic growth and worsening environmental destruction.

Yale sociologist Justin Farrell studied 20 years’ worth of scientific data and published a report in 2015, which suggested that corporate money plays an enormous role in American views on climate change.

That is to say, corporations with an interest in suppressing the idea of human responsibility for climate change use their money to bolster scepticism.

Farrell said the results revealed “an ecosystem of influence”, with corporate money “creating a united network within which the contrarian messages could be strategically created”.

Corporations have used their welath to amplify contrarian views [on climate change] and create an impression of greater scientific uncertainty than actually exists.

The problem with corporate capitalism, Hansen argues, is that it is “committed to the relentless pursuit of growth, even if it ravages the planet and threatens human health”.

So when Brett Easton Ellis satirised corporate greed and 80s capitalism in the form of its eponymous ‘American psycho’ Patrick Bateman, a sociopath serial killer who represented moral decay and offered annihilation, he may have been onto something.

Incidentally, Bateman was obsessed with Donald Trump and worshipped him as his consumerist psycho-hero.

Make of that what you will.

HT: Forbes


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