We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

As Oysters Die, Climate Policy Goes on the Stump

Click here to access article by Coral Davenport from The NY Times. (addendum added to commentary)

When capitalist operations are directly affected by climate changes due to the excessive burning of fossil fuels, they and their hired government employees become concerned. Here in the area of the globe where I hang out, a major industry, oyster farming, is being threatened; and Gov. Inslee is sounding the alarm.
In his recent efforts he cites scientists who say that a global increase in carbon emissions from burning coal and oil has raised carbon dioxide levels in the oceans to unprecedented levels, translating to heavily acidic waters that are deadly to shellfish and other marine life. A major scientific report released in May, the National Climate Assessment, found that the United States’ northwestern waters are among the world’s most acidic. 
However, don't get your hopes up that capitalists really want to do anything serious about curtailing the use of fossil fuels to feed their growth machine. What Inslee really wants is to promote other industries which the region is well-positioned to exploit.
Mr. Inslee argues that in the state of Microsoft and Boeing and where science and technology drive much of the economy, denying the science of climate change is a losing political stance. “This is a scientifically literate state,” Mr. Inslee said. Washington [state], he said, is positioned in a low-carbon economy to design and build new kinds of energy technology, like solar panels and software for the electric grid. “It can be a jobs generator, and my state wants to get in the game,” he said.
Capitalists and their representatives always talk about creating jobs, but that is always a public relations way of expressing a desire to promote big corporations like Boeing and Microsoft. Jobs are always regarded as an expense by capitalists, and as such are deducted from income on corporations' financial statements. Hence, corporate CEOs are always looking for ways to reduce job costs by introducing new machines to replace workers, by cutting back on payroll expenses like health care, busting unions, outsourcing jobs to cheap labor countries like Bangladesh, etc. 

Addendum @ 7PM: While it is good to promote solar and other forms of alternative energy, they cannot meet the huge energy requirements of capitalist enterprises. Hence, capitalist ruling classes will continue to burn fossil fuels which, in turn, cause the greenhouse effect in our atmosphere, acidifying the oceans, releasing methane, melting the icecaps, flooding highly populated areas of the world, and leading us inevitably to catastrophic climate destabilization and human extinction.