Capitalism, the Root Cause of Climate Change?

Climate Change is an outcome of rapid unplanned and irresponsible expansion of economic growth and consumption. This has resulted in yawning gap between the threat posed by climate breakdown and how little the global leaders are doing to address it.

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The climate change is funneling climate refugees. It is ironical that Northern part of the globe that has been responsible for 70 percent of historical CO2 emissions bear only about 18 percent of the total costs. The sufferers are the southern part of the globe, as per the opinion of Climate Vulnerability Monitor. Every year, $600 billion is being lost in the South due to drought, floods, landslides, storms, and wildfires. This happens despite the southern countries have the lowest carbon emissions in the world. With the worsening of the climate change, southern countries’ losses will reach a staggering $1 trillion per year by 2030. 

The scientists believe that the present trajectory of the world bears no more than 5 percent chance of keeping global warming below the danger threshold of 2 degrees. The reason for this is the rapid expansion of economic growth and consumption that undermines the gains made through technology and renewable energy.

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The mad rush up an exponential curve is preventing the global leaders to take any step on this. Imagine, how unpopular a leader of the western capitalist world would be if he asks his people to curb consumption of the consumer products. It requires extreme guts and courage to advocate this that can bring him down from his power. This has resulted in yawning gap between the threat posed by climate breakdown and how little the global leaders are doing to address it.

The climate change is also creating climate refugees who are denied entry into the safer lands. The safest land, so far, has been Europe and allowing the suffering people of the south into Europe is causing tension and friction and widespread resentment. However, the solution to this climate change, although in short-term, depends on the opening of borders and forcing a more honest reckoning with reality.

Allowing the southern people into Europe and North America will obliterate the moral hazard of global warming. This also put pressure on the richer countries to act and make this world livable again. However, that may require giving up on their off-repeated ideology of capitalism for new and more ecological economic model.