FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

We’ve Let Capitalism Kill the Planet

The headlines in the first three months of 2017 have made one thing clear: capitalism is killing the planet. Capitalism, the governing structure of nearly every society on Earth, puts profit above all other considerations. The consumer cycle is indifferent to proper disposal or reprocessing of discarded resources because such actions do not maximize profit.

Oceans suffer greatly. They cover over seventy percent of Earth’s surface and are integral to the prosperity of all known life. Anthropogenic climate change is killing fish stocks and fundamentally changing marine ecosystems. Human activity is depleting oxygen in the oceans. Plastics are everywhere. Humans route roughly 150 million tones of plastic into the oceans each year. Microplastics from the likes of synthetic fabrics and vehicle tires choke ocean life and thwart marine diversity. Approximately 46,000 pieces of discarded plastic of varying sizes occupy any given square mile of ocean. They work their way up the food chain.

Extinctions are commonplace. Critical areas of land, including wetlands and forests, are vanishing at astonishing rates. Earth has lost roughly ten percent of her wilderness since the 1990s. Humans threaten over sixty percent of the world’s primates with extinction. Harsh agriculture practices, tourism, and construction are rapidly killing grasshoppers across Europe, a critical food source for many animals including reptiles and birds. The middle class is going extinct as well. The world’s richest eight humans have as much money as the poorest half of the world’s population, and the richest one percent of the entire human population possess as much wealth as the rest of humanity.

The aforementioned examples are just a drop in the bucket. These are not anomalies. Pollution is capitalist routine. Pollution is profit. Razing forest for profit is humdrum. Extinction is progress. Asphyxiating Earth is good for big business. Capitalism, the maximization of profit at the expense of animal and planet, is a plague of our own creation. The planet will eventually recover after humanity is gone or once humanity collectively agrees to prioritize the health of our only home. Humans are ill and capitalism is our collective infection. It must end.

References

Briggs, Helen. “Plastic from tyres ‘major source’ of ocean pollution”, BBC News. 22 Feb 2017.

Briggs, Helen. “Sound of crickets ‘could become a thing of the past’”, BBC News. 10 Feb 2017.

Gill, Victoria. “Primates facing ‘extinction crisis’”, BBC News. 18 Jan 2017: 

Hope, Katie. “Eight billionaires ‘as rich as the world’s poorest half’”, BBC News. 16 Jan 2017.

Kinver, Mark. “Video captures moment plastic enters food chain”, BBC News. 11 Mar 2017.

Nearly 10 percent of the world’s wilderness has disappeared since the 1990s”, Agence France-Presse.

Smillie, Susan. “Fish under threat from ocean oxygen depletion, finds study”, The Guardian. 20 Feb 2017.

Christian Sorensen is an author and military analyst. He lives in Vermont, USA.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
June 15, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Dan Kovalik
The US & Nicaragua: a Case Study in Historical Amnesia & Blindness
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Yellow Journalism and the New Cold War
Charles Pierson
The Day the US Became an Empire
Jonathan Cook
How the Corporate Media Enslave Us to a World of Illusions
Ajamu Baraka
North Korea Issue is Not De-nuclearization But De-Colonization
Andrew Levine
Midterms Coming: Antinomy Ahead
Louisa Willcox
New Information on 2017 Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Deaths Should Nix Trophy Hunting in Core Habitat
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Singapore Fling
Ron Jacobs
What’s So Bad About Peace, Man?
Robert Hunziker
State of the Climate – It’s Alarming!
L. Michael Hager
Acts and Omissions: The NYT’s Flawed Coverage of the Gaza Protest
Dave Lindorff
However Tenuous and Whatever His Motives, Trump’s Summit Agreement with Kim is Praiseworthy
Robert Fantina
Palestine, the United Nations and the Right of Return
Brian Cloughley
Sabre-Rattling With Russia
Chris Wright
To Be or Not to Be? That’s the Question
David Rosen
Why Do Establishment Feminists Hate Sex Workers?
Victor Grossman
A Key Congress in Leipzig
John Eskow
“It’s All Kinderspiel!” Trump, MSNBC, and the 24/7 Horseshit Roundelay
Paul Buhle
The Russians are Coming!
Joyce Nelson
The NED’s Useful Idiots
Lindsay Koshgarian
Trump’s Giving Diplomacy a Chance. His Critics Should, Too
Louis Proyect
American Nativism: From the Chinese Exclusion Act to Trump
Stan Malinowitz
On the Elections in Colombia
Camilo Mejia
Open Letter to Amnesty International on Nicaragua From a Former Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience
David Krieger
An Assessment of the Trump-Kim Singapore Summit
Jonah Raskin
Cannabis in California: a Report From Sacramento
Josh Hoxie
Just How Rich Are the Ultra Rich?
CJ Hopkins
Awaiting the Putin-Nazi Apocalypse
Mona Younis
We’re the Wealthiest Country on Earth, But Over 40 Percent of Us Live in or Near Poverty
Dean Baker
Not Everything Trump Says on Trade is Wrong
James Munson
Trading Places: the Other 1% and the .001% Who Won’t Save Them
Rivera Sun
Stop Crony Capitalism: Protect the Net!
Franklin Lamb
Hezbollah Claims a 20-Seat Parliamentary Majority
William Loren Katz
Oliver Law, the Lincoln Brigade’s Black Commander
Ralph Nader
The Constitution and the Lawmen are Coming for Trump—He Laughs!
Tom Clifford
Mexico ’70 Sets the Goal for World Cup 
David Swanson
What Else Canadians Should Be Sorry For — Besides Burning the White House
Andy Piascik
Jane LaTour: 50+ Years in the Labor Movement (And Still Going)
Jill Richardson
Pruitt’s Abuse of Our Environment is Far More Dangerous Than His Abuse of Taxpayer Money
Ebony Slaughter-Johnson
Pardons Aren’t Policy
Daniel Warner
To Russia With Love? In Praise of Trump the Includer
Raouf Halaby
Talking Heads A’Talking Nonsense
Julian Vigo
On the Smearing of Jordan Peterson: On Dialogue and Listening
Larry Everest
A Week of Rachel Maddow…or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Ronald Reagan
David Yearsley
Hereditary: Where Things are Not What They Sound Like
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail