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:
September 25, 2018
Kenneth Surin
Fact-Finding Labour’s “Anti-Semitism” Crisis
Charles Pierson
Destroying Yemen as Humanely as Possible
James Rothenberg
Why Not Socialism?
Patrick Cockburn
How Putin Came Out on Top in Syria
John Grant
“Awesome Uncontrollable Male Passion” Meets Its Match
Guy Horton
Burma: Complicity With Evil?
Steve Stallone
Jujitsu Comms
William Blum
Bombing Libya: the Origins of Europe’s Immigration Crisis
John Feffer
There’s a New Crash Coming
Martha Pskowski
“The Emergency Isn’t Over”: the Homeless Commemorate a Year Since the Mexico City Earthquake
Fred Baumgarten
Ten Ways of Looking at Civility
Dean Baker
The Great Financial Crisis: Bernanke and the Bubble
Binoy Kampmark
Parasitic and Irrelevant: The University Vice Chancellor
September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will There Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail