Friday, February 03, 2012

Can Capitalism save our environment?

 

I’m not a free market capitalist, and I’m certainly not a laissez-faire capitalist, as they both tend to rape our environment and not even ask questions after. But this discussion by Mr. Kennedy (see below) on how the free market can solve our environmental issues is worth your attention. After listening to this interview with Mr. Kennedy I think there is a lot that can be accomplished with our existing economic system if those who pretend to believe in the free market would stop gumming up the works with their agenda—like protecting their own slice of the pie at the expense of everyone else.

What must appear abundantly clear to almost everyone on the planet except the 1% is that the existing economic system, whatever the heck it has metastasize into presently, is not healthy for people and certainly not our environment. For one, it is controlled by folks who don’t understand or wish to understand Climate science. [If they wanted to understand the basics of Climate Change, they can take a class free at Chicago University: Open Climate Science 101 (which I am doing and it’s great)]

For another, revamping our entire world-wide economic system so that it’s fair to all people and doesn’t treat our environment as a magical resource and a free garbage bin is probably not going to happen. Those in power have too much power and they are not going to share—it’s how we have always acted as a species. Sharing what we gain from our existence with other is not our way. Just criticizing Capitalism, any kind of Capitalism, these days will get you dismissed as a Commie. (It’s so hard to have an intelligent conversation these days about economics or our environment that it’s sad.)

Anyway, if you do believe in the free market and think it can keep us going a few more years, check out this fascinating discussion:

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Transcript | Climate One "Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: Well you know, for 27 years -- I have been an environmental advocate for 27 years. And for 27 years, I've had the same answer to that question, which is free market capitalism. People say to me, "What's the most important environmental law that we could pass?" I've always said the same thing, it's free market capitalism. Because true free market promotes efficiency, and efficiency means the elimination of waste. And pollution is waste. And a true free market would encourage us to properly value our natural resources, and it is the undervaluation of those resources that causes us to use them wastefully. But in a true free market, you can make yourself rich without making your neighbors rich and without enriching your community. But what polluters do is they make themselves rich by making everybody else poor. They raise standards of living for themselves by lowering quality of life for everybody else, and they do that by escaping the discipline of the free market. You show me a polluter, I'll show you a subsidy. I'll show you a fat cat using political clout to escape the discipline of the free market and force the public to pay as production cost. “(9/30/2011) Climate One

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