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Showing posts with the label ecology

A truly green world can be had by all

How long can people go on pretending that nothing is amiss with the world's weather? Legend has it that Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Not to be outdone, the present ruling class is fiddling while the Earth burns up.

 Capitalism's profit motive is the culprit for this, as well as many other unthinkable environmental disasters in the making. The profit motive and capitalism are bringing civilisation to the brink of disaster, and time is running out to take corrective actions where it is still possible or to lessen the effects where the damage is already too advanced to be undone. It ought to be clear by now that the system primarily responsible for bringing humanity such peril and which even now continues to ignore the warnings of scientists is not about to spend the hundreds of billions needed to avert or mitigate the dangers. Socially harmful decisions are made because, in one way or another, they serve the profit interests of the capitalist class. Capitalist class rule ove…

The Green economy or Greed economy

Scotland will become the first state in the world to put a price on the value of its natural environment and the benefits it provides. Academics have estimated that nature is worth between £21.5bn and £23bn a year to Scotland’s economy, but Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond wants a far more in-depth study. He pledged to calculate the monetary value of Scotland’s natural capital, the cost of depleting it and to communicate its importance across business and society. He will also set up collaborative projects to take “tangible action” to protect Scotland’s natural capital.

Supporters of the scheme argue that because most development decisions are based on narrow economic considerations, in terms of the direct costs and benefits, natural resources such as peat should be valued in the same way to ensure their importance is not overlooked. Peat bogs act as water regulators, soaking up rainfall and slowing water flows, helping to curb the frequency and intensity of floods. They also p…

Real Eco-Socialism or Green Reformism

“It’s blindingly obvious that our economic system is failing us,” said economist Tim Jackson, a professor of sustainable development at the University of Surrey in the UK. “It is a travesty of what economy should be. It has absolutely failed to create social well being and has hurt people and communities around the world.”

Jackson and number of ecological economists say the current self-destructive economy must be transformed into one that delivers a shared and lasting prosperity. This kind of Green Economy is far beyond business as usual with some clean technology thrown in. It is what Jackson calls a “fit-for-purpose economy” that is stable, based on equity and provides decent, satisfying livelihoods while treading lightly on the earth. The current growth-worshiping consumption economy is “perverse” and at odds with human nature and our real needs, he said. “Prosperity isn’t just about having more stuff,” he said. “Prosperity is the art of living well on a finite planet.”

With powe…

Killing nature for profits

Mountain hares are facing extinction in large parts of the Scottish Highlands because landowners are killing thousands of them every year in order to protect the grouse shooting industry, wildlife experts have warned. The distinctive mammals are being shot and snared by gamekeepers on grouse moors due to fears that ticks carried by hares spread a viral disease, which can be fatal to grouse. However, experts have poured doubt on claims that killing hares protects grouse.

“A preventable catastrophe has befallen the mountain hare,” said Dr Adam Watson, a veteran mountain ecologist. “This is a national scandal.” This was “due to deliberate efforts by estates to eradicate them,” he said. “Gamekeepers on several estates have told me that they were instructed to reduce hare numbers and to try to eradicate them.”

Watson condemned the government’s wildlife conservation agency, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), for failing to protect mountain hares under European law. “SNH has known what has be…

We are not alone

Socialist Courier came across this article by Richard Smith at “Capitalism and the destruction of life on Earth”  on the Real World Economic Review. It is well worth reading in full but these are some pertinent extracts. We would, however,  not accept some of what Smith suggests to address the environmental problems such as his advocacy of nationalization for the large key industries and the continuance of small businesses.

Extracts

Corporations aren’t necessarily evil, though plenty are diabolically evil, but they can’t help themselves. They’re just doing what they’re supposed  to do for the benefit of their shareholders. Shell Oil can’t help but loot Nigeria and the Arctic  and cook the climate. That’s what shareholders demand. BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and other  mining giants can’t resist mining Australia’s abundant coal and exporting it to China and India.  Mining accounts for 19% of Australia’s GDP and substantial employment even as coal  combustion is the single worst driver of gl…

Addressing the Green Party

Many Greens claim to advocate a society based on cooperation and production for use, a sustainable society where production is in harmony with the environment and affairs are run in a decentralised and democratic manner. They argue that only in such a system can ecological problems such as pollution and global warming be solved. The ultimate aim is a participatory economy, based on smaller-scale enterprise, with a greatly-reduced dependence on the world market. What is being proposed is the abolition both of the world market, with the competition for resources and sales it engenders, and of existing centralised states, and their replacement by a worldwide network of smaller human communities providing for their own needs. This will involve a steady-state economy based on maximum conservation of materials and energy.

The Socialist Party of Great Britain place ourselves unambiguously in the camp of those who argue that capitalism and a sustainable relationship with the rest of nature a…

Rio = Zero

For what was billed as an historic summit, Rio+20 was an anti-climax.

Many are touting a mythical new "green economy" they say will solve all our climate challenges. Under the rhetoric of “green economy”, capitalists are actually attempting to use nature as capital, proposing unconvincingly that the only way to preserve natural elements such as water and forests is through capitalist investment. For capitalists, nature is mainly an object to possess, exploit, transform and especially to profit from. This will open the door to the development of a new speculative market. This will allow some banks, corporations, brokers and intermediaries to make a lot of profit for a number of years until their financial bubble explodes, as can be seen with past speculative markets. While still ill defined, they're generally referring to a model of economic growth based on massive private investment in clean energy, climate-resistant agriculture, and ecosystem services - like the ability…

the waste of capitalism

Hotels and restaurants send 130,000 tonnes of waste to landfill in Scotland every year. More than three-quarters is recyclable.

53,500 tonnes of the waste from the hospitality sector is food waste - two-thirds of which could have been eaten.

Food waste extends beyond the hotel industry, with more than £1 billion worth of food wasted by consumers in Scotland each year - an average of £430 per household. Households throw away 566,000 tonnes of food every year in Scotland.

http://news.scotsman.com/news/39Throwing-out-food-worth-millions39.6797142.jp

Nature loss 'to hurt global poor'

Damage to forests, rivers, marine life and other aspects of nature could halve living standards for the world's poor,a major report is to conclude.

G8 environment ministers meeting in Japan last weekend agreed a document noting that "biodiversity is the basis of human security and... the loss of biodiversity exacerbates inequality and instability in human society". But the main CBD target agreed by all signatories at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992 - to "halt and begin to reverse" biodiversity loss by 2010 - is very unlikely to be met.

Capitalism's Waste

Waste & Resources Action Programme reports that a third of the food we buy, amounting to 6.7 million tonnes, gets discarded from UK households annually. Fruit and vegetables are a major component at around 40% of this. The top five fruit & vegetables which get binned without even being touched are apples (4.4 million or 179,000 tonnes pa), potatoes(5.1m or 177,000 tonnes pa), bananas (1.6m or 77,000 tonnes pa), tomatoes (2.8m or 46,000 tonnes pa) and oranges (1.2m or 45,000 tonnes). Producing, storing and getting the food to UK homes consumes much energy through transport, packaging etc. If we could stop the wastage of all this food, it would save the equivalent of at least 15 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. This would be equivalent to taking 1 in 5 cars off UK roads, according to WRAP.

The amount of discarded food-stuff is boosted by supermarket marketing promotions such as "two-for-one" deals with the result millions of Britons buy more than they need and then fa…

Global Warming and Capitalism

We are not at all surprised . We have been saying it all along .

The Independent On Sunday carries an article on a report that global warming ranks far down the concerns of the world's biggest companies . Nearly nine in 10 of them do not rate it as a priority . The report's publishers believe that big business will concentrate even less on climate change as the world economy deteriorates.Nearly twice as many see climate change as imposing costs on their business as those who believe it presents an opportunity to make money.

The survey found that only 5 per cent of the companies questioned – and not one in China – regarded global warming as their top priority. And only 11 per cent put it in second or third place. Overall it ranked eighth in business leaders' concerns, below increasing sales, reducing costs, developing new products and services, competing for talented staff, securing growth in emerging markets, innovation and technology. Although most are taking limited action…