For decades I have traced the connection between capitalist organization of society and denial of the living universe as possessing rights equal to a small segment of human society that dominates the Earth and us.
Giving voice to “inanimate” beings such as mountains, rivers, forests, and the non-human life that keeps us alive and healthy is the work of storytellers: artists such as writers, poets, musicians, and the myriad creative visionaries among us. Add birds and every living creature that vocalizes or lays a chemical language on leaves and on trails on any part of the creation.
As humans we must tell the truth of the moment: a destructive way of thinking and operating a society has caused climate change. Extractive technologies are a good example of how a way of thinking about the living Earth as inanimate, a “resource,” allows and even promotes the destruction of the living pith that keep us alive. It is hacking away at the very ground on which our lives depend.
I can think of no other magazine and group of visionaries than Emergence Magazine that is bringing essential truths and astute visionaries to these discussions. Here listen to an interview with Amitav Ghosh, scholar and writer which explores the ways in which capitalism creates an ecological crisis. For people living in countries dependent upon capitalist economies, i.e. the developed world, this is a clear, fresh voice for the unseen and unheard. He discusses his new book: The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis.
Listen to an interview with Amitav Ghosh at Emergence Magazine.
One thought on “Capitalism and Climate”
Hi Susan, I often find that you and I are on the same mental track. You will recall that Kim Stanley Robinson in The Ministry of the Future writes early in the cli-fi novel that “it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.” In connection with the Robinson book, I am revisiting David Korton’s The Great Turning, where he expounds on Joanna Macy’s statement that we are at a transition point in the “Great Turning” from an industrial growth society to a self-sustaining society in which we measure wealth not by GDP but by the health of the planet and all forms of life. (I had the good fortune of attending a workshop in Oregon where Macy was a major presenter; I was there as a member of Sustainable West Florida.)
I am now grappling with the issue–and trying to write about it–of why we know so much about our economic system is destroying the planet and yet we fail to act. Robinson calls this a cognitive error, and I wish to try to understand why we know but fail to act–even beyond the obvious influence of corporate America in making sure we do not act–look at Joe Manchin and his ties to the coal industry.
I’ll check out the Emergence Magazine interview. I love your photo of the Aldo Leopold cabin!