How Capitalism is Costing Us Civilization

The Reason We’re Repeating History, Instead of Forging a Better Future

By Umair Haque

There’s a theme that keeps coming up in discussion I have lately, with people from around the world. “If the rich and powerful countries of the world are failing…who should we aspire to be?” It’s a good question. It cuts to the heart of now. This age, where all the old ways, systems, ideas seem to be failing catastrophically, brings with it a crisis of selfhood (which is why identity politics have flared up, too.) We don’t know who we are anymore — or who we should be.

That’s not so strange. Capitalism, which ruled the world, and is now collapsing, tells us we’re nobody, that we have no inherent value, worth, our purpose whatsoever. The price of modern capitalism was any deeper self than what you earned, acquired, exploited. And yet we can see that happily trading away our souls and selves for riches that never came wasn’t exactly the world’s best idea. So on the one hand, we have a new kind of freedom, but that leaves us in a bind. Who are we? Are we just failed proles? Are we budding social democrats? Are we the same old brutal colonizers and slavers we’re descended from? Wait — who should we want to be? Can you feel that pained cry rising up around the world? I can.

 

https://eand.co/why-the-world-is-forgetting-what-it-means-to-be-civilized-65ee67c11d8

The beginning of the end of capitalism?

Does the gilet jaune movement signal the start of a resistance movement against capitalism?

 

Respect my existence or expect my resistancehttp://bit.ly/2Gkjqya

 

 [Martin Luther] King correctly judged, however, that real and lasting equality required the reform of capitalism – a change in the system itself. http://bit.ly/2rzzEJi

Isaac Asimov Came up with the Three Laws of Robotics in his 1942 short story “Runaround”, as a safety feature for the terrifying idea of autonomous robots, or today’s ideas of autonomous drones and weapons platforms. However, there are many of us that fear capitalism as much as we fear intelligent drones.

I have therefore, adapted Asimov Laws of Robotics as the Four Laws of Capitalism;

1. A corporation may not injure human beings physically, mentally or economically or, through inaction, allow human beings to come to harm.

2. A corporation may obey orders given it by human beings except where  such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3. A corporation may protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

4. A corporation is not and can never be deemed to have personhood.

The essence of capitalism is to turn nature into commodities and commodities into capital. The live green earth is transformed into dead gold bricks, with luxury items for the few and toxic slag heaps for the many. The glittering mansion overlooks a vast sprawl of shanty towns, wherein a desperate, demoralized humanity is kept in line with drugs, television, and armed force. Michael Parenti – Against Empire

Capitalism was once viewed by workers as a system to be fought. But capitalism is no longer challenged. Capitalist bosses, men such as Warren Buffett, George Soros, and Donald Trump, are treated as sages, celebrities and populists. The liberal class functions as their cheerleaders. Such misguided loyalty, illustrated by environmental groups that refuse to excoriate the Obama White House over the ecological catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, ignores the fact that the divide in America is not between Republican and Democrat. It is a divide between the corporate state and the citizen. It is a divide between capitalists and workers. And, for all the failings of the communists, they got it. Chris Hedges – Journalist

Americans have been taught — indoctrinated, perhaps — to think of the economy as capitalism. Quite literally: if capital returns are high — which is what all the above really measure — then Americans suppose the economy is booming. But capital returns — profits, dividends, stock markets, GDP (or their opposites, deficits) — are not the economy at all. They are just the success of capitalists, at increasing their capital. Hence, the average American — who isn’t a capitalist, since the true capitalists, Bezos, Brin, Buffett, are tiny in number — is cheering on capitalists increasing their capital, but not his own income, savings, living standards, health, longevity, or happiness. Victory for capitalism, comrades!! http://bit.ly/2QB5yEa

 Decapitalism by Yellow Vest – Albert Bates

A funny thing happened on the way to the UN climate conference in Katowice, Poland. They started rioting in Paris. At first the two events seemed unrelated. The Yellow Vest protests (Mouvement des Gilets Jaunes) were started by a change.org petition and a Facebook event posting calling to protest a new fuel tax in Paris because, the protesters claimed, it was really just paying for tax cuts for the 1%. The protests snowballed into riots when President Emmanuel Macron said the goal of the administration’s economic reform program is to increase France’s competitiveness in the global economy, and that the fuel tax is intended to discourage fossil-fuel use. He later agreed to roll back the tax, but it was too late. The vests were out of the trunks.

Katowice is host, in the heart of Polish coal country, to the UN’s annual effort to fly 20,000 people to some city to make it look like something is being done about climate change. Eighty percent of the heat and power for the Polish conference was supplied by coal.

As the Yellow Vest riots grew larger and pulled in more of the French and Belgian population, delegates in Katowice started wondering if maybe events happening in the two places were connected. What if this is what it looks like when a government tries to curb greenhouse emissions by raising the price of fossil fuels?

15-year-old savant and minor star of this year’s COP Greta Thunberg explained in a press conference that raising fuel prices is a dumb move, if fighting climate change is what French President Macron was doing it for, because it hurts those on the bottom rungs of the ladder more, and people with money would be able to buy what they needed at any price. Read More

 

 

 

CCCCC adds LiDAR to boost Caribbean’s Climate Change Fight

caribbeanclimate

Credit: Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre. Not for use without written permission.

Belmopan, Belize; November 30, 2018 – The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) through the USAID-funded Climate Change Adaptation Program (USAID CCAP) is about to launch its most recent initiative to significantly boost the Caribbean’s ability to limit the ravages of climate change by improving its capability to monitor and plan for physical changes to the land and marine environments.

On Monday, December 3, the Centre will launch a US$2million Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) System, acquired through the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) three-year CCAP Project.

The acquisition of an Airborne LiDAR system by the Centre – also known as the 5Cs – is possibly the most significant achievement for data capture in the Caribbean. For decades, countries of the region have clamoured for LiDAR produced data the high cost all but prohibited its application; and…

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CARICOM Unified on COP24 Expectations

caribbeanclimate

The twenty-fourth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate, known as COP24, will take place in Poland from December second to the fourteenth. The key objective of this year’s conference is to adopt the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement. It brings together world leaders and champions of the environment in a number of high-level events. Belize is part of the block of countries identified as Small Island Developing States. Last week, CARICOM member states of the grouping met in Barbados to prepare for the conference. The Caribbean Community Climate Change Center’s Carlos Fuller shares the region’s expectation of the event:

Carlos Fuller

Carlos Fuller, International & Regional Liaison Officer, CCCCC

“For us, COP24 is an important one because it is the most significant COP after the Paris Agreement, which will actually provide the rules of the Paris Agreement. So, when you read through the…

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Trickle Down Economics Vs Extinction

 

Homo Sapiens are a curious race, for although our name means Wise Man we have swallowed the bait of capitalistic Kool Aid with alacrity, and now fully subscribe to the theory that enriching the elite 1% will benefit everyone.
If this were not the heights of ignorance, our lack control over the fossil fuel industry and the imperial war machine will certainly be the our undoing, leading, in all probability, to extinction of life on this planet.
Let us therefore live a life in keeping with our species name and cooperate globally to save our Home World, this planet Earth.
Nicholas Robson, Cayman Islands, 18 November 2018

How Extreme Weather Is Shrinking the Planet

 

In 1988, George H. W. Bush, running for President, promised that he would fight “the greenhouse effect with the White House effect.” He did not, nor did his successors, nor did their peers in seats of power around the world, and so in the intervening decades what was a theoretical threat has become a fierce daily reality. As this essay goes to press, California is ablaze. A big fire near Los Angeles forced the evacuation of Malibu, and an even larger fire, in the Sierra Nevada foothills, has become the most destructive in California’s history. After a summer of unprecedented high temperatures and a fall “rainy season” with less than half the usual precipitation, the northern firestorm turned a city called Paradise into an inferno within an hour, razing more than ten thousand buildings and killing at least sixty-three people; more than six hundred others are missing. The authorities brought in cadaver dogs, a lab to match evacuees’ DNA with swabs taken from the dead, and anthropologists from California State University at Chico to advise on how to identify bodies from charred bone fragments. Read More

The World’s Largest Floating Solar Plant Is Finally Online

 

Sungrow Floating Power Plant

The world’s largest floating solar power plant is now online in China. Built by Sungrow, a supplier of PV inverter systems, the 40MW plant is now afloat in water four to 10 meters deep, and successfully linked to Huainan, China’s grid. The placement was chosen in large part because the area was previously the location of coal mining operations; and, as a result, the water there is now mineralized and mostly useless. The lake itself was only formed after years of mining operations, the surrounding land collapsed and created a cavity that was filled with rainwater.

Floating solar plants are advantageous because they put otherwise useless water and land to good use, and the water naturally cools the system and the ambient temperatures, improving generation and limiting long-term damage from heat.

(https://futurism.com/the-worlds-largest-floating-solar-plant-is-finally-online