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Why Defeating Climate Change is a Complete Waste of Time and Money

Updated on July 5, 2019
TessSchlesinger profile image

After reading Rachel Carson's 'Silent Spring' in 1970, Tessa Schlesinger became a dedicated environmentalist.

Sigh, Earth, Sigh. Cry, Earth, Cry. Bye, Earth, Bye. Why, Earth, Why?  Words by Tessa Schlesinger
Sigh, Earth, Sigh. Cry, Earth, Cry. Bye, Earth, Bye. Why, Earth, Why? Words by Tessa Schlesinger | Source

Climate Change and Human Extinction

It’s simply, really.

Humankind has reached the end of the road.

Armageddon isn’t going to come in one big nuclear bang, or even several hundred thousand of them.

It’s going to come gradually, over a period of about another eighty years, and then those few that remain are either going to adapt to a harsh environment, finding food where they can forage and learning to live on the high ground, in caves, where violent storms, floods, and other weather unfriendly disasters cannot find them.

Bandwidth, radio, movies, flying cars, gold and diamonds, Rolex watches, or new civilizations in distant galaxies will all be things of the past, perhaps, one day, to be discovered by a new species.

I see it all so clearly, but then I always have seen the future more clearly than others. And like Cassandra of long distant past, I, too am mocked.

After all, won’t a carbon tax, electric cars, recycling, or geo—engineering solve the problem?

Not at all, I say.

That’s rather like using a bandage (plaster in British English) on a bullet wound.

Why is that?

I’m not going to go into the climate science here. If you have two cells in your brain and any form of acceptable education, you know that we are destroying our eco-system, and that because we are dependent on our eco-system for our air, our food, and our water, when it is destroyed, then so are we. As a species, we cannot survive without those bare essentials.

Earth's Eco-system Versus Our Economc Eco-system

Rather, it’s the other eco-system that is destroying us – the one that needs to be destroyed, but that we keep at all costs, as if our lives depend on it.

That is the economic eco-system.

Most people think that an economic system is all about business, and that if business fails, it’s the economic system that is failing.

That’s a very biased view of an economic system.

An economic system is a system of production and distribution. It doesn’t have to involve business or profit. Business and profit is simply one more system of producing and distributing the goods it produces.

That’s the eco-system I am talking about.

We’re depending upon it, and that’s why politicians the world over, are being bribed, bullied, and bought wholesale. On the one hand, they profit from it, and on the other hand, they see that food and shelter and protection and every conceivable need of mankind is met by the way business produces and distributes goods.

Real leaders, of course, would figure out the problem, and then they would figure out a working solution, and then they would present both the problem and the solution to the people – no matter how uncomfortable that solution was – and they would do it in such a way that we-the-people would realize that we would have to bite the bullet and do what needs to be done.

The World Needs To Be On a War-Time Footing in Order to Reverse Global Warming

We Have Politicians Not Leaders.

We have politicians instead of leaders. Politicians, like business owners, like power and money. They’re not in it to server humankind. They’re in it to empower themselves and reward themselves. The bottom line is that if someone puts themself forward for any sort of leadership position, there is a 98% chance that person is doing so for personal gain. Real leaders do not put themselves forward. Instead we-the-people look around, see who is doing a good job, and elect the person who we think has proven to be the one who solves the problems and presents a safe and sustainable way forward.

Of course, on rare occasions, someone does come up through the political system with a genuine need to provide leadership. You can figure out who they are, because they aren’t rich, and they serve their constituents well.

The bottom line, however, is that we don’t have the kind of leadership that would inform we-the-people of what needs to be done, and then get it done.

Goodbye, Green, No more clean, No more seen, Now obscene, Business is just routine. Words. Tessa Schlesinger
Goodbye, Green, No more clean, No more seen, Now obscene, Business is just routine. Words. Tessa Schlesinger | Source

How Our Current Economic System Works

Firstly, I guess I need to explain why I think our economic system (our system of producing and distributing goods) is at the heart of the problem.

An eco-system is a whole lot of stuff that work together. You know - like bees pollinate plants, and we grow the plants in order to provide ourselves with food. And then if the bees die, we die because the plants die, and we don't have food.

Or maybe a couple of countries detonate a dozens of nuclear bombs, and this causes a thick layer of clouds (debris) in the skies, and then the sun doesn’t shine through, and then the plants don’t grow, and neither the animals nor we have food. So we die.

So our economic system also has some components on which it depends, so I’m going to put them down here in bullet form.

  • People like to be admired and obeyed. The more people have of these commodities, they higher they are on the pecking order. This is called status.
  • The way to obtain status is to have lots of money. Money gives people power. So the more people desire to be admired and obeyed, the more they seek status, and the more they will do anything to get more and more money so that their status gets higher and higher.
  • The best means of obtaining money are through criminality and through business (I’m not quite sure that they aren’t the same thing, but the purpose of this essay is not to discuss that.)
  • Business isn’t that difficult. It requires money in order to set it up and keep it going until it is profitable. (So that’s why mostly the upper middle classes and the rich tend to be successful in business.) It requires that one believes profit is an ethical undertaking, so that one can charge people more than the goods cost to produce. It requires that one is okay with paying labour less than it is worth. That’s because, without these two beliefs, it would be impossible to believe that business is an ethical enterprise. There are only two ways of making a profit (what is left over after all salaries of owners and workers, future investments, running costs, etc. are paid), and those are to overcharge on goods and underpay on wages.
  • Many people aspire to run their own businesses (driven either by survival as they cannot find jobs and/or the need for status).
  • As all the basics have been taken care of (providing food, shelter, clothing, etc.) by the many businesses already producing those things, it requires that business now move into producing non-essentials.
  • In an ever increasingly competitive environment, businesses are more and more dependent on brainwashing (advertising, public relations, indoctrination, etc.) potential buyers with the reasons they ought to buy electric cars, ‘environmentally friendly’ fashion, eat cereals for breakfast, drink Margaritas or live in a one mile square house at the top of the tallest building in the world. The human brain, having evolved to believing anything that is repeated frequently, believes all this garbage, and voila! People will buy and buy and buy until they have so much stuff that they need bigger and bigger houses. And so it goes.
  • Denim dye has destroyed entire rivers. The extraction of oil has destroyed the environments of numerous species. The production and discarding of plastics is busy destroying our seas. I could go on, but you know the score. You know that the production of goods which are not necessary for the survival of our species, but are necessary to sate the power and status-lust of many individuals, has increased to the extent that it is poisoning our environment.
  • In other words, our economic eco-system is destroying the eco-system of our world.

And all of this started because some people love to be admired and will do anything to get that admiration – including destroy our planet.

The Case of the Billionaires

This brings me to the case of the billionaires. People are always asking why they want to have more and more and more when they already have so much.

The answer is simple when you take status into consideration. They are competing with each other for more and more status. So, yup. Yes. Bill Gates competes with Jeff Bezos for status. Warren Buffet competes with Michael Dell. Carlos Slim Helu competes with Larry Page. Jim Walton competes with Mark Zuckerberg. And so it goes.

They have lost complete focus of the ball. They don’t’ even consider that right at the bottom of the mad obsession with increasing wealth lies a fragile ego. Then, again, twenty percent of CEOs are sociopaths, so they really don’t care about the consequences. They may even delight in them.

Perhaps, at the bottom of this mad rush to make Mars a suitable habitat for mankind is their certain knowledge that the earth is dying as a result of excessive industrialisation.

Of course, it doesn’t occur to them that it’s a lot cheaper, and success if far more guaranteed, to just clean up the earth.

The Case of the General Public

Of course, as the French and the Russians did some few centuries ago, we could always take out these people. It’s been done routinely in the world, and it’s no accident that people like billionaire Nick Hanauer warns his fellow billionaires that the pitchforks are coming.

That, however, is not what I want to say here.

Rather, the issue is why the little people are influenced by the likes of the Kardashians, Ashrod, Zach King, and many other nobodies.

Consumers are as much to blame as business people, and for the same reason. They want to be approved by others. They think if they wear a particular brand name, they will be admired. Worse than that, there are so many unthinking people in the world that some actually admire others because they wear a particular fashion brand. This is the power of influencers. They play on that characteristic.

So we have this cycle.

People want to be admired by others. However, it is not the admiration of just one person they want. The weaker and more fragile their egos, they more approval, admiration, and status they seek. So they copy those who have already attained that status in the vain hope that some of that status will come their way.

From Richard Heinberg in "The End of Growth."

All of the solutions to our growth-based problems involve some form of self-restraint. That’s why most of those solutions remain just good ideas. ...the economic pain gripping the United States will not actually be the fault of immigrants — or China, Muslims, environmentalists, or even terrorists. Nor is the essential problem Big Government. ...climate change is the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen.

What I Think Needs To Be Done

Essentially the only way to defeat climate change is to stop the mad obsession with increasing production. However, the production won’t stop because too many people are concerned about their status.

The way to stop the production is to change the economic system (a system of production and distribution).

Essentially nobody will change the economic system because there are too many vested interests. There is the fear of loss of status, and for those at the very bottom, the fear of loss of jobs.

This can all be very easily overcome. Sure, there’ll be enormous changes, but that is the price of us not going extinct. It really depends on our priorities.

So Here’s What Needs to Be Done

  • We need to be educated that we cannot continue to live the lifestyles we do. Certainly, we can continue to have our high-tech lifestyles, but we cannot insist on new fashion items every six months or upgrading our phones every two years or living in a one square mile house with twenty bedrooms and its own private theatre. This needs to be a massive advertising campaign to inform people just how close we are to our species going extinct. They need to be told we have less than a dozen years before we hit the point where we cannot reverse the process.
  • With the changes listed below in mind, the governments need to make provision for all the people, as people will face starvation and desperation as we redesign the economic system. There will be massive loss of jobs, and there will be products that will not manufactured anymore (who needs another plastic copy of Darth Vader or Iron man?).
  • The first step is for government to pay for a massive, high-tech, safe, cheap public transport system. This would involve airships (like zeppelins), bullet trains, bus services, cabs/taxis, etc. Every area of the city and small towns would be on the map, so that nobody would need a car.
  • Personal ownership of cars would be banned. By doing this, it would cut down the need for fossil fuels to such an extent that many fossil-fuel providers would go out of business. That is a good thing. Some fuel would still be needed, but not as much as previously.
  • The next step would be to institute Universal Basic Income. The reason for this is that as business starts shutting down, many people would be without a job. Much research has been done about the effects of Universal Basic Income. In those areas where poverty is rampant, it has proven to be 100% positive. About 1% used the money for drink or gambling. The rest used it to educate their children, invest in a home, start a small business, etc. The idea that if people are given money they will grow lazy and dependent is a myth. It has been put out there by the super wealthy in order to ensure that they don’t pay high taxes. People do not become lazy and dependent when they are given money. Instead, they become creative. Creativity is the natural habit of mankind – not laziness. Providing UBI for humanity would herald in the greatest period of creativity and innovation that mankind has ever known.
  • Once UBI is in place, it’s okay to make sure that all businesses that are responsible for selling (distributing) products which produce pollution or landfill value are closed down and banned. So this would be the second positive step towards stopping global warming (the first being the lesser usage of oil).
  • The last step in gearing our world towards a better future for all of mankind, and for that future to be 100% sustainable is the creation of a new type of economic system. It would not be based on profit making. It would not result in inequality. Instead, it would be based on a scientific evaluation of what products need to be produced, how much needs to be produced, and how to distribute them. It would be resource based (i.e. does the earth have enough of that material without it being depleted). I believe we have more than enough intelligent people on this planet to figure out a new economic system.

Billionaires Warns Fellow Billionaires that The Pitchforks are Coming

Do you believe that climate change is a threat to the survival of humanity?

See results

Why I Think Defeating Climate Change is a Waste of Time and Money

Of course, none of this will happen. People will try every which way but lose in order to keep the current economic system (and their status) in place. They are not willing to lose their one square mile of housing, their importance in the world, or anything else. They will try, and are trying, and keep trying to find solutions that don’t upset the economic system. To me, that’s all a waste of time and money. It’s not going to work. It’s too little, and it’s not the real problem. The real problem is the economic system.

As I sincerely don’t believe there is any way to prevent our extinction other than changing our economic system (and I’m far from alone in that view), I guess I’ve finally made peace to let it all roll out.

Farewell, world. Einstein was right. “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.”

© 2019 Tessa Schlesinger

Comments

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  • TessSchlesinger profile imageAUTHOR

    Tessa Schlesinger 

    4 months ago from South Africa

    Poetikaly, the cause has nothing to do with God. The cause is a advertising and marketing which influence the human brain to buy things.

  • PoetikalyAnointed profile image

    PoetikalyAnointed 

    4 months ago from US

    Hi Tessa,

    You are in your right to choose what posts you want and which you don't. You are well within your right to feel what you feel and so am I.

    Yes, I believe we do have the technology to "fix" the problem we have caused to put us in this state of being but do we have the technology to "fix" the cause of the problem?

    My post was about the cause of why folks need to be admired, respected and influential. Technology has nothing to do with that need. I stand by my words.

    We can agree to disagree and still respect each other's views.

    Have a great day.

  • TessSchlesinger profile imageAUTHOR

    Tessa Schlesinger 

    4 months ago from South Africa

    PoetikalyAnointed, no, I am not a believer. In fact, I am a hard-core atheist and humanist. I believe that human beings have the technology to solve the problems, and this has nothing to do with God or with people not obyeing God.

    I regret that because your post was more about God than the topic I wrote about, I chose not to accept ti.

  • Lorna Lamon profile image

    Lorna Lamon 

    4 months ago

    This is a powerful article pointing out what to me should be obvious. We all need to come together for the sake of this planet and future generations and it needs to happen now.

  • TessSchlesinger profile imageAUTHOR

    Tessa Schlesinger 

    4 months ago from South Africa

    Stella, what is even more frightening is an article I read a few weeks ago. It showed that newspapers didn't really write a lot about climate change because it was a ratings killer. People didn't buy newspapers or magazines when the topic was climate change. I think they should change the topic to human extinction. Maybe that will get some response. I know that when I post about climate change on my various sites that it just mostly passes. I could just as well not have posted.

  • Stella Kaye profile image

    Stella Kaye 

    4 months ago from UK

    I've been thinking of writing an article along the same lines for some time now and it seems more and more people are becoming aware of how dire the situation is. I have voted 100% in your poll My own personal views are even more pessimistic than those in your article.

    Some scientists go as far to say that the tipping points have already passed, so there is less than a decade left and there is absolutely nothing to be done now to rectify or reduce the effects of abrupt runaway climate change. Others argue there is still time but no one can come up with the technology to help remove carbon from the atmosphere. Humans have known that carbon emissions were damaging the environment 150 years ago, so if it is too late, we only have ourselves to blame for our apathy.

  • Jay C OBrien profile image

    Jay C OBrien 

    4 months ago from Houston, TX USA

    "Essentially the only way to defeat climate change is to stop the mad obsession with increasing production. However, the production won’t stop because too many people are concerned about their status."

    I agree with most of this article. Let me remind the readers that we are individuals, not governments. We can reduce production by Decreasing demand. We can decrease demand by reducing the amount of people in the world, birth control. The easiest birth control is the Vasectomy. Men should become responsible for their offspring. Will that happen? Probably not.

    Another solution is to join a group which lives close to the earth such as Amish or Mennonite. The greedy, warlike people will pass away. A remnant of small groups will be left and the cycle will begin again,

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