Avram Noam Chomsky, sometimes described as the “father of modern linguistics”, speaks on Capitalism and Climate Change.
Media reports commonly present a controversy between two sides on climate change.
One side consists of the overwhelming majority of scientists, the world’s major national academies of science, the professional science journals and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
They agree that global warming is taking place, that there is a substantial human component, that the situation is serious and perhaps dire, and that very soon, maybe within decades, the world might reach a tipping point where the process will escalate sharply and will be irreversible, with severe social and economic effects. It is rare to find such consensus on complex scientific issues.
The other side consists of skeptics, including a few respected scientists who caution that much is unknown — which means that things might not be as bad as thought, or they might be worse.
The term “capitalism” is commonly used to refer to the U.S. economic system, with substantial state intervention ranging from subsidies for creative innovation to the “too-big-to-fail” government insurance policy for banks.
The system is highly monopolised. “Capitalism” is a term now commonly used to describe systems in which there are no capitalists.
There have been serious debates over the years about whether capitalism is compatible with democracy. If we keep to really existing capitalist democracy — RECD for short — the question is effectively answered: They are radically incompatible.
It seems to me unlikely that civilization can survive RECD and the sharply attenuated democracy that goes along with it. But could functioning democracy make a difference?