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Solving the climate crisis requires the end of capitalism

Solving the climate crisis requires the end of capitalism

Overcoming the climate crisis will require a shift away from our growth-based, corporate-dominated global system

General view during the Global Climate Strike March on October 02, 2020 in Durban, South Africa. According to media reports, the group demanded that individuals and governments must take stronger action against the effects of climate change and the emittance of the greenhouse gas. (Darren Stewart/Gallo Images via Getty Images)

General view during the Global Climate Strike March on October 02, 2020 in Durban, South Africa. According to media reports, the group demanded that individuals and governments must take stronger action against the effects of climate change and the emittance of the greenhouse gas. (Darren Stewart/Gallo Images via Getty Images)

The global conversation regarding climate change has, for the most part, ignored the elephant in the room. That’s strange, because this particular elephant is so large, obvious, and all-encompassing that politicians and executives must contort themselves to avoid naming it publicly. That elephant is called capitalism, and it is high time to face the fact that, as long as capitalism remains the dominant economic system of our globalized world, the climate crisis won’t be resolved.

As the crucial UN climate talks known as COP26 (short for “Conference of the Parties”) approach in early November, the public has grown increasingly aware that the stakes have never been higher. What were once ominous warnings of future climate shocks wrought by wildfires, floods, and droughts have now become a staple of the daily news. Yet governments are failing to meet their own emissions pledges from the Paris agreement six years ago, which were themselves acknowledged to be inadequate. Increasingly, respected Earth scientists are warning, not just about the devastating effects of climate breakdown on our daily lives, but about the potential collapse of civilization itself unless we drastically change direction.

The elephant in the room

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