The Corporatocracy cannot save itself or us.

It really looks as if the only way we can save a recognizable planet is to create an unrecognizable economy:

…the problem of climate change legislation is economic as well as being political. We will discover a world order governed by an ideology called neoliberalism, in which a great surplus of capital, evident in the 1970s but having grown each decade since then, makes government into neoliberal government, government as a conduit for investor profits.

Neoliberal government, government under the conditions of dollar hegemony, global governance, the WTO, and so on, as have been increasingly applicable since the 1970s, is responsible mainly to the global neoliberal economy. If they hope to attract any business in their countries, governments around the world must provide an “appropriate business climate,” which in practical terms means they must cater to the profits system, the system which has produced 793 billionaires for our globe amidst a bottom half of humanity which lives off of less than $2.50/day. Thus the dramatic privatizations which have taken place over the last three decades around the world.


If we are to grant the human race the freedom to think about devoting lifetimes to stewardship of Earth’s ecosystems, we will have to grant the human race a prior freedom FROM economic need. This means a rededication to the problems of food, clothing, and shelter, the problems of FUNDAMENTAL economic need (you know, nobody really needs a Mercedes) in light of the great initial retrenchment in resources which will go along with an international agreement to phase out the production of fossil fuels.

If we can’t agree upon an economy which provides everyone with the fundamentals, an economy of basic human rights, then what we’re likely to get are a bunch of last-minute, slapdash measures, committed in the expected panic of massive weather disruption and failing annual crops, which will hurt an awful lot of people. Imagine a carbon tax so onerous as to make air conditioning unaffordable in 110 degree (Fahrenheit) heat, or water restrictions which make it unaffordable for people to grow their own food under conditions of skyrocketing food prices. (Remember, most of the continental American west will be altered by the melting of the icepack atop the Sierras and Rockies, with the consequent drying up of water resources for Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and so on.)

There’s not much “on the other hand” that anyone can point to. But I think that an economy which reflected economic justice to the peoples of this world would probably rely a whole lot more on barter, and would be profoundly local. Right now, those of us who “own” our houses probably send those mortgage payments to corporate offices in some other state; our bills are paid by and to banks in Delaware or South Dakota or some other damn place; our salad greens come from California, our tasty Clementines from Spain.

If survival of the species depends on reinventing our economic systems, creating a way to live that’s better than what we’ve already tried…can we do it?