A most revealing line about climate change

It’s amazing what people will enable themselves to believe. The source of this is:

Susanna Rustin is a Guardian leader writer

The statement is:

If the world is to come together as we need it to, human values will have to assert themselves over the forces of capital.

The solution to climate change is that priority of human values over capital.

Now, it may well be true that someone whose living is made writing leaders for The Guardian thinks that the power of capital must be abolished. We’d rather think it comes with the territory. But to think that the solution to climate change is going to require that is an error. Actually, it’s a delusion.

Firstly because all do indeed say that massive investment is required in order to avoid climate change. And what the heck is investment other than the deployment of the forces of capital?

But even if we talk about “capitalism” this is still not true. The problem being identified is that we humans like to consume, like having more. The assertion is that we can’t have that if we’re to beat climate change. And yet that desire to have more isn’t anything to do with capital or capitalism - they’re just the effective means of meeting that innate human desire. That East Germans fled across the Wall if they could - actually, that East Germans were fleeing to cause the building of the Wall - shows that the absence of capitalism doesn’t remove the desire for that more.

Then, finally, in empirical detail, we also know that the absence of capitalism doesn’t lead to that absence of climate change. In the standard economic models used to even predict the existence of climate change itself we have studies of what the world will could like in that future. With and without globalisation, with and without capitalism and free markets. The one that leaves humans with what they want, those increased riches and also no climate change, is the capitalist and free market one, globalised, using more renewables and fewer fossil fuels. A1T in the naming jargon of those economic models.

The various socialised/socialist models studied produce very much worse outcomes. So it isn’t just projection to worry about here, it’s an actual ignorance of the subject under discussion. Which perhaps isn’t the best way of producing newspapers.