Is it time to think about a different economic system, for the sake of the planet?
Image from Flickr via Ben Reierson
By Chris Williams
By arrangement with Alternative Radio
Fifty years ago Rachel Carson wrote “Silent Spring.” It gave birth to the environmental movement. Within a few years there was Earth Day, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Those were heady days, but that was then. Today, around the world, the threat to our environment is acute and growing. The majority of solutions on offer, from driving a hybrid to recycling plastic to using efficient light bulbs, focus on the individual lifestyle choices of mostly privileged people. Yet the scale of the crisis requires a far deeper and more fundamental transformation.
As global warming accelerates, carbon-fueled industrial capitalism is systemically incapable of making the radical changes necessary to protect the planet. Its insatiable appetite for profits precludes it from doing so. It is time to think about a different economic system.
Chris Williams is a longtime environmental activist, professor of physics and chemistry at Pace University, and chair of the science department at Packer Collegiate Institute. He is the author of Ecology and Socialism.