Capitalism is killing the world's wildlife populations, not 'humanity'

November 2, 2018 by Anna Pigott, The Conversation
Credit: Simon Eeman / shutterstock

The latest Living Planet report from the WWF makes for grim reading: a 60% decline in wild animal populations since 1970, collapsing ecosystems, and a distinct possibility that the human species will not be far behind. The report repeatedly stresses that humanity's consumption is to blame for this mass extinction, and journalists have been quick to amplify the message. The Guardian headline reads "Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations", while the BBC runs with "Mass wildlife loss caused by human consumption". No wonder: in the 148-page report, the word "humanity" appears 14 times, and "consumption" an impressive 54 times.

There is one word, however, that fails to make a single appearance: . It might seem, when 83% of the world's freshwater ecosystems are collapsing (another horrifying statistic from the report), that this is no time to quibble over semantics. And yet, as the ecologist Robin Wall Kimmerer has written, "finding the words is another step in learning to see".

Although the WWF report comes close to finding the words by identifying culture, economics, and unsustainable production models as the key problems, it fails to name capitalism as the crucial (and often causal) link between these things. It therefore prevents us from seeing the true nature of the problem. If we don't name it, we can't tackle it: it's like aiming at an invisible target.

Why capitalism?

The WWF report is right to highlight "exploding ", not population growth, as the main cause of , and it goes to great lengths to illustrate the link between levels of consumption and biodiversity loss. But it stops short of pointing out that capitalism is what compels such reckless consumption. Capitalism – particularly in its neoliberal form – is an ideology founded on a principle of endless economic growth driven by consumption, a proposition that is simply impossible.

Industrial agriculture, an activity that the report identifies as the biggest single contributor to species loss, is profoundly shaped by capitalism, not least because only a handful of "commodity" species are deemed to have any value, and because, in the sole pursuit of profit and growth, "externalities" such as pollution and biodiversity loss are ignored. And yet instead of calling the irrationality of capitalism out for the ways in which it renders most of life worthless, the WWF report actually extends a capitalist logic by using terms such as "natural assets" and "ecosystem services" to refer to the living world.

By obscuring capitalism with a term that is merely one of its symptoms – "consumption" – there is also a risk that blame and responsibility for is disproportionately shifted onto individual lifestyle choices, while the larger and more powerful systems and institutions that are compelling individuals to consume are, worryingly, let off the hook.

Global map of Ecological Footprint of consumption, 2014. Although the WWF report highlights disparity in consumption, it says nothing about the capitalism which produces this pattern. Credit: WWF Living Planet
Who is 'humanity', anyway?

The WWF report chooses "humanity" as its unit of analysis, and this totalising language is eagerly picked up by the press. The Guardian, for example, reports that "the global population is destroying the web of life". This is grossly misleading. The WWF report itself illustrates that it is far from all of humanity doing the consuming, but it does not go as far as revealing that only a small minority of the human population are causing the vast majority of the damage.

From carbon emissions to ecological footprints, the richest 10% of people are having the greatest impact. Furthermore, there is no recognition that the effects of climate and biodiversity collapse are overwhelming felt by the poorest people first – the very people who are contributing least to the problem. Identifying these inequalities matters because it is this – not "humanity" per se – that is the problem, and because inequality is endemic to, you guessed it, capitalist systems (and particularly their racist and colonial legacies).

The catch-all word "humanity" papers over all of these cracks, preventing us from seeing the situation as it is. It also perpetuates a sense that humans are inherently "bad", and that it is somehow "in our nature" to consume until there is nothing left. One tweet, posted in response to the WWF publication, retorted that "we are a virus with shoes", an attitude that hints at growing public apathy.

But what would it mean to redirect such self-loathing towards capitalism? Not only would this be a more accurate target, but it might also empower us to see our humanity as a force for good.

Breaking the story

Words do so much more than simply assign blame to different causes. Words are makers and breakers of the deep stories that we construct about the world, and these stories are especially important for helping us to navigate environmental crises. Using generalised references to "humanity" and "consumption" as drivers of ecological loss is not only inaccurate, it also perpetuates a distorted view of who we are and what we are capable of becoming.

By naming capitalism as a root cause, on the other hand, we identify a particular set of practices and ideas that are by no means permanent nor inherent to the condition of being human. In doing so, we learn to see that things could be otherwise. There is a power to naming something in order to expose it. As the writer and environmentalist Rebecca Solnit puts it: "Calling things by their true names cuts through the lies that excuse, buffer, muddle, disguise, avoid, or encourage inaction, indifference, obliviousness. It's not all there is to changing the world, but it's a key step."

The WWF report urges that a "collective voice is crucial if we are to reverse the trend of ", but a collective voice is useless if it cannot find the right words. As long as we – and influential organisations such as the WWF, in particular – fail to name capitalism as a key cause of mass extinction, we will remain powerless to break its tragic story.

Explore further: Nature pushed to the brink by 'runaway consumption'

Related Stories

Nature pushed to the brink by 'runaway consumption'

October 30, 2018

Unbridled consumption has decimated global wildlife, triggered a mass extinction and exhausted Earth's capacity to accommodate humanity's expanding appetites, the conservation group WWF warned Tuesday.

Nature under assault: key indicators

October 30, 2018

The World Wildlife Fund and partners have tracked population changes in Earth's animal species for decades. News from the latest "Living Planet" report, released Tuesday, is more grim than ever.

Recommended for you

73 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Squirrel
3.2 / 5 (9) Nov 02, 2018
The missing word is not capitalism but democracy--and one might add, personal freedom. People (write you may hate this) choose me-consumption over the environment. It may be a wrong, misguided and short-sighted but when it comes to going personally without--or allowing a distant tree to grow most (and I suspect the writer too) let that tree get axed.
aksdad
2 / 5 (21) Nov 03, 2018
Wow, Anna Pigott. Such epic nonsense.

Capitalism...is an ideology founded on a principle of endless economic growth driven by consumption

As defined by a Marxist. The real definition of capitalism is freedom to own things, to make a living, and to make your own choices about both. That's it.

The Soviet Union showed us all how great socialism was for the environment. And for people.

While the communists were ruining their environment, the United States was busy cleaning up its own. We have cleaner air, cleaner water, more forest cover and more protected wildlife habitat than we did a century ago, thanks to capitalism.

You see, without the massive wealth generated by capitalism—all the way up and down the socioeconomic ladder—there would be no surplus to protect and improve the environment. Poor countries are busy exploiting it with no eye to the future. Only free, capitalist countries develop enough wealth for people to care and do something.
Da Schneib
4.8 / 5 (17) Nov 03, 2018
This is incorrect. It's *unregulated* capitalism that's causing the problems.

It doesn't matter what economic system gets used; what's important is that it be *regulated*. Unregulated communism in the former USSR has given us some of the worst radioactive disasters (quite a few of which are totally unknown in the West) in the world.
Da Schneib
4.9 / 5 (12) Nov 03, 2018
That shot of a female gorilla with her baby is quite evocative. Look at the expression on her face.
szore88
1.3 / 5 (12) Nov 03, 2018
You tree huggers are so full of shi*. And you ain't getting my guns.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (10) Nov 03, 2018
All you do with that shizz is confirm them.

Maybe you can go blow some up like the #MAGABomber.
Anonym
3.9 / 5 (9) Nov 03, 2018
Paradoxically capitalism also is the most efficient 'ism' in terms of output per unit input. Efficient production equates to a higher standard of living, as perceived by most outside the WWF, with the least resource consumption.

If the planet were somehow suddenly required to support 7 billion people without the technologies created by capitalism, every edible species bigger than a cockroach would be extinct in a few weeks.

It's not the process, it's the people.
snoosebaum
1 / 5 (5) Nov 03, 2018
Thats why we need marxists to kill human populations
ShotmanMaslo
3.4 / 5 (10) Nov 03, 2018
This is blatant political propaganda, not science. We can certainly talk about regulations, energy subsidies, carbon taxes, but there is no alternative to capitalism as a system. Hence naming "capitalism" as the cause of climate change is meaningless to anyone who is not already a deranged far leftist. It is just an empty dog whistle for assorted communist sympathisers, and a distraction from real solutions.

Also it is ironic that the author complains about global inequality when it actually helps to decrease CO2 emissions. If those poor billions join global middle class, total emissions will rise significantly, and that is true regardless of whether you consider it a good thing or a bad thing.
koitsu
4.2 / 5 (10) Nov 03, 2018
The missing word is not capitalism but democracy--and one might add, personal freedom. People (write you may hate this) choose me-consumption over the environment. It may be a wrong, misguided and short-sighted but when it comes to going personally without--or allowing a distant tree to grow most (and I suspect the writer too) let that tree get axed.


This is a false equivalence. Whether you realise it or not, you are attempting to logically tie capitalism to freedom, and then anyone who criticises capitalism necessarily criticises freedom. My friend, I'm sure you'd agree that certain freedoms should be forbidden, such as freedom to murder, rape, steal, and so forth. Thus, I imagine you would agree that not all "freedoms" are permissible--particularly when they cause significant harm to others.

That's all I have to say. I just wanted to illuminate your fallacy in case others hadn't caught on.
Protoplasmix
4.8 / 5 (4) Nov 03, 2018
Humans will either evolve past a system so primitive and tribal, to a system that's equal, transparent, scientific, and resource-based; or there's a pretty good chance we'll destroy ourselves and the planet using the power of the sun (ie, nukes) while fighting over the chemical energy that comes from oil.

At least it's getting easier to identify the terrorists: those who encourage and facilitate the production, possession, and the buying and selling (trafficking) in nuclear and/or chemical weapons of mass destruction.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) Nov 03, 2018
The scramble for resources to support the worlds pops is what is killing wildlife populations. They're being hunted for food and for the income their body parts can generate. Their habitats are being destroyed by farmers, loggers, miners, real estate developers, and infrastructure planners.

There is no capitalism without markets. The demand for commodities creates markets. If there were no consumers there would be no demand, hence no need to exploit the resources that are destroying ecosystems and the animals along with them.

TOO MANY PEOPLE - do any of you progressives have the guts to address this problem? And no, this does not entail killing off your voter base, only reducing their growth by teaching them how to live them within their means rather than subsidizing their large families with welfare and foreign aid.

And participating in a capitalist system - earning a living, keeping a budget, saving for the future - is the BEST way to learn live within ones means.
Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2018
late edit -- and by "chemical" i mean including chemical weapons whose exothermic reactions proceed faster than the speed of sound... open all the borders, for free-market trade, and so we can all inspect eachother's production facilities..
Protoplasmix
3 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2018
TOO MANY PEOPLE - do any of you progressives have the guts to address this problem?
Sure, vertical farming, from here to the stars (good to see you ghost).
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) Nov 03, 2018
This is blatant political propaganda, not science
Indeed it is. Why is it that leftists are so eager for open borders and amnesty? Because immigrants will vote Democrat. Leftists feed off excess populations who need welfare and subsidies because Democrat is the party of high taxes and big govt.

So they will take anyone who can make it across. The criminals will increase the size of police forces, criminal justice systems, and lawyers. The women and children need social welfare including housing, basic commodities, medical care, education, and counciling.

Dems see the flood of illegals into western countries as a bonanza that will swell govts and increase taxes until the govt owns everything and the people own nothing.

This is the state we refer to as communism.
Sure, vertical farming, from here to the stars (good to see you ghost)
-Only if they can make a profit ÷)
Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2018
an even later edit -- trafficking in weapons of mass destruction is surely a matter of national security. Guess for which nation? All of them. c'mon humanity, wakey wakey...

How is it even possible to put borders around something like "...with liberty and justice for all" ?
MR166
3 / 5 (4) Nov 03, 2018
What utter B.S.!!! As populations get wealthier births decrease. In fact, birth rates decrease to the extent that governments want to import the poor from other less developed countries in order to replenish a dwindling population.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (5) Nov 03, 2018
Lot of politics on here, which is to be expected when someone makes sweeping blanket statements about economic systems without any apparent understanding of reality. Barter systems are inherently capitalist, and that's the natural state of humanity. The only choice we have is whether to regulate, and even a command economy needs external regulation. As is obvious from the states of affairs in eastern Germany and Russia after the fall of communism. The former East Germany and Russia are cesspits of pollution, both chemical and radioactive. And because they tried command economies now they don't have the resources to do anything about it. Communism doesn't work any better than capitalism in this regard. Got any other suggestions? Mine is regulation, and not by either command or majority.

Maybe someone can make a suggestion that actually means something; there are a few hints here on this thread, but nothing substantial.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2018
Got any other suggestions? Mine is regulation
Economic cycles: birth, growth, decay, collapse, repeat... no system, regulated or otherwise, can survive these population-driven cycles. They're all prone to corruption and people begin to starve.

The west has achieved zero pop growth but is now swamped with excess peoples from countries still in the thrall of religion.

But melting pots do need the proper ingredients in the proper proportions, added at the proper Time.

The only way to mitigate tribalism is to make a nice amalgam. So my suggestion is patience. Forging a future for the universal Tribe takes Time. Experts are on the Job.

"1There is a [proper] Time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens..."

"17...God will bring into judgment
both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a [proper] Time for every activity,
a time to judge every deed." ecc3
Cont>
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2018
Yeah I skipped something...

"All political systems are prone to corruption and decay when pops exceed the threshold and people begin to starve."
Mine is regulation, and not by either command or majority
Plato in his 'Republic' described a hidden system of governance that was not subject to public scrutiny. This Tribe of Leaders would be immune to ephemeral political sentiment and dedicated to the preservation of the best of humanity as well as its greatest asset; that being its vast store of accumulated knowledge.

It could make the hard decisions required to maintain Stability and Progress despite the tendency for civilization to consume itself or be destroyed from without.

These were decisions that, as expected, would be unpopular with the majority of the people, which explains the need for secrecy.
Cont>
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2018
A hidden Tribe of Leaders that would be dedicated to maintaining Stability and Progress by accepting the inevitability of overgrowth, and by Planning the resulting conflict in order to achieve preconceived Ends.

If economic cycles could be managed to occur at the proper Time they could be used to accrue enormous power and wealth. If conflict could be managed and the outcomes predetermined, they could be instruments of great creativity and growth.

"2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build...
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace." ecc3

-Read the whole chapter to understand how these Leaders have built an Empire. Naw read the whole book. It's an instruction manual. The OT is about conquest and the NT is about revolution.

Very detailed, very concise.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2018
Our Shepherds. Our Husbanders.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2018
The People who wrote that book and all the others like it were unconcerned with what might happen to after you were dead. They were entirely concerned however with what you thought and did in THIS life. And they were willing to promise you absolutely anything in order to get you to comply.
jonesdave
3 / 5 (4) Nov 03, 2018
As is obvious from the states of affairs in eastern Germany and Russia after the fall of communism.


You make a good point, Da Schneib. Lest we forget, however, that communism was a tragic sham of what Marx & Engels were suggesting.
Engels spent a fair bit of time in my home city of Manchester. Even wrote a book, that included a lot of his experiences in that city;
https://en.wikipe...nchester

What we ended up in reality with, was an absolute parody of what they were advocating.
Socialism may work, but not with greedy cnuts in charge.
I read Animal Farm as a young teenager. Had a profound effect on my viewpoint. I don't think there is anything wrong with the socialist system. It is just something wrong with people. Hence you end up with f***wits like Trump in charge of a whole country! Mind you, I doubt he'd have got elected anywhere where...................................nope, better stop there. :)

TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2018
As populations get wealthier births decrease. In fact, birth rates decrease to the extent that governments want to import the poor
That tripe was written by the people who wanted you to ignore all the efforts they were making to reduce birthrates in the west.
Destruction of the family
Emancipation of women
Removal of religious influence
Emphasis on education beyond the age of 15 and having careers for women as well as men
The definition and enforcement of that artificial state known as adolescence
The promotion of alcohol, drugs
The promotion of non-procreative sex and contraceptives
The industrial-scale ABORTION of over ONE BILLION unborn people and their decendents to the 3rd and 4th gen

Etc.

THIS is what has achieved zero growth in the west. And no, those excess throngs swimming across the mediterranean and flooding across our southern border dont need a invitation.

They are POOR and VICTIMIZED because there are TOO MANY of them where they live.
Beethoven
4.7 / 5 (3) Nov 03, 2018
Capitalism may be the best system we have, but there is no such thing as sustainable capitalism Tragedy of the Commons is inevitable. we have to start thinking outside the box especially with automation on the rise.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2018
@Jones, I read 1984 about the same time you were reading Animal Farm. The problems aren't inherent in any political or economic system; they're inherent in the people who desire to run them. Nobody who actually wants to run anything should be permitted to run anything. They always wind up corrupt.

And I hope you weren't worrying about my opinion of Dirty Donnie and the Trumpster Fire. Maybe you don't have the idiom "dumpster fire" in Britain. I don't think it needs much explanation; burning nasty garbage seems pretty self-explanatory.
Da Schneib
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 03, 2018
@Beethoven,
Capitalism may be the best system we have,
It's no better than any others. The takers get the honey, give up and sing the blues.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (5) Nov 03, 2018
@Otto, this is a pretty perspicacious analysis:
the NT is about revolution.


You're right. The problem is who takes over after all the revolutionary leaders get old and die.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Nov 04, 2018
The problem is who takes over after all the revolutionary leaders get old and die
Let's ask Solomon, the wisest Leader that ever was...

"17 So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 18 I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. 19 And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. 20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun." Ecc2

-So Solomon laments that as an individual he has no control over the future.

But the bible is about a Tribe, a chosen people, with a manifest destiny, one that can endure over many gens, based on a Plan of conquest and consolidation.
Cont>
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2018
Ecc2 asks the question and ecc3 gives the answer. How do I create enduring order and stability out of the chaos?

Leaders knew that overgrowth was inevitable. Prosperity inevitably led to overgrowth and collapse. There was nothing they could do to escape it. But they found that this certitude meant that they could anticipate events like war and they could engineer and control them to their benefit.
Cont>
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2018
Another revealing story. Pharoah had a dream and Joseph interpreted it for him...

"28 "It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, 30 but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. 31 The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe." Gen41

-God did not have to explain what was obvious to the people who kept records of the harvest and distribution of crops over many gens. Certainly not malthus either.

Joseph and pharoah built granaries and stored grain for 7 years. And when they began to starve, the people bought this grain from the only source.

Joseph and pharoah ended up owning everything of value in Egypt because they understood inevitability. They knew the future and crucially, they planned and prepared for it.
Cont>
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2018
Everything we see today is the result of long-term Planning and Preparation. It looks like chaos and happenstance to us because we assume that if there was an overarching authority in control, they would prevent wars and revolutions and economic collapses from happening.

But not even god can prevent the inevitable. The surfer rides the wave. It's far more rewarding than struggling against it, and the wave will always win anyway.

The rothschilds attained instant wealth beyond imagination because ostensibly they knew how a war would turn out before anyone else did. But in reality, as Agents of Empire they knew that the war had been planned from start to finish, and that their role in it was to gather up all the profits and put them to good use.

Sometimes we get to see who the Players are and sometimes we dont. WHO they are is not important, 'a chasing after the wind' as Solomon would put it. WHAT they do and WHY they do it are the important questions we can answer.
HeloMenelo
4.6 / 5 (14) Nov 04, 2018
Aahh Look at Antigoracle sitting on top of papa's back... too bad his puppet askdaddy never ask his daddy anything, but then again, looks like dear daddy is a big baboon ! His sad sack face crying for some more of those yellow leavy grown consumables.
Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2018
These were decisions that, as expected, would be unpopular with the majority of the people, which explains the need for secrecy.
Secrecy is the closed door behind which corruption flourishes and there's no place for it in an informed democratic republic. Secrecy is the antithesis of being informed. Why should anyone vote on or for something which they know little or nothing about? and how much worse is it for the republic (or the market) if the electorate (or the traders), instead of knowing nothing, have actually been _mis_informed, e.g., Napoleon won and your British assets are worthless but hey I'll give you a couple pence for 'em...?

Ghost, can you please give some specific examples that illustrate why you think secrecy is so important or necessary? If capitalism can't stand the light of day, what exactly is it good for, cui bono?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2018
Secrecy is the closed door behind which corruption flourishes and there's no place for it in an informed democratic republic
An 'informed' democratic republic - what's that? And which party is the more informed - yours or theirs?

Like I said, there are decisions which have to be made that the majority of the people would absolutely not accept. But in order to understand this you would have to first accept the term 'inevitability' and all its ramifications, and you would also have to accept that for instance if you know a war is inevitable, it would be much better to stage it to ensure a favorable outcome than to let it happen by itself.

You would also have to be able to imagine the possibility that rulers of opposing powers could somehow be on the same side and working toward a common goal. The mob does it all the time; they would rather go to court knowing the judge was in their pocket than to leave their fate up to chance.
Cont>
BrainMeeps
4 / 5 (1) Nov 04, 2018
I am constantly surprised at how people interpret reality in pure dichotomies. If someone points out any flaw in capitalism, they're a Marxist. We must have a conversation about our habits of consumption. On the industry side, capitalism is clearly the most efficient model for producing goods and services. However, on the market/consumer side, the availability of such goods influences a behavioral trait of being less efficient/wasteful. What incentive does a person have to conserve when everything is readily and cheaply available? Industries are certainly aware that the more people consume, the more they will produce, and the more money they will make. So the industry expands their operation, builds a larger factory, produces more goods. The materials for the goods come from somewhere, e.g. mine the Earth, chemical synthesis, etc. When the good is purchased, does it have packaging? Probably. Will it go in the landfill? Probably. They're is a middle ground and we must find it!
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2018
The problem is, you can't have a conversation about consumption with Daesh or the Iranians. Not to mention the Chinese or the Russians.
V4Vendicar
3 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2018
Capitalism must go.

That is obvious to every thinking person.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 04, 2018
Whatcha gonna do, tell everybody what to do?

That sure worked out great at Chernobyl.
Renfield2468
5 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2018
It is nonsense to be blaming economic structures of differing polities, when we all know what happened in the late 1800's, the part of history where the world went from half a billion to over 7 billion hominids in the time span of a little over a century. This whole argument is like arguing why yellow suspenders are better than red suspenders after a dam broke and flooded a town. The root of this issue is humanity and it's irresponsible tendencies when it comes to unlocking new technologies. I have no idea why this article was even posted on this site.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2018
The root of this issue is humanity and it's irresponsible tendencies when it comes to unlocking new technologies
-You mean like RU486? It's the only reason why we're still alive, why the world isnt a radioactive wasteland.

But as is often the case, cultures have to be altered or destroyed in order to introduce vital new technologies such as this. The religion-dominated, pre-ww2 world would not have allowed such an abomination as legalized abortion.

The world wars destroyed those cultures. Since then over ONE BILLION ABORTIONS have taken place throughout the industrialized world. Hundreds of millions more preempted through contraception and the emancipation of women.

This drastic reduction in pop size and growth enabled the introduction of nukes and other dangerous tech. The wars created a stable superpower tripod that could safely and securely develop this tech under the sham of a 'cold war'.
Cont>
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2018
And since cultural destruction and growth reduction were by far the most significant effect of those wars, one must suspect that THAT was the reason they were fought. Planned, staged, choreographed, and directed to reach a specific, predetermined conclusion.
can you please give some specific examples that illustrate why you think secrecy is so important or necessary?
Well, obviously, you cant let people get the idea that the wars they are being asked to fight and die in already have a foregone conclusion. And you have to develop a whole narrative about 'a womans right to choose' in order to disguise the reality that ABORTION and family planning are all about reducing pop growth.

Those are things that the overwhelming majority of the necessary participants would refuse to accept.

Cattle have no idea what a slaughterhouse is, and they could care less. They might tend to get a little nervous once they're in the chute and they can hear the screams. But faith endures.
Renfield2468
not rated yet Nov 05, 2018
New technology such as the fact we invented a combustion engine without an carbon scrubber. And in the 1970's already KNEW the implications of it but still have yet to do anything about it. The fact that we mechanized agriculture and increased production to ridiculous heights, thereby increasing our population and consumption to an untenable level. This whole thing you're going on about Otto; about the religions, the elites, and weapon builders all having dirty fingers when it comes to setting up and benefiting from conflicts is not new to anyone that has a IQ over 50. Hell, we just had the continuation of the crusades in the 2000's. Yes the ways of the primitive man sucks, but that doesn't change the fact that we need to strive to be responsible for our technological breakthroughs especially when they could endanger our entire species existence. Believe it or not, I'm NOT referring to fossil fuels, I'm talking about the combustion engine.
Renfield2468
not rated yet Nov 05, 2018
This entire article, politicizing an environment issue, is not scientific, and it should not be on this website.
Markos Xenakis
5 / 5 (1) Nov 06, 2018
Excellent article, never too late to bring again some critical thinking into the forefront - before it is too late -

The fact that this article attracts some much attention by anonymous trolls is just another proof for its importance

Markos Xenakis

PhD, researcher,
MSc Simulation Sciences, RWTH Aachen
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Nov 06, 2018
New technology such as the fact we invented a combustion engine without an carbon scrubber. And in the 1970's already KNEW the implications of it but still have yet to do anything about it
?? What did they care back in 1870? In 1670, using coal to heat their houses?

Petroleum is a strategic commodity. Obviously it can easily be used to build huge economies, fuel huge armies. Its use was INEVITABLE by some power, somewhere. Just like nukes.

And so it behooved the west to use it first and best. Easily accessible deposits have been burned to the point where they now require expensive western tech to recover.

Win win.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Nov 06, 2018
we mechanized agriculture and increased production to ridiculous heights, thereby increasing our population and consumption
You have cause and effect reversed because you havent accepted our alarming propensity to overpopulate. Tribalism is the result of it. Communal agriculture was invented in the desperate attempt to feed starving pops. It was outlawed in medieval europe expressly because the effect of it was yet again, too many people.

Serfs were forced to cultivate their own little plots of land, and the local royalty took a fair share. This kept them on the verge of starvation. Hunting on royal game preserves was instant execution.
to setting up and benefiting from conflicts is not new to anyone that has a IQ over 50
-But the reasons for it are unappreciated. Overgrowth and conflict are INEVITABLE. These conflicts are constructive, not destructive.

Vietnam is finally a productive member of the world community. We won.

Only one of many examples.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 06, 2018
"2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build...
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing..."

-These efforts to control pops do not always require restricting their growth. The tribes that could recover their numbers faster after a conflict could be expected to prevail.

Empire seeks to manage pops to best effect. The religions which have survived to the present have done so by outgrowing and overrunning the competition. It's written into their books.

Excess western pops have been used to colonize the world. Religion drove large families, filled up the US. And after ww2 its influence was removed within a decade, a generation.

The shift was away from male-dominated quantity to the female-dominated selection for quality, a reflection of a womans desire to select the best possible donor for each and every child she wishes to bear.
D Russell Moros
not rated yet Nov 06, 2018
The paper views the biosphere (inasmuch as nature is "assets" and "services") much as the bourgeoisie do. Let's dare to mention another taboo word/concept; class. The owning class, control social production. The owners who employ and exploit the working classes of the world determine what's produced, where production takes place, how the social production process is organised and how the social product is distributed. The owning class extract surplus labour time and product from wage workers with which to dominate the political process and thus are able to pollute, decimate ecosystems, ("externalities") without being responsible for this destructive social behavior. The cost of clean up falls to the public. Capitalism is less about providing humanity with the necessities of life and more about generating profit for capital. Nor does this report mention other social anachronisms that are holding humanity back. i.e. private property and the nation-state.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.5 / 5 (2) Nov 06, 2018
Replace the centuries-old concept 'class' with tribe, and you might begin to understand whats going on.

As prosperity reigns, pops begin to swell. Soon enough commodities become scarce, inflation takes off, and it becomes a buyers market for workers. Too many people, not enough jobs. Competition rages, corruption sets in, employers have to pay lower wages or go out of business. Tribal employers battle for supremacy over tribal workers.

But 'communism' is just an excuse yes? Wholesale martial law identical in many respects to the church during the middle ages. More crowd control, more cultural destruction.

'If you go carryin pictures of chairman mao...' -sing it with me.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 06, 2018
I say again, @Moros, who's gonna tell people what to do? This is where the problem is, not with your outmoded and disproven politics- capitalist or socialist or communist or any other -ist.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Nov 06, 2018
Worker vs boss:

"Darwin was also aware of the ethnocentrism and xenophobia in social organisms. In animals living in groups, he wrote, "sympathy is directed solely towards members of the same community, and therefore towards known, and more or less loved members, but not to all the individuals of the same species" (Darwin, 1871, i: 163).
As regards humans, Darwin stated that "the confinement of sympathy to the same tribe" must have been the rule. This was for him one of the chief causes of the low morality of the savages. "Primeval man", he argued, "regarded actions as good or bad solely as they obviously affected the welfare of the tribe, not of the species". Among the living tribal peoples, he added, "the virtues are practised almost exclusively in relation to the men of the same tribe" and the corresponding vices "are not regarded as crimes" if practised on other tribes (Darwin, 1871, i: 182, 179)"
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Nov 06, 2018
I say again, @Moros, who's gonna tell people what to do? This is where the problem is, not with your outmoded and disproven politics- capitalist or socialist or communist or any other -ist
Doesnt matter. As pops swell and their numbers cross the threshold of stability, the people will blame whoever is in charge for their misery no matter how benevolent or well-meaning they may be. Rulers have no choice but to suppress dissent. Corruption sets in as tribal interests attempt to buy special treatment.

One more missed meal and there is a revolution.

The only way to avoid this is to preempt it. Accept the inevitable and accomodate it. Creatively. Conceive a preferred future and arrange for it.

And this is the sort of thing that cannot be accomplished by a visible authority.
D Russell Moros
1 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2018
Da Schneib "who's gonna tell people what to do?"

This is the same old reactionary/ruling class view/propaganda of socialism/communism. The working class (from achitect to engineer to farm and factory, etc.) do all the social labour already. Communism isn't/can't be a dictatorship as class divisions will vanish along with private property and the nation-state. Read Marx and Engels yourself 'cause it's obvious you haven't.
D Russell Moros
not rated yet Nov 07, 2018
TheGhostofOtto1923

Under communist relations of social production commodities will not be produced. Commodities are private property and are produced for exchange. In a communist mode of social production necessities will be produced for direct consumption. Also, there will be no inflation because there'll be no prices, nor will there be markets, jobs, competition, wages or employers. Perhaps you should quit trolling this ruling class propaganda and read Marx and Engels yourself to learn something about what you think you're criticizing.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2018
Also, there will be no inflation because there'll be no prices, nor will there be markets, jobs, competition, wages or employers
'Prices' are only a reflection of demand. Demand creates markets, not the other way around.

And as populations grow faster than their demands can be met (as they always do), corruption ensues, black markets form, and your pleasant dreams of utopia turn into nightmares.

What HAPPENS, is that this system is always used as an excuse to destroy cultures by hauling trainloads of complainers and troublemakers off to gulag, or just shooting them where they stand as in cambodia, etc.

Thats WHY it was invented. You can tell because thats ALWAYS what it DOES.
Perhaps you should quit trolling this ruling class propaganda and read Marx and Engels yourself to learn something about what you think you're criticizing
Perhaps you should stop pretending you know what youre talking about.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2018
Case in point:
achitect to engineer
These are actually middle class yes? In the soviet union they all ended up in siberia. The khmer rouge shot the ones with eyeglasses.

"BEIJING — As China's Cultural Revolution descended into mob violence, teenage Red Guards dragged Mao Yushi and his father, two proud and bookish engineers, out of their home to sweep a boulevard as a crowd watched and jeered. The pair were then lashed with a copper-flecked whip until their backs were flayed."
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 07, 2018
Da Schneib "who's gonna tell people what to do?"

This is the same old reactionary/ruling class view/propaganda of socialism/communism. The working class (from achitect to engineer to farm and factory, etc.) do all the social labour already. Communism isn't/can't be a dictatorship as class divisions will vanish along with private property and the nation-state. Read Marx and Engels yourself 'cause it's obvious you haven't.
You're actually wrong; I have.

Command economies always fail and particularly at technology because they don't have anyone who actually knows how things work. You can't command invention. The standard joke is, "Hey, Mike, when you gonna be done with that painting on the ceiling?"

The problem is political operatives, not the political system they operate in. Nobody who wants to be in control should be allowed to be in control.

Garbage truck drivers' union bosses shouldn't be in charge of nuclear reactors.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 07, 2018
How about if the people running oil cracking plants were chemical engineers, advised by firefighters?

Instead you want to put a politician in charge. Good luck with that. I've seen how that works out; chemical disasters that result in entire communities being wiped out, can't go back to their contaminated homes. See Bhopal.

Let's see some qualifications. But no one does that. Capitalism at least has the advantage that the people who run things generally understand what they're running. Politicians only understand politics.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2018
De scheide sprikkt
Command economies always fail and particularly at technology because they don't have anyone who actually knows how things work
This begs a few questions:
1) economy commanders dont know how to find the people who 'actually know how things work'
2) nobody 'actually knows how things work'
3) nobody 'actually knows how things work' but De scheide and since nobody has called him, there is no command economy that actually works

-Why not try LinkedIn?
How about if the people running oil cracking plants were chemical engineers, advised by firefighters?
The way plants are run is determined by various govt codes including NFPA (national fire protection agency) which is written by 'firefighters'. These reqts were initiated by 'politicians'.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2018
Instead you want to put a politician in charge. Good luck with that. I've seen how that works out; chemical disasters that result in entire communities being wiped out, can't go back to their contaminated homes. See Bhopal.

While true, putting an engineer in charge is certainly better it also isn't fail-safe. Just today a TEPCO spokesman (engineer 2 years before his retirement) working for the Fukushima cleanup gave a press conference. In it he stated that he had worked for nuclear power for decades but would never have dreamed that he'd be responsible for such a cleanup in his lifetime. Engineers can be "tech blind" sometimes, too.

(Oh..and in the conference the TEPCO *best guess* for the cleanup was given as 3-4 decades - because for some parts they don't even have an idea of how to go about it and need to do some basic research first. People not affiliated with TEPCO put the number at closer to a century..I wonder what the kWh price is if you include those costs)
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2018
You can't command invention.

There's always people who try. I remember a science manager at my first research job come up to me and say (and I quote): "I need a timeline for our planning session...please tell me until when you have invented this"
I can't even tell you how far my jaw dropped and how oblivious the guy was to what research actually means.

As for who tells people what to do... Funnily enough: people who do stuff know pretty well what to do and how to go about getting a finished product themselves. That's how it works anyhow: mangers go to people who do stuff. Ask them how much it will cost and what they need then proclaim to know what is needed and hand it back to the people who do stuff (cutting some percentage...for their own salary and so that they think they have actually 'contributed'...when in reality their cuts have destroyed the project because the people they asked actually told them the TRUE effort and are now understaffed and underfunded)
D Russell Moros
1 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2018
TheGhostofOtto1923
The Soviet Union and China which you call "command economy" when these command economies were/are state capitalist and not communist modes of social production? Lenin, Stalin, and Mao stated as much. Communism/socialism proper are worker planned and controlled social production, not command economies.

"...there is no command economy that actually works"

The Soviet Union worked quite well in it's day while China is becoming the preeminent economic powerhouse globally.

But I'm not here to praise state monopoly capitalism. I believe that the producing/working class should control not only the product of their collective labour but also the entire social production process itself, without which human society could not exist. We're doin' all the work already anyway!

How can you support capitalist relations of social production when you take measure of the modern world? Abrupt climate disruption and ecological destruction, constant wars for private gain...
D Russell Moros
1 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2018
Da Schneib:
"Command economies always fail...You can't command invention. Garbage truck drivers' union bosses shouldn't be in charge of nuclear reactors.
...chemical engineers, advised by firefighters? Instead you want to put a politician in charge."

China is a very successful command economy as was the USSR in it's day. Scientist's discover. Capitalist's exploit scientific discovery (and workers), but they don't do the discovering. Truck drivers, nuclear plant workers, chemical engineers and firefighters are all working class! And I said nothing about politicians. Enough of these lame strawman attacks.

But how can you support capitalist relations of social production when examining the present human and ecological results?
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 08, 2018
@antialias, I've sat in too many software planning meetings invaded by managers not to know exactly what you're talking about. The new kid fresh out of college says he can do it with this neat new code generator in a week. The way to judge if you're in a meeting of real heavy duty people is whether they all ignore him.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 08, 2018
Y'know, back in the day when they were planning nuclear plants, the heavy hitters all said you needed stone pros from Dover who didn't fluster; they were talking about nuclear engineering curricula that included the sort of stuff interns get before they get to be doctors.

I notice that didn't get done very well by anyone, capitalist, socialist, or communist. It's not the political systems that are at fault, it's the politicians.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2018
But how can you support capitalist relations of social production when examining the present human and ecological results?
But how can you support the ecological damage done by communists if you claim to be environmentally woke?

Sorry, I got time to argue with real people who have real questions, but none for commie trolls posing as environmentalists.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2018
The Soviet Union and China which you call "command economy" when these command economies were/are state capitalist and not communist modes of social production?
Yeah you have me and the other guy mixed up?
Lenin, Stalin, and Mao stated as much
And where in the Manifesto does it say that communism requires despotic dictators? Nowhere am I right? An indication of its de facto nature.

The ideology was an illusion typical of philo propagandists. Who wouldnt want to storm the rich guys house and take all his money?
Communism/socialism proper are worker planned and controlled social production, not command economies
No, communism proper is holodomor and the 5 year plans. Whole cultures erased in a few years.
The Soviet Union worked quite well in it's day
Communism as best defined is the absence of competition. It cannot compete with economies based on competition.

It was and is ALWAYS martial law.
cont>
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2018
while China is becoming the preeminent economic powerhouse globally
China is a transitioning economy much like vietnam. The communist martial law regime is completing its mission of thoroughly destroying an ancient, hypertribal, caustic, and obsolete culture. Han chinese still 92% of the total pop. China now ABORTS about 30% of pregnancies. 300 MILLION ABORTED since 1963, millions more prevented through family planning.

This campaign of cultural annihilation began in proper when the brits established a western presence in the country and fought 2 wars to maintain the supply of indian opium, a very potent eradicator.
cont>

Taiping rebellion: baptist missionaries convinced one despot that he was jesus, resulting in 30M dead.

Chinese revolution; "at least 3 million [culturalists] died... and post-Mao leaders acknowledged that 100 million people, one-ninth of the entire population, suffered"

-An enduring, multigenerational Campaign.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 08, 2018
China now ABORTS about 30% of pregnancies. 300 MILLION ABORTED since 1963, millions more prevented through family planning.
Thought you were in favor of this, @Otto? What are you proposing, nuking 50% of the human population of the planet? Get real man.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2018
"In November 2013, following the Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, China announced the decision to relax the one-child policy. Under the new policy, families could have two children if one parent, rather than both parents, was an only child.

Initiated in the late 1970s and early '80s, this edict was especially effective at targeting women - baby makers - as traditional culturalists wanted sons. So it was successful in reducing growth and destroying their culture in 2 ways.

China has remained competitive because the west has allowed them to steal enough tech to keep them that way while they finish the transition to a full-fledged capitalist and democratic economy. This is also why the soviet union was able to remain solvent until its mission was concluded successfully... at which time, and according to Plan, it was dissolved.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2018
Thought you were in favor of this, @Otto? What are you proposing, nuking 50% of the human population of the planet? Get real man
And why would you think that? Because I present things you find distasteful? Do you think homicide detectives are promoting murder just because they solve crimes?

Sure you do. Your brain is a doorstop.

The most important site on the internet:
http://www.johnst...bortion/

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.