Why is it so hard to imagine something better than capitalism?

Canada’s recent heat records, wildfires, and over 450 deaths are the tip of a quickly melting iceberg. And only a week earlier someone leaked an IPCC draft report which warns of just how close we are to a cascading failure of our precious ecosystems. So what’s the response from our so-called ruling elite? A performance…best described as spectacle, sympathy, and silence.

First, the corporate-controlled media pounces on the opportunity to attract eyeballs and show pictures of heat-exhausted people, volunteers handing out water, and towns devastated by wildfires. Next, corrupt politicians (puppets of the .0001%) offer sympathetic looks, promises to help…


We need to stop tiptoeing around destructive corporations and speak the truth

What are we cheering for? (Flicker)

There’s nothing intrinsic about capitalism. It’s not part of human evolution, it’s not embedded in our DNA and it’s not a law of nature. It’s just an economic system that was invented to exchange goods and services.

But there’s a problem.

The rules of the game encourage unethical behaviour that rewards those who are most efficient at exploiting people, animals and the planet…and it’s leaving an ugly trail. The climate is becoming more unstable, wealth is concentrating into the hands of oligarchs and our political system is becoming increasingly unresponsive…which is leading to a worrisome rise in authoritarianism.

Corporate Sustainability to the Rescue?

Corporate…


If you incentivize a system to cause harm... then don’t be surprised when it causes harm.

If you incentivize a system to cause harm….then don’t be surprised when it causes harm.

PART I

Responsibility

In a recent conversation with a fellow sustainability strategist it was suggested that the efforts of sustainability and CSR professionals, while not perfect, are based on good intentions. That got me thinking. Are good intentions enough? What if those intentions are constrained from within a corporate culture that uses a self-serving interpretation of climate science to protect a lucrative but ecologically destructive business model? From within that type of culture how can the good intentions of a dedicated sustainability professional possibly emerge?

What are they to do?

What’s the responsibility of a sustainability professional who knows that their employer…


If only we could find a way to remove inequality, climate change and human exploitation from our economic system. The “Wellbeing Economy” is the answer.

The reward system of capitalism is a mess. In the pursuit of capital, we’re encouraged to exploit people, animals and the natural world. The corporate backed media glorifies this as “good business” while praising the most effective predators among us. But the harm that this sociopathic system has caused is so severe that it’s actually endangering most life on this planet. So I think it’s fair to say that capitalism is no longer meeting our needs. Aside from the addition of a few more money hoarding billionaires, humanity is suffering and it’s only getting worse.

“Capitalism and sustainable business…


Why Giving Up Capitalism’s “Conveniences” is the only chance for a stable climate.

Consumerism

I used to be certain that government was failing us in our fight for a stable climate, and for the most part I still do, BUT thanks to COVID-19 I’ve gained new insight into the underlying roadblock that’s standing in our way.

Polls

There have been several polls lately about how people don’t want to go back to “normal” — how they’ve come to appreciate cleaner air, quieter roads and working from home. Sure…why not, it’s a poll — it’s not like you’re being asked to give something up or pay extra for your dream of a better future. …


Deep down we know that something is very wrong. We can see that we’re not actually making progress, to the contrary, we’re falling further behind.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

It just doesn’t feel right. Everyday seems to bring some exciting news about a new innovative solution that will hopefully prevent us from experiencing devastating climate change. Sector after sector agrees to “do better” and sets targets, even Wall St., arguably the most predatory and pillaging of all the sectors, appears to be on board with its acceptance of the underwhelming ESG (Environmental Social Governance). We cheer these seemingly positive actions but it still doesn’t feel right. Deep down we know that something is very wrong. We can see that we’re not actually making progress, to the contrary, we’re…


It’s time to call out the “Billionaire Money Hoarders” for their harmful and antisocial behaviour

Are billionaire money hoarders much different than junk hoarders?

It was still dark yesterday morning as I sipped my coffee and somehow found myself watching the show “Hoarders”. It made me think of an article that I read last week about a billionaire who was charged for doing essentially the same thing but with money; hiding (hoarding) 2 billion from the IRS. It got me thinking. Both junk hoarders and money hoarders don’t need what they’re hoarding. No one needs 50 broken vacuum cleaners and 700 old newspapers stacked in what used to be a second bedroom. …


How ethically bankrupt politicians are paving the way towards ecocide

Imagine a world where Ernie never found Bert

It’s hard to imagine a world where someone didn’t think to pair Ernie with Bert, Simon with Garfunkel, or macaroni with cheese. Some things are just meant to go together and if they’re kept apart, we’re all worse for it. Climate science and climate policy are a perfect example.

In a recent conversation with my colleague Magnus L.H. Haslebo the Co-Founder of the Resistance Group Guerilla and the former Head of Communications for the Danish political party, The Alternative, it became clear that while sociopathic corporations’ greed is destroying the planet, it’s the corrupt politicians who are paving the way.

Fairy Tales


A Climate Change analogy to ponder over pancakes…and syrup

Based on our track record, humans seem unwilling or unable to address climate change in a meaningful way. Previously I explored how both business and government have sabotaged progress but now it’s time to take a look in the mirror and ask: Does the problem lie with us?

Why do we essentially sit back and watch the climate slowly lose its ability to provide for us? Are we a flawed species or are we just doing what nature prepared us to do?

Human evolution has conveniently provided us with a system for self preservation. A system that has been…


We have a once in a century chance to get this right.

We’re all experiencing the same contagion.

Have you ever had to make a really tough decision…under extreme pressure…with everyone watching? Now imagine that you’re the leader of your country deciding how to protect your population from a rapidly approaching and highly contagious virus that we know little about except that it’s deadly and that humanity has no defence for it. What would you do? Would you sit back and let thousands of people die as the entire health care system is overwhelmed or would you curtail people’s ability to move around (and earn a living) so that hopefully more lives can be saved?

Adding to…

Brad Zarnett

Sustainability strategist, writer & speaker. Exploring how capitalism fails to protect environmental & social capital and what to do about it.

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