Climate collapse

In my opinion, there are a lot of other problems indeed, but I disagree that overpopulation is not in any way related. From my point of view though, overpopulation is not only a cause, it is also a symptom. A symptom that we’ve overridden the capacity of the earth and not been able to listen to the natural “instincts” that most small scale populations had about the planet’s limitations, western civilization mostly forgot about that, we’re not as connected to our senses as we should be.

The problem is partly that we’ve constructed a paradigm where being rational has replaced feeling, and we destroyed most civilizations that organically regulated themselves through their beliefs, attitudes and limitations toward/in their environment. It served us well (mostly western civilization), indeed, because we got a lot of confort out of it, but in doing so we got confronted to the limits of our ecosystem in welcoming us and we failed to acknowledge them. The systematic problem in climate change, and capitalism, is our society’s reliance on the idea that we have unlimited resources (thus unlimited growth) while they are limited; in conjonction with the belief that we’re rational actors while we have an incapacity to envision long term consequences to our actions (both individually and as a society). Despite our self-assessed intelligence, we seem to be lacking in terms of imagination. We live in an era where some mothers have forgotten how to behave in front of their newborn children.

I’m of the opinion that many of our ways are not fit for the planet. What was the world’s population naturally “regulated” to ? I think I heard it was about 500’000 people, we’re well past that. Think of all the problems that first arose when we got past that ? Plague; because we’re not naturally made to survive in the density of a modern city. I heard that Paris would be autonomous for approx. 24hours if there were to be a transportation shortage. How did we get to 7 billion ? By overriding the system, being cooperative and creative through technology that’s mostly bound to disappear (fossil fuels). The main launchpad we relied on to make most of the progress we benefit from today is basically a short-term exploit that’s about to disappear, yet it seems that we’re unable to learn from that. What solutions do people envision ? More of the same. Most renewable energy systems rely on fossil fuels all the same to be built, and maintained. When thinking (hoping) of solutions to that anthropocentric problem, we, once more, place our hopes in technology and human science to save us, while the answer lies in sacrifice of many of the stuff that came to define the advancement of our species, because they are not in accordance with the boundaries of the world we live in.
Now, please tell me, how would we get the energy necessary to feed all of us without fossil fuels on which we rely on for about 97% of the production of anything, with our pesticides ridden soil, with our more and more lifeless oceans. And that’s not even speaking about the climatical conditions we’ll have to confront at the same time. How do we un-globalize the world which is now based on globalization for most of the goods we have ? How do we incentivize a single country to change if the others don’t follow ?

There are many many incertainties. I don’t advocate for a massive genocide or anything else, but I think it will happen naturally, whether by war (because of the race to the favorable resources and environment, mostly), whether by the climatic conditions, or by both. A collapse will happen, it may be sudden, it may be slow, it may be in suffering or not, but it will happen, because the system (of which we are apart of) is bound to regulate itself. In the mean time, we just have to work on being cooperative and creative in problem solving once again, but with the limits of the environment in mind, and to hopefully preserve as much as we can of ourselves and our history.


Wow that’s crazy, but makes total sense.

Those are really eye opening. That 11 year deadline sounds pretty grim. Makes me wonder what kind of protest would it take to make the changes that are needed. It might take 11 years for cases to get through court to stop fossil fuel industry and after that time you might not win.

Yeah I get that totally…I should have made it clear that I was talking about forming judgements based on information from the internet and other widely publicised media. I feel one needs a particular type of discernment when gathering information in this present era.

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“Communism doesn’t work because you have to pay competent and educated people more, and value them more than incompetent people, because people are motivated out of self-interest and expect that skill is rewarded. Otherwise you have the elevation of incompetent party apparatchiks.”

I don’t believe in state communism either but this type of language/argument seems like trying to wash the ugly off of capitalism, particularly if you are discussing things at large scale societal restructuring for social and ecological balance. To me this entire argument is based only around some of the worst aspects of capitalist thinking- you only value people by how you pay them, and people do what they do because of what it pays. Why go into healthcare? Certainly not because you want to help people, or because you have a strong sense of empathy, but because you get valued by society because of what it pays. Go into scientific research because it pays (let us pretend here for a moment that is true…), rather than because you enjoy research, or figuring out how things work, or are scientifically curious, or want to contribute to our understanding of the world. If people who do or produce things which are more valuable can be valued more under any form of capitalism then why are teachers or care workers paid unlivable wages when someone who creates the idea of starvation wages a millionaire?

Regarding the idea of competent and incompetent - competent at what? when? If I can fix broken pluming and you can’t at any given moment then I’m competent and you aren’t. If I need my computer fixed maybe you are competent and I am not. Using words like this are a slippery slope and seems like a dark final conclusion of how we treat so called “skilled” and “unskilled” labor. As far as some sort of societal competence I would argue that anyone given equal education and direct democratic access to a less hierarchical and coercive society is competent to participate in the shaping of their surroundings.

Also by creating worker controlled collectives you eliminate the problem of the owner/boss/CEO. I would argue rather than being concerned with what is the ethical limit to which someone should be allowed to derive value from those under them the question is how do you increase the quality of the life of the workers (decreased working hours/pressure, increased safety, better social conditions, training, so on…). Amazon needs to cut down on worker hours and so on, yes. Will they do it? No. Because Bezos will milk everyone for everything he can until it is no longer viable, at which point he will have been able to financially insulate himself from the consequences of his actions anyway (socially and environmentally). Would Amazon workers exploit themselves this way if they collectively owned and ran it? I find that highly doubtful.

This also offers a variety of potential ecological solutions as well. If it were not economically necessary to their survival how many people would do environmental harm to the extent that we do to their own surroundings? Do we frack or do mountaintop removal or large scale deforestation or monocrop farming because we find it enjoyable or in the interest of our own wellbeing? If we are going to speculate about societal and ecological change why not work towards something better than attempting to restructure a destructive and exploitative system to work for just a few more people than it currently does, rather than working to eliminate it?


I would love for you to explain this more, as I truly cannot grasp what you are saying. Scarcity is (often) an artificial, ahistorical concept, used to inflate prices and permit ruling classes to extract additional surplus value. When we’re talking about natural resources, it’s a bit more complicated, but we’ve never lived under a system where means of production (and extraction, and transmission) of raw materials are governed democratically at a global scale and we won’t as long as markets for essential raw materials exist. Dissolution of markets = preservation of our planet with the added benefit of equal access to resources across geographies.

I encourage you to research Cuba’s medical system. Doctors make ~2 times what a fieldworker makes. Despite that, they have 3 times the density of doctors that the United States has. This is a very complex issue we could have a whole thread on, but it’s worth noting that despite over 50 years of aggression and imperialism that Cuba has faced by the U.S., the degradation of Eastern bloc, and even more sanctions coming down the pipeline, Cuba still produces the largest amount of doctors that work internationally in humanitarian aid situations. citation

Maybe it isn’t that socialism doesn’t pay competent people more, it’s that it doesn’t essentialize jobs that are otherwise useless outside of market contexts (advertisement, marketing, CEOs [lol])

The workers who control the productive forces of the industry.

UBI simply raises the poverty floor by a little bit, it is not a rigorous, long-term solution. Not condoning everything in this, but it’s an engaging read that complicates UBI.

Amazon needs to not union bust. Daddy Amazon isn’t going to care for it’s workers, workers need to take the power back.

We should probably start another thread, this seems like a conversation separate from democracy, but also not fitting for Climate Collapse.

EDIT: tone policed myself, things got ugly for a second…


People are selfish and it’s human nature to feel hard work, study and expertise should be rewarded. People are also highly factional and most are intellectually lazy. By scarcity, I mean pre-fusion and advanced battery/energy storage technology for green resources.

Yes, I’ve actually been to Cuba and years ago interned for a normalization of relations group. I agree with you about Cuban doctors and healthcare (and dental!) system being a jewel of their system - as could be seen in last Ebola crisis.

You probably know that Cuba markets their doctors around the world, to Brazil (there was a dispute recently with Bolsonaro that screwed that up) and Kenya, for example.

Yet the compensation for Cuban Doctors is a complex issue, and I admit it’s hard to know who to believe. Obviously their Cuban education was completely free and some time abroad in service to the Cuban government is totally reasonable. But Cuba is making a ton of money on them as an international export and not everyone thinks they are compensated properly. But it’s hard to know what the reality is here amid anti-communist propaganda.

As for resource extraction - I do not see how the means of raw material extraction can be democratically controlled unless all investment, innovation and operations are also nationalized. How is that supposed to work exactly? Democracies are notoriously inefficient, especially at identifying and then executing solutions to technical problems, to put it mildly. Democracies are also prejudicial toward perceived freeloaders and love scapegoats for any problems that creep up. In China’s undemocratic top-down technocracy, they move fast with construction and policy, whereas the NYC subway has been messed up for decades.

Who and what hierarchy exactly controls the investment, who controls access to finite resources, who controls patents and intellectual property to extract/refine/convert/store resources? Scarcity is not an artificial concept when it comes to oil and natural gas reserves, rare metals, and agriculture, and especially the know-how. Even if one could overthrow the governments that control these resources, you would still have a scarcity of intellectual expertise.

The sodium-ion solid-state battery gets around problems of rare metals and perhaps would offer massive storage potential for green technologies, but then what about the people who patented and invested in this technology in the first place? Are they supposed to be forced to contribute out of the good of their heart?

I am very much for more balanced CEO compensation, but I think it’s a more practical strategy to focus on workers’ rights, profit-sharing, universal healthcare, taxing capital gains and expanding tax base, rather than going after so-called elites with facile solutions. It can’t just be workers making the decisions. Unions of workers negotiating emerging market investment, patent agreements, international contract dispute and arbitration? Yeah right! Explain how this would function. Executives and lawyers are also productive forces and their value is hard to estimate in competitive markets.

The onus is on you to explain how you would deal with these problems and enforce any democratic system of extraction and production and world market(s) alternative and enforcement of laws and global treaties.

Regardless, I do not think there will be any movement on post-capitalism until green resource acquisition and storage is plentiful.

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This change to green energy is simply moving too slowly.

Otherwise I can’t find much to disagree with.

But the clock is ticking.


I’m all for bikes but on that scale you’re not making much change I suspect. The military uses so much more oil than civilians, and everyone biking to work is ordering all of their cheap consumer goods from China through amazon. All of that stuff is burning more fuel than you would have used driving a few miles to work. The same is true for all that great organic produce you can buy with a walk to the corner store.

I don’t mean to sound negative, I think the focus of where change needs to happen has to shift to where it will have the most effect.

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No. It isn’t either/or. Work for systemic change. Change your own habits. You are part of the system. Hand in hand.


So tired of that line of thinking “well, if big plastics is going to burn fossil fuel, I might as well drive my hummer to work”. No, you do your thing, in a way that will inspire others to follow your example.


You can feel fed up with my perspective if you like but I would say that we should start with the harder problems first. Changing business and governmental policy is where significant change is going to happen.

If people can’t even do the easy thing that is to change their own habits, I don’t believe they can even aspire to do the hard thing and to change that of others.


It’s not about individuals, it’s about the systemic issues. Most people in the world only have access to the resources near them, which are controlled by corporations

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Neither of you is stating that big changes in business and government policy are non-essential. Your frustration with so much effort spent to make consumers feel like they should own this is legit. That is essentially what this thread is about, but there is reason to believe both bottom up and top down “policy” changes matter. I personally haven’t seen much evidence that top-down policy alone tend to solve much.


Good read on this

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As mentioned above we recently had an election in Australia, the polls assured us that Labour would get in and we’d see some movement in the right direction on climate change. But instead the right wing parties had a surprise victory. I felt very dispondent ever since, I have 2 kids and the thought of where the world is going for them scares me.

I’ve been trying to work out what I can do to have some kind of positive impact, beyond my own consumption choices. Social media seems to only be a part of the problem and I wonder if the protests only widen the gap between priviledged, educated left leaning people and others whose mind we actually want to change.

I live in an electorate that elected the right wing party, so I feel like that is an opportunity to actually interact with people who don’t already agree with me, so the kids and I decided to start holding cake stalls where the cakes are free in exchange for a conversation. Each cake is themed with a conversation topic, last week we chose ‘how to pollute less’ cheesecake and ‘what is fair and what is unfair’ chocolate slice. We had some good conversations, most people reacted very positively, but most people we spoke to seemed in agreement with us over our climate change concerns.

It’s pretty twee and obviously is not going to have any impact but I do feel like one of the biggest problems is the bubbles we live in and which insulate us from contact with people who we disagree with, so it felt good to at least try to build a space where conversation can happen.


Yes, start with some small lifestyle changes and hopefully the people close to you will notice. Last year I started delivering my packages to the post office using an electric cargo bike. Before that I was diving a van less than 2 miles to deliver a handful of boxes which never felt right. It doesn’t take much longer on the bike and it feels good to get some exercise. If we start now with the low hanging fruit perhaps it will help with the motivation to take the bigger steps. But time is short.


That’s a great start!

To give you some context, my partner and I don’t have power to hook into. We must harvest our own. — That means that when the sun sets, our batteries start to dip, and so the electronics must be also turned off. We don’t have a refrigerator, hot water, or even tap water, we collect and clean our own.

You’d think that our quality of life has taken a dive, it hasn’t. It might seem scary to take these steps away from convenience but in the end it’s freeing.

Once you have that freedom, you can start thinking about changing minds, until then you’re just pushing for changes you’re not willing to do yourself.


While it’s great to take the first steps as individuals to tackle the problems with the ways we consume energy and hurt the environment, we can’t ignore that in many cases it’s a privilege to do so. Many people don’t have access to the tools or the education to do these things, or they’re too tired from working back breaking labor to take the time to also change.