Examining the ultimate solution to climate change


My erudite friend, Bob has asked us to join him in imagining a solution for one of the earth’s great challenge, anthropogenic climate change.

My first critique is he skirts around identification of the problem by its real name, GREED. The problem this ruler is to address is simply that of greed. All the problems of globalization have their source in greed, an insatiable longing for excesses. It explains why we have bad books, badly done movies, it explains why people by iPhones each year when the old one is still functional. I can go on, but you get the drift.

In his analysis, he has limited himself. Capitalism can be replaced. Or it can be modified. This has been attempted before. We can attempt socialism. We have many options open to us, but only if we dare to imagine.

What are the possible solutions?

  1. As the person tasked with solving the problem, instead of eliminating the undesirables such as the radicals, I would eliminate everyone else and keep the radicals. This would be a radical solution. The only reason I reject it is it places a big moral burden on the leadership. Who do they get to do the elimination work? What does a society of murderers look like? Who would want such a society?
  2. We both agree on rejection of a nuclear war. We are not interested in destroying other flora and fauna
  3. A deadly pandemic, as long as it doesn’t kill others beasts seems just fine as long as it is deployed everywhere. How do you live with yourself seeing people going through unbearable pain? How do you deal with the trauma for those left behind after seeing so many dead folk, some who were friends, lovers, families or enemies?
  4. A one child policy looks like a good idea. It’s a long-term solution. Reduce population growth. Reduce demand for natural resources and maybe contribute towards specie extinction. This solution reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut’s 2 B R 0 2 B.
  5. Famine unless it affects everyone would make your position untenable. Blaming global warming will not help you. There will be an overthrow of the government.

What is the plan?

My friend believes famine is the best way and that we should centralize farming. But this is part of the problem. Commercial farming is greed driven. In fact, the problem of exponential population growth is a function of industrialization. So instead of commercial farming, go back to subsistence farming. Produce only what you need. Stop all commercial farming, fishing or whatever. With time, you will check on depletion of resources, the earth will begin to recover, the need to cut down forests for farmland will reduce, marine life will be spared.

There is no free market capitalism. It is monopoly by a few companies. By removing commercial interests from play and adopting some of the suggestions of Lycurgus, we will reduce greed, relieve the earth of pressure caused by demand for resources and maybe save the species.

Capitalism should die and the sooner that death occurs, the better for everyone.


In other news, I am unable to write here as much as I did before. It is not mind block. I am in the process of imagining new content for the blog

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

43 thoughts on “Examining the ultimate solution to climate change

  1. Tish Farrell says:

    More power to you imaginings, Noel. Just been reading about greed that comes in the guise of foreign aid:
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/13/tanzanias-ghost-safari-how-western-aid-contributed-to-the-decline-of-a-wildlife-haven
    I am sure it is possible to give people decent lives and livings without wrecking the planet, but it does take concerted planning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      To the capitalist investor, the environment is an inconvenience. That it is being degraded is like a sore thumb. Something they would wish to completely ignore.
      The article you link makes that very clear. And it is sad that this happening in so many places.
      We have our own problems here in Kenya. And it will not end well

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Bob’s post is terrific, as are your thoughts here on it. Like john Lennon once said to the waiter at his favorite New York restaurant, McDonald’s, “Gilbert, capitalism sucks. It’ll be the end of us all. Now, gimme my Big Mac and super-sized fries.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree that humanity’s way of rewarding greed is a problem here, although I don’t think that capitalism itself is a root issue. One would still have these problems with any economic system that replaces capitalism, because people would be controlling where stuff goes. Even the most well-meaning systems eventually will have small groups of people doing things to make it where they get more than anyone else.

    A fully automated economy for necessaries (things like food, water, shelter, medicine, etc.) could solve your problem, as to receive benefits an individual could be required to do things for the public benefit. One could see a reduction in population increases through voluntary enrollment rather than ethically questionable population control.

    Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      Capitalism as a system makes greed to flourish.
      And I agree any system is liable to abuse. But capitalism lives on exploitation.
      A fully automated system would still mean someone controls that automation. Factors of production must be on the hands of the masses.

      Liked by 2 people

      • What I’m getting at here drives at the question of what “on the hands of the masses” must really mean. If the masses can only make decisions by appointing a few people, then the problem of abuse creeps back in.

        When I’m talking about full automation, I’m talking about a process that leaves human decisions as to what resources go where completely to non-human determination. Something like this is already going on in large companies like Wal-Mart; computers make the process of stocking stores go faster and more efficiently. A fully automated system would take prices and other human barriers to necessaries out of the picture.

        Like

        • makagutu says:

          Have you read on cooperative movements? They are a step in the right direction towards giving power and control to the masses.
          By taking out human barriers, how do we address equity? Access for the vulnerable and so on?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Co-ops exist here in the States, and they’re mostly in use locally for farmers. Collectively owned businesses exist, but they aren’t very large.

            With regards to equity, that would be managed on the demand side. Supplies could be housed in stores and limited to some predetermined allowance. So, instead of shopping with money, a person would be shopping for people in a household.

            The problem then becomes how that number is reached. Ideally, a person would have access to information about themselves to know exactly what their body needs. If that were the case, advances in economies would also require advances in access to healthcare and information about the human body. And it would require people determined enough to build it.

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          • makagutu says:

            I think even issues on the supply side can be easily managed. When we stop the production of luxuries we don’t need and turn to producing things we need, supply problems can then be managed. There should be no hoarding of stuff.

            Like

  4. Noel, thanks for joining this discussion! I really appreciate it.

    GREED is the problem, that was the underlying, unspoken message in my thought experiment.

    Capitalism can indeed be modified or replaced. “The Assumption” in my post was intended to illuminate the intransigent mentality of our current leaders who worship capitalism like a god.

    I love the satirical angle of your “radical” solution!

    “My friend believes famine is the best way and that we should centralize farming.” – No, absolutely not. The reverse is true. I selected this solution as one possible scenario future leaders might take if faced with the existential crisis of climate change. It was intended to raise awareness about what our political leaders could potentially do to us in a dire situation.

    Like

  5. renudepride says:

    My Kenyan brother, a very thought-provoking post here. As usual, you offer a variety of options and this I appreciate. I agree with the premises presented here that greed is one of the major causes of the many crisis that we, as a global society, definitely need to address. As we are discovering each passing day, it is the selfish greed of the leadership of both economies and governments that need to be replaced. The blatant idiot at the inept administration of the USA should be the first to go – wherever that takes him! Much love and many naked hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There are those who believe if one critiques capitalism, then he must be communist which is completely ludicrous. Every system of government has its evils and capitalism has far too many evils that we cannot ignore. I think Robert has a point. Capitalism and parochial interests are the biggest obstacles to saving the planet. Again, capitalism thrives on unemployment because the more jobless people there are the cheaper the labour. That is why unemployment is maintained in every capitalist system. Sadly, there seem to be no other workable alternative. I don’t think a return to subsistence farming is possible with the masses who have been taught to love the bridle and the stable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      Your observations, my friend, are spot on.
      I like the point about relationship between unemployment and capitalism.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The advocates of capitalism often oppose equal distribution of capital which means those who don’t have capital unavoidably become wage slaves. So far all the CSR programmes I’ve heard about climate change are just lip service. The truth is they care more about profit than the earth.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Swarn Gill says:

    In addition to greed I think another problem is nationalism. This is truly a global problem, and thus requires a global solution. It requires putting a planet’s needs before any individual country’s interests. Of course one could argue that it’s those that have the money that drive nationalism among the public to make sure that they keep the greed train going, but I do think that nationalism is still strong among many of the citizenry in various countries around the world. Especially ones that think they are better than others.

    I don’t see a return to subsistence farming as something that is going to happen. I think continued urbanization is inevitable, technological advancement won’t be sacrificed either. I think what really needs to happen is a cultural shift where we prioritize human happiness over human wealth. Will the greedy allow that to happen…well certainly they don’t want that to happen, but the people still have the power if there is a strong movement in that direction.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      I agree with your first point.

      On the second one, I think it is still possible to have subsistence farming even with urbanization. We can introduce vertical farms, develop systems that require less water and where people produce what they need. Our population depends largely on subsistence farming. Only problem is the dependence on rainfall and declining soil fertility due to over- cultivation. But it would be possible.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Swarn Gill says:

        You’re quite right. For some reason I read what you said more like, moving back to a more agrarian lifestyle. Indeed such farming would require increased technological solutions. In Asimov’s future robots did all the farming. That could be a possibility, but I fear such things would come too late to deal with the current crisis. I am sure that we could become better about using water, and composting waste to deal with water and soil issues for the most part, but the kind of infrastructure we need seems a long way off, especially without a collective will to do so. Going back to the nationalism and greed we seem to be stuck with nations and people who will just say, “Well we don’t really need to change, we’re alright…but yeah, things look bad for you.”

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        • makagutu says:

          Robots don’t get tired. We will have an environmental disaster at the time of their disposal. We need human beings to just produce what they need. Work is good for us. It takes away ennui.
          Nationalism is a problem that we will have to confront at some point

          Liked by 1 person

          • Swarn Gill says:

            I’m not suggesting we won’t have any work to do, but automation has already replaced a lot of human physical labor. Of course if AI replaces our cognitive labor too, one wonders what will become of us. Perhaps we’ll just become a race of artists. Perhaps if we achieve a cultural revolution where we focus on human happiness over wealth, perhaps we will make decisions to not develop technology in certain places as well, to preserve types of work that are fulfilling to humans.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            With nothing to do, we can’t even be good artists ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
            A focus on contentment over wealth would be a great place

            Liked by 1 person

          • Swarn Gill says:

            Indeed. Although I’m pretty sure that if I had nothing to do, I would have a lot more time to be creative. I could even edit my blog posts. lol

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            Hahah
            I would read more, I think

            Liked by 1 person

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