“And was Jerusalem builded here/Among these dark Satanic mills?” William Blake
I think a lot about global warming and climate catastrophe these days; even when I am out there being an environmental activist, I worry and wonder.
Our carbon overkill clearly springs from “the industrial revolution” and its capitalistic underpinnings, both of which seem to be solid and inalterable as bedrock. When I hear that humans might become extinct along with other species threatened by our behavior I can only hope against hope that this economy based on consumerism and industrial growth can be changed before it is too late.
There seem to be alternatives out there, proposed by writers like Robert Reich, Naomi Klein, and Van Jones who argue that our economic system can be saved or even replaced.
But are words, or articles, or books enough to stem what feels like a huge tsunami rolling towards our shores? In my darkest moments of feeling overwhelmed by climate change, I have been heartened by Joanna Macy’s idea that working on behalf of our beloved planet brings an active hope that our earth
might, indeed, be saved. I am especially cheered by her concept of “The Great Turning,” “a transition from a doomed economy of industrial growth to a life-sustaining society committed to recovering our world.”
But I still wasn’t happy with my grasp of exactly how capitalism was to be saved or replaced, and I was confused by those weird terms “mutant capitalism,” “post capitalism,” “the collaborative commons,” and “the circular economy.” So I sat down to write an article about them for Impakter, an online magazine. If you would like some definitions of our dysfunctional old capitalist system and paradigms for a brave new green economy instead, here they are.