|Counterpunch.org | Jun 9, 2014 | Rob Urie|
The Time for Technological Gimmicks is Long Gone
Global warming unites the interests of ‘the world’ that would otherwise be particular through the everyday relations of complex interconnectedness. It is an unnatural ‘natural’ phenomenon in that it is an accumulation, an aggregation, of a large number of like acts. These like acts tie directly to capitalism in history as ‘a way of doing things,’ as a broad approach to ‘the world.’ The tie to capitalist production is incontrovertible— the rise in greenhouse gases correlates with the rise in capitalist production and these gases can be directly related to it as its known ‘byproducts.’ To state what is becoming increasingly obvious, unless global warming is resolved the fate of the world in any form recognizable to ‘us’ is at stake. The problem goes beyond the particulars— rising sea levels and increasing droughts and floods, to threaten the breadth of living relations. Given its genesis in capitalist production the question of resolution is one of the nature of capitalism, of the approach to ‘the world’ that brought ‘us’ from there to here in two short centuries?
Graph (1) above: the claim that ‘we,’ humans broadly considered, are responsible for global warming is more precisely explained as capitalist production is responsible for it. The graph relates carbon emissions over the last century to more recent GDP (Gross Domestic Production) data, a broad measure of economic production; to show that carbon emissions are closely related to economic production. Russia, China and India fit into the global capitalism explanation through oil and gas production (Russia) and through ‘outsourced’ industrial production (China, India). China and India are increasingly adding to carbon emissions by building out their domestic economies and through export strategies that target the capitalist West as primary customers. Sources: The World Bank and the World Resources Institute.
With the U.S. historically being the largest emitter of carbon and other greenhouse gases it is overwhelmingly responsible for global warming.