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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Private profit is destroying the world

I posted this last Friday over at my blog and it prompted some good discussion. I really do believe that we need to talk about different ways to produce and consume goods- especially after the global warming report that came out recently. Being against capitalism in the US automatically gives you a label as a "radical" or some other hyperbolic name. I don't think there is anything radical about it. It may take several generations, but we need to bring the conversation into the mainstream. I often wonder how American democracy would react.

Exxon Mobil and Shell made a combined 180 million dollars a day of clear profit last year. Exxon made damn near 40 billion dollars in 2006, which is a record for any American company ever (they beat their old record). At the same time scientists have pretty much confirmed the long held belief that human activity is causing global warming. That human activity that is doing so much harm to the earth is allowing a select group of individuals to become obscenely rich. They have proactively fought any idea or person that might challenge their ability to make such massive profits.

I think it is worth noting that they are doing exactly what their institution was designed to do. This is not a case of "a few bad apples" as people so often like to say. It is also worth mentioning that a capitalist economy will always produce these "private tyrannies." It doesn't matter how much regulation or how you try to "reform" capitalism, the blood just keeps on pouring out. After a while it becomes an insult to keep putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound.

Left unchecked, global warming has the potential to do damage that the world's most vicious dictators couldn't even fathom. This is serious stuff. We really need to question the way we produce and consume goods. We as a country and we as a world.

Global warming is glaring proof that an economic system based around private profit is simply not sustainable.

Graeme Anfinson


link | posted by Jae at 12:10 AM |


8 Comments:

Blogger sumo commented at 10:13 AM~  

I was over at Bring It On and there's a long thread going on over there...left and right perspectives that is interesting. I do however think you said it in fewer well placed words that got the point across quite well. No argument with what you have said from me. As usual you are astute and to the point.

Blogger Renegade Eye commented at 1:31 PM~  

Really well written post. It is not often that such radical ideas, get explained in such a manner, to be comprehended mainstream.

Blogger troutsky commented at 6:18 PM~  

You mentioned "American democracy" but I fear this democracy has been hollowed out by exactly those qualities of our economic system you so eloquently denounce.That is the crisis, an opaquely run system that convinces people they have freedom but which in reality shrinks the meaning of the word till it is useless.

Blogger CB commented at 1:58 AM~  

Who are these fat cats that own Exxon and Royal Dutch Petroleum? Mutual Funds and Pension funds! The evil capitalists that own these funds are Plumbers & Pipe fitters, carpenters, teachers, mechanics, construction workers, nurses, retirees. The evil people that own Exxon and Royal Dutch Petroleum are your neighbors, friends and family.

Thank God for profit!

Blogger CB commented at 2:11 AM~  

After bovine flatulence, according to one study recently released by the U.N., Carbon dioxide is the next leading source of greenhouse gasses. Exhaling (half of breathing) produces carbon dioxide. Not that the people predicting all this disaster as it relates to carbon emmisions can even tell you tomorrow's forecast accurately, or tell you what SUV warmed the planet's ice ages away, but the pending disaster is supposed to be caused by breathing? I think I remember from grammar school science that plant's ingest CO2 as part of the photosynthesis process which produces the air we breathe.

I have a suggestion. All those concerned about global climate change "caused" by human activity (snickers & giggles, guffas, snot coming out of the nose falling down with laughter) stop exhaling!

Blogger CB commented at 2:11 AM~  

After bovine flatulence, according to one study recently released by the U.N., Carbon dioxide is the next leading source of greenhouse gasses. Exhaling (half of breathing) produces carbon dioxide. Not that the people predicting all this disaster as it relates to carbon emmisions can even tell you tomorrow's forecast accurately, or tell you what SUV warmed the planet's ice ages away, but the pending disaster is supposed to be caused by breathing? I think I remember from grammar school science that plant's ingest CO2 as part of the photosynthesis process which produces the air we breathe.

I have a suggestion. All those concerned about global climate change "caused" by human activity (snickers & giggles, guffas, snot coming out of the nose falling down with laughter) stop exhaling!

Blogger CB commented at 2:11 AM~  

After bovine flatulence, according to one study recently released by the U.N., Carbon dioxide is the next leading source of greenhouse gasses. Exhaling (half of breathing) produces carbon dioxide. Not that the people predicting all this disaster as it relates to carbon emmisions can even tell you tomorrow's forecast accurately, or tell you what SUV warmed the planet's ice ages away, but the pending disaster is supposed to be caused by breathing? I think I remember from grammar school science that plant's ingest CO2 as part of the photosynthesis process which produces the air we breathe.

I have a suggestion. All those concerned about global climate change "caused" by human activity (snickers & giggles, guffas, snot coming out of the nose falling down with laughter) stop exhaling!

Blogger GraemeAnfinson commented at 11:31 AM~  

It is the system I take issue with. The people are just fine.

To me, the whole global warming issue is summed up by the phrase "better safe than sorry."

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