How Capitalism is Gradually Destroying the Environment

For a couple of centuries, capitalism has progressed to a great extent by exploiting the environment. Nature has been seen as an inexhaustible resource by many of the capitalists. On the other hand, they’ve also treated nature as a dumping ground. Today, our planet’s ability to endure this destructive progress of capitalism is slowly reaching its limit. 

The desire for constant growth in capitalist societies has led to the interruption of natural cycles. It has taken millions of years for such cycles to develop. Today, there’s a significant rift between society and nature. We’re already seeing the effects of this rift. Among them are loss of biodiversity, acidification of the oceans, changes in soil quality, and chemical pollution.

Capitalism has been surely beneficial to some extent, but it has also brought some disastrous effects. Unemployment, misery, and social and material deprivation are some of them. Along with these social issues, it has also caused significant damage to the environment. 

This was apparent from the recent fires in the Amazon forest. They were the product of deforestation. We’re witnessing this more frequent phenomenon of forest fires. They were also seen in sub-Saharan Africa and Siberia. The thirst for profit and the resulting climate change are intensifying such events.

Capitalism as the culprit

Scientists agree that the increase in greenhouse gases over the years has resulted in climate change. They’ve also concluded that this is mostly due to human activities. What many of us don’t know is that human activity is not the only problem. The real culprit here is capitalism. 

Since the late 19th century, the average temperature on the surface of the earth has increased by nearly 1 degree Celsius. With the industrial revolution began a rise in the average global temperature. Projections given by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) point out certain dangers. 

In the near future, we’ll see an increase in the average global temperature by 2 to 5 degrees Celsius. We’ll witness a rise in ocean levels by 18 to 59cm. The IPCC also warns that carbon dioxide emissions will continue their contribution to global warming.

Tricks played by capitalists

Efforts have been made globally to create awareness among the capitalists. They’re being constantly told about the catastrophic effects of global warming. Now, the capitalists have come up with two strategies to counter this. On one hand, they’ve initiated a campaign to deny scientific evidence. On the other, they indulge in the promotion of ‘sustainable’ capitalism. 

It presents certain changes to the systems of production, designed to pacify the environmentalists. While doing this, they also strengthen their model of exploitation. Some of the heads of capitalist countries are always in denial mode. The actual driving force behind the environmental crisis is multinational corporations.

Some corporations also talk about fixing the environment by limiting their production of harmful substances. They also claim that they’re developing new technologies to prevent the destruction of natural resources. One of their arguments is that this would be the new way of growing economically. 

Implementation of taxes on carbon dioxide emissions is another strategy being used. This might not have a significant effect on emissions. Instead, the purchasing power of the working class would be weakened.

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