The Labour-led government continues to peddle the poisonous fantasy of a 'green capitalism'. But changing the means of production, changing the endless cycle of productivism and consumerism is the only way back from the environmental crisis that confronts us.
WHEN THE SPECIAL report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) tells us, in stark terms, that we have less than twelve years to meaningfully tackle climate change the response of the Labour-led Government is both a betrayal of the country and the future of our young people who are, right now, demanding that we act decisively before its too late.
But this government, beholden as it is to corporate interests, lacks both the political will or courage to do the right thing. When the country's so-called 'progressive' Green Party is also part of the fraud, you know that our parliamentary 'representatives' are failing to provide the leadership required.
When its abundantly clear that capitalism is the problem and not the solution, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tells the nation that business 'can deliver a clean, green future for everyone'. She acts as a spin doctor for the corporates, not as a defender of our interests. Its worth noting that some of the commentators, bloggers and activists who are presently warning of the dangers of climate change will be the same commentators, bloggers and activists urging you to vote for Ardern in 2020.
The Government has established a $100 million investment fund which aims to encourage business to reduce carbon emissions and keep their all-important profit and dividend margins healthy. When we need policies that seek to overturn our present economic system (the economic system that is presently destroying our planet, folks) ex-corporate executive James Shaw just wants to 'upgrade' that system so its 'fit for purpose'. This man is our Climate Change minister. This man is a dangerous fool.
We need an economic system that puts people and the environment before profit. It is "...impossible to create an environmentally sustainable future and avoid ecological disaster without directly challenging established wealth and the capitalist system.' These are not my words but that of Organise Aotearoa. Unlike James Shaw and the Green Party, the group has an analysis of climate change informed by its socialist politics.
At the very moment when climate change demands an unprecedented collective public response, the neoliberal ideology of this government stands in the way. We need ,as the IPCC report says,
a “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.” Setting up a corporate welfare fund in order that business interests can continue to make money is not far reaching change. This government is a leading us down a path to disaster as it vainly tries to square the circle.
I would have preferred to have someone like Naomi Klein speaking at the climate change conference in Poland this week. She would have made a far more comprehensive and confronting speech than David Attenborough, but at least he did at say that unless we act decisively now we face the 'collapse of civilisation'.
But David Attenborough shares a defect with the very same political leaders he was urging to take action. While he can imagine the end of the world, he can't imagine the end of capitalism. And that's what we need to imagine. Simply calling on our so called political leaders to implement some ill-defined policies to curb climate change isn't enough.
But this Labour-led government pretends otherwise and continues to push the poisonous fantasy of a 'green capitalism'. When an economic system driven by the need for ever more profit and the need for ever more unsustainable growth is wrecking the planet, this government continues to behave as if profit and growth are good and accumulation is a goal in itself. It is the failed ideology of the creed of neoliberalism. And its killing us all.