Op-ed: ‘Stupidity of capitalism’ causes global warming

A New York Times opinion piece argues that climate change “catastrophe” is the result not of careless individuals, “immoral companies,” or “foundering” reforms, but rather of “the rampant stupidity of capitalism” – “the overwhelming unintelligence involved in keeping the engines of production roaring” in the face of looming climate change (emphasis original).

The writer, Benjamin Y. Fong, who holds a Columbia University Ph.D. in religion, argues that the idea of solving the climate change “disaster” through more intelligent voters or better technical solutions is a fallacy:

Put differently, the hope that we can empower intelligent people to positions where they can design the perfect set of regulations, or that we can rely on scientists to take the carbon out of the atmosphere and engineer sources of renewable energy, serves to cover over the simple fact that the work of saving the planet is political, not technical.

In other words, says Mr. Fong, “[t]he intelligence of the brightest people around is no match for the rampant stupidity of capitalism.”

For Mr. Fong’s “anti-capitalist struggle” to address climate change, picking out “bumbling morons to lament or fresh-faced geniuses to praise is a missed opportunity” for “structural change.”

Mr. Fong is less clear about his alternative to capitalism.  Moving through the piece, Mr. Fong refers to “foundering social Democratic reforms,” a “democratic socialist society,” and “socialists” who have been “defensive for centuries,” followed by a link to Communism for Kids, translated from the original German and published by MIT Press.

The “Overview” of the Communism book begins with:

Once upon a time, people yearned to be free of the misery of capitalism. How could their dreams come true? This little book proposes a different kind of communism, one that is true to its ideals and free from authoritarianism.

And as the “workers” take control:

At last, the people take everything into their own hands and decide for themselves how to continue.

Perhaps volume two will discuss Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China, Castro’s Cuba, and the latest worker’s paradise in Venezuela.

Such thoughts do not trouble Mr. Fong, who concludes that “the burden of justification” is not on the those promoting socialist alternatives, but rather on those defending capitalism.

As Steven Hayward writes at powerlineblog.com, “as long as leading, celebrated climatistas talk about it as a reason to smash capitalism … there is every reason for conservatives to reject the whole racket as a hustle for political power.”

This is exactly what happened in the last election when a president was elected to prime the “engines of production” to produce jobs and economic growth – and, by the way, exit the Paris climate agreement.  The anti-capitalist struggle will have to wait.

Read more at American Thinker

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Comments (18)

  • Avatar

    Greg Palmer

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    Man made Global Warming is a fraud, just like man made global cooling in the 1970s and the death of humanity if farmers changed from wooden to iron/steel plows in 18th and 19th centuries.

    Reply

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      rakooi

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      1st. The 1970’s cooling was a PR Stunt to sell newspapers and TV shows. 3 scientists, by far the minority, were used by Coal & Oil monopolies to thwart Government limitations on CO2 and to Sell over a million new OIL Furnaces…tying middle class Americans to OIL for the next 40 years.
      ((I have no idea where you nonsense about steel plows comes from)Main Stream Science for over a century, knew, in the 70’s that Global Warming was a FACT and they had already nailed down the cause…. Atmospheric Gasses (specifically H2O & CO2, Methane)
      THE American Association for the Advancement of Science presented a CHILLING research report and warning to President Eisenhower in 1958.
      THE AAAS presented in 1965, an even more FORBODING Research Report & Warning to President Johnson, with Spot On Accurate PROJECTIONS for 2015…. Temperatures will rise world wide…
      Sea Levels would rise at increasing rates…deserts would expand…
      Flooding Rain Events would increase….Heat Waves…Droughts.
      …”Jefferson was not only the first Republican, he was the first to raise concern about global warming – another anomaly. As you can tell by noting the weather four times even when they were debating the most important decision of their lives, Jefferson was obsessed with weather….”

      Here is what Legit. Science Was discussing in the 70’s…I’ll give you a hint, it wasn’t about a NEW ICE AGE or Global Cooling.
      1968
      Studies suggest a possibility of collapse of Antarctic ice sheets, which would raise sea levels catastrophically. =>Sea rise & ice
      1969
      Astronauts walk on the Moon, and people perceive the Earth as a fragile whole. =>Public opinion
      Budyko and Sellers present models of catastrophic ice-albedo feedbacks. =>Simple models
      Nimbus III satellite begins to provide comprehensive global atmospheric temperature measurements. =>Government
      1970
      First Earth Day. Environmental movement attains strong influence, spreads concern about global degradation. =>Public opinion
      Creation of US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the world’s leading funder of climate research. =>Government
      Aerosols from human activity are shown to be increasing swiftly. Bryson claims they counteract global warming and may bring serious cooling. =>Aerosols
      1971
      SMIC conference of leading scientists reports a danger of rapid and serious global change caused by humans, calls for an organized research effort. =>International
      Mariner 9 spacecraft finds a great dust storm warming the atmosphere of Mars, plus indications of a radically different climate in the past.=>Venus & Mars
      1972
      Ice cores and other evidence show big climate shifts in the past between relatively stable modes in the space of a thousand years or so, especially around 11,000 years ago. =>Rapid change
      Droughts in Africa, Ukraine, India cause world food crisis, spreading fears about climate change. =>Public opinion
      1973
      Oil embargo and price rise bring first “energy crisis”. =>Government
      1974
      Serious droughts since 1972 increase concern about climate, with cooling from aerosols suspected to be as likely as warming; scientists are doubtful as journalists talk of a new ice age.=>Public opinion
      1975
      Warnings about environmental effects of airplanes leads to investigations of trace gases in the stratosphere and discovery of danger to ozone layer. =>Other gases
      Manabe and collaborators produce complex but plausible computer models which show a temperature rise of several degrees for doubled CO2. =>Models (GCMs)
      1976
      Studies show that CFCs (1975) and also methane and ozone (1976) can make a serious contribution to the greenhouse effect. =>Other gases
      Deep-sea cores show a dominating influence from 100,000-year Milankovitch orbital changes, emphasizing the role of feedbacks. =>Climate cycles

      Deforestation and other ecosystem changes are recognized as major factors in the future of the climate. =>Biosphere
      Eddy shows that there were prolonged periods without sunspots in past centuries, corresponding to cold periods .=>Solar variation
      1977
      Scientific opinion tends to converge on global warming, not cooling, as the chief climate risk in next century. =>Public opinion
      1978
      Attempts to coordinate climate research in US end with an inadequate National Climate Program Act, accompanied by rapid but temporary growth in funding. =>Government
      1979
      Second oil “energy crisis.” Strengthened environmental movement encourages renewable energy sources, inhibits nuclear energy growth. =>Public opinion
      US National Academy of Sciences report finds it highly credible that doubling CO2 will bring 1.5-4.5°C global warming. =>Models (GCMs)
      World Climate Research Programme launched to coordinate international research. =>International

      Reply

      • Avatar

        David Lewis

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        You stated “The 1970’s cooling was a PR Stunt to sell newspapers and TV shows.” This is not true. Brown, Columbia, and Oregon State Universities predicted a new ice age.

        https://climatechangedispatch.com/1973-brown-columbia-oregon-state-universities-predicted-a-new-ice-age/

        You said that a warning to President Johnson was spot on accurate for 2015. These included sea levels would rise at increasing rates, deserts would expand, flooding rain events would increase as well as heat waves and droughts. It is snow 2015 plus 2 and rather than be spot on accurate, these events show just how inaccurate such predictions are and continue to be. Sea levels continue to rise at the same slow rate.

        https://climatechangedispatch.com/renowned-sea-level-expert-no-traces-of-a-present-rise-in-sea-level-on-the-contrary-full-stability/

        According the IPCC fifth assessment report, extreme weather events are not increasing.

        After men have cut down rain forests I am aware of deserts expanding, but don’t blame climate change.

        Temperatures have been rising since the end of the mini ice age, but not nearly as fast as predicted by the climate models. There has been a near twenty year pause to warming and we are approaching the point where rather than call it a pause well should be calling it an end to warming.

        Now I have a personal question. The only thing keeping the climate change movement going is the hidden political agenda that its supporters hope to achieve. What is yours? Is it destroying capitalism, advancing a world government under the UN, transferring the wealth of the industrial nations to the developing nations, a good excuse for new taxes, expanding the size and power of government, forcing people out of their cars and into public transportation, or some other reason?

        Reply

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          Sonnyhill

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          or some other reason? Try “saving face” .

          Reply

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        amirlach

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        “US National Academy of Sciences report finds it highly credible that doubling CO2 will bring 1.5-4.5°C global warming. =>Models (GCMs)”

        The Models have all failed. According to the Scientific Method “When your Prediction is wrong, your hypothesis is wrong. Period.

        Here is a Peer Reviewed Paper written by the Lead Authors of the IPCC’s AR4&5 reports, discussing the predictive failure of the IPCC Models (GCMs).
        http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v3/n9/full/nclimate1972.html?WT.ec_id=NCLIMATE-201309

        “A few words about the authors. Jon Fyfe and Nathan Gillett are Canadian climate modelers. Francis Zwiers literally wrote the book on climate statistics (w/von Storch): Statistical Analysis in Climate Research. Fyfe was a lead author for the AR4; Gillett is a lead author for the AR5 Chapter 9; Zwiers is Vice Chair for WG1 of AR5.”

        So once again Ra-kook-ski, nothing you say is true…

        Reply

        • Avatar

          JayPee

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          You’re right, Amirlach

          Rakooi is Drewski ( Andrzejewski )
          spewing his cheap drug-induced nonsense once again.

          Regardless how many times proven a liar
          he comes back for more degrading humiliation
          HEY
          It’s the recognition that counts !
          The more we willfully ignore him and refuse recognition,
          The more he is likely a suicide.

          Reply

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    So how many trees were chopped down how many barrels of fossil fuel was used to make the ink used to print all these copies of the New York Pravda(Times)how many copies were returned at the end of the day. The New York Slimes(the Old Grey Hag,All the Sludge that’s Fit to Print)wastes Freedom of the Press to continue to print their barefaced lies

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Sonnyhill

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    If Benny Fog read George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”, he obviously didn’t get it.
    How pathetic it is when people blame the puzzle for their stupidity. They lapse into dogma and claim to be enlightened.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    prestigio

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    a degree in religion
    a qualification to exact
    dogma in
    science or politics

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    And of Animal Farm the Greens would be the evil ruling pigs and the band of dogs would be wearing Blue Helmets

    Reply

  • Avatar

    David Lewis

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    Liberals have many goals that can not stand on their own merit. With different people it is different goals. On such goal is the destruction of capitalism. That is why the support the climate change movement. Through this they hope to achieve their objectives.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Sonnyhill

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    If socialism’s inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery, how to explain the rich Socialist cheerleaders? Guilt?

    Reply

    • Avatar

      David Lewis

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      Your comment deserves emphasis. I have known people who feel guilty for living the middle class life style. In my reading of alarmist articles written in Europe they actually stated one of the motivations for transferring wealth to developing nations was guilt over past European colonization.

      Reply

      • Avatar

        Sonnyhill

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        Masochists would rather feel bad than feel nothing. History is history. Compensating great grandchildren is like hanging a picture over a stain.

        Reply

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    amirlach

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    It was the Market Economy choosing better forms of energy that made the USA exceed emission reductions the failed Kyoto Wealth Redistribution Proticol tried to impose.

    It will be Market forces which will allow the USA to exceed the Paris Accord reduction targets. All without any transfer of wealth to failed UN programs or nations. Seeing as the redistribution of wealth is and always was at the heart of the environmental “movement”, they will proclaim it as a failure no matter how much the reduction targets are exceeded.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    G

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    At the end of the day, eco-socialists are asking us to believe that the most efficient use of human wealth is to hand it over to politicians and bureaucrats who have a better sense of economics, and justice than the rest of us. We are also to accept that these same people are more competent and less corrupt than the people who created the same wealth with their hard work and risk.

    It takes a very unique mindset to accept these premises, let alone promote them.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    G

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    The eco-left is finally being called out for what they truly espouse – neo-socialism. Call it what you will: the climate change movement, anti-capitalism, radical environmentalism, the social justice movement… they’re all just canards for the same core cause.

    In case anyone should need proof, ask yourself when the purveyors of any of these “causes” took any real effort to separate themselves from the ultimate goal of Socialism? When have we heard any of these people denounce socialism as a “failed ideology”, the most generous of all descriptions given its history? No. Instead, the responses range from tepid excuses for socialism’s failures to reflexive condemnation of free markets, free speech, and individual liberty because it does not work perfectly.

    Will we ever get to ideological honesty when it comes to Socialism? Isn’t it time to quit hiding behind contrived facades of everything from “social justice” to “climate change” and build an argument upon demonstrable merit? How lucky for these people that they are in a country bounded by a constitution that guarantees free speech and other liberties that Socialism itself seeks to deny. Please… just come on out and tell us why you have a better plan. If it’s so compelling you should have no trouble at all.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Sonnyhill

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    I’ll play Devil’s advocate.
    What are we (western democracy) supposed to do? Our industrial economy is largely gone, either to cheaper countries or to automation. Accountants from anywhere on the planet can serve your business. Brick and mortar is no longer necessary, Amazon comes to your door. Uber will eventually replace drivers. Companies announce lay-offs and their shares go up in value.
    You get my point. Steady, skilled jobs are rare.
    Capitalism doesn’t clean up its mess voluntarily. Society tries.

    Reply

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