I am agree with Bernie Sanders. He shows to have a lot of intelligence and not to be tied to material goods. This implies being a reliable leader who is committed to building a better place for everyone. Also, it is the only way for capitalism to restore dignity to human beings, balance between nature and the environment with human activities and scientific progress. Something that was always with evident Keynesianism, is still denied by a financial capitalism whose engine of development is greed, thus confusing the maximization of the benefit with the wealth and welfare both individual and social.
Why will human beings be so ineffective in fighting the great threat posed by climate change? Will it have to do with the fact that capitalism and sustainability are totally antagonistic and incompatible concepts as argued by various modern thinkers of that social left that contributed so much to erecting the welfare state?
For Joel Kovel, author of the famous and controversial book “The Enemy of Nature”, the main debate focuses on getting to opt for one of these objectives. Either we bet on the end of capitalism or, on the contrary, on the end of the world.
For Kovel, sometimes a bit simplistic and radical in his perceptions, there are no average terms. For him, capitalism is expansionist and eco-destructive, period. It is a criticism that is too pointed because there is no more to see what communism has done and continues to do. Indeed, as we see now in China and we saw in the former USSR, to realize that the economy and its corresponding political regime, whatever the color, has been recursivo or resource-consuming and has always placed the environment in a second or third place.
Capitalism is a natural, ruthless and insatiable devourer of natural resources that leaves no time for their renewal and causes them to be progressively depleted. In this way and without mercy for anybody, a global rupture of the ecosystems is taking place that directly affects every creature of this planet, including ourselves. To this massive transformation of ecosystems he calls it an ecological crisis. For now we know with certainty what happens to us but we are unable to predict the consequences rigorously.
The inherent complexity of these systems, where the indeterminacy of their multiple and sometimes unknown interactions does not allow us to have ready predictions about the end of the ecological crisis. For Kovel only a fool would think to predict the final outcome of the ecological crisis. However, it would be necessary to be a bigger fool if he refused to understand the ecological crisis in which we are immersed is the biggest challenge we have to face in our time.
On the other hand, what Kovel thinks is far removed from what the vast majority of mortals may think, including those who live in countries where leftist parties rule. For the vast majority of human beings living in rich countries, the ecological crisis seems imperceptible. They think that it is a mere exaggeration.
They accept that although it is true that climate change is being talked about more and more, nothing has changed. They consider that it is still cold in winter and hot in summer, that there are still days when it is sunny and others where it rains, that food continues to abound on our tables and that children who are born are getting healthier and better cared for and fed. In general, men and women have a bad idea of how time goes by. We think that what lasts or we know for ten years is something of a lifetime.
It is not difficult to internalize that many of the substances that are immersed in nature did not even exist a little over sixty years ago. These are products and substances that have been artificially produced and that some, like plastics, tires, radioactive substances, etc., cause problems to store their waste.
Joel Kovel argues that any coherent explanation about the causes that have caused the ecological crisis must include the production of goods and the role that United States play in regulation. From my point of view, I consider that on these subjects he was somewhat obsessed and in this something was already derailed as it also happened when he criticized Zionism unjustly and fallaciously. Therefore, their provocative statements should be taken with relative calm and distance but it would be good if they were heard and valued in order to establish, with greater ease and rigor, the correct theses.
In this sense, according to the opinion of Joel Kovel, the current ecological crisis is due to the fact that the capitalist system, being uncontrollable in its production, damages ecosystems and prevents governments from regulating production, and even makes them incapable of protecting the ecosystems against the deterioration they suffer. His criticism, although Kovel is right in many things, is too ideological and dogmatic because it denies to capitalism the possibility of being a sustainable issue that I deeply disagree with.
Green capitalism is a good option. It is a type of capital increasingly accepted and Kolvel knows it, but he prefers to bend to its dogma. Being rigorous, we can not deny that the existence of a sustainable capitalism or green capitalism falls within the field of possible, just as there is a social capitalism, as happens in countries like Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Israel, etc., and in many other countries of the EU such as Spain, France, etc.