Towards a global breakdown

I have realized it now: we're on our way towards global breakdown. Whatever we do from now on will not stop our march towards global breakdown.

Whatever; that's a big word. Obviously, things will be done. But not enough – not in any way enough.

Even though governments, UN COPs and other bureaucratic bodies and organizations are launching one plan after another with measures against the climate and ecological crises, they all have the same characteristics: the measures are ineffective. Too little, too late – and in many cases plainly wrong. So, what is stalling the system in taking effective action against a global breakdown of climate and ecology?

I will point to the concepts known as decoupling or green growth as beeing the culprit. Decoupling means that the economy should be able to grow (as in GDP growth), while material and energy use decreases. It is the same as saying that in the future almost anything can be made and consumed without ecological and climate consequences. But that is obviously wishful thinking, as several research papers have made clear.

Even the UN, which hosts the IPCC, is tripping over its own feet here. UN's Sustainable development goal (SDG) no. 8 will "... promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.". And the UNs World Trade Organisation says growth should increase threefold towards 2050. Not bad goals at all, it seems? But "inclusive and sustainable" are in fact misleading terms.

Growth obviously comes with a lot of costs attached to it. First, economic growth is rarely inclusive, because it is inherently linked with colonialism and exploitation of people and resources. And growth is not evenly distributed today. A vast majority of the wealth generated by growth is accumulated in a small group of people in developed countries. Secondly, perpetual growth can never be sustainable, because in the end it will increase global heating and demand more extraction of natures resources. No company or state today pay the real cost associated to extracting materials or producing energy. If they did, production costs would be so high that their product would not be possible to sell.

So, you may ask: why not just get rid of this economic growth thing? My answer is that it is an almost impossible task to get rid of the growth mantra. Growth is the one and only goal of the powerful alliance between global capitalism and governments today. Decoupling and green growth will always be their top talking points, while trying to hold on to the power and positions that today's global capitalism has given them.

To get them away from this is a herculean task which will take a long time to finish. But we need to take this fight, for the cause of human and climate justice. But while this battle goes on the climate and nature crisis increases, and our planet accelerates towards global breakdown.

And I don't think that we have enough time left to avoid reaching critical tipping points.

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