Monday, June 11, 2007

Radical Revisionism: The Most Realistic Option?

The radical left have been ahead of the rest on climate change. Why is this?

We live in a capitalist society, this system as currently functioning is failing to maintain security or prevent a horrific degree of poverty. The system is running up against the biophysical limits of the planet. A change is needed, that much is obvious. Given this, it is a lot easier to convince people that  a wide range of other ideologies hold the key.

I don't tend to agree with this logic but i dont think these people are mad, the mad ones are those who see business as usual as either a possibility or a desireable path.

So can we be radical and revisionist, can we change the type of capitalism, can we change the economic model in quite fundemental ways and stand a chance of saving the planet and building some equity into this new world?

I am reading a group of books at the moment that offer a lot of food for thought on this issue, making a super destructive economic system a viable one for the future of mankind. This is by and large not what people where talking about at the recent corporate climate response conference that i attended!

The books are:

  • Natural Capitalism (Amory Lovins, Hunter Lovins, Paul Hawken)

  • Capitalism as if the World Matters (Jonathon Porritt)

  • Cradle to Cradle (William McDonough, Michael Braungart)

  • Cut Carbon, Grow Profits: Business Strategies for Managing Climate Change and Sustainability (Kenny Tang, Ruth Yeoh)

It's worth noting that there is a lot of cross referencing going on between these books. There seem to be some tensions between the more creative pair (natural capitalism and cradle to cradle). Cut Carbon Growth Proffits is primarily a series of case studies and articles about how this has all be put into practice, but the first chapter on sustainable development is actually by Jonathon Porritt the author of Capitalism as if the World Matters...

There of these arrived through the post the other day so more later, but this area is facinating and new to me and i get a strong impression that these books provide a great start.


Climate Change Action

Home furl google deliciousdel.icio.usnetvouz newsvine diggDigg This!reddit spurl Technorati

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz


At 2:54 AM, Blogger Dave Riley said...

To answer your question differently from the way you seem to to intend, check two key 'radical left' blogs that focus on the question of capitalism and the environment:Climate and Capitalism and GreenLefts:LeftGreens

At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is that "radical revisionism" is no longer an option under capitalism as the last gasp of that were the social democratic parties... like Blairism.

And the obstacle that the Green Parties have to deal with is that to be 'relevant" on that particular playing field you are forced into alliances with whatever else is on offer -- as the Greens have been doing in Germany. Even the US Green Party is being in part held hostage to the US Democrats.

So where is this radical revisionism going to come from? From the Greens? Perhaps. But how many elections can be fitted into the time scale we have left if electoralism is going to be your primary and maybe only strategy?

At 8:51 AM, Blogger Calvin Jones said...

Hi Dave,

Thanks for your comment, i hope people check out your blogs. I have my own views on how we are going to solve these problems but it does seem to me that we are at a moment when such thinking about drastic changes to society is sensible. I know that many of my friends think that a for proffit motive is never going to lead to a sustainable and equitable future. I hope it can, and i`m just learning a bit more about the details, perhaps i will change my mind...


Post a Comment

<< Home