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Science

Are Disaster Capitalists Seeking Profit from Climate Change?

Money. (Image credit: Man-ucommons at Wikimedia Commons under a GNU Free Documentation license.)Remember the scene in Apocalypse Now where Marlon Brando’s character, the crazed Colonel Kurtz, tells Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) of the shock he felt upon realizing the strength of his enemies?

“And then I realized… like I was shot… like I was shot with a diamond… a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought: My God… the genius of that. The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we.”

That same bullet struck me recently while reading Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.” Her argument: that the U.S. government and now, ever increasingly, multinational corporations not only view disasters as fortune-making opportunities but actually work to hasten the onset of such opportunities, whether through coups, economic strong-arming or willful neglect (think New Orleans).

Suddenly, it struck me that some of the world’s power players might be viewing climate change the same way. Maybe some corporate and political leaders see rising sea levels, widespread drought and global destabilization not as outcomes to be avoided but as opportunities to be exploited for maximum profit. How else to explain the continued surge of cash to climate skeptic groups and the ongoing rush to build more and more coal-fired power plants?

I put that question to author/activist Bill McKibben (“The End of Nature,” “Deep Economy”) during a recent blogger conference call, and discovered I’m not the only one with that concern.

“It’s a very real possibility,” McKibben said. “Disaster capitalism is strong. It’s a signal of the kind of bottom-feeding we’ve allowed our economy to descend to.”

McKibben says he sees some potential for change in the coming U.S. presidential elections, though not if the office goes to either John McCain or Hillary Clinton.

“(Barack Obama) may be a necessary precondition,” McKibben said. “Who knows whether he’ll be able to reign in the Halliburtons of the world?”

The greatest and best hope for change, McKibben said, lies with us — individuals acting for change at the local level and mobilizing on a global scale via the Internet. And the issue of climate change, he added, is the one rallying cry most likely to inspire us to act. That’s why he launched StepItUp in 2007. And that’s why he’s leading the 350 Challenge (as in 350 parts per million of atmospheric carbon dioxide) now.

“It takes every bit of cleverness we can get from people,” McKibben said. “The path in front of us is pretty darn daunting.”




3 comments
  1. ChristianRednow711

    Hello,is anyone home,-has’nt anyone heard of the phenomenon of ‘social engineering’,or say’Edward Bernays,.How about the mysterious ‘Report from Iron Mountain’,where it is understood that peace doesnt work.And as a substitute for war(a ‘Global Crisis’)an environmental problem perfectly fits the bill.Of course the citizenry will rally to the cause;”Go Green,Go”.And those who descent are pointed as hurting the global “cause”,or seen as treasonous.Over there,”Im sure I spotted a “Global Warming’ DENIER!!So simple.Lets not forget one of the elite think tanks,particularly in the early 70’s-‘the Club of Rome’;Producing the incriminating “Toward a New Global Revolution” manifesto(A period when Al Gore was an impressionable young up and coming aritocratic mover and shaker,and protege to some of the most powerful leaders,and future world leaders in thE cLUB OF Rome .These are the real players who opening write about hijacking the evvironmental movement for future control,and financial gain.Michel Gorbachev,Solani(EU Leader)Al Gore later comes out with ‘Earth in the Balance’,in a very timely mannor.Therefore,chemtrails to weather mod. to climate AND food crises:equals= $$$PROFITS-,by coming in with soltions to all our biggest fears.Use the internet and read my brothers and sisters-THIS IS NO JOKE ,WAKE-UP,and GET REAL:REAL SOON!And there you have the perfect ‘shock doctrine in play,and Disaster Captitalism at its nauseating finest.Be Courageous

  2. James

    Disastor capitalisam;well capitalisam is a disastor!
    That one devise the means to profit from the needs and wants of others is the foundation of capitalisam.Since this is the truth,it can be said that disastor is good for capitalisam. All disastors,including war are defined by an increase in need and want.Once you understand this it is easy to see why the world can not expeareance lasting peace.
    Capitalisam,depends upon and leads to conflict and competition.An absence of these leads to stability.Stability then leads to less need.Less need leads to less profit.The cycle is and must be never ending.If peace and satisfaction become the norm,the cycle of capitalisam slows.A lack of need is to capitalisam the same as a lack of fear to hate.Destruction is the freind to capitalisam the same as it is to hate.

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