Capitalism Vs. Climate Change

The capitalistic system functions in a similar manner across the globe. Unlike and indigenous economy where Mother Nature is protected because the ecology is a source of livelihood, in a capital system, economic growth requires exploitation of nature for its resources. Besides, in any business, reducing the costs of operations is directly related to maximising profits. Apart from increasing efficiency, costs can also be reduced by avoiding to pay for irrelevant costs such as pollution. The capitalistic system, according to most governments is the most viable system of economic growth. However, businesses and governments prioritize economic growth over everything else including Mother Nature, whose resources they continue to explore. Tellingly, governments and corporates have been aware of the effects of the economic model on the environment. While actions that were not as detrimental to the capitalistic economic functioning wold have been taken a while ago to slow down global warming and ultimately reverse the effects, nothing was done until recently. Seeking opportunities that would help businesses and investors earn profits that are at the end taxed by the governments while small units are used to pay labourers is the most important thing. While such profits are being raked in, the environment continues to deteriorate. A sense of inequality is evident especially because people have equal right towards enjoying gifts that nature has provided. On the contrary, only those who possess the capital tools for exploitation are gaining ridiculous amounts of money while the labourer continues to survive on selling their efforts as the main source of income. It is important to understand that the economic model is the primary cause of global warming and environmental depreciation hence finding immediate solution is vital if the effects of global warming are to be reversed.

The capitalistic economic model has failed to correct the global warming trends and neither has the market because of the free rider problem which is a great concern for stakeholders.  It is logical to think that at the soaring levels of global warming require all stakeholders to make the necessary changes to the economic model in order to influence the desired goal of reversing climate change. Although people have recognised that the market needs to be redesigned, politics and disagreements have hindered the possibility of laying out efficient ways that can advance the objectives set. Some of the ideologies that have led to disagreements include the different ways to tax people. Whether to have a centralised manner of taxing corporates especially those that are responsible for pollution. The free rider problem is an example of the market failure to appropriate resource among the society. Debold, Friedman, Molla and Zumbrun are of the opinion that, “If your income was in the top 40%, you’ve likely seen your wealth go up in the past two decades” (Friedman, Molla and Zumbrun). The people who benefit from exploiting societal goods in most cases do not pay for the resources hence are only enjoying profits but have little or no costs to incur. The free rider problem has haunted the global warming problem for a long time hence making any substantial change to the system has been difficult as investors enjoy public resources but on the losing end the public has less resources (Census Website). The free rider problem preliminary subjects the public to less and less supply as much as free riders are still exploiting the same resources. It is important for the free riders to pay their fair share of taxes and contribution towards curbing climate change.

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Governments and the investors operating in the reigning economic system have failed to design a system that works in ensuring that the free rider problem is eliminated. For instance, taxation is done in different ways that most stakeholders are involved in a tag of war about. For the free rider problem to be eliminated and the effects of global warming to be reverse, taxing companies that pollute the environment is the vital and primary step necessarily. Several methods have been proposed but at the same time the efficiency of the proposed plans are questionable. Economic explanations of costs suggests that there is nothing like free lunch. Somewhat, someone has to be reliable to paying for the costs that are arise with global warming. The pigouvian economic theory suggest that direct government interaction is important in influencing any foreseeable change in the environment. While there is a lot of profits referred to as private gain in the pigouvian theory, at the same time, the benefit is compared to the marginal benefit achieved by the society. It is safe to conclude that the benefits gained by the society are less than the costs incurred which include the extent to which the ecology is ruined and is unfit for human life when corporates have a lot of resources to share among a few individuals. Vincent Bevins in The New Republic suggests that, “There would be always those who gain less than some others, or those who lose even in absolute terms” (Bevins). Governments have a direct role to play. For instance, the businesses get their licences from the governments. The possibility that governments are in bed with such companies in order to earn taxes and see the economy success is undeniable. Governments that wish to reverse the effects of global warming will do more than levy taxes. For instance, barring further exploration of high risk projects that cause leakages of crude oil into the ecology or otherwise banning methods such as fracking are better ways of curbing climate change. Free competition cannot achieve the same level of social cost that measures up to the benefits hence government involvement will mean that polluters are forced to pay for pollution. 

A second theory hopes that the market will save the globe from continuous global climate change. While the end goal that will lead to lesser emissions involves reducing the projects that continue to explore outdated forms of energy for economic gain, the market theory denies the possibility of a world without economic gain. The coasian method of market approach suggests that government involvement will give rise to unnecessary costs and lead to long negotiations that might not be successful. On the contrary, however, such an approach has failed terribly in the pat and it is impossible to tell whether trusting the market will do anyone any good. The market is known for avoiding unnecessary costs in order to maximise profits. It is prudent to agree with Bevis, “Thus national governments have to engage in “mop up” operations to fix the negative effects of globalization” (Bevins). The unnecessary costs are referred to as externalities. Understanding that market intervention is difficult is vital especially since scientific concern for global warming has been a topic of discussion for more than a decade. Somewhat, the only way to reverse the effects of a deteriorating environment is by changing the market operations. Groups supporting the market ideology suggest that an agreement can be reached so that the social output and social benefit is agreed upon without involving the government. While some social group’s main motivation could be to earn huge amounts of money from the oil companies, money might not help solve the problem, stopping the exploration and find better means to provide energy other than fossil fuel can promise to reduce less carbon emissions. In a reigning capitalistic system, although aware of the need to reduce the emissions into the environment, firms would probably go as far as paying slightly higher taxes as is the trend in America where the rich becomes richer and those low on the social class ladder continue to be poorer. 

Climate change can be reverse through combined effort of individuals, the government and businesses. However, when dialogue fails it is essential to look for other ways to fight for the reversal climate change over gaining profits. As Krauthamer suggests, “experiences and discourses articulate new forms of upheaval or reformulate well-known ones” (Krauthamer). A lot of different situations where people have fought for climate change and have achieved in fighting for their rights can motivate other people elsewhere who are being exploited. Also people are able to learn about the dos and don’ts of climate change activism and the best way to approach the issue in their area. Reading through the book is enough motivation that reversing climate change and stopping emissions is possible if individuals are relentless with 

There are a number of possible means to reduce the effects of global climate change. In my opinion, I am optimistic that combating the effects of global warming can be addressed. The previous methods that have been tested and failed including depending on the market and therefore it is important to designing new ways to fighting climate change without necessarily waiting for a miracle to happen with how the market operates. For instance, on the position of the market, it is important to incorporate the public’s opinion on new projects such as fracking and building of miles of pipelines across border that might mean the risk of spillage. Overdependence on fossil fuel is responsible for the over exploitation of Mother Nature, which in return has led to the excess emissions of carbon. The extent to which the deterioration has gone, the market as failed in major ways. Besides, governments support economic success and such exploitations and therefore finding an alternative means to curb the environment effects. People need to take responsibility in order to create means of providing energy that is renewable and green. For instance, solar panels that will serve in lighting and other functions but at the same time have no drastic effect on the environment. Furthermore, people can take responsibilities into their own hands. A lot of communities whose immediate environment have been polluted have taken to the streets to fight for their rights. While wars between people fighting for their rights and the police poses a lot of danger for lies as some people could be hurt or lose their lives but such forums are totally worth it. Governments can deny further licences for such likes and provide incentives for investment in environments such as solar powered or electric powered projects. Also, working on an economic model that seeks on dealing with the externalities is vital. A second or third economic model is necessary if anything long term goals are to be achieved. A model that identifies with the costs involved in supplementing the costs that come with business externalities that the capitalist system attempts to reduce. 

Conclusively, global warming is a topic that has been discussed for a long time in the past. All stakeholders including the government, corporates and individuals have a special role to play in ensuring that the effects of do follow. For instance, governments are the authority that licence businesses and receive taxes from businesses. Besides welfare, it is important to incorporate the market itself so that both methods for ensuring global warming effects are fought from both ends. It is logical to argue that some energy sources are outdated. The catastrophic effects being experienced globally such as heat waves in Africa and India or the hurricanes in the United States f America are already extreme conditions associated with the backlash that nature uses to warn people. Even though corporates would wish to continue exploring earth in all ways, it is possible that continual waste of earth can bring the globe to its ending. There will be no more resources to explore and people would have to find an alternative means of earning a living. Finding solutions is a responsibility of all the parties and not necessarily the polluters. The long fight to reverse the effects of global warming has been going on for decades. At first, people found board room meetings and discussion of global warming relevant to finding the solution. However, the corporate greed is sure a block towards achieving a green energy global transformation hence taking to the streets to defend community rights to public resources and a clean environment is another perspective of fighting for the reversal of climate change. Tellingly, street strikes have become the most successful way of addressing such issues as they happen directly to the field and can have effects rather than discussions that end with money settlement. 

Works Cited

Bevins, Vincent. “To Understand 2016’s Politics, Look at the Winners and Losers of Globalization An interview with economist Branko Milanovic.” The New Republic, 20 Dec. 2016, Accessed 2 Mar. 2018.

Krauthamer, Anna. “Events | Uprising 13/13:From Anti-Imperialism & Independence to Autonomia, Insurrection, & Self-Determination | The Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University.” Home | The Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University, 1 Mar. 2018,

Tynan DeBold, Dov Friedman, Rani Molla and Josh Zumbrun. “Tracking Inequality in America.” WSJ, Census Bureau. “Historical Poverty Tables: People and Families – 1959 to 2016.”,

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