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Capitalism Causes Environmental Damage

Capitalism Causes Environmental Damage

Posted on Oct 2017

On Sept 20, 2014, an article by Betsey Piette asserted that the warming of the planet earth is caused by capitalism. According to Piette, a report by the UN meteorological advisory body raised the alarm of high concentrations of chief greenhouse gas emissions that had reached historic levels in the year 2013. This is a problem that has been brought about by capitalism, as corporations are increasingly concentrating on making profit instead of the environmental effects that their activities has.  The consequences of capitalism on the contemporary society have been a contentious issue since its emergence as a type of an economic system during the late 18th century. Capitalism refers to an economic approach that is distinguished by corporate ownership of capital goods. Most corporate businesses only focus on the profits that their activities are reaping without considering the effect that they their activities have on the environment. The idea of capitalism is a blow out of proportion to the natural environment as it negatively affects it. This essay will look at the negative effects that capitalism has the natural environment.

In my town, capitalism is manifest by the number of multi-national corporations that have set up their firms in it. There are huge chunks of forest lands that existed a decade ago that have since been cut down to be utilized as raw materials in addition to paving way for the establishment of firms and corporations. This destroyed a lot of habitat that was available, in addition to interfering with the climate of the area. As a result, this has made me to determine how capitalistic activities impact the natural environment.

Economics is a description of the systematic manner in which human beings interact with the environment during the production as well as reproduction of their lives. There is no environmental issue that exists independent of economic relations. The many numbers of environmental crises that are facing our planet are as a result of capitalism. Utilizing Marxist concepts, this essay explores the relationship between current economy and the environmental consequences. Multinational corporations have the objective of attaining high-profit margins without consideration of the influence that they have on the natural environment. Therefore, they engage in activities that end up polluting the natural environment as long as they have earned abundant profit.

We live within an economy that is capitalistic in nature. Whereas the capitalistic system is still yet to penetrate into all the corners of the lives of people, it does dominate the global economy. Capitalism as a system is founded on the private ownership of methods of production and expropriating unpaid labor by means of production and the distribution of goods, with the aim of maximizing profits. Marx made an exploration of the internal dynamics of capitalism, putting forward an argument that capitalism must grow or die as a system. The goal of maximizing profits by firms includes the search for raw materials and finding new markets during the process of expansion. In order to maximize profits, it means that firms need to find cheap sources of their raw materials, utilize cheap labor, and externalize costs like pollution and waste disposal.

The polarization of wealth, as well as poverty, is an evolving characteristic of capitalism. In the absence of any form of intervention, wealth will concentrate in the hands of a small proportion of people in the society, making poverty to drown the vast majority. Pressing poverty has environmental consequences. For the people who have the ability to consume, the grave environmental footprint of consumers is a direct outcome of an economic system that calls for the maximization of consumption so as to satisfy profit maximization.

Capitalistic economic activity has resulted in several worst abuses of the natural environment, which is air, water, or soil. A lot of habitats have been destroyed by capitalistic activities while other resources such as forests have been depleted. It is relatively difficult to run an intensifying capitalistic economy while at the same time maintains its impacts in safe ecological boundaries. The dominating capitalistic economic system has led to a breach of a number of ecological boundaries relating to climate change, biodiversity loss as well as nutrient enrichment. As a result, capitalism damages the natural systems that sustain it. The logic of establishing laws that will control the environment from being polluted runs counter to the maximization of profits by corporations. Environmental crises are endemic to capitalism.

I feel that the solutions of the environmental concerns lie in “green capitalism.” This is where the production of goods by corporations takes place while taking care of the environment from any destruction but still replicating the relations of capitalism all over the bank, which ought to work on the basis of maximizing profits. The answer for environmental issues (that are established by social issues) actually is not muddled: re-request economic needs to support feasible improvement and dedicate a small amount of the cash as of now spent on the military worldwide to social advancement. Inborn in these arrangements, however, is an upset in economic and social action. One cannot wish away the inward elements or laws of a framework and still safeguard it. The economic needs of private enterprise can't be "re-requested" without obliterating the economy as private enterprise and remaking it into something else, something favorable and feasible.