Billionaires are all benefiting from the destruction of the planet and the exploitation of people. Many don’t seem to care about the planet, spending a lot of money to get people to doubt climate change is happening. Some billionaires may want us to save the environment, but to do it in ways that deliver them profits; they want us to shoulder the climate blame and burden. They want you either living wasteful lives for their benefit or scraping by at a rate that can’t threaten their position or power. They want you in tiny houses, eating goya beans, working 5 jobs just so you can walk 5 miles to buy groceries and carry it home in your canvas bag. Not all, but most billionaires want you to be green insofar as it makes you feel good enough to continue buying oil.
The billionaires don’t want us to look too closely at the link between their profits and the pollution it causes. It is in their interest for normal people to blame each other and themselves, so we fight each other while they profit off of every manner of environmental destruction and exploitation.
Our individual actions to recycle, to reduce, to reuse will not make a dent to undo the havoc the behemoths of industry have unleashed on our environment. Our individual actions will not revive the 60% of animal populations that have been wiped out from climate change and environmental destruction. Our individual green actions do not address how ingrained the problems are that have brought us here.
It is true that if, collectively, everyone lived their lives differently we could save the planet. We talk a lot about the different ways individuals can make an impact. We should all use less water, use canvas bags to shop, carpool, ride bikes, ride the bus instead of driving. If everyone lived in that tiny house and ate those beans, we could save the planet and billionaires could maintain the control and the lifestyles that they do now. It is also true that if billionaires changed how they make their money, we could also save the planet, but billionaires won’t change willingly.
When we go shopping for groceries with those canvas bags, we fill them with products of a system with immense suffering at each step of the process- from the growth, production, extraction, packaging and delivery. Almost everything we consume is a relic of the heartless process owned and controlled by billionaires. Things are made in an unsustainable way because that’s how people can make more money on it.
The way ordinary people live does not compare to the lavish lifestyles of billionaires, lapping up profits from the system they own- that destroys the planet and kills all kinds of animals and people. Billionaires aren’t taking any steps in their day-to-day lives to decrease their ecological footprint to anything approaching your own.
Any climate change solutions proposed by billionaire owned and controlled institutions, governmental or otherwise, will just be mechanisms to exploit and profit, continuing this horrible arrangement where they own and control everything and we beg them to work. The billionaires want to push consumer side solutions or ever larger technocratic mechanisms, if they have any solutions for climate change at all. They want us to ignore the vast waste and exploitation at every step of the production process so they can put every penny into influencing the next poor soul who buys their wasteful garbage. There is planned obsolescence built into nearly every product their corporations sell. They want you to buy, replace and repeat.
We may be at an important historical point, one where humanity could collectively seize this moment- the people could seize the means of automation, for themselves and their own communities. Humanity could enter into a post scarcity world where we become so efficient and resourceful with our application of technology that goods, services and information become practically free. If done right we could save the environment and it needs to be saved.
Photo: “In their stuation” by 70023venus2009 is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0