Who’s going to save the polar bears?
There’s no denial that the planet is warming up. The typical example to illustrate that fact is the extinction risk of polar bears. Yet have you actually watched a starving polar bear desperately searching for food on ice-free land? Yep, it’s disheartening. Now whether you believe the climate’s current change is due to mankind’s irresistible urge to consume more, or not, amounts to the difference between being scientific or an idiot. We let you choose. Let’s not even start to consider Trump’s specific mental condition, who once asserted the warming-up of our planet was a hoax fabricated by the Chinese…
The more interesting debate – the one we chose to talk about – is to see whether the ongoing climate change requires a “system” change. In other words, can capitalism – and its unrestrained drive for ever more growth – be the solution to the problem it has caused?
On one hand, capitalism is the least worst economic system humankind has invented, fueling unprecedented innovation, in good and bad ways. Famine is mostly no longer an issue; obesity – the excess at the other end of the same spectrum – is. We likewise mostly no longer die from easy-to-treat diseases at young age. We now have electronic devices that we both love and hate, that we cannot do without. In fact, some of us even camp overnight to be able to lay our hands on the latest gadget which is pretty much the same as the previous one.
On the other hand, the current system gives little incentive to radically change our habits. Taking a shower instead of a bath, or not eating meat anymore, even if we assume seven billion people (and soon 12 billion) adopting those new behaviours, are unlikely to save our planet. If anything, it’s already too late: the only thing we can now do is to limit the increase in temperatures. But will it be capitalism – and possibly its corollary, technological progress – that will allow us to (barely) make it alive as a species in the centuries to come? Or is incompatible with solving climate change?
By the flip of a coin, Dirk will be against the motion i.e. he will defend capitalism as the only viable solution, while Sebastian will call for the revolution, yet again, in true Frenchman that he is. Tune in to our latest published episode to listen to our arguments – and more, as we inevitably continued the discussion beyond our allocated time for the debate!
And with this, we wish you a good day, wherever you are, only hoping that you never wear – let alone buy – a meat dress as Lady Gaga had… All in good taste of course :).
Sebastian & Dirk