May 24, 2005
Georges Monbiot had a little run there of decent articles. Today we’re back to classical Moonbat, it’s capitalism and free markets that’re killing everyone.
It is not just that we are free to kill other people; market freedom constrains us to do so. The economy is so organised as to make it almost impossible to do the right thing. If your village isn't served by public transport and there is nowhere safe to cycle, you have, for all the talk of freedom to drive, no choice. If the superstores have shut down all the small shops, you must give your money to a company whose purchasing and distribution networks look like a plan for maximum environmental impact.
So we are encouraged by the market and left free by the law to inflict the most grievous harm that any group of people has ever inflicted on any other. There are several good reasons for supposing that climate change, within the course of this century, will throw the world into food deficit. The glaciers of the Himalayas, which feed the great rivers watering the farmland keeping Asia alive, are disappearing. As the temperature rises, plant growth in the tropics is likely to slow down: already this appears to be happening to rice crops in the Philippines. Drought zones are expanding: even in the early 1990s the nomadic people I worked with in east Africa were complaining that the 40-year famine cycle had been compressed to four or five.
Already, with a net food surplus, some 800 million people on earth are permanently malnourished. With a net food deficit, this figure could rise into the billions. We will be responsible for this. By the time we reach the end of our lives, every one of us, however kind and mild and well-meaning we might be, will have been responsible for the equivalent, in terms of human suffering, of a medium-sized act of terrorism.
There it is folks, absolute proof, if any you should need, that the only solution to climate change is to abolish free markets. The most recent example I can think of of a place that did not have free markets was the Soviet Union. That worked really well didn’t it? Didn’t contribute to climate change at all, provided a far better standard of living for its people? OK Georges, you’ve sold me on the idea.
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Tracked on May 24, 2005 12:07:03 PM
Having lived in Russia (admittedly a decade after the fall of the Soviet Union) I can only point out that for most villages, a bus once a day is a luxury.
Actually, having a bus call twice a day (once in the morning, once in the evening) is, frankly, more than enough for general life - it simply requires that village residents engage in a modicum of planning. A bus twice a day isn't enough, however, if you want that life to include going wherever you want on a whim.
Posted by: Andy | May 24, 2005 11:03:52 AM
"there is nowhere safe to cycle" = government failure.
Posted by: dearieme | May 24, 2005 11:57:53 AM
This is just the set-up, in order to justify grabbing freedom from the masses and placing themselves in charge.
Of course, as leaders (however still equals), they would need special transport provision and food needs.
Everyone who doesn't accept that this is the best way to run things needs some re-education!
Posted by: Rob Read | May 24, 2005 12:23:27 PM
Hey Andy! You're getting around!
Posted by: Tim Newman | May 24, 2005 12:51:15 PM
There it is folks, absolute proof, if any you should need, that the only solution to climate change is to abolish free markets
This would make sense if you believed that the only two possibilities in the world would be that specific combination of free and regulated markets which we currently have (which both you and Monbiot curiously choose to refer to as "free markets") or Soviet-style Communism. On the other hand, when you put it that way, to be honest it isn't really Monbiot who comes over as being the one who is foolishly oversimplifying things.
Posted by: dsquared | May 24, 2005 1:41:54 PM
As the temperature rises, plant growth is likely to slow down?
Eh? What is he smoking?
Coming up next - Moonbat keeps his tomato plants outside in the frost, they germinate quicker that way.
Posted by: Andrew Duffin | May 24, 2005 3:53:35 PM
How many times... We don't have a free market in anything other than name. How else can it be cheaper to buy a piece of New Zealand lamb than it is to buy a piece of the lamb who's currently gambolling about in the field next door? Imagine all the greenhouse gases that'd save!
Posted by: N.I.B. | May 26, 2005 11:18:32 AM