Climate change emissions are almost entirely *derived*--this means changes in ownership structure or management of corporations actually will have zilch effect on emissions. All the biggest oil/primary product companies are state owned anyway.
Any attempts to tackle carbonization of the economy that do not address the structure, composition AND level of production & consumption, which do not address that states are the biggest causes & catalysts of it, and which do not address land-mis use will fail or even worsen it
The '100 Companies' meme counts emissions generated in production, consumption & distribution by other actors against those corporations. Oil companies don't just produce oil for the fun of it, they do it for profits & power.
How do much do you think states subsidize land-mis use & ownership, or subsidize fossil fuels & mining, or skew credit & interest rates toward heavy capital, or which build excessive uncompensated infrastructure like roads, or which have militaries based in heavy capital?
The answer is:
1. The bulk of, and basically 100% of land value derives from states. This skew even happens internally in AES states
2. Globally, a massive amount, $1 trillion directly, $5t indirectily
3. Literally their main job lol
4. At minimum equal to 3-4% of GDP per annum
Number 4 sounds small, but since heavy infrastructure doesnt go anywhere it's cumulative--the US has built 2x the number of potentially possibly fundable roads. The foregone costs of free parking & tolls probably doubles it's implicit subsidy rate per year.
Military spending has fallen from a height of 6% globally to 2.5% but this disguises quite a bit. We also, honestly, have to add in the arms industry, policing, prisons, private contracting and indirect spending to militaries. Militaries are among the worst polluters.
Not a single military in the world is non-wasteful & non-extractive, some might be so small & ineffectual as to be not as bad as some corporations nominally listed within those countries, but the point is, in aggregate, existence of militaries & climate survival are incompatible.
Imagine trying to pollute & destroy the earth, blowing massive holes in, spewing pollutants in the air, etc., w/o the state encouraging & allowing it, or enabling the rents/fundamentally structuring the land mis-use which lies as condition &/or catalyst for all 9 planetary bounds
When land and common goods are held in common, and the strong support for concentrating stocks of massive throughput thru coercion absent, it just wouldn't be possible to continue doing these things.
I don't mean *nationalizing* land, because even in AES countries, incentives against land-intensive & throughput-intensive production, etc existed *within* their planning structures. They are a result of capitalism, yes, but of states as well, and I mean all of em.
The existence of Cuba--an equatorial, long-running agriculture, island, who, when cut off from oil had to do or die, and thus rapidly transitioned to agro-ecological techniques & so on--is NOT generalizable.
Suffice it to say, Cuba now imports 80% of its food, & industry has not become 37% of its economy. Sugar is its biggest export. Cuba's low & declining CO2 has as much to do with (by their own govts admittance), the fact that people just don't use electricity, blackouts are common
Look at countries by capacity utilization--most sit at around 80%, highest is 90%, some far lower, not just big industrial countries like the US (the index pts. measured ones are misleading). At least 1/3rd of food globally is wasted, Japan is lowest w/ 20%-30%.
These facts are true in rich countries and in poor. primary product extractors & distributors, industrial processors & converters, consumer/light goods/services/managerial based economies alike.
Since flows of production for literally every necessary good from food to housing exist in greater numbers than people (and some literally with stocks that large), yet capacity sits around 70% & food waste is around 30%???
(btw, the food waste claim is misleading. first of all most agriculture ends up as primary products for other uses, in agriculture & industry, second waste at point of production, distribution & consumption are rarely lumped together in the same way. waste is much higher)
Why am I talking about seemingly esoteric things? Start to add up the waste, throughput & mal-incentives caused by the state (to start, capitalist-ly speaking, eco-externalities are 27% of global GDP, states are on avg. 33%) & compare as ratio to production/capacity etc.
Now, idk about you, but it would seem to me, that, if the world's avg rate of capacity utilization is around 70%, and that its non-wasted rate 70% (again misleading, too optimistic), that would suggest that, at minimum, 30% of output is unnecessary.
Never mind the vast stocks of resources, infrastructure, inventory, primary products, land, housing, recyclable waste that aren't counted here (because they're stocks, not flows!).
Show me a causal mechanism whereby killing CEOs would affect the above? Another would just take their place--these stocks are vastly distributed, a 30% rate is obviously structural, govt's are at least 33% of GDP globally but much more indirectly, etc.
At minimum 30% of production is superfluous but this is misleading, land mis use, stocks of resources, recyclable waste are all very high as I said but that’s not all
Arms industry, prisons, police, roughly half of infrastructure (again charitable—> above structure changes, rate falls), more than 40% of wasted land/energy etc due to sprawl, and waste of energy before refurbishment all matter as well.
Military spending, bureaucratic spending, monopoly, IP, branding, licensing, credit manipulation, etc all matter and drive the rate of superfluous production/consumption even higher.
Home production of goods, rain water catches, abolishing the ecocicdal wsste that are lawns, switching to local production & changing to more energy efficient & multi functional dense construction techniques all matter too.
So let me make the kind of proposal larpers like to pretend politics is (namely snapping their fingers and saying ‘make it so’)
Could I wish tomorrow that we efficiently distributed goods, recycled all the waste, started deconstructing, recycling, refurbishing, and rewilding tomorrow, and eliminated rents, private land, had incentives, military & similar destructive spending
And so on and so on, we could sustain the world at roughly 1/4th it’s current output, and relatively 50%-75% lower waste etc.
All that freed up labor, ideas, leisure, resources, space, etc, would actually make things more efficient, able to provide more efficiently, and with even more waste production.
Permaculture is at minimum 80% as efficient—between lawns, forer suburbs, aquaculture & wastes urban space, it would trivial to provide enough for everyone locally with that amount.
In such a world, enough food, electricity, housing infrastructure would be produced and maintained sustainable at levels sufficient for wveruon s well being.
Meanwhile, all that freed up labor, leisure, and time means we can spend our time socializing, doing art, watching tv, making/going to movies, making music, doing science, educating, healing, having sex, wandering, exploring, writing, partying, doing drugs, etc
I include all of the above together bc:
A. I don’t like make normative decisions for others and i don’t rank validitiy
B. All of the above could be provided sustainably in the world I described
REAL ‘income’—actual consumption & use of goods & services—would in this scenario be vastly higher than it is now, and vastly more equitably distributed.
Also, fun fact, providing for energy with renewables using recycled materials to avoid future extraction could almost trivially provide for the energy needs of such a world.
Heavy energy infrastructure is:
A. Its critics & boosters, insiders & outsiders, investors & regulators all agree need state subsidy, land control & regimentation and
B. Depends on a generalized extractivism
C. Is costly & timeconsuming to build & maintain
Those who defend its necessity do so on the basis of current levels of throughput, energy, output & land use/production, and current levels of waste. Their defense is obviated & undercut several times over in this scenario.
Now, the irony is, most critiques I’ve seen of ecopolitics from primitivism to ecosocialism to degrowth etc, all rely on a trick—that they imagine policy/production changes will happen with the snap of one’s fingers (make it so!)
I have just shown that, ironically, this is exactly wrong. I’ve never seen a critique of eco politics that isn’t bad faith.
But alas, despite being the underlying assumption of most political & policy discourse online & irl, we don’t live in a snap of the fingers, make it so world. And my eco utopia so described will take immense effort, energy, time & patience.
Energy & ecological transitions are costly and themselves take up energy & ecological resources. This is our energy budget for transition. They won’t be driven by technology or awareness or liberal usage of the guillotine or geoengineering or heavy capital or changing ownership.
It is the ecomodernist view that requires the make it so snap of fingers world to be true. Remember Matt Breunigs claim that a hypothetical costless carbon suction machine in the future would be better than reforestation now?
Fusion has been 20 years off for for 50 years. There simply isn’t enough space for electric cars. All heavy industry based proposals ignore the industries own warnings about space, time, regulation, coercive state policy & infrastructure needed for them.
But, suffice it to say, you can’t shoot your way out of a social relationship, nor solve it with technological wizardry, or regulate it with policy, or ‘responsibly’ manage it with new ownership, etc. these are sentimental fantasies, par simpliciter.
All eco proposals I see assume the following:
1. States are inevitable
2. Technology substitutes & causes social structures
3. Policy is costless, regulation easy
4. Resources are scarce/we produce too little
5. Heavy capital infrastructure is efficient & ecologically sound
(I should have said eco-modern or anti-radical eco proposals, just to clarify)

6. Social facts & institutions aren't real
7. Destructive toxic endeavors can be 'responsibly' managed if owned or controlled the right way
8. Optimal conditions are average conditions
9. Long tails, self-reproducing/self-perpetuating systems, 'black swans', true uncertainty, and tacit knowledge do not exist
10. Politics & science are like Star Trek: 'Make it so' & it just happens
At best, all ten of these are seriously flawed, patently obfuscatory, strikingly naive, and fundamentally misleading, at worst, they're down right fabrications, propagandistic emotional crutches, to subvert an actually just world & preserve current power relations.
Even if you somehow killed every ceo in the world, if the stuff I mentioned doesn't get fixed, the problems will persist
It's funny how people who have no trouble recognizing that CEOs & executives of corporations do not actually run the day to day, and are often totally incompetent in the relevant field, also think they are the source of decisions re climate.
Structures based in power seek to reproduce themselves and expand their power, monetary profit, political power, gains through exchange AND/ORinternal bureaucratic command s, in the main, are subsets of this, not alternatives.
Extinction level events due to either the 9 planetary wars, or to nuclear apocalypse, or to some disaster either create or vastly worsened by anthropogenic/iatrogenic causes (asteroid death & pandemic would fall under these), are all distinctly possible.
I happen to think that, we might survive, just in an ever shittier world (not in the nuclear winter or total topsoil depletion scenario tho), but resignation to this attitude, actually makes it less likely, and true extinction/apocalypse more likely.
As per solutions--my 'snap your fingers' utopia aside, I support a grab bag policy--in general, I support reversible, lower-tech, decentralized & modular, yet scalable solutions, that can be done w/o highly specialized expertise, & which don't require ramping up extraction/waste
As long as we are IN capitalism and a state, I can't see anything viable to smooth the shock of crisis, outside taking actions to make the former systems moot, that doesn't smack of reformism, individualism, green consumerism, etc.
What I mean is, until the point at which a tipping point of insurrectionary violence, or rapidly spreading ungovernable networks, or some mass party destroy the state & capitalism, we are sorta stuck with reformisms (pollution taxes, mid level regulation, state led investments).
We're also stuck with low level, but spreadable individual & collective projects--greening ones own area, trying to consume & waste less and better, organizing to re-wild & refurbish, and intentional communities.
People mock these things either for aesthetic reasons or because they think of politics as a game of 'advocacy' and on whose 'side' you're on. Since I am not going to organize to vote or some shit, or write policy papers for the state, this is irrelevant.
Me saying we're 'stuck' with these isn't me saying 'I am going to organize to institute taxes & regulations' lmao (altho the second set of stuff, such as community projects are dope, and I would do those, they're fun & good).
Moreso, what I'm saying is I'm not going to sweat over the existence of green reforms & carbon taxes--THOUGH, if their institution is done badly enough that it provokes a mass riot & movement, as in France, it's not like I'd want to squander that lol.
Another way to think about it is that the left shouldn't waste time thinking about, criticizing & acting against green reformism, green consumerism, attempted market solutions, taxes, and R&D, at all, because those things are going to happen anyway.
I think a lot of people have this idea that, like, if the state institutes a carbon tax that will somehow make building an eco-movement harder, and true structural change less possible--I can conceive of no *valid* mechanism by which this would be the case.
No, the best thing is to just basically ignore the reformists, market solvers, and green consumers altogether, UNLESS, they're situating themselves as actors directly against us, OR their policies catalyze people to action in a different context, but that's getting out there.
As I said, we're not going to solve this with regulatory policies or technologies, so that's not what we should actively pursue, but that's not reason to waste energy, time & resources opposing them. It's not zero-sum, remember we literally over-produce goods & services.
Also, 'there's no ethical consumption under capitalism' doesn't mean 'doing things on an individual level to make a vastly miniscule change, to self-signal commitment, to habitualize ethical reflection, and to set examples' is counter-productive or bad, lol.
Like, the fact that you shouldn't shame people who don't do those things, esp if they can't afford it, doesn't mean you shouldn't, if you can, try to do them for their own sake. But this is a whole other debate. Enjoining against criticism is not advocacy of inaction.
And mockery & dismissal of local intentional projects, based in community, or 'lifestyle' (which is basically a meaningless term at this point), always seems a tad bit bad faith & cynical.
Which is to say, critiquing people want to organize with their community and try to make an eco-commune, or at the very least, re-wild and re-use their area, create community gardens, set up systems of mutual aid, bc that stuff 'isn't political' is horseshit, lol.
Unless you also believe that 100% of people should be doing politics, with 100% of their free time (a belief with absurd conclusions if generalized), then people doing community based work shouldn't bother you--or perhaps your criticism isn't really about politics at all 😏
But, that all said, changing individual behaviors on a one to one basis, or community based projects that don't grow outward (but not 'up', per se), will never be sufficient to undo the current crisis (insufficiency is not an argument against an action tho).
Okay--all of the above was sort of a 'critique of a critique' thing--all of those I discussed above are united by the fact that personally I don't want to pursue many of them, but I don't think shaming, criticizing or focussing on them is a good idea, unless they get in our way
My own personal belief, supported by the political science evidence, is that the most effective technique is, as I like to say, 'smashy smashy'
Anything that expands your networks, creates spaces of autonomy or ungovernability, imposes costs on the power networks of the enemy, and which helps to undercut incentives/structures, let alone if you have a blast doing it, is good in my book.
I personally don't care for mass movements, let alone hierarchical organizations, but, as with everything else, as long as they don't get in the way, or hurt me or my friends, or try to subvert other kinds of actions, then more power to them, idc.
At the end of the day, although time, energy, space & attention are limited, I doubt they're so limited that all of the above are mutually exclusive rather than complementary (again, over-production, abundance, and slack, not scarcity, are the baseline).
My approach is a kitchen sink one, and I this isn't just for policy solutions but for technology ones as well--over-relying on a single technology, let alone a speculative one, is a bad idea, *even if* it is possible & *statically* efficient to do so.
There's no algorithm that can tell us in advance what the optimal combo of diversity & unity, breadth vs. depth, is ideal (well, actually, there are several, but they require info on parameters we won't ever have access to haha).
I think a good bet is usually, push something until it starts to get costlier to push to it further than one's gains, then diversify (but maintain), and repeat. This sounds stunningly obvious, but it's surprising how rarely it's followed.
Anyway, I just thought I'd end a thread that may have seemed pessimistic with a 'so what?' section cus I like to pander to the crowd, but basically, put simply I don't have a single 'so what'--II'm not an omniscient central planner, nor some technowizrd.
Luckily, plenty of people ARE those things (well, not omniscient central planners, but people with a good feel for local strategic & logistical issues abound), so, to me, that's less of an issue.
In fact, what I find interesting is that the technological & mechanical parts of these things is widely available knowledge--look at environmental/civil/historical engineering/archtecture research, look et ethnobotancy/ecology/medicine/biology, look at ecological sources
look at studies in geography & urban planning, look at work in STS, look at anthropology, history, and accumulated tacit knowledge, etc--that's if you want specific technical literatures, on specific technical & logistical problems.
But, for example, half the time I read or hear someone say 'why does know one think or talk about this, I want an answer to ti', and then I quickly google (or the irl human equivalent), I usually can find people who do know that stuff & practiced in it very quickly.
What I mean is, even if you don't care about the scholarship, and what you want is a personal with 'practical expertise', who has plans & skills, to whom you can ask questions, these people actually abound, most of the time.
If those are your skill sets and interests and you want to get into them, then do it, that's good and helpful for all of us, but I am frankly sick of the critique that discussions like these, or negative advocacy (i.e. smashy smashy) doesn't have plans or technical solutions.
No, the plans and technical solutions abound, and, when one counts knowledge not included in skilled (or credentialed lol) actors or scholarship, but which has been built & decentralized over centuries, such knowledge is in excess, we have more solutions than problems.
It's all moot anyway, inasmuch as, within the next century, the social, ecological & technological systems demands & necessities for the state & capitalism will erode, crumble & transform. The problem is something much worse might follow.
Or, more likely, those two will nominally remain but will be shells of their former selves, though the incentives & structures they enable would still exist condemning us to continued deterioration.
Has now become 37%, not ‘not become’
Incentives in favor land/throughput intensive not again
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