That’s right, climate change really is a hoax.
The idea of “climate change” says there’s this separate problem, that the climate is changing, and we have to do something about that problem.
The truth is climate change is not even a problem at all.At worst, this idea makes it seem like climate change is just a “problem” that fell out of the air onto us out of nowhere, and there are many who frame it exactly that way: “the climate has always changed,” they say. At best, it looks like a “problem” we cause by “GHG” emissions, so everything that emits GHGs–you, me, indgenous farmers in Indonesia, trees just emitting carbon by being trees–is responsible for the “problem.” And sure enough we have corporate scientists publishing articles pointing their fingers at trees as contributing to the “problem.”
The Climate change “problem” is the latest corporate product, and corporations are eager to sell us “solutions” that are very profitable, even if in reality their solutions measurably make things worse.
So climate change is not a problem. Climate change is just one very predictable product (and arguably not the worst!) of our real problem: the large, centralized corporate systems we use to meet our needs are killing us and destroying the planet.
And so if you look at an encyclopedia you’ll see that the very definition of our type of civilization (industrial agrarian civilization based on these systems) includes all these things we dismiss as “problems:” soil loss, habitat loss, mass extinctions, war, oppression, poverty, fundamental unsustainability with boom/bust cycles, cats and dogs living together, the “diseases of civilization” (a category which includes COVID by the way) and on and on.
The problem is our “systems are designed to fail,” as Permaculture founder Bill Mollison put it.
Most of climate change is caused by the profitable actions of just 100 corporations, and almost all the rest is caused by the products and services of other corporations. Sure, we rely on those systems, but the problem isn’t an ethical failing on us. It’s not like we could walk into boardrooms and change the policies, so we are not responsible for climate change. Or at least some of us are much more responsible than others. No authority=no responsibility.
But we are far from powerless, we do have at least some authority and responsibility over the systems we use to meet our needs in our communities. And we can build community systems in a targeted way that aims to crash those worst corporate supervillains.
We can do what we can to “divest from destruction, and reinvest in better systems.”
I’m sorry, but we cannot stop climate change–or mass extinctions or any of these other problems–while keeping these exploitive, centralized corporate systems in tact. And the idea that we can (or even improve the corporate economy!) is the biggest hoax in history. Even if there are corporate-paid scientists lecturing us that opposing corporate rule is “anti-science.” It’s not. We can embrace the scientific method and evidence without embracing the institutions of the corporate/government/technology complex.
In fact the very integrity of science, the scientific method and the body of evidence it has produced REQUIRES us to stand up and say that these institutions do not “speak for science.”
Let’s look at one industry, farming, which evidence demonstrates to be the largest contributor to climate change, responsible for more than 1/3rd of GHG emissions. The major agricultural causes are: destruction of soil carbon through tilling and chemicals, deforestation on a massive scale, global transport, and of course, the fossil-fueled corporate machinery and global war that makes all that possible.
What corporations necessarily do is destroy the natural, sustainable, closed loop energy connections of ecosystems, and insert themselves between us to mine us for profit. Historically, according to Adam Smith, this is what corporations were created to do as an instrument of colonial oppression.
In an ecosystem, all animals including humans get their energy from transactions with other beings. One human, or even one family of humans, or one village cannot cause damage on a scale to trigger all of these problems, and most of what we do on a human scale is actually beneficial to the ecosystem anyway. Waste is cycled back into the system as a resource.
But once we have a “lord” claim ownership of the land, and insert himself between the people and their own land and their right to eat, we create a destructive system.
Now, an exploited workforce can and MUST do damage on a scale that is necessarily destructive–felling whole ecosystems and unsustainably mining fossil fertility–for the benefit of a few. As that advances, the lord can use animal labor and eventually fossil energy to replace part of the exploited labor. The result is the same, the lord is in between us and our natural right to access food sustainably through the land. Exploited workers produce an “excess” for sale to benefit those atop the hierarchy. And agriculture done on that scale–with machine tilling and fertility from fossil fuels–cannot be done sustainably. And it cannot be sustained without oppression.
In our modern system, the legal entity for “lordship” over the means of production is the “corporation.”Without that system, we would not need Permaculture. At all. Uncolonized indigenous societies with in-tact lifeways do not need Permaculture. Permaculture exists exclusively for the purpose of combating these corporate colonial systems. Everything I want us to do together involves building new systems to replace these exploitive corporate behemoths.
It doesn’t matter what industry, when we do just about anything–corporate energy, corporate water, corporate transportation–on the scale that gross corporate exploitation allows, it necessarily causes destruction, and that is baked right into the laws of thermodynamics. Increasing energy loss, pollution, waste, and chaos are a necessary outcome of increasing scale of any input.
You think this world is mad today and wonder why there’s so much disinformation? This chaos is a predictable outcome of the scale of an extremely corporatized information system.
I’m sorry, I cannot see any way to do a highly corporatized economy on this scale that is not necessarily destructive and exploitive.
So here is at least one North Star: our actions must move us towards growing direct connections to our ecosystems and community. And that is our guiding Principle of Transformative Action.
But I’m not a utopian. I’m not saying we must all necessarily revert to living hunter-gather lifestyles without the internet or birth control.
Scale and exploitation are the dimmer switches over all these negative results. We actually have examples now like Cuba and the USSR where de-scaling the economy resulted in reducing all these “problems.” We just need to rebuild more direct connections and descale our systems enough to build an ecological civilization. And the most important system we need to recreate is our system for food.
We need to refuse to be exploited, overthrow our corporate “lords” and reclaim our right to meet our needs through direct connection to nature and each other, rebuilding sun-and-community-powered systems. If we’re talking about gardening, that means gardening without corporations or their destructive fossil fuels, plastics and poisons.
If we do this work of re-connection quickly, we may still be able to save some amount of scale to preserve the best parts of the world we’ve created, like this beautiful internet that is connecting you and me right now. And we can build a better world with less exploitation and oppression while we’re at it.