Blame Hypocrisy

When discussing climate change, to blame any single source for the destruction is shortsighted. To bring about change, one needs to activate an alternative plan to the current deteriorating path. Merely pointing fingers at the global capitalist leadership is insufficient. Diagnosing illness does not entail healing. Our planet is unwell and we caused this. Earth has a fever and it is rising. Just like with us, a fever is a sign of trouble in the body. Lower fevers of a single degree are generally not considered severe. Higher fevers of three degrees or more pose a serious threat.

 

Our climate has deteriorated from a relatively trivial discomfort to an existential threat. At this point, we can no longer heal the planet with a cold towel on the forehead. We need more urgent and serious professional attention. Maintaining a fever is never healthy. We must reduce the fever to reach a normal body temperature again. Only a flowchart of progressive action from diagnosis to treatment and healing can lead to betterment. Identical to a continuous fever, the planet will only deteriorate through inactivity. But can we reverse temperatures through blame and finger pointing?

 

Many have come to the factual realization that the problem rests with overconsumption. Depleting limited natural resources to the point of disappearance is a reality we must face. There is no technological breakthrough that will miraculously supply more natural resources of the kind that is being depleted, even if we miraculously manage to truly offset carbon emissions (and not through ineffectual tree planting projects). This leaves us with one true way of reducing the planet’s temperature: lowering consumption. But when we consider the socioeconomic model that we abide by and which placed us in this existential predicament in the first place, we see it is impossible to sustain a capitalist model with economic shrinkage. To demand lower consumption and yet more public services, for example, is paradoxical. With what money are governments to develop infrastructure in an economic depression caused by significantly reduced consumption?

 

We all must choose and pursue an action. We are profiting by engaging in overconsumption as part of the capitalist society. Regardless of our industry, we are purposing our efforts to profit, and we then spend currency. Even ethical as we may be, we do so knowing we are contributing to a growing economy. This means that even if we come up with the next supposed solution like Tesla, we are still contributing to the destruction in the overall sense. Tesla cars are made of almost the same materials as any other brand of cars. The greatest difference is the ICE versus EV powertrain. Both cars still require the same tires. In the case of continued overconsumption, we will still eventually run out of tires. The powertrain swap is not a long-term solution; it is the wet towel on the forehead while the fever continues to rise.

 

Beyond this reality of limited planetary resources in general, there is the issue of addressing every industry’s detrimental acceleration of global warming. Even if we stopped overconsumption in the oil industry, what are we going to do about the same problem of overconsumption and waste in the food industry? And we can keep asking the same question about every other industry thereafter; travel, construction, healthcare, entertainment, and so on. The problem is the social order we are, willingly or forcibly, enslaved to.

 

Our individuality, hypocrisy, materialism, competitiveness, immorality, opportunism, and lust for fame, reward, wealth, and recognition are the socio-spiritual evolutionary blockers of any attempt to save ourselves from imminent extinction. We must break through this and support each other compassionately because we must accept to suffer together to attain sustainable change. Never has a solution come in the form of a single pill to fix all social and environmental problems. Soon the floods and droughts will come. Massive climate refugee migrations will follow. More of Europe will choose extremist leadership for protection, just as the Dutch did. They were previously known for their inclusive approach and tolerance! At that future point, if nature does not kill us, we will kill each other ever more violently and barbarically, just as we have done in the past. Inactive blaming merely serves to transmit the fever. For better or worse and irrespective of falsely tying Marx to modern brand corrupt communism, when Marx criticized capitalism, he did so with ideation of a new social order. He expressed more than just sitting with Engels and pointing fingers at the capitalists going by!

 

We should invest our time wisely toward a global resolution and not bash every nation for its flaws. Global warming is not an oil issue but a social issue. It is rooted in consumption habits. Dr. Al Jaber of the UAE represents a great majority when he implied at a speech at COP28 that nobody wants to go back to the cave days. Nobody in the realistic experience will willingly give up significant privilege and luxury to actually impact environmental change. Everyone is pointing fingers asking others to change their lifestyles and consumption habits while they continue living unchanged lives. So is the UAE the problem or the USA? Capitalism hinges on economic cost efficiency, which mandates profit maximization. In this model there is no prevention or reversal of extinction. Does the UAE stopping oil sales to the USA solve the existential problem? If this is the conclusion then we have solved climate change. We can replay another hypocrisy to bomb the UAE like when the USA committed this crime against Iraq, unpunished; powerful nations bully without remorse and fear no repercussions. Why not, nobody asks questions anyway!

 

We are pharaohs without Moses’ second coming to fear. Humans, especially and most implicitly those in developed nations and wealthier developing nations, must stop the hypocrisy to clearly ruminate: Am I part of the problem? When we perform this exercise, we collectively discover that the option for survival will only manifest through a social system overhaul. We must begin to create the new sustainable order.

 

Any human who seeks to profit to improve the existential threat is implicit in the corruption and hypocrisy because capitalist efficiency in the environmental sciences industry will mandate and thus prioritize and establish a policy of profit maximization. Selling Teslas is no different to the purpose of selling cars at GM or VW. We are hypocritical by our capitalist nature. We must not blame others when we wear the same clothes, live in the same houses, travel the same ways, eat the same foods, and use the same sustainable systems, with the difference being carrying a reusable shopping bag at the grocery store for ethical claims! The hypocrisy of unethical capitalist models trading one supplier for another will not last too long. We are in the heyday of this young environmental improvement industry that takes money for the best theatrical performances of sustainable alternatives, such as the current champions of “carbon offsetting.” Just as with the dot com bubble, this too shall pass to likely give way to a darker future, or by some miracle, a reversal from capitalism. This voice for alternative social models is becoming louder in the same manner as voicing concern about income inequality and elitism.

 

Is it truly because the UAE exports oil that we have overconsumption? Before oil discovery in the UAE, about half a century ago, were North America and Europe sustainably harmonious? When the world became more expensive to live in, we did not necessarily buy less. We took on more debt to continuously increase overconsumption. Turn off the taps, no more oil. We will still buy just as much, if not more electric and other alternative-fuel-powered vehicles. This is not a solution. It’s a distraction. What happens to supply when demand vanishes? Supply vanishes. What happens to demand when supply vanishes? Consumers seek alternative sources to satisfy overconsumption. One oil-producing nation is not causing climate change! Any supplier requires a demand market to sell to. It still takes two to tango.

 

The solution is a radical reduction in consumption in the developed world. However, this world is arrogant and historically dependent on the misfortune and oppression of smaller and financially poorer countries (think colonization). We want to drive our SUVs in the USA and yell crime to a small oil-producing nation with a small population that barely makes a dent in the conversation. How about we consider, if the oil-producing nation is ramping up production, who is buying? If the major global banks, corporations, governments, and consumer markets are not demanding, where is the destructive oil supplied? But of course it’s easy for media and “sustainability” players to blame the weak supplier because we can; because we are bullies. Who is willing to speak truth at the cost of losing sponsorship and income? Who is willing to jeopardize their children’s private schooling budget to stand on the right side of ethics? Who will change their moral outlook to lead a progressive society through necessary social activism toward a sustainable harmony? We still eat meat and torture for it. We still buy products tied to slavery. We still look away from trafficking. We still shy away from controversy to maintain mainstream acceptability. I wonder how many “sustainability” capitalists would still earn 6 figures for regurgitated Ted Talks if WWIII breaks out or poverty reaches its boiling point and insecurity hits luxury markets and safe havens?

 

Our governments, by the will of their majorities, are realizing the existential end. The UAE is not just ramping up oil production for its own national car market’s excessive demands. When the global consumer is able to bully their way to their wants, we can only hang the weakly enslaved producer. It is here that the government’s job truly manifests in protecting its population from global warming. However, global warming does not target a specific nation and so no nation can protect itself from climate change without impacting and influencing other nations to also change. The governing system that does not invest in the model enough to prevent overconsumption, and which allows it to maintain supply as best as possible to satisfy greed and waste, is the main problem. This is the hypocrisy of the wealthy capitalist: we have no qualms about blaming everything around just to maintain our criminal, oppressive and yet trendy overconsumption! The mess is in the mirror, but we lack the morality to arrest our reflection.

 

Like Dr. Al Jaber implied rather honestly, not many are willing to change to support a sustainable future. Without adaptation to satisfy the planet’s health requirements, it is to the death by capitalism. Ignite the spiritual revolution to end capitalism!