The idea that capitalism can save us from climate catastrophe has powerful appeal. It gives politicians an excuse to subsidize corporations rather than regulate them, and it neatly avoids a discussion about how the core market logic of endless growth landed us here in the first place.
World governments are meeting this week in Bali, Indonesia to discuss how to cut rising greenhouse gas emissions. This key U.N. summit will decide what will replace the Kyoto Protocol when it ends in 2012. (The Kyoto Protocol was an agreement signed by developing and developed countries that, first, agreed upon the necessity of preventing human activity that caused damage to the climate, and also recognized that "rich countries produced the emissions in their industrial development which are causing the changes in the atmosphere and must do more than their counterparts.") Bush is claiming that regulating policies will not lead to reduced gas emissions, but industrial advancement is necessary to resolve this crisis. Naomi Klein writes a scathing critique of this idea at The Nation.