The Real Agenda

By April 27, 2008Global Warming

ap_minnesota_080426_mn.jpgIn today’s Washington Post Book World, “Heating System,” a review of “The Bridge at the End of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing From Crisis to Sustainability,” by James Gustave Speth.

In Speth’s view, the accelerating degradation of the Earth is not simply the result of flawed or inattentive national policies. It is “a result of systemic failures of the capitalism that we have today,” which aims for perpetual economic growth and has brought us, simultaneously, to the threshold of abundance and the brink of ruination. He identifies the major driver of environmental destruction as the 60,000 multinational corporations that have emerged in the last few decades and that continually strive to increase their size and profitability while, at the same time, deflecting efforts to rein in their most destructive impacts.

“The system of modern capitalism . . . will generate ever-larger environmental consequences, outstripping efforts to manage them,” Speth writes. What’s more, “It is unimaginable that American politics as we know it will deliver the transformative changes needed” to save us from environmental catastrophe. “Weak, shallow, dangerous, and corrupted,” he says, “it is the best democracy that money can buy.”

Too bad I-94 has reopened in Minnesota. Once again, commerce flows.

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