This century could be the human race’s last and capitalism may be the cause, at least according to science writer and engineer David Auerbach. He echos the prediction made by Australian microbiologist Frank Fenner in 2010. Fenner who passed away in November of the same year in which he made his prediction, blamed over population, climate change, and lack of resources on the possibility of humans becoming extinct in a 100 years.
Auberbach points out in his article that Fenner’s prediction of extinction is not a sure bet, but that some of the things he said about the future, or lack there of, for the human race are undeniable. Lowering emission is not enough. The powers that be really do not seem to be in any rush to cut down on emissions on a global level. The G7’s call to reduce emission to zero within the next 85 years, had deniers in an uproar, but scientist agreed that 85 years is too late.
According to Auerbach any possible treaty to come out of Bonn, Germany during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will not be enough to prevent the extinction of the human race. Reducing emission is just a partial solution to the problem, Auerbach says that finding new technologies that can reverse the upcoming doomsday event of human extinction that is on its way to becoming a stark reality in 100 years, needs to be the world’s focus.
A five degree celsius increase which many predict will happen by 2100, will cause major flooding along the coast along with famine and drought around the planet. Sea levels are predicted to rise more than a meter with just an increase of two degree celsius, which will displace millions of people. The emission targets leaders have in place are not enough to keep the planet below a two degree celsius increase. Without a huge increase in funding for new technologies to reverse the damage humans have caused, and a call to bring emission to lower levels and at a faster pace, is in all honesty, just the UN making empty gestures that will not do much to solve the problem, Auerbach went on to discuss.
Not surprisingly many deniers have cried that the article is blaming capitalism for the impending extinction of the human race within the next 100 years. Yes, capitalism requires a consumption based economy, but is it unfair to blame it for the ills facing society? Perhaps, but instead of capitalist becoming defensive should they instead see this as great opportunity to use the system to affect positive change as it once did? Capitalism gave many people the opportunity to rise above the class they were born into, unbridled capitalism has done damage, not because its ideals are evil but because like any system it has been abused.
Capitalist need not fear change, they need instead to be the driving force behind the change. They need to emanate the entrepreneurs that in the past help to bring positive change to world and they need to work to stop the extinction of the human race. The ideals behind America need to be realized, something that has been yet to be done, but now is the time to make it happen, while the chance still exist. It is time for Americans to look within themselves and focus all intelligence, resources, and honest business practices to create sustainable solutions to the biggest problem facing society today, the extinction of the human race.
Everyday Americans who do not have the entrepreneurial spirit need to make small changes in their lifestyles. Climate change is real, it is happening, the world’s population is outgrowing what the planet can supply, and the culture of consuming is stripping the planet of its natural resources, all these problems are combining to make human extinction a possibility. Americans can still live the life they are used to, and at the same time be good stewards to the planet we call home, just a few small changes can make a difference and perhaps prevent the extinction of humans. American businesses can still prosper, but they need to think outside of the box, to base decisions on the impact it will have on the planet, they need to become inventive and concentrate their focus on renewable energy, and on creating safer and better technologies to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. States and communities need to stop making being environmentally friendly a crime, stop making catching and storing rain water illegal, stop having building codes that prevent tiny, self-sustaining, and off grid housing from being built. The government needs to allow hemp to be grown, it will cut down on deforestation, and the need for fossil fuels and the use of less efficient bio-fuels that use needed food products to be produced. It is time for capitalist to step up and do the right thing, which at the same time can still make them money. The American consumer wants it, the Earth needs it, and America needs it. It is imperative that business owner who have benefited from the capitalist system step up and help prevent the extinction of the human race in the next 100 years, and at the same time make America a leader once again in technology.
Opinion by Jessica Hamel
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Photo of Money Courtesy of David Beyer’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License
Climate Change Photo Courtesy of Takver’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons