I don’t think that we have much to gain by laying the planetary disaster that we are facing solely on capitalism. While that is the cause of our climate’s destruction and creator of immense distortions in our economic system, the problem is far bigger than the focus on capital and profits.
Forty years ago or more we should have had the realization that this whole thing could not end well. In fact there were places that had the discussion and chose a different road but nor for reasons of climate change or species survival. And those that changed still missed the extent to which we were destroying our planet. As a result they didn’t call a halt or plan careful limitations on growth to keep carbon under control.
There was knowledge then about what was happening as warming was already scientifically apparent. The right questions were not asked then. As a result we have even the more sophisticated social democracies as major contributors to anthropogenic warming.
The problem is now that we failed to act at any point and it is already too late to avoid disaster. The question is not just how big the disaster and how much we can still manage to limit it, but how fast we can transform our planetary economy to sustainability in the next ten years.
Clearly we must stop all fossil fuel use in the next twenty years. We must end the measurement of profit as a standard for success at the same time. Can we convert 50% of our planetary corporations to, effectively, non profit status in ten years? How do we begin to measure economies to achieve that?
Production of goods should not grow faster than the total population growth. How do we make human well being and environmental restoration as the objects of human success?
All stock markets should begin to shrink to their population target. Post industrial states are shrinking as fewer children are born. That must be rewarded. How? Work hours must be reduced.
What do we do with the out of work financial managers? Perhaps we should move for an immediate phase in of Universal Basic Income based on existing planetary assets so no one starves while we figure this out.