Capitalism is a highly destructive, vicious system. It is exploitative to the point of being auto-destructive – without a human population, breathable air and potable water, markets worth less than the speckles of rusted pennies.
Big capital seems oblivious to the gigantic clusterfuck of waste and destruction that it leaves in its wake, and has its eyes set on the most immediate of profits, the most minuscule of gains.
This lead some people to see the environmental crisis as the BIG crisis of capitalism, the Final Crisis in which all contradictions of capitalism will be laid bare and the system will burst asunder.
But Final Crisis will be nothing more than another ill-devised, extremely confusing DC Comics mega-event.
Capitalism is an extremably maleable, versatile system, adaptable to a myriad of conditions. Bourgeois democracy is the centre of capitalism adaptability and has shown time and time again that it will step in way ahead of time to start patching up things until a next pressing problem shows up. Or have we forgotten how we were all going to die from the Ozone layer hole? If we consider the current big ecological crisis (Global Warming) it is a lot less threatening than the hole in the ozone layer – which is not to say that capitalism will ignore it.
It does not help that environmentalists seem to disregard human life so much that they can never put the issue in human terms; it is always some butterfly or some weird reptile or the goddamn fucking polar bears. Look, I have nothing against polar bear – but the fact is that species will adapt the their changing environment or die. It happens everyday and it is a tenet of the evolutionary process. It is also important for the evolutionary process that species fight to save their own species, so I wonder why the hell the human cost of global warming – famine and drought, tsunamis and flood and the complete and utter destruction of many, many coastal cities and sometimes whole island nations – all that gets barely mentioned. All I hear about is the goddamn fucking polar bear…
Capitalism can save the environment but it will do it for its own purposes. It will do it for continued exploitation, for throughout enslavement to its system of production and consumption. It will take care of it the same way and for the same reasons that it “takes care” of the working-class – for profit.
But it will keep it alive. Until the next habitable planet comes around.