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U. Minnesota scholar: Capitalism must be ‘systematically dismantled’ to save planet

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently came out with a report on the “seriously alarming” situation in which we find ourselves, one which the BBC calls “the most significant warning about the impact of climate change in 20 years.”

The report notes differences between allowing global temperature to rise by 1.5 and 2.0 degrees Celsius, and says that in order to get greenhouse emissions down 45% by 2030, it’ll have to be curbing emissions, altering lifestyles, and planting trees “acting in concert at the same time.”

Wired is a lot less diplomatic about the crisis: If we don’t keep emissions at a steady 1.5 degree temperature rise in the next dozen years followed by going carbon-neutral by 2050, “the consequences will be disastrous.”

“The technological and social change the world needs dwarfs anything that’s come before in history,” the article states, and quotes a spokesperson for the climate group 350.org as saying “We are in the middle of the climate crisis […] at the end of the day, what we’re talking about is millions of lives at stake.”

A visiting scholar at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment was even more blunt: In order to save Earth, capitalism must be destroyed:

Of course, we all know what ecological utopias the socialist paradises of the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and Venezuela have been, right?

Holthaus also tweeted that he is available to lend his expertise to “any TV/radio news program this week to put this report in its appropriate context” — but with a special exemption for Fox News due to their not accepting science.

“Because fuck them,” he said.

Ah, science. Like the science behind the IPCC report’s stingy bias against nuclear power?

As Forbes’ Michael Shellenberger writes, “What gives? Why is an organization supposedly dedicated to solving climate change so opposed to the only scalable source of clean energy proven capable of rapidly replacing fossil fuels?”

In his article, Shellenberger details the United Nations’ historical distaste for nuclear power, including a 30-year-old report which advocated poor nations “sustainable” use of wood for fuel which, it said, would require a massive restructuring of the countries’ agricultural economies.

Sounds a lot like a “dismantling of capitalism,” does it not?

Read the full IPCC reportWiredand Forbes articles.

MORE: ‘Kids’ sue Florida governor for ignoring climate change threat

MORE: Scholars: Protests in Iran partly due to … climate change

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