Only capitalism can save our planet – not socialism
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BY TIM MAYER
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting rather tired of the lectures and disruption caused by lefty, beardy-weirdy, tree-huggers, telling us that our leaders have failed and that Government must act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
As free marketeers, we must push back against the developing narrative that the only way to tackle climate change is to frustrate industry and destroy business. In order to combat climate change, we need more than a few happy words, more than the odd piece of well-meaning legislation; we need to harness the power of the free market to deliver new technologies and processes.
Capitalism has already done so much for us.
What Extinction Rebellion don’t tell you is that, if we go back 100 years, we saw 500,000 people killed per annum by weather related disasters. The latest stats show we have had a 95% reduction in weather related disasters and it’s now down to 20,000 a year.
They also don’t tell you that, to achieve their demand of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, the UK would have to ban petrol cars and introduce state rationing of meat to levels lower than in the 40s. Families would see their flights limited to 1 every 5 years and all gas cooking and heating at home would have to go.
The Climate Change Act (2008) made the UK the first country to establish a legally binding framework to cut carbon emissions.
What we really need to do is talk sensibly about the problem.
Who do we want controlling the narrative? The people who are currently stopping nurses, cleaners, paramedics, fire fighters, teachers and others from getting to work while they block the streets, leaving mountains of plastic mess and vandalism? The people who denigrate business whilst happily luxuriating in the latest benefits of capitalism?
Extinction Rebellion say we are in a life or death situation of our own making, while shouting about unobtainable policy goals that would destroy society as we know it.
Rather then celebrate obstructive socialists and brainwashed teenagers, I want us to celebrate the innovators who are driving real change, like:
23 year old Lucy Hughes, from the University of Sussex, who created a material using organic waste material from the sustainable fishing industry and red algae as a plastic replacement.
Or the Canadian company General Fusion which aims to be the first in the world to create a commercially viable nuclear-fusion-energy power plant. Fusion produces zero greenhouse gas emissions, emitting only helium as exhaust.
Or the researchers at the University of Surrey who discovered new materials offering an alternative to battery power and proven to be between 1,000-10,000 times more powerful than the existing battery alternative.
Or the meat replacement company Beyond Meat, which is supported by Bill Gates. They have created the world’s first meat-burger that is entirely plant based.
The way to tackle climate change is to change behaviours through viable commercial enterprise. The answer doesn’t lie in overthrowing capitalism. It lies in harnessing the power of capitalism to deliver profound, popular solutions.
Tim Mayer is a sales and marketing director, area DCP, PPC and City Councillor. Follow him on twitter: @tjmayer1