Capitalism and climate change solutions are incompatible


Climate Change Solutions represents an application of critical theory to examine proposed solutions to climate change. Drawing from Marx’s negative conception of ideology, the authors illustrate how ideology continues to conceal the capital-climate contradiction or the fundamental incompatibility between growth-dependent capitalism and effectively and justly mitigating climate change. Dominant solutions to climate change that offer minor changes to the current system fail to address this contradiction. However, alternatives like degrowth involve a shift in priorities and power relations and can offer new systemic arrangements that confront and move beyond the capital-climate contradiction. While there are clear barriers to a systemic transition that prioritizes social and ecological well-being, such a transition is possible and desirable.

Diana Stuart is Associate Professor in the Sustainable Communities Program and School of Earth and Sustainability at Northern Arizona University.

Ryan Gunderson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Gerontology at Miami University.

Brian Petersen is Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography, Planning and Recreation and Program in Sustainable Communities at Northern Arizona University.

“Climate Change Solutions is a profoundly insightful book that is essential reading for understanding the environmental crises we face and how we might survive these crises. Stuart, Gunderson, and Petersen are masterful scholars, who ably critique technological-fixes and green capitalism to explain why we need to fundamentally change the political-economic order to overcome the climate catastrophe now unfolding and build a just and livable world.”
—Richard York, University of Oregon

- Richard York, University of Oregon

“An important contribution to the climate politics and degrowth literature. The authors show how the current techno-market approaches to climate change are not realistic and present the alternative degrowth paradigm in a succinct and tangible way. The book is an accessible teaching tool that reaches across many disciplines.”
—JP Sapinski, Université de Moncton

- JP Sapinski, Université de Moncton

Climate Change Solutions dares to look at solutions on par with the scale of the problem—radical solutions that challenge capitalism and the ways production, consumption and everyday living are organized. A must-read.”
—Giorgos Kallis, ICREA Professor, ICTA, Autonomous University of Barcelona

- Giorgos Kallis, ICREA Professor, ICTA, Autonomous University of Barcelona

“This compelling book provides a fresh, and powerful approach to the $64,000 question—why have societies been unable to mount an effective response to climate change? The answer: the fog of ideology which obscures the link between capitalism and climate.  The authors explain why the conventional techno-centric solutions are inadequate, and offers solutions that might actually work. An impressive achievement, which is highly recommended, for scholars, practitioners, and for classroom use.”
—Juliet B. Schor, Professor of Sociology, Boston College

- Juliet B. Schor, Professor of Sociology, Boston College

"Climate Change Solutions is an extremely well-written and insightful contribution to the debate on how to overcome the pressures of climate change. It should be required reading for anyone who is involved in the global challenge to solve climate change."
Contemporary Sociology

- Contemporary Sociology

"... Climate Change Solutions goes beyond the capital-climate contradiction to suggest more "radical" (i.e., focused on the root cause) lifestyle reforms that will boost sustainability and solve the social consequences of the economic-growth paradigm. The authors provide a substantive explanation of the embedded contradictions within capitalism-based development models and underscore the superficial nature of the proposed and pursued responses currently championed globally."

- J. P. Tiefenbacher

Featured: in the Climate & Capitalism "Ecosocialist Bookshelf" for August 2020 I 08/18/2020
Read: Review in Climate & Capitalism | 09/01/2020