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Richard Smith: China’s drivers and planetary ecological collapse

David Klein

China’s drivers and planetary ecological collapse

Richard Smith [System Change Not Climate Change]


Can China lead the fight against climate change? If not, why not? Richard Smith, drawing on his forthcoming book China’s Engine of Ecological Apocalypse (Verso, 2018) argues that the built-in drivers and barriers of China’s hybrid bureaucratic-collectivist capitalism severely limit President Xi Jinping’s options, rendering his ambitions impossible and reinforcing China’s role as the world’s leading driver of global warming and thus planetary ecological collapse.

David J

This stark assessment is hard to consider, but necessary. Especially in light of today's obscene headline: Trump to place economic growth as a national security priority ahead of climate change. This race to the precipice with developing nations is capitalism's barbaric logic writ large. I'm actually glad it is out of the shadows now and out from behind Obama's "de-coupling" and "all of the above" veil. This all-out nationalist war for the last few fossil fuel reserves serves to highlight the absurdities of centrist regulatory and policy solutions. It is precisely what Naomi Klein was emphasizing when she wrote "the Right is right"; they know that to preserve the capitalist system they must pretend away climate change in a collective sociopathic act of ecocide.
Whereas green capitalists have a more sophisticated pathology of disavowal.