China’s Engine of Environmental Collapse
Mon, September 21 @ 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM$7 – $11
Book discussion with author Richard Smith
Just published this July, 2020 by Pluto Press
As the world hurtles towards environmental oblivion, China is leading the charge. The nation’s CO2 emissions are more than twice those of the US with a GDP just two-thirds as large. China leads the world in renewable energy yet it is building new coal-fired power plants faster than renewables. The country’s lakes, rivers, and farmlands are severely polluted yet China’s police state can’t suppress pollution, even from its own industries.
This is the first book to explain these contradictions. Richard Smith explains how the country’s bureaucratic rulers are driven by nationalist-industrialist tendencies that are even more powerful than the drive for profit under ‘normal’ capitalism. In their race to overtake the US they must prioritise hyper-growth over the environment, even if this ends in climate collapse and eco-suicide.
Richard contends that nothing short of drastic shutdowns and the scaling back of polluting industries, especially in China and the US, will suffice to slash greenhouse gas emissions enough to prevent climate catastrophe. Below is an image of the Yangtze River.
Here is a link to Richard’s article in Foreign Policy, published July 27, 2020, entitled The Chinese Communist Party Is an Environmental Catastrophe: Political ambitions make China’s emissions growth inevitable even as the economy falters
Richard Smith has published articles on the Chinese revolution, China’s transition to capitalism, and China’s environment for Against the Current, New Left Review, Monthly Review and the Ecologist. He is the author of Green Capitalism: The God that Failed (College Publications. 2016), and is a founding member of the US-based group System Change Not Climate Change.
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