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Capitalism has often been identified as the underlying cause of the climate crisis. A leading voice on the subject is Naomi Klein, one of the climate movements most influential thinkers, whose seminal book on climate change was subtitled Capitalism vs. the Climate. She is one of many voices identifying capitalism as the cause of climate change.
Often central within the capitalism versus the climate framing is the idea that the heart of capitalist ideology—free market fundamentalism—has fueled the climate crisis. But this line of argument often glosses over the fact that energy markets are not free from government intervention. In fact, the fossil fuel industry is deeply and increasingly reliant on government support to survive.
Book - Chapter - Case - Studies - World
In a forthcoming book chapter, I detail case studies from the world's worst climate polluting countries. I show that the fossil fuel industry depends on an egregious amount of government support, which makes the public foot the bill for a harmful—and increasingly uncompetitive—industry.
In my chapter, I show that governments the world over favor fossil fuel interests through public financing, financial subsidies, and bailouts. In addition, the fossil fuel industry is helped by corrupt governance systems. Together this forms what I call a system of fossil fuel welfare and protectionism.
Reality - Fossil - Fuel - Industry - Relations
To hide this reality, the fossil fuel industry has invested in a massive public relations scheme (read: propaganda campaign) to paint itself as the defender of the free market. In the US, the fossil fuel industry has even, quite successfully, duped Evangelicals into associating the fossil fuel industry with free markets, and free markets with God's will. Thus, attacks on the fossil fuel industry become attacks on God's will. But if God's will was really aligned with the free market, then the fossil fuel industry would be doing the devil's work.
Take South Africa, for example, the biggest carbon polluter...
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