Who is responsible for the climate crisis? For everyone who isn’t a climate denialist, there’s an easy answer to the question: humanity.
Who in their right mind would challenge the idea that climate change is anthropogenic (made by humans)? Are we not living in the Anthropocene: the Age of Man as geological force? Yes and no. It turns out that saying “Humans did it!” may obscure as much as it clarifies. A world of political difference lies between saying “Humans did it!” – and saying “Some humans did it!” Is it not more accurate to describe today’s climate crisis as capitalogenic (made by capital)? In this lecture, Prof. Moore outlines the alternative to mainstream environmentalist accounts of climate crisis. That crisis is driven by capitalism as an ecology of exploitation and domination, deeply rooted in the history of European colonialism. For Moore, the climate crisis is an epochal transition which systemically combines greenhouse gas pollution with the climate class divide, class patriarchy, and climate apartheid. The history of justice in the twenty-first century will turn on how well we can identify these antagonisms, their histories, and their mutual interdependencies, and how adeptly we can build political coalitions that transcend these planetary contradictions.