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Cap and Neolib K


Generic Links (Policy Affs)

Development and exploration of the oceans is inherently
capitalistic and exploitative
Clark and Clausen, 8 (Brett, teaches sociology at North Carolina State
University in Raleigh, Rebecca, teaches sociology at Fort Lewis College in
Durango, Colorado, The Oceanic Crisis: Capitalism and the Degradation of
Marine Ecosystem, Volume 60, Issue 03 (July-August), --CRG
Humans have long been connected to the oceans metabolic processes by harvesting marine fish and
vegetation. Harvesting methods and processes have varied depending on the structure of social
production. Subsistence fishing is a practice woven throughout human history, beginning with the
harvesting of shellfish along seashores and shallow lakes, and progressing with the development of tools
such as stone-tipped fishing spears, fishhooks, lines, and nets. This was originally based upon fishing for

Through the
process of fishing, human labor has been intimately linked to ocean
processes, gaining an understanding of fish migrations, tides, and
ocean currents. The size of a human population in a particular
region influenced the extent of exploitation. But the introduction
of commodity markets and private ownership under the capitalist
system of production altered the relationship of fishing labor to the resources
of the seas. Specific species had an exchange value. As a result, certain fish were seen
as being more valuable. This led to fishing practices that focused on catching as many of a
use of the fish. What was caught was used to feed families and communities.

particular fish, such as cod, as possible. Non-commercially viable species harvested indiscriminately

As capitalism developed and

spread, intensive extraction by industrial capture fisheries became the norm.
alongside the target species were discarded as waste.

Increased demands were placed on the oceans and overfishing resulted in the severe depletion of wild fish
stocks. In Empty Ocean, Richard Ellis states, Throughout the worlds oceans, food fishes once believed to
be immeasurable in number are now recognized as greatly depleted and in some cases almost extinct. A
million vessels now fish the worlds oceans, twice as many as there were twenty-five years ago. Are there

The beginning of
capitalist industrialization marked the most noticeable and significant
changes in fisheries practices. Mechanization, automation, and mass
production/consumption characterized an era of increased fixed capital investments. Profittwice as many fish as before? Hardly. How did this situation develop?10

driven investment in efficient production led to fishing technologies that for the first time made the
exhaustion of deep-sea fish stocks a real possibility. Such transformations can be seen in how
groundfishing, the capture of fish that swim in close proximity to the oceans bottom, changed through the

Ocean exploration and development is a tool of capitalism

to enhance production
PSL, 13 Party for Socialism and Liberation (The pillaging of the Earths
oceans, Liberation News, May 31st 2013,

The oceans of the world are vast and deep. They cover 71 percent of the Earths
surface and contain 97 percent of the planets water. The oceans seem boundless in
water, marine life and energy to sustain the planets life and
atmosphere. But the oceans are experiencing profound stress, due to
escalating factors directly related to capitalist production and the
degradation of the environment. Alarming reports by marine scientists
have been sounding the danger to the worlds oceans and the need for
urgent action. The International Programme on the State of the Ocean
(IPSO) warns that massive marine extinction already may be
underway due to rapidly worsening stresses on marine ecosystems.
But, as capitalisms search for profits intensifies, the devastation of the
oceans is only accelerating. Three main stresses global warming, acidification of the
oceans, and decreased oxygen have led to such declines in many of the marine ecosystems that the
conditions have met or surpassed worst-case scenarios predicted in the first decade of this 21st century.

[W]e now face losing marine species and entire marine

ecosystems, such as coral reefs, within a single generation. Unless
action is taken now, the consequences of our activities are at a
high risk of causing, through the combined effects of climate
change, overexploitation, pollution and habitat loss, the next globally
significant extinction event in the ocean. It is notable that the
occurrence of multiple high intensity stressors has been a prerequisite
for all the five global extinction events of the past 600 million years.
Such a catastrophe would, needless to say, affect humanity and all life
on Earth. Yet capitalists have rejected in international forums even
basic accords to limit the exploitation of the oceans or to slow down
the belching of fossil fuels into the environment. By far the biggest
abuser of the environment is the United States.
IPSO stated in 2011,

The affirmative commodifies the ocean by framing it as a

resource that can be exploited for self-interested gain and
economic growth
Mansfield, Professor of Geography at Oklahoma State University, 04 Becky,
Neoliberalism in the oceans, Geoforum, 35:3, May, SCIENCEDIRECT)
Examining the ways that past policy orientations toward fisheries have inuenced the development of

neoliberalism in the oceans

centers specifically around concerns about property and the use of
privatization to create markets for governing access to and use of
ocean resources. Within the Euro American tradition that has shaped international law of the
sea, the oceans (including the water column, seabed, and living and mineral resources) were
long treated as common propertythe common heritage of mankind
(Pardo, 1967)open to all comers with the means to create and exploit
oceanic opportunities. Although historically there has also been continual tension between this
openness of access and desire for territorialization (especially of coastal waters), treating the
oceans as a commons is consistent with the idea that oceans are
neoliberal approaches to ocean governance, I contend that

spaces of movement and transportation, which have facilitated

mercantilism, exploration, colonial expansion, and cold war military
maneuvering (Steinberg, 2001).1 Oceans have also long been sites for
resource extraction, yet it has not been until recent decades that new economic desires and
environmental contradictions have contributed to a pronounced move away from open access and freedom
of the seas.

New technologies for resource extraction combined with

regional overexploitation have contributed to conicts over resources,
to which representatives from academia, politics, and business have
responded by calling for enclosing the oceans within carefully delimited
regimes of property rights, be those regimes of state, individual, or
collective control. At the center of this new political economy of oceans, as it has evolved over
the past 50 years, has been concern about the commons, and the extent to
which common and open access property regimes contribute to
economic and environmental crises, which include overfishing and
overcapitalization. As such, the question of the commons has been at the center of numerous,
seemingly contradictory approaches to ocean governance and fisheries
regulation. Thus, the first argument of the paper is that neoliberal approaches in fisheries cannot be
treated simply as derivative of a larger neoliberal movement that became entrenched starting in the
1980s. Instead, examining trajectories of neoliberalism in fisheries over the past half century reveals that
the emphasis on property and the commons has contributed to a more specific dynamic of neoliberalism
operating in ocean fisheries and, therefore, to distinctive forms of neoliberalism. To be clear, it is not the
emphasis on property in itself that ties this history into neoliberalism, but rather the particular perspective

The underlying assumption of all the

approaches to property discussed in this paper is that market rationality (i.e. profit
maximization) is natural. Given this, property rights harness this rationality to the greater
good, while a lack of property rights inevitably leads to economic and
environmental problems. It is this set of assumptions that underlies the
neoliberal emphasis on privatization and marketization.
that links property specifically to market rationality.

Ocean development and exploration continues capitalist

pillage of the oceans.
PSL 13 (PSL 5-31-13, Liberation Party for Socialism,, accessed 5-31-13

The oceans of the world are vast and deep. They cover 71
percent of the Earths surface and contain 97 percent of the
planets water. The oceans seem boundless in water, marine
life and energy to sustain the planets life and atmosphere. But
the oceans are experiencing profound stress, due to escalating
factors directly related to capitalist production and the
degradation of the environment. Alarming reports by marine scientists have been
sounding the danger to the worlds oceans and the need for urgent action. The International Programme
on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) warns that massive

marine extinction already

may be underway due to rapidly worsening stresses on marine
ecosystems. But, as capitalisms search for profits intensifies,

the devastation of the oceans is only accelerating. Three main stresses

global warming, acidification of the oceans, and decreased oxygen
have led to such declines in many of the marine ecosystems that the
conditions have met or surpassed worst-case scenarios predicted in the first
decade of this 21st century. IPSO stated in 2011, [W]e now face losing marine
species and entire marine ecosystems, such as coral reefs,
within a single generation. Unless action is taken now, the
consequences of our activities are at a high risk of causing, through
the combined effects of climate change, overexploitation, pollution and
habitat loss, the next globally significant extinction event in the ocean.
It is notable that the occurrence of multiple high intensity stressors has been a prerequisite for all the five

Such a catastrophe would,

needless to say, affect humanity and all life on Earth. Yet
capitalists have rejected in international forums even basic
accords to limit the exploitation of the oceans or to slow down
the belching of fossil fuels into the environment. By far the
biggest abuser of the environment is the United States
global extinction events of the past 600 million years.

The 1ACs call for development creates the ocean as a new

space for neoliberal capitalism
Steinberg (Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London) 10
(Philip E., Sekula, Allan and Nol Burch 2010 The Forgotten Space, reviewed by Philip
E. Steinberg

in the capitalist imagination, the sea is idealized as a at

surface in which space is abstracted from geophysical reality . As
the seas space is reduced to an abstract quantity of distance, or
time, it is constructed as amenable to annihilation by technologies
that enable the compression (or, better yet, the transcendence) of space-time , like the
containership. While this construction of the ocean provides rich material for geographers of
In other words,

capitalism and modernity (e.g. Steinberg 2001), it provides precious little material for filmmakers.
Under capitalism, the ocean is valued only in its (idealized) absence, and absence is notoriously
difficult to film. Thus, as Brett Story, the other geographer who has commented on the film, has
noted, he film spends surprisingly little time on actual water (Story 2012, page 1576, emphasis
added). By my count, only about ten minutes of the 110-minute film are spent at sea (all on
the Hanjin Budapest) and even in this footage the material ocean is not a force that needs to be
reckoned with, except as a source of rust. For viewers who are familiar with Sekulas book Fish Story,
as well as with his other film The Lottery of the Sea, the relative absence of the ocean in The
Forgotten Space is, as Story suggests, surprising. In contrast with The Forgotten Space, Fish
Story begins with a meditation on the crude materiality of the sea (Sekula 1995, page 12) and he

the oceans materiality persists

despite the best intentions of capital to wash it away . Thus, for
reminds the reader throughout the book that

instance, we learn in Fish Story that large-scale material ows remain intractable .

Acceleration is not absolute: the hydrodynamics of largecapacity hulls and the power output of diesel engines set a limit to
the speed of cargo ships not far beyond that of the first quarter of [the twentieth]
century (Sekula 1995, page 50). In Fish Story, the ocean is a space of contradictions and a nonhuman actor in its own right. However, no such references to the seas geophysical materiality and
the barriers that this might pose to its idealization as a friction-free surface of movement appear
in The Forgotten Space. Human frictions on the sea likewise feature in Fish Story: militant seafarers,

longshoremen, and mutineers all make appearances in the text. In contrast, these individuals receive
scant attention in The Forgotten Space (a point noted by Story as well), and much of the attention
that they do receive is about their failings. A relatively hopeful account of union organizing in Los
Angeles is paired with a story of labours defeat in the face of automation in Rotterdam and that of a
faded movement in Hong Kong where the union hall has become a social club for retirees and their

the heterotopia of the ship celebrated by Foucault has

become a neoliberal dystopia. The world of containerization is
Foucaults dreaded civilization without boats, in which dreams have dried up,
widows. For Sekula,

espionage has taken the place of adventure, and the police have taken the place of pirates (adapted
from Foucault 1986, page 27). Echoing Foucault, Sekula asks near the beginning of the film, Does the
anonymity of the box turn the sea of exploit and adventure into a lake of invisible drudgery?
Although Sekula never answers this question directly, his response would seem to be in the

the sea is no longer a romantic space of resistance; it has

been tamed. Sekula and Burchs failure to depict the ocean as a space of
dialectical encounters (whether between humans or among human and non-human
elements) reproduces a dematerialization of the sea that is
frequently found in narratives of globalization, including
critical narratives (Steinberg 2013). This leads the filmmakers to
inadvertently reaffirm the capitalist construction of the
ocean as an external space beyond politics. By turning away
from the frictions encountered at sea, Sekula and Birch end up tacitly
endorsing the very forgetting of the sea promoted by
capital, as it subscribes to an ideology of limitless mobility.

The affirmative lens of technological development toward

the ocean guarantees destruction of the environment we
must analyze the harms of the aff through the lens of
Brett Clark and Rebecca Clausen 2008 The Oceanic Crisis:
Capitalism and the Degradation of Marine Ecosystem, Volume 60, Issue 03

analysis of oceanic systems presents a sobering picture of the

coevolution of human society and the marine environment during the
capitalist industrial era. The particular environmental problems related to
the ocean cannot be viewed as isolated issues or aberrations of human
ingenuity, only to be corrected through further technological
development. Rather these ecological conditions must be understood as
they relate to the systematic expansion of capital and the exploitation
of nature for profit. Capital has a particular social metabolic orderthe material interchange
between society and naturethat subsumes the world to the logic of
accumulation. It is a system of self-expanding value, which must
reproduce itself on an ever-larger scale.4 Here we examine the social
metabolic order of capital and its relationship with the oceans to (a)
examine the anthropogenic causes of fish stock depletion, (b) detail
the ecological consequences of ongoing capitalist production in relation

to the ocean environment, and (c) highlight the ecological

contradictions of capitalist aquaculture.

Working within the capitalist system continues the

exploitation of the Ocean. Clausen, 08 [The Oceanic Crisis:
Capitalism and the Degradation of the Marine Ecosystems, by Brett Clark and
Rebecca Clausen.. Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Jul/Aug2008,
Vol. 60 Issue 3, p91-111. 21pg.]

The findings are clear: No area of the world ocean is unaffected by

human influence, and over 40 percent of marine ecosystems are
heavily affected by multiple factors. Polar seas are on the verge of
significant change. Coral reefs and continental shelves have
suffered severe deterioration. Additionally, the world ocean is a
crucial factor in the carbon cycle, absorbing approximately a third
to a half of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. The
increase in the portion of carbon dioxide has led to an increase in
ocean temperature and a slow drop in the pH of surface waters
making them more acidicdisrupting shell-forming plankton and
reef-building species. Furthermore, invasive species have negatively
affected 84 percent of the worlds coastal watersdecreasing biodiversity
and further undermining already stressed fisheries. Scientific analysis of
oceanic systems presents a sobering picture of the coevolution of human
society and the marine environment during the capitalist industrial era. The
particular environmental problems related to the ocean cannot be
viewed as isolated issues or aberrations of human ingenuity, only to
be corrected through further technological development. Rather
these ecological conditions must be understood as they relate to
the systematic expansion of capital and the exploitation of nature
for profit. Capital has a particular social metabolic orderthe
material interchange between society and naturethat subsumes
the world to the logic of accumulation. It is a system of selfexpanding value, which must reproduce itself on an ever-larger

Development in the ocean is capitalist, oceans are

deemed empty spaces for the sole purpose of profit and
power projection
Philip E. Steinberg 98, geography professor at Florida State University,
10/28/1998, The maritime mystique: sustainable development, capital
mobility, and nostalgia in the world ocean, Environment and Planning
Thus the ocean became discursively constructed as removed from society
and the terrestrial places of progress, civilization, and development.
Movement across spaces that resisted development, although necessary, was
rhetorically defined as a subordinate activity outside social organization. The
ocean was to serve capitalism as an empty space across which the free trade

of liberal capitalist fantasy could transpire without hindrance from natural or

social obstacles. As an 'other' space, the ocean was con-structed not so much
as a space within which power could be deployed (as it had been during the
mercantilist era, when control of channeled circulation was an essential
component in garnering social power) but as an empty space across which
power could be projected (Latour, 1986; Law, 1986).<2>Evidence of this
abstraction of ocean space during the industrial era can be observed in both
the regulatory and representational spheres. When regulations were required
for certain maritime activities, such as shipping or piracy, policymakers
continued the mercantilist-era practice of avoiding territorial control by
sovereign states. However, unlike in the previous era, the sea was now also
discursively constructed as a subordi-nate arena beyond the social practice of
formal interstate competition. In the case of shipping, states largely
abandoned global shipping regulation, leaving the industry to govern itself
and, in some cases, effectively giving national industry associations the
authority to negotiate international treaties (Gold, 1981). Recognizing
shipping's dependence on the maintenance of an indivisible ocean,
hegemonic players developed a series of regulations and institutions that
reected their diverse interests and their desire for systemic stability rather
than promoting regimes crudely calculated to multi-ply their social power and
maximize short-term accumulation of economic rents(Cafruny, 1987).A
somewhat different route was taken with regard to piracy, but here too
regulation in ocean space was crafted so as to define the ocean as a space
beyond state competition (Thomson, 1994). Ships not ying a national ag
that is, ships not claiming allegiance and rootedness in one of the civilised
'places' of the landwere declared to be of the wild, of the anticivilization of
the sea. They were defined in international law as hostis humani generis (the
enemy of humankind), a designation that transcended the division of land
space into sovereign states and left pirate ships legitimate prey for ships of
all land-based 'civilized' nations. The axis of social power enabling regulation
of piracy in ocean space was thus scripted as a 'free-for-all' between the
forces of land space and ocean space rather than a structured, intrasystemic
competition among land powers seeking riches from assertions of social
power in the sea. In representation, there was similarly a complex set of
continuities and disconti-nuities with the mercantilist era. In general, the
significance of marine space was diminished; once perceived as an arena for
one of the economy's essential activities(the movement of goods across
space), the ocean was now reduced to an in-between space that separated
the terrestrial places of development. This shift in perception of the ocean
can be observed in its representation on navigational charts and other maps
of the era. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, maps portrayed
an ocean cluttered with ships, sea monsters, and rhumb lines, all of which
were intended to portray the complex 'reality' of a space rich with natural and
social features. By the early eighteenth century, however, the ocean was
perceived as a space unworthy of social interest (Whitfield, 1996),
Cartographers reduced the ocean to an empty, blue expanse, at most
punctuated by placeless latitude and longitude coordinates and oftenas in

LewisCarroll's parodyas "a perfect and absolute blank" (Carroll, 1973, page

The ocean is the new frontier to enrich the pockets of

capitalists, exploration and development will always be
utilized towards that aim.
Farrell, 13 Market Watch: The wall Street Journal, writer, 13 (Rob, 4-2313, Indian Country Today,, accessed 6-29-8, AFB)
Yes, many capitalists are getting rich off the high seas, a vast reservoir of
wealth holding 95% of the planets water, spanning 70% of the
Earths surface. Often called the last frontier, a return to Americas 18th
century Wild West. its virtually unregulated, a new free market
where capitalists roam like pirates, plundering wealth and treating
our oceans as a freebie gold mine and trash dump. Bad news for
seven billion people living on the planet. And by 2050 well be
adding three billion more people. We already know we cant feed 10
billion. Now were polluting their water. Wont be enough clean
water for all to drink, triggering wars. Yes, bad news getting worse: As Alan Sielen of
the Scripps Institute of Oceanography warns in the Foreign Affairs journal: Over the last several decades,
human activities have so altered the basic chemistry of the seas that they are now experiencing evolution
in reverse: a return to the barren primeval waters of hundreds of millions of years ago. Evolution in
reverse? Yes, planet Earth is regressing eons to an earlier primitive era. Unregulated free-market
competition on the high seas is turning back the evolutionary clock. That doesnt bother todays shortterm-thinking capitalists. But it should. Because, ironically, shifting evolution into reverse will also selfdestruct the very global economy that capitalism needs for future growth. Todays capitalists see another
three billion people as the new customers needed to expand free markets globally. But in the process they
are also cutting their own throats, unaware theyre pushing a hidden self-destruct button lodged in their
brains. Nature designed all systems with these built-in termination buttons. Deny it all you want, but
humans have our entrances and exits, as Shakespeare said. We all do. Same with economic systems:
Yales Immanuel Wallerstein sees capitalism at the end of its 500-year cycle. Solar systems last for billions
of years. Someday, as our sun cools, Earth could go the way of Mars. And the sun will eventually exit in a
blazing supernova. Capitalists deny their role in their endgame, dismiss the long economic cycle. Thats

Capitalist brains are designed to focus on the short term,

profits, high frequencies, microseconds, day-end closing prices,
quarterly earnings, annual bonuses. Rarely longer. Myopia is the
built-in self-destruct trigger for capitalists, their society, the human
race, our planets water. Cant blame them, the capitalists brain
isnt designed to think long-term. Why? Capitalists see a new world
like the Wild West. No lawmen, just free-market competitors, free to
do whatever they want, whenever, unregulated, uncontrolled, no
restraints, skimming, mining, plundering the wealth of the high
seas, free to use, misuse and abuse vast oceans of water at no real

Specific Links (Policy Affs)

Aquaculture is fundamentally aligned with capitalism it
is designed achieve capital accumulation
Phyne 1997 [John. Capitalist Aquaculture and the Quest for Marine Tenure in Scotland and
Ireland Studies in Political Economy, 1997. Available via Ebscohost.]

During the enclosure of English agriculture, commoners became subject

to poaching violations for continuing to exercise customary rights, which
dated from "time immemorial. The law converted common lands into the private
property necessary for capital accumulation. Yet, in England and elsewhere, the
marine environment remained subject to public, private and customary rights.
Currently, the introduction of industrial aquaculture into a multipurpose marine
environment presents conicts analogous to the struggle for enclosure.
Industrial aquaculturalists, like capitalist farmers, want legal and enforceable property rights to ensure their interests in capital
accumulation." Within the context of late twentieth century capitalism,
however, this is contingent upon the legal frame- work used by the state
in coastal areas.
Aquaculture is capitalist it involves subjecting nature to
further exploitation and will exclusively benefit large
corporations while environmental destruction gets worse.
Clark & Clausen, professors of sociology at North Carolina State & Fort Lewis College, 2008
(Brett and Rebecca, The Oceanic Crisis: Capitalism and the Degradation of Marine Ecosystem, Monthly
Review, 60:3, July, Online:

The immense problems associated with the overharvest of

industrial capture fisheries has led some optimistically to offer
aquaculture as an ecological solution. However, capitalist
aquaculture fails to reverse the process of ecological degradation .
Rather, it continues to sever the social and ecological relations
between humans and the ocean. Aquaculture: The Blue Revolution? The massive
decline in fish stocks has led capitalist development to turn to a new way of increasing profitsintensified

Capitalist aquaculture represents not only a

quantitative change in the intensification and concentration of
production; it also places organisms life cycles under the
complete control of private for-profit ownership.31 This new industry, it is
production of fishes.

claimed, is the fastest-growing form of agriculture in the world. It boasts of having ownership from egg

involves subjecting nature to the
logic of capital. Capital attempts to overcome natural and
social barriers through its constant innovations. In this, enterprises
to plate and substantially alters the ecological and human dimensions of a fishery.32
(sometimes also referred to as aquabusiness)

attempt to commodify, invest in, and develop new elements of nature that previously existed outside the
political-economic competitive sphere: As Edward Carr wrote in the Economist, the sea is a resource that
must be preserved and harvested.To enhance its uses, the water must become ever more like the land,
with owners, laws and limits. Fishermen must behave more like ranchers than hunters.33 As worldwide
commercial fish stocks decline due to overharvest and other anthropogenic causes, aquaculture is
witnessing a rapid expansion in the global economy. Aquacultures contribution to global supplies of fish

increased from 3.9 percent of total worldwide production by weight in 1970 to 27.3 percent in 2000. In
2004, aquaculture and capture fisheries produced 106 million tons of fish and aquaculture accounted for
43 percent.34 According to Food and Agriculture Organization statistics, aquaculture is growing more
rapidly than all other animal food producing sectors. Hailed as the Blue Revolution, aquaculture is
frequently compared to agricultures Green Revolution as a way to achieve food security and economic
growth among the poor and in the third world. The cultivation of farmed salmon as a high-value,
carnivorous species destined for market in core nations has emerged as one of the more lucrative (and

the Blue
Revolution may produce temporary increases in yields, but it
does not usher in a solution to food security (or environmental
problems). Food security is tied to issues of distribution. Given
that the Blue Revolution is driven by the pursuit of profit, the
desire for monetary gain trumps the distribution of food to
those in need.36 Industrial aquaculture intensifies fish production by transforming the natural life
histories of wild fish stocks into a combined animal feedlot. Like monoculture agriculture ,
aquaculture furthers the capitalistic division of nature, only its
realm of operation is the marine world. In order to maximize return on
investment, aquaculture must raise thousands of fish in a confined
net-pen. Fish are separated from the natural environment and
the various relations of exchange found in a food web and
ecosystem. The fishs reproductive life cycle is altered so that it can be propagated and raised until
controversial) endeavors in aquaculture production.35 Much like the Green Revolution,

the optimum time for mechanical harvest.

Claims of sustainable aquaculture are a smokescreen for

the invasive economic model posed by the 1ac
aquaculture locks in capitalist production paradigms and
maintains a profound wealth gap
Macabuac 5 [Maria Cecilia F. Macabuac, PHD in Philosophy of Sociology,
Virginia Polytechnic University, July 15, 2005, After the Aquaculture Bust,]
economies of poor countries are
dependent on export-oriented extractive industries which include gas, oil,
and mining ventures, logging, and agro-industrial aquaculture and plantations.
Such extractive enclaves: 1. are capital-intensive; 2. are generally run by the state
or by large corporations, in ways that lead to high rates of corruption,
repression and conict; 3. use little unskilled or semi-skilled labor; 4. are
geographically concentrated and create small pockets of wealth; 5. produce
social and environmental problems that disproportionately impact the poor ;
41 6. follow a boom-and-bust cycle that creates economic insecurity (Ross 2001).
Many of the peripheral countries that are most highly dependent on extractive industries are
classified as highly indebted poor countries (Ross 2001)-- demonstrating the
degree to which these enterprises have failed to fuel either healthy economic
growth for the nation or alleviation of the impoverishment of citizens.
Aquaculture is one of those peripheral extractive industries which booms only
as long as ecological resources and market prices are at supportive levels.
When environmental degradation threatens the supply base or new
producers enter the market and cause price drops, aquaculture operations
The Boom-to-Bust Cycle of Aquaculture Many, if not all,

tend to bust very quickly. Export-oriented shrimp ponds typically bust only after five to
ten years of intensive farming, primarily because of shrimp diseases and ecological degradation (McGinn
2002). Only a few investments are directed toward reinvigoration of abandoned shrimp farms while most
corporations transfer to other promising areas, leaving behind land and waterways that will be unsuited

While ecological degradation

accounts for the bust cycle in shrimp production, competition from synthetics
and from alternative agricultural commodities (such as corn starch) are much more
likely to trigger bust cycles in seaweed production. Between 1978 and 1984, the
for cultivation for several centuries (Skladany et. al. 1995).

Philippines was the top producer of seaweed. By 2000, China was the number one exporter, followed by
the Philippines and Chile (Trade Data International 2003). Worldwide, fish comprise 17 percent of the
animal protein in the human diet, and fish are the most 42 important source of animal protein in the
diets of peripheral populations. According to Shiva (2000: 43): The two primary justifications for
industrial aquaculture are the crisis of depletion of marine resources and the crisis of malnutrition among
the poor in the Third World. . . . Though pushed by both national and international organization as an
answer to world food scarcity. . ., shrimp contributes little to the nutritional needs of the worlds
population, being a luxury item that is consumed mainly by the rich in the developed world. On the one
hand, aquaculture has vastly expanded world output of fish and marine foods. On the other hand,

aquaculture has now integrated into global commodity chains peripheral fish
and marine resources, resulting in two impacts on the food chains of those
poor countries that undertake aquaculture projects. 1. Aquaculture removes
fish and marine resources from local consumption chains and exports those
foods to rich countries thereby threatening traditional food chains in
producing countries. 2. Because less fish is available to peripheral
populations, malnutrition and hunger are on the rise, especially in those
countries with large aquaculture and fishing sectors (Shiva 2000). Despite all its
purported advantages, the Blue Revolution is really food imperialism (Yoshinori 1987). Aquaculture
is an industry controlled by core-based transnational corporations, and it has
concentrated control over the worlds fish and marine foods into the hands of
a few companies. Rather than eradicating hunger or expanding resources to
feed peripheral populations, aquaculture has further polarized world food
distribution and consumption. At the turn of the 21st century, the richest fifth
of the world consumes nearly half of all meat and fish, the poorest fifth only
5 percent. 4 While poor countries supply 85 percent of the internationally
traded fishery products, core countries consume 40 percent of the world total
supply of fish (McGinn 1998). 5 Core citizens have benefitted greatly from the
new global food chains stimulated by the Blue Revolution, and they now
consume three times more fish than people in the developing countries. However,
the horrible irony is that peripheral populations cannot afford the luxury
meats available in abundance to core citizens, so they must rely on fish for
animal protein. While North Americans and Western Europeans acquire more
than 90 percent of their animal protein from beef, pork, and chicken, Africans
and Asians are dependent on fish for about one-third of their animal protein
(McGinn 1998). Aquaculture also drains away peripheral fish supplies for uses
outside the human food chain. Non-food uses of fish in rich countries (such as animal feed and
oils) is greater than the total human consumption of fish in Latin America, Africa and India combined. 6

fish resources are drained away to rich countries and threaten the
local food chain in two ways. First, the aquaculture outputs overwhelmingly
are exported to the core as luxury foods. Second, the production of those
exports and of non-food uses of marine resources requires high levels of
inputs of other smaller fishes. Aquaculture and agro-industrial fisheries redirect
resources from the human food chains to fishponds of producing countries
In reality,

(Shiva 2000: 44 7 For example, the US price for shrimp dropped from $5 per pound to $3.38 in 2003
(Public Citizen 2004). 8 In Malaysia, the high demands of prawn farms for fish feed has also caused a
shortage of fish for the salted fish industry (Wilks 1995:122). 43). Consequently, less fish are now

aquaculture requires such high levels of

inexpensive small fish as pond feed (Food and Agriculture Organization 2004). To complicate
matters, agro-industrial fisheries consume more resources than they produce,
thereby threatening food security even further . In 2000, 5.7 million tons of cultured fish
available to poor Asian consumers because

were produced in Asia, requiring 1.1 million tons of feed, derived from a staggering 5.5 million tons of

one ton of smaller fish that are typically a

significant part of the diets of poor households are absorbed to cultivate
every ton of export fish that will provide luxury sea cuisine for rich
households. Peripheral food security is threatened in another way. While core consumers
enjoy declining prices that result from the expanding supply of tropical
shrimp and deep-sea specialty fishes, the cost of fish rises in peripheral
countries that engage in export-oriented aquaculture (Public Citizen 2004). 7 In
Indonesia, world demand for prawn has pushed up local prices for small fish,
such as sardines, that were traditionally consumed by the poor. Ordinary
consumers in Malaysia can no longer afford one kind of prawn ( Panaeidae)
because aquaculture producers prefer to export this commodity at higher prices
to Japan. 8 In Sri Lanka, the traditional shrimp curry has disappeared from
the diets pressure to export has driven up prices (Yoshinori 1987).
wet-weight fish (Shiva 2000: 43). Thus,

Aquaculture is underpinned by the logic of capitalism

which ultimately exploits the ocean in the interest of
industrialization and profit.
Brett Clark and Rebecca Clausen 2008, Volume 60, Issue 03 (JulyAugust) The Oceanic Crisis: Capitalism and the Degradation of Marine
The expansion of the accumulation system, along with technological
advances in fishing, have intensified the exploitation of the world ocean ;
facilitated the enormous capture of fishes (both target and bycatch); extended the spatial reach of fishing
operations; broadened the species deemed valuable on the market; and disrupted metabolic and
reproductive processes of the ocean. The quick-fix solution of aquaculture enhances capitals control over
production without resolving ecological contradictions. It is wise to recognize, as Paul Burkett has stated,
that short of human extinction, there is no sense in which capitalism can be relied upon to permanently

Capital is
driven by the competition for the accumulation of wealth, and short-term
profits provide the immediate pulse of capitalism . It cannot operate under conditions
break down under the weight of its depletion and degradation of natural wealth.44

that require reinvestment in the reproduction of nature, which may entail time scales of a hundred or more
years. Such requirements stand opposed to the immediate interests of profit. The qualitative relation
between humans and nature is subsumed under the drive to accumulate capital on an ever-larger scale.
Marx lamented that to capital, Time is everything, man is nothing; he is at the most, times carcase.
Quality no longer matters. Quantity alone decides everything.45 Productive relations are concerned with
production time, labor costs, and the circulation of capitalnot the diminishing conditions of existence.
Capital subjects natural cycles and processes (via controlled feeding and the use of growth hormones) to
its economic cycle. The maintenance of natural conditions is not a concern. The bounty of nature is taken

As a result, the system is inherently caught in

a fundamental crisis arising from the transformation and destruction of
nature. Istvn Mszros elaborates this point, stating: For today it is impossible to think of anything at
for granted and appropriated as a free gift.

all concerning the elementary conditions of social metabolic reproduction which is not lethally threatened
by the way in which capital relates to themthe only way in which it can. This is true not only of
humanitys energy requirements, or of the management of the planets mineral resources and chemical
potentials, but of every facet of the global agriculture, including the devastation caused by large scale deforestation, and even the most irresponsible way of dealing with the element without which no human
being can survive: water itself.In the absence of miraculous solutions, capitals arbitrarily self-asserting
attitude to the objective determinations of causality and time in the end inevitably brings a bitter harvest,
at the expense of humanity [and nature itself].46 An analysis of the oceanic crisis confirms the destructive
qualities of private for-profit operations. Dire conditions are being generated as the resiliency of marine
ecosystems in general is being undermined. To make matters worse, sewage from feedlots and fertilizer
runoff from farms are transported by rivers to gulfs and bays, overloading marine ecosystems with excess
nutrients, which contribute to an expansion of algal production. This leads to oxygen-poor water and the
formation of hypoxic zonesotherwise known as dead zones because crabs and fishes suffocate within
these areas. It also compromises natural processes that remove nutrients from the waterways. Around 150
dead zones have been identified around the world. A dead zone is the end result of unsustainable practices
of food production on land. At the same time, it contributes to the loss of marine life in the seas, furthering

Coupled with industrialized capitalist fisheries

and aquaculture, the oceans are experiencing ecological degradation and
constant pressures of extraction that are severely depleting the populations
of fishes and other marine life. The severity of the situation is that if current
practices and rates of fish capture continue marine ecosystems and fisheries
around the world could collapse by the year 2050.47 To advert turning the
seas into a watery grave, what is needed is nothing less than a worldwide
revolution in our relation to nature, and thus of global society itself.
the ecological crisis of the world ocean.

Oil/Offshore Drilling/Fossil Fuels

Oil drilling is the fuel for further capitalist exploitation,
leads to more ecological degradation, economic collapse,
which culminates in extinction
Klaas 2014 [Staff Writer. Capitalism, Peak Oil, and Endless Crisis. 1/17/14]

Because of the abundance of oil in certain areas of the world, accompanied by a

peculiar profitability of capital, the world oil sector presents a very high level of
geographical centralization and concentration of capital, with approximately 100
fields producing 50% of the global supply, 25 producing 25% of it and a single field,
the Ghawar field of Saudi Arabia, producing around 7%. Most of these fields are old
and well past their peak, with the others likely to enter decline within the next
decade. Miller argued that conditions are such that, despite volatility, prices can
never return to pre-2004 levels, saying it is highly likely that when the US pays more
than 4% of its GDP for oil, or more than 10% of GDP for primary energy, the economy
declines as money is sucked into buying fuel instead of other goods and service.
What can a Marxist conclude from this open admission of capitalist contradiction and
desperation? This is the most important realization: capitalist crisis is now
necessarily endless. There is a crossroad in front of humanity as a whole and its
interest in survival: either end the capitalist mode of production, or accept the
inevitability of a Malthusian nightmare of more hunger, more wars over resources,
increasingly social Darwinist methods of population control, and whatever will be
needed to maintain the rule of capital at the expense of everyone else. Without a
steady and cheap supply of oil, there is no capitalism; oil is its blood. Capital
accumulation requires an energy sources which tendentially increases its potential
supply; no such energy source exists, and even if one was found, every part of the
technological infrastructure of capitalist society, running on oil, would take a long
time to be retooled or dismantled to give way to new infrastructure running on this
new energy source. This kind of transition would never be feasible in a world where
the rule is exploitation of man by man, and of nation by nation. There can be no
painless solution to an ecological crisis that jeopardizes the future of humanity while
world politics revolves around defending the profits of monopoly capital, and not the
general interests of human survival. The whole point of capitalist production,
production for the most immediate profit, stands in contradiction to the well being of
humanity and the production of the conditions required by human life. On top of its
own internal limit of capitalism, capital itself and its over-accumulative tendencies,
capitalist production in the era of imperialism has entered into a conict with an
external limit, something never before seen for a mode of production on this scale:
capitalism is exhausting non-reproducible resources. It is now necessary for every
individual to take up the struggle to put production and distribution under social

Expansion of oil drilling subjects the world to corporate control

of resources and places profit above all at the expense of the
Eley, 10 Tom is a contributor for World Socialist Website (Tom, WSWS, The BP oil
spill and American capitalism,, May 8th) //jk

These decisions led directly to the deaths of 11 workers aboard the Deepwater Horizon and the environmental catastrophe

The workers killed in the BP explosion are only the latest casualties.
According to data from the International Regulators Forum, from 2004 through 2009 offshore oil
workers on US rigs were four times more likely to be killed in industrial accidents and
23 percent more likely to be injured than oil workers in European waters. While there
in the Gulf.

were 5 loss of well control disasters on US drill rigs in 2007 and 2008, in five other major offshore drilling
nationsthe UK, Norway, Australia, and Canadathere were none. Since 2001 there have been 69

deaths, 1,349 injuries and 858 fires or explosions on oil rigs operating in the Gulf of
Mexico alone, according to the International Association of Drilling Contractors. The incestuous ties
between the MMS and the oil industry have not been severed with the election of Obama. Obama was in
fact the top recipient of BP employee donations in the 2008 election cycle, and the company has
mobilized tens of millions in a massive lobbying campaign that has brought on board such powerful
Washington insiders as Democratic Party kingmaker John Podesta, former Democratic House majority
leader Thomas Daschle and former Republican Senator Alan Simpson (a key member of Obamas
bipartisan budget committee). Current CIA director Leon Panetta has also served on BPs external
advisory council.Only weeks before the Gulf disaster, in an open sop to the oil companies , Obama

declared his intention to make large regions of the US coastline available for oil
drilling.The Deepwater Horizon explosion is the result of decades of deregulation, which proclaimed
that the free market could best regulate its elf. Beginning in the late 1970s, the US government,
under both Democratic and Republican administrations, has worked to systematically
eliminate all constraints on corporate profit-making. The result has been disastrous
for the population of the US and the world. Corporations controlling vast social
resources make decisions affecting millions of people on the basis of profit . Working
hand in glove with regulators, little more than wholly owned subsidiaries of industry, the
corporate elite targets for elimination any outlay that diminishes profit returns to the
top executives and shareholders, whether it be environmental protection, product
safety, or workers safetyas a spate of recent deadly workplace accidents has
revealed. In industry after industry the story is the samemining, auto production, transportation,
telecommunications and, of course, the finance industry. Indeed , the eruption of toxic oil from the
bottom of the sea has its parallel in the eruption of toxic assets that set off a financial
crisis in 2008. Led by the Obama administraiton, national governments responded to
this disaster by bailing out those responsiblethe financial eliteand leaving the
working class to foot the bill. In this sense, the crisis in the Gulf and the crisis in Greece are
connected by a common social and economic system. The assets of BP, Transocean, Halliburton and their
executiveshundreds of billions of dollarsmust be appropriated and used to make the people of the Gulf
whole and to put in place a massive environmental cleanup program. The executives and regulators whose
policies caused the disaster should be criminally prosecuted. The stranglehold of the corporate

and financial elite over society and its resources must be broken.

This requires the

implementation of a socialist program for energy production. The big energy corporations must be seized
and converted into public utilities, democratically run by the working class in the interest of social need.

Oil is the lifeblood of capitalism- a disruption of cheap oil

would collapse the entire system
Knight, 09 masters degree in Political Science from Lehigh University (Alex, End
of Capitalism, Why is it breaking down?, //jk
Oil is the lifeblood of capitalism; there is literally nothing on this earth that can
replace it as the dominant fuel for the engine of global capitalism. Its not just that 40%
of energy comes from oil, making it the worlds #1 energy source, the key point is that the particular
applications of oil are vital to the entire economic structure. For example, 99% of the worlds pesticides are
chemically produced from oil (and almost all industrial fertilizers derive from natural gas), which means the
entire industrial mode of agriculture that has taken dominance over the worlds farmland depends upon

abundant cheap petroleum. In fact, including tractors, chemicals, packaging, distribution, and cooking ,

every single calorie of food in the United States requires at least 10 calories of fossil
fuel energy to bring that food to the plate. The pharmaceutical industry, chemical,
plastics, and military are equally dependent. In addition to being found in just about
everything we consume, petroleum is now also necessary for fueling the extraction,
production, packaging, and distribution of all other resources. Most crucially, oil now
powers 95% of all transportation, in the form of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. By
definition the global economy depends on the rapid transport of people and
resources on a global scale, which means burning oil and dumping billions of tons of carbon
into the atmosphere, causing global warming and destabilizing the Earths climate. Meanwhile, because oil
is such a powerful resource, states necessarily view it as a strategic imperative to maintain access to
supplies. The quest for cheap and available oil therefore becomes a prime motive for military action and
warfare, as weve seen in the actions of the US in the Middle East, where 66% of the worlds

remaining oil lies.

Warfare and climate chaos stand out as particularly devastating consequences of

the reality is that the entire global assault on human

justice and natural ecosystems would in many ways not be possible without being
fueled by cheap and abundant oil. Luckily, oil as a resource is limited in supply (imagine the
the massive rate of oil consumption, but

destruction if it werent), and in fact according to a growing chorus of geologists, the worldwide supply of
oil is now reaching its ultimate maximum level and will soon enter decline. The evidence shows that

the global peak oil production is here today.

This historic event is occurring approximately 40

years after the peak discovery of oil, in the mid-1960s. Since that time, less and less oil has been found
worldwide, while demand has skyrocketed. This isnt the place for a full explanation of Peak Oil, but it

at least 54 countries have already reached their domestic peak

oil, including the United States. Data indicates that the immense run-up of prices in
2007-2008 can best be explained as a result of global oil shortage, which certainly
added stress to the financial markets and likely helped trigger the current crisis. Can
This Continue? The deepening oil shortage will affect the United States and its
imperialist project in a unique way. Having risen to power on a sea of oil in the first half of the
20th century, the U.S. reached its peak oil in 1970 and now imports over 2/3 of its
consumption. Still by far the largest consumer of oil, using over 25% of global supply,
the country is being forced into deeper and deeper debt to pay for it. This enormous
trade deficit is only counteracted by the willingness of foreign countries from whom
the United States purchases most of its stuff (Saudi Arabia for its oil, China for its consumer
goods), to recycle their dollars back into the US by purchasing Treasury Bonds, stocks,
real estate and other dollar-denominated assets. As U.S. financial markets crumble,
how long until these foreign countries decide their investments are safer elsewhere, and pull
the rug out from under the Empire?
serves to point out that

Oil leases are capitalist to their core- they risk human life in
pursuit of profit
Siegmund, 11 Contributor for DailyKos (Fred, Daily Kos, Oil Spills and
Capitalism,, March 5th)//jk
The BP oil spill started so long ago it is hard to remember the details. It began with the explosion
and death of 11 employees, followed by a fire and the sinking of the drilling platform .
The pictures of the aming platform and the billowing smoke diverted our attention from the oil spilling
into the Gulf of Mexico. The early reports down played the spill. We know the spill is much bigger

than the early BP reports when we read about a dead battery in the blow out equipment and one
failed containment effort after another. To top that off we had to listen to company CEOs blame each other
in Congressional testimony. I list some of the failures of BP because I have not heard politicians question
capitalism or whether it is best way to explore and drill for oil. Nor have I heard media commentary or
anyone in Congress question leasing drilling rights to private companies. Capitalists complain

government is wasteful, inefficient and bureaucratic when private firms have the

incentive to minimize costs to compete with other firms. Minimizing costs also means
ignoring the environmental safety precautions that Congress and the public wants in the
leases, and also working to reduce enforcement. Oil leases are usually discussed as an
example of capitalism, but the continental shelf is the public domain as much as the Washington
Monument and Yellowstone Park. Capitalism requires private ownership with transactions exclusively
between private parties, not the government. When the government contracts with firms in the
construction industry to build roads or drill oil, the buyer side of the transaction is the government .

Leasing the drilling rights on the continental shelf is just one way to recover the oil
Congress and the country decide to take the risk of a spill. Another way is to form a public


corporation like Conrail, Amtrak, the Tennessee Valley Authority or the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Increased Fossil fuel use, especially offshore drilling will

lead to the environment being exploited by big oil
Smith 13(Yves Smith, Yves has been in and around finance for over 30 years as an investment banker, management consultant to
financial institutions across a large range of wholesale banking and trading markets businesses, and a corporate finance advisor, October 16
2013, Michael Klare: Fossil Fuel Euphoria, Hallelujah, Oil and Gas Forever!, Naked Capitalism,, accessed July 8th 2014) This
movement from gloom about our energy future to what can only be called fossil-fuel euphoria may prove to be the hallmark of our peculiar
moment. In a speech this September, for instance, Barry Smitherman, chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission (that states energy

can practically hear the chorus of cheering in Houston and other oil centers but many of the
most exploitable new deposits are located in the U.S . and Canada. As a result add a roll of
regulatory agency), claimed that the Earth possesses a relatively boundless supply of oil and natural gas. Not only that and

drums and a blaring of trumpets the expected boost in energy is predicted to provide the United States with a cornucopia of economic and
political rewards, including industrial expansion at home and enhanced geopolitical clout abroad. The country, exulted Karen Moreau of the
New York State Petroleum Council, another industry cheerleader, is now in a position to become a global superpower on energy. There are
good reasons to be deeply skeptical of such claims, but that hardly matters when they are gaining traction in Washington and on Wall Street.
What were seeing is a sea change in elite thinking on the future availability and attractiveness of fossil fuels. Senior government officials,
including President Obama, have already become infected with this euphoria, as have top Wall Street investors which means it will have a
powerful and longlasting, though largely pernicious, effect on the countrys energy policy, industrial development, and foreign relations.
The speed and magnitude of this shift in thinking has been little short of astonishing. Just a few years ago, we were girding for the imminent
prospect of peak oil, the point at which daily worldwide output would reach its maximum and begin an irreversible decline. This, experts
assumed, would result in a global energy crisis, sky-high oil prices, and severe disruptions to the world economy. Today, peak oil seems a
distant will-o-the-wisp. Experts at the U.S. governments Energy Information Administration (EIA) confidently project that global oil output will
reach 115 million barrels per day by 2040 a stunning 34% increase above the current level of 86 million barrels. Natural gas production is
expected to soar as well, leaping from 113 trillion cubic feet in 2010 to a projected 185 trillion in 2040. These rosy assessments rest to a
surprising extent on a single key assumption: that the United States, until recently a declining energy producer, will experience a sharp
increase in output through the exploitation of shale oil and natural gas reserves through hydro-fracking and other technological innovations.
In a matter of a few years, the trends have reversed, Moreau declared last February. There is a new energy reality of vast domestic

we are able to see

that our energy supply is no longer limited, foreign , and finite; it is American and
abundant. The boost in domestic oil and gas output, it is further claimed, will fuel an
industrial renaissance in the United States with new plants and factories being
built to take advantage of abundant local low-cost energy supplies . The economic
resources of oil and natural gas brought about by advancing technology For the first time in generations ,

consequences of this supply-and-demand revolution are potentially extraordinary, asserted Ed Morse, the head of global commodities
research at Citigroup in New York. Americas gross domestic product, he claimed, will grow by 2% to 3% over the next seven years as a result
of the energy revolution alone, adding as much as $624 billion to the national economy. Even greater gains can be made, Morse and others

developments result in added jobs as many as three million, claims energy
claim, if the U.S. becomes a significant exporter of fossil fuels, particularly in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Not only will

analyst Daniel Yergin but they will also enhance Americas economic status vis--vis its competitors.
U.S. natural gas is abundant and prices are low a third of their level in Europe and a quarter of that in

boost_ing energy-intensive manufacturing in the U.S.,

much to the dismay of competitors in both Europe and Asia. This fossil fuel euphoria has even
Japan, Yergin wrote recently. This is

surfaced in statements by President Obama. For all his talk of climate change perils and the need to invest in renewables, he has also gloated
over the jump in domestic energy production and promised to facilitate further increases. Last year, American oil production reached its
highest level since 2003, he affirmed in March 2011. And for the first time in more than a decade, oil we imported accounted for less than
half of the liquid fuel we consumed. So that was a good trend. To keep reducing that reliance on imports, my administration is encouraging
Money Pouring into Fossil Fuels
This burst of euphoria about fossil fuels and
Americas energy future is guaranteed to have a disastrous impact on the
planet. In the long term, it will make Earth a hotter, far more extreme place to live
by vastly increasing carbon emissions and diverting investment funds from
offshore oil exploration and production.

renewables and green energy to new fossil fuel projects. For all the excitement these
endeavors may be generating, it hardly takes a genius to see that they mean ever more carbon
dioxide heading into the atmosphere and an ever less hospitable planet. The preference
for fossil fuel investments is easy to spot in the industrys trade journals, as well as in recent statistical
data and anecdotal reports of all sorts. According to the reliable International Energy Agency (IEA), private

investment in fossil fuel projects over the next quarter century will
outpace investment in renewable energy by a ratio of three to one. In other words, for
and public

every dollar spent on new wind farms, solar arrays, and tidal power research, three dollars will go into the
development of new oil fields, shale gas operations, and coal mines. From industry sources its clear that

big-money investors are rushing to take advantage of the current boom in

unconventional energy output in the U.S. the climate be damned. The dollars needed
[to develop such projects] have never been larger, commented Maynard Holt, co-president of Houston-

global energy capital river is owing our way . In the either/or equation that
seems to be our energy future, the capital river is rushing into the exploitation
of unconventional fossil fuels, while its slowing to a trickle in the world of the true
based investment bank Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Company. But the money is truly out there.

unconventionals the energy sources that dont add carbon to the atmosphere. This, indeed, was the

inexorable growth in
greenhouse gas emissions of carbon dioxide is likely to eliminate all prospect
of averting the worst effects of climate change. Petro Machismo The new energy
conclusion reached by the IEA, which in 2012 warned that the seemingly

euphoria is also fueling a growing sense that the American superpower, whose inuence has recently
seemed to be on the wane, may soon acquire fresh geopolitical clout through its mastery of the latest
energy technologies. Americas

new energy posture allows us to engage from a

position of greater strength, crowed National Security Adviser Tom Donilon in an April address
at Columbia University. Increased domestic energy output, he explained, will help reduce U.S. vulnerability

affords us a stronger hand in pursuing and

implementing our international security goals . A new elite consensus is forming around
to global supply disruptions and price hikes. It also

the strategic advantages of expanded oil and gas production. In particular, this outlook holds that the

U.S. is benefiting from substantially reduced oil imports from the Middle East by eliminating a
dependency that has led to several disastrous interventions in [the Middle
East] that region and exposed the country to periodic disruptions in oil deliveries, starting with the Arab oil embargo of 1973-74. The
shift in oil sources means the global supply system will become more resilient, our energy supplies will become more secure, and the nation
will have more exibility in dealing with crises, Yergin wrote in the Wall Street Journal. This turnaround, he and other experts claim, is what
allowed Washington to adopt a tougher stance with Tehran in negotiations over Irans nuclear enrichment program. With the U.S. less
dependent on Middle Eastern oil, so goes the argument,

American leaders need not fear Iranian threats

to disrupt the ow of oil through the Persian Gulf to international markets.

The substantial increase in oil production in

the United States, Donilon declared in April, is what allowed Washington to impose tough sanctions on Iranian oil while minimizing the
burdens on the rest of the world. A stance of what could be called petro machismo is growing in Washington, underlying such initiatives as
the presidents widely ballyhooed policy announcement of a pivot from the Middle East to Asia (still largely words backed by only the most
modest of actions) and efforts to constrain Russias international inuence. Ever since Vladimir Putin assumed the presidency of that

, Moscow has sought to sway the behavior of its former Warsaw Pact allies and the
former republics of the Soviet Union by exploiting its dominant energy role in
the region. It offered cheap natural gas to governments willing to follow its
policy dictates, while threatening to cut off supplies to those that werent. Now, some American
strategists hope to reduce Russias clout by helping friendly nations like Poland and
the Baltic states develop their own shale gas reserves and build LNG terminals. These
would allow them to import gas from friendly states, including the U.S. (once
its LNG export capacities are expanded). If we can export some natural gas to Europe
and to Japan and other Asian nations, Karen Moreau suggested in February, we
strengthen our relationships and inuence in those places and perhaps reduce the
inuence of other producers such as Russia . The crucial issue is this: if American elites
continue to believe that increased oil and gas production will provide the U.S. with
a strategic advantage, Washington will be tempted to exercise a stronger

hand when pursuing its international security goals. The result will undoubtedly be
heightened international friction and discord . Is the Euphoria Justified? There is no doubt that the

present fossil fuel euphoria will lead in troubling directions, even if the rosy predictions of rising energy output are, in the long run, likely to
prove both unreliable and unrealistic. The petro machismo types make several interconnected claims: * The worlds fossil fuel reserves are
vast, especially when unconventional sources of fuel Canadian tar sands, shale gas, and the like are included. * The utilization of
advanced technologies, especially fracking, will permit the effective exploitation of a significant share of these untapped reserves (assuming
that governments dont restrict fracking and other controversial drilling activities). * Fossil fuels will continue to supply an enormous share of
global energy requirements for the foreseeable future, even given rising world temperatures, growing public opposition, and other challenges.
Each of these assertions is packed with unacknowledged questions and improbabilities that are impossible to explore thoroughly in an article
To begin with, those virtually boundless untapped
oil reserves have yet to be explored, meaning that its impossible to know if they do, in fact, contain
commercially significant reserves of oil and gas. To offer an apt example, the U.S. Geological Survey, in one of the most widely
cited estimates of untapped energy reserves , has reported that approximately 13% of the worlds
undiscovered oil reserves and 30% percent of its natural gas lie above the Arctic Circle. But this assessment is based on
geological analyses of rock samples, not exploratory drilling. Whether the area actually
of this length. But here are some major areas of doubt.

holds such large reserves will not be known until widespread drilling has occurred. So far, initial Arctic drilling operations, like those off
Greenland, have generally proved disappointing. Similarly, the Energy Information Administration has reported that China possesses vast
shale formations that could harbor substantial reserves of oil and gas. According to a 2013 EIA survey, that countrys technically recoverable
shale gas reserves are estimated at 1,275 trillion cubic feet, more than twice the figure for the United States. Once again, however, the real

To say, then, that global

reserves are boundless is to disguise all the hypotheticals lurking within that description.
extent of those reserves wont be known without extensive drilling, which is only in its beginning stages.

Reality may fall far short of industry claims. The effectiveness of new technologies in exploiting such problematic reserves is also open to
question. True, fracking and other unconventional technologies have already substantially increased the production of hard-to-exploit fuels,
including tar sands, shale gas, and deep-sea reserves. Many experts predict that such gains are likely to be repeated in the future. The EIA,
for example, suggests that U.S. output of shale oil via fracking will jump by 221% over the next 15 years, and natural gas by 164%. The big
question, however, is whether these projected increases will actually come to fruition. While early gains are likely, the odds are that future
growth will come at a far slower pace. As a start, the most lucrative U.S. shale formations in Arkansas, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and
Texas have already experienced substantial exploration and many of the most attractive drilling sites (or plays) are now fully developed.
More fracking, no doubt, will release additional oil and gas, but the record shows that fossil-fuel output tends to decline once the earliest, most
promising reservoirs are exploited. In fact, notes energy analyst Art Berman, several of the more mature shale gas plays are either in decline

Doubts are also multiplying over the potential for

exploiting shale reserves in other parts of the world. Preliminary drilling suggests that many of the shale
or appear to be approaching peak production.

formations in Europe and China possess fewer hydrocarbons and will be harder to develop than those now being exploited in this country. In
Poland, for example, efforts to extract domestic shale reserves have been stymied by disappointing drilling efforts and the subsequent
departure of major foreign firms, including Exxon Mobil and Marathon Oil. Finally, there is a crucial but difficult to assess factor in the future

energy companies and energy states will run into resistance when exploiting
ever more remote (and environmentally sensitive) resource zones. No one
yet knows how much energy industry efforts may be constrained by the
growing opposition of local residents, scientists, environmentalists, and
others who worry about the environmental degradation caused by unconventional
energy extraction and the climate consequences of rising fossil fuel combustion.
Despite industry claims that fracking, tar sands production, and Arctic drilling
can be performed without endangering local residents, harming the
environment, or wrecking the planet, ever more people are coming to the
opposite conclusion and beginning to take steps to protect their perceived interests. In New York State, for example, a
energy equation: the degree to which

fervent anti-fracking oppositional movement has prevented government officials from allowing such activities to begin in the rich Marcellus
shale formation, one of the largest in the world. Although Albany may, in time, allow limited fracking operations there, it is unlikely to permit
large-scale drilling throughout the state. Similarly, an impressive opposition in British Columbia to the proposed Northern Gateway tar sands
pipeline, especially by the native peoples of the region, has put that project on indefinite hold. And growing popular opposition to fracking in
Europe is making itself felt across the region. The European Parliament, for example, recently imposed tough environmental constraints on
the practice. As heat waves and extreme storm activity increase, so will concern over climate change and opposition to wholesale fossil fuel
extraction. The IEA warned of this possibility in the 2012 edition of its World Energy Outlook. Shale gas and other unconventional forms of
natural gas are predicted to provide nearly half the net gain in world gas output over the next 25 years, the report noted. There are, it
added, also concerns about the environmental impact of producing unconventional gas that, if not properly addressed, could halt the
unconventional gas revolution in its tracks. Reaction to that IEA report last November was revealing. Its release prompted a mini-wave of

American media about its prediction that, thanks to the explosion in

energy output, this country would soon overtake Saudi Arabia as the worlds
leading oil producer. In fact, the fossil fuel craze can be said to have started with this claim. None of the hundreds
of articles and editorials written on the subject, however, bothered to discuss
the caveats the report offered or its warnings of planetary catastrophe. As is so often the case
with mass delusions, those caught up in fossil fuel mania have not bothered to think
through the grim realities involved. While industry bigwigs may continue to
ecstatic commentary in the

remain on an energy high, the rest of us will not be so lucky. The accelerated
production and combustion of fossil fuels can have only one outcome: a
severely imperiled planet. Fracking empirically sacrifices communities to the
capitalist drive for Oil resources

Cole et al, 11-11-2013 (Penny Cole, Matt Woresdale, Gerry Gold,

Fracking Capitalism: Action Plans for the Eco-social Crisis
Communities are regarded as obstacles to be swept aside. In October 2013, an editorial in
The Economist urged ministers to forget about using tax breaks or spending money
to encourage people to remain, or businesses to invest, in cities and towns like Hull and
Burnley. This only diverted them away from areas where they would be more
successful. Governments should not try to rescue failing towns, but rather encourage the people who
live in them to escape, said the business magazine. In a debate on fracking in the House of Lords,
Lord Howell (George Osbornes father-in-law) let the cat out of the bag about how the ruling lite see
Britains poorest areas. He started off by saying that whilst fracking might not be
acceptable in the beautiful south-east (he meant Balcombe) it would be fine for
the desolate North East. Then he made it even worse in his so-called apology by saying he
actually meant the unloved North West. Capitalisms view of the future is that
former industrial zones are not for people but for fracking . The accelerating
crisis we are living through today has its origins in the rapid growth from the late
1970s onwards. A collapse of the post-war system of fixed currencies, capital controls, tariffs
and tough regulations had shown that the forces of capitalism could not be
contained within national boundaries. The old order was destroyed and
replaced by corporate- driven globalisation . An entirely new global economy
emerged, alongside a financial system that traded 24 hours a day and paid no heed
to national borders or governments.

The aff's search for new forms of oil is an attempt to

revive the dying capitalist system - they're the
continuation of a 500 year process of violent exploitation
Tom Keefer, 1-21-2009, (The Commoner, " Fossil Fuels, Capitalism, And
Class Struggle",
development of the vast non-conventional tar sands in Alberta, Canada are a lastditch attempt to find a source of fossil fuel energy capable of maintaining and
expanding capitalist economic growth in an era when supplies of
conventional oilthe energy source which powered 20th-century industrialismare peaking
and entering an irreversible period of decline. Despite massive investments in
new technologies of oil discovery and recovery, conventional oil production and non-OPEC
countries has been steadily falling for the past decade or more while the large OPEC
producers have been unable in recent years to significantly boost their own
production. The shift to non- conventional "alternatives" such as the Alberta tar sands
bring with them a host of problemsincluding dramatically increased greenhouse
gas emissions, the poisoning of the water and the destruction of the land, the

dispossession of indigenous peoples, and the exploitation of the vast and

ever-growing pool of domestic and foreign labor all of which sharpen the
contradictions of class struggle and fossil fuel use in 21st-century capitalism.
This article will seek to put the development of the tar sands in a much larger historical
contextthat of the process of capitalist growth and development over the past
500 years. I will suggest that in order for us to truly understand and successfully
oppose the growth of the tar sands into what has been dubbed the largest industrial project
in the history of humanity, we need to develop theoretical perspectives which
address the weaknesses at the core of the divide between most
environmental and class struggle politics today . Our ecological framework has
to gain a class analysis of the historically specificdynamics of capitalism and
its reliance on energy sources, and our class struggle politics has to integrate an
analysis of the importance of the ow of energy and materials to continued
capitalist growth and development. This paper will argue that over the course of its
history, capitalism has faced a number of potentially terminal crises that
have arisen from the consequences of ecological disequilibrium , the resistance of
the exploited and dispossessed, and the way in which particular energy regimes have constrained or

the global capitalist system

stands on the threshold of another such moment of crisis, one which is
intersected by the fault lines of ecological collapse, thermodynamic limits and
the intensification of class struggle caused by these conditions .
enabled capitalist expansion. I am going to suggest that today

Fossil fuels are the largest internal link to capitalism only they provide the resources that enable global
Tom Keefer, 1-21-2009, (The Commoner, " Fossil Fuels, Capitalism, And
Class Struggle",
The capturing and unlocking of fossil fuel energy made it possiblefor
capitalism to go beyond the limitations of biotic energiesdependent upon
solar ows of energy. This in turn made possible the development of capitalist
globalization by unifying national economies and enabling the projection of
economic and military power on a global scale. As Elmar Altvater argued: As
long as as the societal relationship with nature was based on biotic energies,
on the soil and the fruit it bore, onthe speed and range of an ox or horse
drawn cart, on thetonnage, maneuverability and speed of a sailing vessel
andon the art of navigation, the material possibility of overcoming these
limits of space and time was slight and the capacity of creating a world order
remained restricted.3 Altvater suggests that this appropriation of fossil fuel
energy made possible for the first time a true world order in which
themetabolism of humankind, society and nature reached a globalscale.4

Altvater goes so far as to argue that without fossil energiesneither the

process of capitalist production and accumulation nor the modern monetary
world market could exist.

Offshore production is underpinned by a capitalist logic of

commodification that cannot reconcile or account for
environmental degradationthe result is systemic
destruction of ocean space
Martens 11 (Emily, Masters Thesis paper at the University of Miami for a
Masters Degree in Geography and Regional Studies, overseen by Mazen
Labban, Ph.D. and professor of Geography, Terri A. Scandura, Ph.D, Dean of
the Graduate School, Jan Nijman, Ph.D. Professor of Geography, and Anna
Zalik, Ph.D.,Professor of Environmental Sciences, York University, Toronto,
The fusion of energy security and environmental protection concerns has since the energy and
environmental crises of the 1970s forged a policy aimed at creating environmentally safe extraction and
production processes.

The emphasis on cheap energy resources, however, has come

into contradiction with requirements of costly regulation and oversight
practices that are thought to better ensure environmental security . The attempt
to reconcile offshore drilling with concerns about environmental protection during the Nixon and Carter

heated debate developed between proponents of offshore oil drilling who
argue that (unregulated) offshore oil drilling and expanded domestic oil
production in general ensures energy security by making the United States energy
independent and opponents of offshore oil drilling who do not contest the goal of
energy independence but who argue that this should not be at the expense of
the protection of marine ecosystems and coastal economies from the destructive
effects of offshore drilling, regulated or not. The debate, in other words, developed into a
debate between a dominant discourse of energy security and a counter discourse of
environmental security at the core of it were questions of regulation as well as competing
years was torn asunder by the hostility to regulation during the Reagan and Clinton years. As a result,

commercial interests. Though there are various actors and interests within each of these discourses, the
primary tension between proponents and opponents of offshore oil drilling tends to reproduce the tensions
embodied in the larger discourses of energy security and environmental security at different geographical
scales. One of the main arguments of this thesis is that the credence given to either one of these two
security discourses at any given time is the result of broader socio-political forces and the changing

Underlying both seemingly opposed discourses,

however, is a common logic that informs the path they take and the language
they use to establish legitimacy the logic of the commodity an abstract
representation of space that supports this logic. This space, as Lefebvre (2007: 53) points out,
includes the world of commodities, its logic and its worldwide strategies,
as well as the power of money and that of the political state. As will be shown in
ideologies within which they operate.

the following chapters, each of these competing discourses has organized its arguments around the logics

This is not an arbitrary

association but rather the result of specific political developments in the US that
have shaped environmental concerns , and the environment, according to free market
of capitalism to gain public support and federal and local state protections.

principles. Prior to the injection of neoliberal policies of deregulation and

privatization into the environment and discourses on the environment under

the Reagan Administration, the Nixon and Carter Administrations were caught between
an environmental movement, which attempted to create a new perspective
from which human activity could be viewed in light of its often negative impacts on the environment
especially offshore oil drilling as a result of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill and the volatility of the
international oil market which threatened oil imports. The Nixon and Carter strategies attempted to
balance the two agendas through the expansion of domestic oil production in tandem with regulations and
oversight that would monitor the offshore oil industrys compliance with environmental standards. This was
thought and presented as a temporary measure. Ultimately the aim was to create alternative fuels in the
not too distant future to replace oil, in light of evidence and concern that both the production and
consumption of oil were proving to be detrimental to the environment which humans depended on for their

Neoliberal restructuring under the Reagan Administration, however,

promoted a market-based discourse of energy security above, or more precisely
against the discourse of environmental security , advocating reduction of state
oversights and reliance on market signals instead as the more efficient
means to regulate offshore drilling. Environmental security, in the form of
own survival.

government oversight,

became a threat to the accumulation of wealth a source of insecurity.

Instead, environmental security could be entrusted to the multiple interests

operating in the free market. The argument rested on the neoliberal mantra that the
government was not as efficient as private owners and the market in managing and protecting the

As a result, offshore oil drilling activity has since enjoyed lax

regulatory oversight, while day-to-day oil pollution continues to disrupt
various ecological and economic activities that share ocean space.

The affirmative engages in the third-worldification of

North America, a process of complete environmental
destruction and ceding political power to the oil industry
Klare 4/2 Michael Klare, professor of peace and world security studies at
Hampshire College, A New Energy Third World in North America?, Truthout,
April 2nd, 2012,
The curse of oil wealth is a well-known phenomenon in Third World petro-states where millions of lives
are wasted in poverty and the environment is ravaged, while tiny elites rake in the energy dollars and

North America has been repeatedly hailed as the

planets twenty-first-century new Saudi Arabia for tough energy -- deep-sea oil, Canadian tar
corruption rules the land. Recently,

sands, and fracked oil and natural gas. But heres a question no one considers: Will the oil curse become
as familiar on this continent in the wake of a new American energy rush as it is in Africa and elsewhere?

Will North America, that is, become not just the next boom continent for energy bonanzas, but a
new energy Third World? Once upon a time, the giant U.S. oil companies -- Chevron, Exxon, Mobil,
and Texaco -- got their start in North America, launching an oil boom that lasted a century and made the
U.S. the planets dominant energy producer. But most of those companies have long since turned
elsewhere for new sources of oil. Eager to escape ever-stronger environmental restrictions and dying oil
fields at home, the energy giants were naturally drawn to the economically and environmentally wide-open
producing areas of the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America -- the Third World -- where oil deposits were
plentiful, governments compliant, and environmental regulations few or nonexistent. Here, then, is the
energy surprise of the twenty-first century: with operating conditions growing increasingly difficult in the

major firms are now ocking back to North America. To exploit

previously neglected reserves on this continent, however, Big Oil will have to
overcome a host of regulatory and environmental obstacles. It will, in other words, have to use its
global South, the

version of deep-pocket persuasion to convert the United States into the

functional equivalent of a Third World petro-state . Knowledgeable observers are already
noting the first telltale signs of the oil industrys Third-Worldification of the United States. Wilderness
areas from which the oil companies were once barred are being opened to
energy exploitation and other restraints on invasive drilling operations are
being dismantled. Expectations are that, in the wake of the 2012 election season, environmental
regulations will be rolled back even further and other protected areas made available for development. In
the process, as has so often been the case with Third World petro-states, the rights and wellbeing of local
citizens will be trampled underfoot. Welcome to the Third World of Energy Up until 1950, the United States
was the worlds leading oil producer, the Saudi Arabia of its day. In that year, the U.S. produced
approximately 270 million metric tons of oil, or about 55% of the worlds entire output. But with a postwar
recovery then in full swing, the world needed a lot more energy while Americas most accessible oil fields -though still capable of growth -- were approaching their maximum sustainable production levels. Net U.S.
crude oil output reached a peak of about 9.2 million barrels per day in 1970 and then went into decline
(until very recently). This prompted the giant oil firms, which had already developed significant footholds in
Indonesia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela, to scour the global South in search of new reserves to exploit
-- a saga told with great gusto in Daniel Yergins epic history of the oil industry, The Prize. Particular
attention was devoted to the Persian Gulf region, where in 1948 a consortium of American companies -Chevron, Exxon, Mobil, and Texaco -- discovered the worlds largest oil field, Ghawar, in Saudi Arabia. By
1975, Third World countries were producing 58% of the worlds oil supply, while the U.S. share had
dropped to 18%. Environmental concerns also drove this search for new reserves in the global South. On
January 28, 1969, a blowout at Platform A of a Union Oil Company offshore field in Californias Santa
Barbara Channel produced a massive oil leak that covered much of the area and laid waste to local wildlife.
Coming at a time of growing environmental consciousness, the spill provoked an outpouring of public
outrage, helping to inspire the establishment of Earth Day, first observed one year later. Equally important,
it helped spur passage of various legislative restraints on drilling activities, including the National
Environmental Policy Act of 1970, the Clean Water Act of 1972, and the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974. In
addition, Congress banned new drilling in waters off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and in the eastern Gulf
of Mexico near Florida. During these years, Washington also expanded areas designated as wilderness or
wildlife preserves, protecting them from resource extraction. In 1952, for example, President Eisenhower
established the Arctic National Wildlife Rangeand, in 1980, this remote area of northeastern Alaska was
redesignated by Congress as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Ever since the discovery of oil in
the adjacent Prudhoe Bay area, energy firms have been clamoring for the right to drill in ANWR, only to be
blocked by one or another president or house of Congress. For the most part, production in Third World
countries posed no such complications. The Nigerian government, for example, has long welcomed foreign
investment in its onshore and offshore oil fields, while showing little concern over the despoliation of its
southern coastline, where oil company operations have produced a massive environmental disaster. As
Adam Nossiter of the New York Times described the resulting situation, The Niger Delta, where the
[petroleum] wealth underground is out of all proportion with the poverty on the surface, has endured the
equivalent of the Exxon Valdez spill every year for 50 years by some estimates. As vividly laid out by
Peter Maass in Crude World, a similar pattern is evident in many other Third World petro-states where
anything goes as compliant government officials -- often the recipients of hefty bribes or other oil-company
favors -- regularly look the other way. The companies, in turn, dont trouble themselves over the human
rights abuses perpetrated by their foreign government partners -- many of them dictators, warlords, or
feudal potentates. But times change. The Third World increasingly isnt what it used to be. Many countries
in the global South are becoming more protective of their environments, ever more inclined to take ever
larger cuts of the oil wealth of their own countries, and ever more inclined to punish foreign companies
that abuse their laws. In February 2011, for example, a judge in the Ecuadorean Amazon town of Lago
Agrioordered Chevron to pay $9 billion in damages for environmental harm caused to the region in the
1970s by Texaco (which the company later acquired). Although the Ecuadorians are unlikely to collect a
single dollar from Chevron, the case is indicative of the tougher regulatory climate now facing these
companies in the developing world. More recently, in a case resulting from an oil spill at an offshore field, a
judge in Brazil has seized the passports of 17 employees of Chevron and U.S. drilling-rig operator
Transocean, preventing them from leaving the country. In addition, production is on the decline in some
developing countries like Indonesia and Gabon, while others have nationalized their oil fields or narrowed
the space in which private international firms can operate. During Hugo Chvezs presidency, for example,
Venezuela has forced all foreign firms to award a majority stake in their operations to the state oil
company,Petrleos de Venezuela S.A. Similarly, the Brazilian government, under former President Luiz
Incio Lula da Silva, instituted a rule that all drilling operations in the new pre-salt fields in the Atlantic
Ocean -- widely believed to be the biggest oil discovery of the twenty-first century -- be managed by the
state-controlled firm, Petrleo de Brasil (Petrobras). Fracking Our Way to a Toxic Planet Such pressures in
the Third World have forced the major U.S. and European firms -- BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil,

Royal Dutch Shell, and Total of France -- to look elsewhere for new sources of oil and natural gas.
Unfortunately for them, there arent many places left in the world that possess promising hydrocarbon

the most
attractive new energy markets now lie in Canada and the United States , or in
reserves and also welcome investment by private energy giants. Thats why some of

the waters off their shores. As a result, both are experiencing a remarkable uptick in fresh investment from

Both countries still possess substantial oil and gas

deposits, but not of the easy variety (deposits close to the surface, close to shore, or
easily accessible for extraction). All that remains are tough energy reserves (deep
underground, far offshore, hard to extract and process). To exploit these, the energy
companies must deploy aggressive technologies likely to cause extensive
damage to the environment and in many cases human health as well . They must
the major international firms.

also find ways to gain government approval to enter environmentally protected areas now off limits. The
formula for making Canada and the U.S. the Saudi Arabia of the twenty-first century is grim but relatively

environmental protections will have to be eviscerated and those who

stand in the way of intensified drilling , from landowners to local environmental protection
groups, bulldozed out of the way. Put another way, North America will have to be ThirdWorldified. Consider the extraction of shale oil and gas, widely considered the most crucial aspect of

Big Oils current push back into the North American market. Shale formations in Canada and the U.S. are
believed to house massive quantities of oil and natural gas, and their accelerated extraction is already

the regions reliance on imported petroleum. Both energy sources, however, can
only be extracted through a process known as hydraulic fracturing (hydro-fracking, or
helping reduce

just plain fracking) that uses powerful jets of water in massive quantities to shatter underground shale
formations, creating fissures through which the hydrocarbons can escape. In addition, to widen these

the fracking water has to be mixed

with a variety of often poisonous solvents and acids. This technique produces
massive quantities of toxic wastewater, which can neither be returned to the
environment without endangering drinking water supplies nor easily stored
fissures and ease the escape of the oil and gas they hold,

and decontaminated. The rapid expansion of hydro-fracking would be problematic under the best of
circumstances, which these arent. Many of the richest sources of shale oil and gas, for instance, are
located in populated areas of Texas, Arkansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. In fact, one of the most
promising sites, the Marcellus formation, abuts New York Citys upstate watershed area. Under such
circumstances, concern over the safety of drinking water should be paramount ,
and federal legislation, especially the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, should theoretically give the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the power to oversee (and potentially ban) any procedures that

oil companies seeking to increase profits by maximizing

the utilization of hydro-fracking banded together, put pressure on Congress, and managed
to get itself exempted from the 1974 laws provisions. In 2005, under heavy lobbying from then
Vice President Dick Cheney -- formerly the CEO of oil services contractor Halliburton -- Congress
passed the Energy Policy Act, which prohibited the EPA from regulating hydrofracking via the Safe Drinking Water Act , thereby eliminating a significant impediment to
endanger water supplies. However,

wider use of the technique. Third Worldification Since then, there has been a virtual stampede to the shale
regions by the major oil companies, which have in many cases devoured smaller firms that pioneered the
development of hydro-fracking. (In 2009, for example, ExxonMobil paid $31 billion to acquire XTO Energy,
one of the leading producers of shale gas.) As the extraction of shale oil and gas has accelerated, the

To successfully exploit promising shale formations,

energy firms must insert many wells, since each fracking operation can only
extend several hundred feet in any direction, requiring the establishment of noisy,
polluting, and potentially hazardous drilling operations in well-populated rural
and suburban areas. While drilling has been welcomed by some of these communities as a source of
industry has faced other problems.
for instance,

added income, many have vigorously opposed the invasion, seeing it as an assault on neighborhood
peace, health, and safety. In an effort to protect their quality of life, some Pennsylvania communities, for
example, have adopted zoning laws that ban fracking in their midst. Viewing this as yet another intolerable
obstacle, the industry has put intense pressure on friendly members of the state legislature to adopt a law

depriving most local jurisdictions of the right to exclude fracking operations. We

have been sold

out to the gas industry, plain and simple, said Todd Miller, a town commissioner in South Fayette
Township who opposed the legislation. If the energy industry has its way in North America, there will be
many more Todd Millers complaining about the way their lives and worlds have been sold out to the

energy firms
seek to overcome resistance to expanded drilling in areas once protected from
energy barons. Similar battles are already being fought elsewhere in North America, as

such activity. In Alaska, for example, the industry is fighting in the courts and in Congress to allow drilling
in coastal areas, despite opposition from Native American communities which worry that vulnerable marine
animals and their traditional way of life will be put at risk. This summer, Royal Dutch Shell is expected to
begin test drilling in the Chukchi Sea, an area important to several such communities. And this is just the

the industry is seeking to

eliminate virtually all environmental restraints imposed since the 1960s and open
vast tracts of coastal and wilderness areas , including ANWR, to intensive drilling. It
beginning. To gain access to additional stores of oil and gas,

also seeks the construction of the much disputed Keystone XL pipeline, which is to transport synthetic
crude oil made from Canadian tar sands -- a particularly dirty and environmentally devastating form of
energy which has attracted substantial U.S. investment -- to Texas and Louisiana for further processing.

the preferred U.S.

energy strategy would include greater access to areas that are currently off
limits, a regulatory and permitting process that supported reasonable
timelines for development, and immediate approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. To achieve
According to Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute (API),

these objectives, the API, which claims to represent more than 490 oil and natural gas companies, has
launched a multimillion-dollar campaign to sway the 2012 elections, dubbed Vote 4 Energy. While
describing itself as nonpartisan, the API-financed campaign seeks to discredit and marginalize any
candidate, including President Obama, who opposes even the mildest version of its drill-anywhere agenda.
There [are] two paths that we can take on energy policy, the Vote 4 Energy Web site proclaims. One
path leads to more jobs, higher government revenues and greater U.S. energy security -- which can be
achieved by increasing oil and natural gas development right here at home. The other path would put jobs,
revenues and our energy security at risk. This message will be broadcast with increasing frequency as
Election Day nears. According to the energy industry, we are at a fork in the road and can either chose a
path leading to greater energy independence or to ever more perilous energy insecurity. But there is

on one path, the United States will

increasingly come to resemble a Third World petro-state, with compliant
government leaders, an increasingly money-ridden and corrupt political
system, and negligible environmental and health safeguards; on the other,
which would also involve far greater investment in the development of
renewable alternative energies, it would remain a First World nation with
strong health and environmental regulations and robust democratic
institutions. How we characterize our energy predicament in the coming decades and what path we
another way to characterize that choice:

ultimately select will in large measure determine the fate of this nation.

Warming/Bio-d/Climate Change
Centering on climate change trades off with a focus on the
neoliberal social forces driving it this displaces nonwarming environmental crises and makes warming
Crist, professor of Science and Technology in Society at
Virginia Tech, 2006
(Eileen, Beyond the Climate Crisis: a Critique of Climate Change Discourse, Telos, Winter, pg.
29- 55, Online)

Yet the deepening realization of the threat of climate change, virtually in the wake
of stratospheric ozone depletion, also suggests that dealing with global problems
treaty-by-treaty is no solution to the planets predicament . Just as the risks of
unanticipated ozone depletion have been followed by the dangers of a long underappreciated climate
crisis, so it would be nave not to anticipate another (perhaps even entirely unforeseeable) catastrophe

if greenhouse gases were

restricted successfully by means of technological shifts and innovations, the
root cause of the ecological crisis as a whole would remain
unaddressed. The destructive patterns of production, trade, extraction,
land-use, waste proliferation, and consumption, coupled with population
growth, would go unchallenged, continuing to run down the integrity, beauty,
and biological richness of the Earth. Industrial-consumer civilization has
entrenched a form of life that admits virtually no limits to its expansiveness
within, and perceived entitlement to, the entire planet.19 But questioning
this civilization is by and large sidestepped in climate-change
discourse, with its single-minded quest for a global-warming techno-fix.20
Instead of confronting the forms of social organization that are causing the
climate crisisamong numerous other catastrophesclimate-change
literature often focuses on how global warming is endangering the culprit,
and agonizes over what technological means can save it from impending
tipping points.21 The dominant frame of climate change funnels cognitive
and pragmatic work toward specifically addressing global warming, while
muting a host of equally monumental issues. Climate change looms
so huge on the environmental and political agenda today that it has
contributed to downplaying other facets of the ecological crisis : mass
extinction of species, the devastation of the oceans by industrial fishing,
continued old-growth deforestation, topsoil losses and desertification,
endocrine disruption, incessant development, and so on, are made to appear
secondary and more forgiving by comparison with dangerous anthropogenic
interference with the climate system. In what follows, I will focus specifically on how
arising after the (hoped-for) resolution of the above two. Furthermore ,

climate-change discourse encourages the continued marginalization of the biodiversity crisisa crisis that
has been soberly described as a holocaust,22 and which despite decades of scientific and environmentalist
pleas remains a virtual non-topic in society, the mass media, and humanistic and other academic
literatures. Several works on climate change (though by no means all) extensively examine the

predates dangerous greenhouse-gas buildup by decades , centuries, or longer,
and will not be stopped by a technological resolution of global warming.
consequences of global warming for biodiversity, 23 but rarely is it mentioned that

Climate change is poised to exacerbate species and ecosystem losses

indeed, is doing so already. But while technologically preempting the worst of
climate change may temporarily avert some of those losses, such a resolution
of the climate quandary will not put an end towill barely addressthe
ongoing destruction of life on Earth.

Empirics show that the elite loop out of effective climate

change actions in order to continue their growing efforts
Tanuro, a certified agriculturalist and eco-socialist environmentalist, writes for La gauche, (the
monthly of the LCR-SAP, Belgian section of the Fourth International) Sunday 28 March 2010, Mobilization

for the climate and anti-capitalist strategy C L I M AT E C H A N G E / 1 6 T H W O R L D C O N G R E S S

This is enough to understand and to make people understand that

humanity is facing a gigantic


A challenge of a completely new nature, which will dominate the twenty-first century. A
challenge which contributes to determining the conditions of intervention of revolutionary Marxists and of
the workers movement in general. Capitalism cannot rise to this double challenge.
Neither on the social level, nor on the environmental level. More exactly: it cannot rise to it in a way that is

The reason for this incapacity is the

same on the two levels: the purpose of capitalism is not the production of use values for the
satisfaction of finite human needs, but the potentially infinite production of value by
many and competing capitals, organised around rival states. A capitalism
without growth is a contradiction in terms, says Schumpeter. The relative dematerialization of
acceptable for humanity (I will come back later on this).

production is certainly a reality, but it is more than compensated for by the increase in the mass of goods

This accumulation dynamic constitutes the fundamental reason for which

green capitalism is an illusion, in the same way as is social capitalism. There are green
capitals, without any doubt, there are even more and more, and they generate considerable surplus value.

they do not replace dirty capitals: they are added to them, and the latter, because they
dominate, determine the rhythms, the technological choices and the
modalities of introduction of the former. The recent past does not leave any doubt on this
subject. Look at Barack Obama: at the time of the presidential campaign, he promised to make the
polluters pay, in order to massively support green energies (150 billion dollars in 10 years) and to
help the most underprivileged layers in society to handle the increase in the price of
energy. This policy was supposed to create five million jobs . But along came
the subprime crisis and of all these intentions, there remains nothing. In the USA as in the EU, the
polluters will receive rights to pollute for nothing, sell them at a
profit and pass on the price to the consumers. Capitalist climate policy
reinforces the capitalists who are destroying the climate. Thus we can see in action the power
of the fossil energy lobbies and the sectors which are linked to them, such as cars, shipbuilding,

aeronautics, petrochemicals and others. This confirms the Marxist analysis according to which monopolies
have the power to slow down the equalization of rates of profit. In the case of fossil fuels,

all the stronger

this power is

in that it is anchored in the ownership of deposits, mines etc, therefore in ground

rent. The result is laid out before our eyes:

in all countries, climate plans do not

represent even half of what would be necessary in terms of reduction of
greenhouse gases emissions. Moreover, these plans are deepening social inequality and are
accompanied by a headlong ight into dangerous technologies: nuclear energy, the massive production of
biofuels and the capture and geological sequestration of CO2 (supposed to make coal clean)

Focusing on the endpoint of the ecological crisis

precludes understanding of its underlying capitalist
causes makes repeated environmental destruction
Swyngedouw 6 (Erik, Department of Geography @ Manchester, Urban and Landscape
Perspectives 9, 2, p.185-205, September)

The inability to take natures seriously is dramatically illustrated

by the controversy over the degree to which disturbing
environmental change is actually taking place and the risks or dangers
associated with it. Lomborgs The Sceptical Environmentalist captures one side of this controversy in all
its phantasmagorical perversity (Lomborg, 1998), while climate change doomsday pundits represent
the other. Both sides of the debate argue from an imaginary position of the presumed existence of a
dynamic balance and equilibrium, the point of good nature, but one side claims that the world is
veering off the correct path, while the other side (Lomborg and other sceptics) argues that we are still

With our gaze firmly fixed on capturing an

imaginary idealised Nature, the controversy further solidifies our
conviction of the possibility of a harmonious, balanced, and
fundamentally benign ONE Nature if we would just get our
interaction with it right, an argument blindly (and stubbornly) fixed on the question of
where Natures rightful point of benign existence resides. This futile debate, circling around
an assumedly centred, known, and singular Nature, certainly
permits -- in fact invites -- imagining ecological catastrophe at some
distant point (global burning (or freezing) through climate change, resource depletion, death by
overpopulation). Indeed, imagining catastrophe and fantasising about the
final ecological Armageddon seems considerably easier for most
environmentalists than envisaging relatively small changes in the
socio-political and cultural-economic organisation of local and global life
here and now. Or put differently, the worlds premature ending in a climatic
Armageddon seems easier to imagine (and sell to the public) than a
transformation of (or end to) the neo-liberal capitalist order that keeps on
pretty much on natures course.

practicing expanding energy use and widening and deepening its ecological footprint.

Massive change is needed to solve climate change only an

end to capitalism can solve
Foster et al (professor of sociology at the University of Oregon; assistant
professor of sociology at North Carolina State University; associate professor of
sociology at the University of Oregon) 9
(Foster, J. B., Clark, B. and York, R. (2009), The Midas Effect: A Critique of Climate
Change Economics. Development and Change, 40: 10851097)

Some argue today that the speed and intensity of the ecological
threat leaves us with no choice but to stick with the existing system
and embrace its limited and myopic solutions to environmental problems: such strategies as cap and trade carbon
markets and market-driven technological silver bullets. The fantastic nature of these strategies reects the fact that
they conform to the Midas Effect of mainstream economics: environmental change must conform to the bottom
line of capital accumulation. In fact, where adopted, carbon markets have accomplished little to reduce carbon
emissions. This has to do with numerous factors, not least of all provisions for nations to buy out of the actual

The idea that technology can solve the global

environmental problem, as a kind of deus ex machine without changes in social relations,
belongs to the area of fantasy and science fiction. Thomas Friedman (2008: 1867)
reductions in various ways.

provides a vision of green industrial revolution in hisHot, Flat, and Crowded in which he repeatedly tells his readers

that if given abundant, clean, reliable, and cheap electrons, we could move the world and end all ecological
problems. Gregg Easterbrook (1995: 6878), in what he calls environmental realism, argues that even if we destroy
this biosphere we can terraform Mars so humanity's existence is not necessarily impaired by environmental
destruction. The very desperation of such establishment arguments, which seek to address the present-day
environmental problem without confronting the reality of capitalism, highlights the need for more radical measures
in relation to climate change and the ecological crisis as a whole. Especially noteworthy in this respect is Hansen's
carbon tax proposal, and global contraction-conversion strategies. In place of carbon markets, which invariably
include various ways to buy out of emissions reductions (registering reductions while actually increasing emissions),
Hansen (2008a) proposes a carbon tax for the United States to be imposed at well-head and point of entry, aimed at
bringing carbon dioxide emissions down to near zero, with 100 per cent of the revenue from the tax being deposited
as monthly dividends directly into the bank accounts of the public on a per person basis (with children receiving half
shares). Not all carbon taxes of course are radical measures. But Hansen's emergency strategy, with its monthly
dividends, is designed to keep carbon in the ground and at the same time to appeal to the general public. It
explicitly circumvents both the market and state power, in order to block those who desire to subvert the process. In
this, the hope is to establish a mass popular constituency for combating climate change by promoting social
redistribution of wealth toward those with smaller carbon footprints (the larger part of the population). Hansen
insists that any serious attempt to protect the climate means going against Big Coal. An important step would be to
declare a moratorium on new coal-fired power stations, which he describes as death factories since the carbon
emissions they produce contribute to escalating extinction rates (as well as polluting regional environments and
directly impairing human health) (Hansen, 2009). He argues that we need to leave as much coal as possible in the
ground and to close existing coal-fired power stations if we are to prevent catastrophic environmental change. From
a global standpoint, ecological degradation is inuenced by the structure and dynamics of a world system
hierarchically divided into numerous nation states, competing with each other both directly and via their
corporations. In an attempt to counter carbon imperialism, Anil Agarwal and Sunita Narain (1991) propose that
carbon emissions of nations should be determined on an equal per capita basis, rooted in what is allowable within

The global North, with its relatively smaller

population in contrast to the South, has used a disproportionate
amount of the atmospheric commons, given its immense carbon
emissions. Thus Tom Athanasiou and Paul Baer (2002) and other climate justice activists propose a process of
the shared atmosphere.

contraction and convergence. The rich nations of the North would be required to reduce (contract) their emissions of
greenhouse gases to appropriate levels as determined by the atmospheric carbon target. Given global inequalities,
the nations of the South would be allowed to increase their emissions gradually to a limited extent but only if a
nation had a per capita carbon emission rate below the acceptable level established by the target. This would
create a world converging toward equal and low, per capita allotments (Athanasiou and Baer, 2002: 84). Today
contraction and convergence would necessarily aim at stabilizing atmospheric carbon dioxide at 350 ppm, in

rich nations would have

to reduce their carbon emissions very rapidly by levels approaching
100 per cent, while a massive global effort would be needed to help
countries in the global South move toward emissions stabilization as
conformity with scientific indications. Such a proposal would mean that the

well, while not jeopardizing sustainable human development. Such a process of contraction and convergence would
require that the global North pay the ecological debt that it has accrued through using up the bulk of the
atmospheric commons, by carrying the main cost of mitigation globally and aiding nations of the South in adapting

the radical proposals discussed above, although

present the issue of revolutionary change. Their
implementation would require a popular revolt against the system
itself. A movement (or movements) powerful enough to implement
such changes on the necessary scale might well be powerful
enough to implement a full-scale social-ecological revolution . In fact,
humanity cannot expect to reach 350 ppm and avoid
planetary climatic disaster except through a major global
social transformation, in line with the greatest social
revolutions in human history. This would require not simply a
change in productive forces but also in productive relations,
to negative climate effects. In reality,
ostensibly transition strategies,

necessitating a green cultural revolution. The answer to today's social and environmental crisis, as Lewis Mumford
argued inThe Condition of Man (1973: 41923), lies in the creation of the organic person, or a system of
sustainable human development. This means the creation of cultural forms that present the opportunity for balance
in the human personality. Rather than promoting the asocial traits of humanity, the emphasis would be on nurturing
the social and collective characteristics. Each human being would be in dynamic interaction with every part of his

Biodiversity is a construct of biotechnological capitalism,

organisms are the workhorses of the ocean
Stefan Helmreich 07, Anthropology Professor at MIT, 2007, Blue-green
Capital, Biotechnological Circulation and an Oceanic Imaginary: A Critique of
Biopolitical Economy, BioSocieties Journal,
But the primary biotic substrate imagined for biotech capital accumulation, at
least in the formal proceedings of the conference, was biodiversity,
described by Eric Mathur, from the San Diego-based biotech firm Diversa, as
the basic building block for biotechnology. Because the ocean constitutes
the majority of Earths biosphere, marine biotechnologists imagine marine
biodiversity to be immenseand largely undiscovered. Marine biologist
William Fenical, from Scripps Oceanographic Institute, articulated this view in
an interview in Discover. A full-page photo showing Fenical holding a sea fan
against his aloha shirt has him declaring, The oceans right there, Its diverse
as hell, and its waiting for us (Mestel,1999: 75).This enthusiasm for diversity
is a key sentiment animating biotech capitalism. Since its coinage,
biodiversity has become infectiously polyvalent. Cori Hayden lists meanings it
has accreted: an ecological workhorse, essential raw material for evolution, a
sustainable economic resource, the source of aesthetic and ecological value,
of option and existence value, a global heritage, genetic capital, the key to
the survival of life itself (2003: 52).For marine biotechnologists in America,
marine biodiversity represents a frontier form of biodiversity: healing waters
writ large, full of new genes awaiting amplification, delivering what marine
microbiologist Rita Colwell (director of NSF 19982004) early on called
entirely new harvests from the sea (1984: 3). Insofar as humans make use
of this new nature by capitalizing it, the prevailing sentiment goes, they must
do so sustainably by pro-tecting diversity, understood as a positive value.
No wonder a biotech company named itself Diversa. Biological
oceanographer Paul Falkowski from Rutgers University, in his conference
lecture, was impatient with such views. Marine biotechnology, he said, is
fundamentally idea-limited. We dont think in terms of an array of products
and this is because most of us are in academia. More, marine biologists
always want to work with their favorite organisms, because theyve learned
to sentimentalize nature, especially the sea. We have to look closely, he said,
at microbes, the workhorses of the ocean. Academia and industry must work
together; practitioners must recognize thatFalkowski underscored the point
by shouting itMarkets are not sentimental!

Creating a consensus over warming using the idea that

there is a threat reinforces the squo and promotes
Peter Berglez and Ulrika Olausson, Professors of Social Sciences at
Orebro University, October 15, 2013, The Post-political Condition of Climate
Change: An Ideology Approach, Taylor and Francis //RX

The belief in climate science and its general conclusion that climate
change is real and human-caused is a necessary component of
establishing the consensual understanding of a climate threat. It is
empirically demonstrated below how this consent also builds on
ideological naturalizations. When the scientific theories, arguments, and
conclusions become naturalized, they turn into something beyond rational
questioning that does not seem to need further evidence. This belief in the
anthropogenic factor appears in the focus groups in scientifically informed
and enlightened discussions; but also figures in the uncritical and less
reective conversations which mostly refer to what the experts say. The
most obvious kind of naturalization of climate change is to defend
and confirm its anthropogenic character without any clear
references to science. . Its a matter of our having destroyed our planet.
And that its gotten to where it cant be stopped. We cant get rid of all the
cars and... factories... . factories and all that... I: So are we the ones who have
caused this climate change? . Definitely. (Two women, group B) POSTPOLITICAL CONDITION OF CLIMATE CHANGE 61 I: What do you think are the
causes of climate change? . Well, its all the emissions and its... well, its
everything thats spewed out into the air. Because its crazy, really, if you
start thinking about it... how much one single truck pumps out in one day.
And so, if you count how many trucks we have in this city, and how many
cities and so on, its not a little... . So its clear that its us, human beings,
whove ruined everything. Completely clear... (Woman, group B) Science is
always characterized by an element of uncertaintythis is built into its very
rationale. However, in the naturalization of climate change, elements of
scientific uncertainty have been washed away, and the scientific hypotheses
become univocal and consensual truths: it is completely clear (Woman,
group B); the changes... are only human-created (Woman, group H); it
has never ever happened so rapidly (Woman, group H). A scientific
conclusion such as the one about human-induced climate change has
reached the ideological level when its sources and origins no longer have to
be concretized but operate as an abstract authoritative voice. . It hasnt been
confirmed whether its... how should I put it... whether its our fault or not.
There are probably many large corporations that say that it isnt caused by
our carbon dioxide emissions. But I still think it probably is, because when it
comes to the greenhouse effect, theres evidence that it functions in such a
way as to cause warming. That makes it hard to deny, I think. (Woman, group
D) . So I believe in natural causes. . Its a bit... for the moment it could be
people, you know? But in the long run its probably... . ...nature. . But there
are quite a lot of emissions from mainly airplanes, from what Ive heard. This
must have some effect, right? (Three men, group F) In the excerpts above,
some objections are raised to the dominant idea about the causes of climate
change, but the reasoning still leads to articulations such as theres
evidence and this must have some effect. Arguments about, and evidence
of, the anthropogenic character of climate change have abandoned their
scientific origins and become deeply embeddednaturalizedin everyday
cognition and discourse; they have become common sense. Another
empirical sign of climate consensus arising through ideological processes is
the development of private beliefs based on extra-scientific or semi-scientific
reasoning, mixed with the very feeling or idea that climate change is human-

made. It seems as if one decides and/or chooses to believe in it in the same

sense that one might believe in, for instance, the nation, monarchy, or God. .
I believe that its we humans. . Its humans, I believe. . Its us. And all our
needs. . Our welfare. . Mm. I think so too, actually. (Four women, group G) .
Well, I believe that because we human beings are the ones who have been
having an effect, that climate change is due to the consequences of our
behavior... It doesnt feel like its something natural. (Woman, group I) These
kinds of utterances and standpoints might perhaps be seen as
important prerequisites for radical climate action. However, in our
empirical material, which does not include radical environmentalists,
there is no visible correlation between belief in climate science and
a more radical political view of how the climate threat ought to be
mitigated. We would argue that the proliferation of naturalizations of
climate science among the majority of the population also leads to a
neutralization of climate change as a radical political issue. Along with
the mainstreaming of climate science in society in terms of consensual
climate belief, the climate issue moves beyond the purview of radical
ecology. When climate science becomes the headache and concern of society
as a whole, it also expands into a more diverse field where different interests
are supposed to interact and get along, compromises are to be established,
and, as a consequence, the radical conictual dimension of climate change is
neutralized. Thus, the more climate science is embraced by all of
society, by rightists and leftists, by the young and the elderly, the more
diluted its political dimension becomes. Here, it is important to pay
attention to the emphasis on the particular causes of climate
change, such as trucks, cars, factories, airplanes, noted
above, and how this emphasis simultaneously represses the singular
Cause, i.e., the totality of capitalism. Thus, what tends to precede
the political neutralization process is political fragmentation and
particularization. Climate discourse is permeated by a post-political
rationale that allows us to connect our climate scientific belief to a
pluralistic smorgasbord of concernsthe specific CO2 emissions
emanating from cars and trucks, food, tourism, construction, agriculture,
travel, etc.and thereby also to postpone our engagement in the
universal cause (the prevailing totality), which is a much more
disconcerting and demanding kind of political commitment.

Climate change apocalyptic rhetoric results in serial policy

failure and masks capitalism, which is the root cause of
environmental depletion
Also an externalization da
Cap link
Nuclear power link
Erik Swyngedouw, University of Manchester professor of Environment and
Development, 2010, Apocalypse Forever?: Post-political Populism and the
Spectre of Climate Change, Sagepub //RX
Environmental politics and debates over sustainable futures in the
face of pending environmental catastrophe signal a range of populist
maneuvers that infuse the post-political post-democratic condition. In

this part, we shall chart the characteristics of populism (see, among others,
Canovan, 1999; 2005; Laclau, 2005; Mudde, 2004; Zizek, 2006a) as they are
expressed in mainstream climate concerns. In other words, to the extent that
consensual climate change imaginaries, arguments and policies reflect
processes of de- politicization, the former are sustained by a series of
decidedly populist gestures. Here, I shall summarize the particular ways in
which climate change expresses some of the classic tenets of populism. First,
the climate change conundrum is not only portrayed as global, but is
constituted as a universal humanitarian threat. We are all potential victims.
THE Environment and THE People, Humanity as a whole in a material
and philosophical manner, are invoked and called into being. Humanity (as
well as large parts of the non-human world) is under threat from climatic
catastrophes. However, the people here are not constituted as
heterogeneous political subjects, but as universal victims, suffering
from processes beyond their control. As such, populism cuts across the
idiosyn- crasies of different, heterogeneously constituted, differentially acting,
and often antagonistic human and non-human natures; it silences
ideological and other constitutive social differences and disavows
conflicts of interests by distilling a common threat or challenge to both
Nature and Humanity. As Zizek puts it: . . . populism occurs when a series of
particular democratic demands [in this case, a good environment, a retrofitted climate, a series of socio-environmen- tally mitigating actions] is
enchained in a series of equivalences, and this enchainment produces
people as the universal political subject . . . and all different particular
struggles and antagonisms appear as part of a global antagonistic
struggle between us (people) and them [in this case it, i.e. CO2].
(Zizek, 2006a: 553) Second, this universalizing claim of the pending
catastrophe is socially homogenizing. Although geographical and social
differences in terms of effects are clearly recognized and detailed, these
differences are generally mobilized to further reinforce the global
threat that faces the whole of humankind (see Hulme, 2008). It is this
sort of argumentation that led the latest report of the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to infer that the poor will be hit first and
hardest by climate change (IPCC, 2009), which is of course a correct assertion
the poor are by definition ill- equipped to deal with any sort of change
beyond their control but the report continues that, therefore, in the name of
the poor, climate change has to be tackled urgently. A third characteristic of
environmental apocalyptic thought is that it reinforces the nature
society dichotomy and the causal power of nature to derail
civilizations. It is this process that Neil Smith refers to as nature- washing:
Nature-washing is a process by which social transformations of
nature are well enough acknowledged, but in which that socially
changed nature becomes a new super determinant of our social fate.
It might well be societys fault for changing nature, but it is the
consequent power of that nature that brings on the apocalypse. The
causal power of nature is not compromised but would seem to be augmented
by social injections into that nature. (2008: 245) While the partanthropogenic process of the accumulation of greenhouse gases in
the atmosphere is readily acknowledged, the related ecological
problems are externalized as are the solutions. CO2 becomes the

fethishized stand-in for the totality of climate change calamities and,

therefore, it suffices to reverse atmospheric CO2 build-up to a
negotiated idealized point in history, to return to climatic status quo ex-ante.
An extraordinary techno- managerial apparatus is under way, ranging
from new eco-technologies of a variety of kinds to unruly complex managerial
and institutional configura- tions, with a view to producing a socioecological fix to make sure nothing really changes. Stabilizing the
climate seems to be a condition for capital- ist life as we know it to
continue. Moreover, the mobilized mechanisms to arrive at this
allegedly more benign (past) condition are actually those that
produced the problem in the first place (commodification of nature
in this case CO2), thereby radically disavowing the social relations and
processes through which this hybrid socio-natural quasi-object (Latour, 1993;
Swyngedouw, 2006) came into its problematic being. Populist discourse
displaces social antagonism and constructs the enemy. In populism, the
enemy is externalized or reified into a positive ontological entity
[excessive CO2] (even if this entity is spectral) whose annihilation would
restore balance and justice (Zizek, 2006a: 555). The enemy is always
externalized and objectified. Populisms fundamental fantasy, for Zizek, is
that of intrud- ers who have corrupted the system. CO2 stands here as the
classic example of a fetishized and externalized foe that requires dealing with
if sustainable climate futures are to be attained. Problems therefore are
not the result of the system, of unevenly distributed power relations, of
the networks of control and inuence, of rampant injustices, or of a fatal aw
inscribed in the system, but are blamed on an outsider (Zizek, 2006a:
555). That is why the solution can be found in dealing with the pathological
phenomenon, the resolution for which resides in the system itself. It is not the
system that is the problem, but its pathological syndrome (for which the cure
is internal), that is posited as excess. While CO2 is externalized as the socioclimatic enemy, a potential cure in the guise of the Kyoto principles is
generated from within the market functioning of the system itself. The
enemy is, therefore, always vague, ambiguous, socially empty or vacuous
(like CO2); the enemy is a mere thing, not socially embodied, named and
counted. While a proper analysis and politics would endorse the view that
CO2- as-crisis stands as the pathological symptom of the normal, one that
expresses the excesses inscribed in the very normal functioning of the
system (i.e. capitalism), the policy architecture around climate change
insists that this excessive state is not inscribed in the functioning
of the system itself, but is an aberration that can be cured by
mobilizing the very inner dynamics and logic of the system
(privatization of CO2, commodifica- tion and market exchange via
carbon and carbon-offset trading). Fourth, populism is based on a politics of
the people know best (although the latter category remains often empty,
unnamed), supported by a scientific technocracy assumed to be neutral, and
advocates a direct relationship between people and political participation. It
is assumed that this will lead to a good, if not optimal, solution, a view
strangely at odds with the presumed radical openness, uncertainty and
undecidability of the excessive risks associated with Becks or Giddens
second modernity. The architecture of populist governing takes the form of
stakeholder partici- pation or forms of participatory governance that operates

beyond the state and permits a form of self-management, self-organization

and controlled self-disciplining (see Dean, 1999; Lemke, 1999), under the
aegis of a non-disputed liberal-capitalist order. Fifth, populist tactics do not
identify a privileged subject of change (like the proletariat for Marxists,
women for feminists or the creative class for competitive capitalism), but
instead invoke a common condition or predicament, the need for common
humanity-wide action, mutual collabo- ration and cooperation. There are no
internal social tensions or internal generative conicts; the people, in this
case global humanity, are called into being as political subject, thereby
disavowing the radical heterogene- ity and antagonisms that cut through the
people. It is exactly this consti- tutive split of the people, the recognition of
radically differentiated if not opposed social, political or ecological desires,
that calls the proper democratic political into being. Sixth, populist
demands are always addressed to the elites. Populism as a project
addresses demands to the ruling elites (getting rid of immi- grants, saving
the climate . . .); it is not about replacing the elites, but calling on the
elites to undertake action. The ecological problem is no exception. It
does not invite a transformation of the existing socio-ecological
order but calls on the elites to undertake action such that nothing
really has to change, so that life can basically go on as before. In this
sense, environmental populism is inherently reactionary, a key
ideological support structure for securing the socio-political status
quo. It is inherently non-political and non-partisan. A Gramscian passive
revolution has taken place over the past few years, whereby the elites have
not only acknowledged the climate conundrum and, thereby, answered the
call of the people to take the climate seriously, but are moving rapidly to
convince the world that, indeed, capi- talism can not only solve the climate
riddle but also that capitalism can make a new climate by unmaking the one
it has co-produced over the past few hundred years through a series of
extraordinary techno-natural and eco- managerial fixes. Not only do the
elites take these particular demands of the people seriously, it also
mobilizes them in ways that serve their purposes. Seventh, no proper
names are assigned to a post-political populist politics (Badiou, 2005). Postpolitical populism is associated with a politics of not naming, in the sense of
giving a definite or proper name to its domain or field of action. Only empty
signifiers like climate change policy, bio- diversity policy or a
vacuous sustainable policy replace the proper names of politics.
These proper names, according to Ranciere (1998; see also Badiou, 2005),
are what constitute a genuine democracy, that is, a space where the
unnamed, the uncounted and, consequently, unsymbolized become named
and counted. Consider, for example, how class struggle in the 19th and 20th
century was exactly about naming the proletariat, its counting, symbolization,
narration and consequent entry into the techno- machinery of the state. In
the 20th century, feminist politics became named through the narration,
activism and symbolization of woman as a political category. And, for
capitalism, the creative class is the revolutionary subject that sustains its
creatively destructive transformations. Climate change has no positively
embodied name or signifier; it does not call a political subject into being that
stands in for the universality of egalitarian democratic demands. In other
words, the future of a globally warmer world has no proper name. In contrast

to other signifiers that signal a positively embodied content with respect to

the future (like socialism, communism, liberalism), an ecologically and
climatologically different future world is only captured in its
negativity; a pure negativity without promises of redemption, without a
positive injunction that transcends/sublimates negativity and without proper
subject. The realization of this apocalyptic promise is forever postponed, the never-land of tomorrows unfulfilled and unfulfillable
promises. Yet the gaze on tomorrow permits recasting social,
political and other pressing issues today as future conditions that
can be retroactively re- scripted as a techno-managerial issue. The
final characteristic of populism takes this absence of a positively embodied
signifier further. As particular demands are expressed (get rid of immigrants,
reduce CO2) that remain particular, populism forecloses univer- salization as
a positive socio-environmental injunction or project. In other words, the
environmental problem does not posit a positive and named socioenvironmental situation, an embodied vision, a desire that awaits realization,
a fiction to be realized. In that sense, populism does not solve problems,
it moves them elsewhere. Consider, for example, the current argument
over how the nuclear option is again portrayed as a possible and realistic
option to secure a sustainable energy future and as an alternative to deal
both with CO2 emissions and peak-oil. The redemption of our CO2
quagmire is found in replacing the socio-ecologically excessive
presence of CO2 with another socio-natural object, U235/238, and the
inevitable production of all manner of socio-natural transuranic elements.
The nuclear fix is now increasingly staged (and will undoubtedly be
implemented) as one of the possible remedies to save both climate
and capital. It hardly arouses expectations for a better and
ecologically sound society.

Apocalyptic imaginations depoliticizes climate change and

reinforces capitalism


Swyngedouw, University of Manchester professor of Environment and

Development, 2010, Apocalypse Forever?: Post-political Populism and the
Spectre of Climate Change, Sagepub //RX
In this consensual setting, environmental problems are generally
staged as universally threatening to the survival of humankind,
announcing the premature termination of civilization as we know it and
sustained by what Mike Davis (1999) aptly called ecologies of fear. The
discursive matrix through which the contemporary meaning of the
environmental condition is woven is one quilted systematically by the
continuous invoca- tion of fear and danger, the spectre of ecological
annihilation or at least seriously distressed socio-ecological conditions for
many people in the near future. Fear is indeed the crucial node through
which much of the current environmental narrative is woven, and continues
to feed the concern with sustainability. This cultivation of ecologies of
fear, in turn, is sustained in part by a particular set of
phantasmagorical imaginaries (Katz, 1995). The apocalyptic imaginary
of a world without water, or at least with endemic water shortages, ravaged
by hurricanes whose intensity is amplified by climate change; pictures of
scorched land as global warming shifts the geo- pluvial regime and the spatial

variability of droughts and oods; icebergs that disintegrate around the poles
as ice melts into the sea, causing the sea level to rise; alarming reductions in
biodiversity as species disappear or are threatened by extinction; postapocalyptic images of waste lands reminis- cent of the silent ecologies of the
region around Chernobyl; the threat of peak-oil that, without proper
management and technologically innovative foresight, would return society to
a Stone Age existence; the devastation of wildfires, tsunamis, diseases like
SARS, avian u, Ebola or HIV, all these imaginaries of a Nature out of synch,
destabilized, threatening and out of control are paralleled by equally
disturbing images of a society that contin- ues piling up waste, pumping CO2
into the atmosphere, deforesting the earth, etc. This is a process that Neil
Smith appropriately refers to as nature-washing (2008: 245). In sum, our
ecological predicament is sutured by millennial fears, sustained by
an apocalyptic rhetoric and representa- tional tactics, and by a
series of performative gestures signalling an over- whelming, mindboggling danger, one that threatens to undermine the very coordinates of
our everyday lives and routines, and may shake up the foundations of all we
took and take for granted. Table 1 exemplifies some of the imaginaries that
are continuously invoked. Of course, apocalyptic imaginaries have been
around for a long time as an integral part of Western thought, first of
Christianity and later emerging as the underbelly of fast-forwarding
technological modernization and its associated doomsday thinkers. However,
present-day millennialism preaches an apocalypse without the
promise of redemption. Saint Johns biblical apocalypse, for example,
found its redemption in Gods infinite love. The proliferation of modern
apocalyptic imaginaries also held up the promise of redemption: the
horsemen of the apocalypse, whether riding under the name of the
proletariat, technology or capitalism, could be tamed with appropriate
political and social revolutions. As Martin Jay argued, while traditional
apocalyptic versions still held out the hope for redemption, for a second
coming, for the promise of a new dawn, environmental apocalyptic
imaginaries are leaving behind any hope of rebirth or renewal . . . in favour
of an unquenchable fascination with being on the verge of an end that never
comes (1994: 33). The emergence of new The forms of millennialism around
the environmental nexus is of a particular kind that promises neither
redemption nor realization. As Klaus Scherpe (1987) insists, this is not
simply apocalypse now, but apocalypse forever. It is a vision that does
not suggest, prefigure or expect the necessity of an event that will alter
history. Derrida (referring to the nuclear threat in the 1980s) sums this up
most succinctly: . . . here, precisely, is announced as promise or as threat
an apocalypse without apocalypse, an apocalypse without vision, without
truth, without revelation . . . without message and without destination,
without sender and without decidable addressee ... an apocalypse beyond
good and evil. (1992: 66) The environmentally apocalyptic future,
forever postponed, neither promises redemption nor does it possess a
name; it is pure negativity. The attractions of such an apocalyptic
imaginary are related to a series of characteristics. In contrast to standard
left arguments about the apocalyptic dynamics of unbridled capitalism (Mike
Davis is a great exemplar of this; see Davis, 1999, 2002), I would argue that
sustaining and nurturing apocalyptic imaginaries is an integral and vital part

of the new cultural politics of capitalism (Boltanski and Chiapello, 2007) for
which the management of fear is a central leitmotif (Badiou, 2007). At the
symbolic level, apocalyptic imaginaries are extraordinarily powerful in
disavowing or displacing social conict and antagonisms. As such, apocalyptic imaginations are decidedly populist and foreclose a proper
political framing. Or, in other words, the presentation of climate
change as a global humanitarian cause produces a thoroughly
depoliticized imaginary, one that does not revolve around choosing one
trajectory rather than another, one that is not articulated with specific
political programs or socio-ecological project or revolutions. It is this sort of
mobilization without political issue that led Alain Badiou to state that
ecology is the new opium for the masses, whereby the nurturing of
the promise of a more benign retrofitted climate exhausts the
horizon of our aspirations and imaginations (Badiou, 2008; Zizek,
2008). We have to make sure that radical techno-managerial and sociocultural transformations, organized within the horizons of a capitalist order
that is beyond dispute, are initiated that retrofit the climate (Swyngedouw,
forthcoming). In other words, we have to change radically, but within
the contours of the existing state of the situation the parti- tion of
the sensible in Rancieres (1998) words, so that nothing really has to

Incentives/Tax Credits
Tax credits disempower community wind in favor of
capitalist corporations turns case in the long term
Farrell 12 [John, directs the Energy Self-Reliant States and Communities program at the Institute
for Local Self-Reliance, Phase-Out of the Federal Wind Tax Credit a Good Thing?,]

Could an Expiring/Phasing Out Credit Be a Good Thing? In the short term, it will be bad
for the industry, as illustrated by history in the adjacent chart from AWEA. But in the long run wind power
will get cheaper and natural gas a finite resource will not. And one of the big logjams for
renewable energy projects right now is an inability to actually use the federal tax incentive. Thats because a lot of
developers dont carry the tax liability necessary to offset their power
generation, and the list of big corporations that do is relatively short, giving
them a lot of market power. In fact, in exchange for partnerships with wind projects to access the federal

tax credits, these companies routinely get rates of return from 10% up to 49%. (I discuss this issue in more detail here).

The short supply of tax equity partners lets them charge high prices,
increasing the cost to wind power developers of using the tax credits and perversely
increasing the cost of electricity from wind power. The tax credit has also
created an environment where community-based wind power , with its multiplier to jobs
and economic benefits (and political benefits), has an uphill struggle to compete. (Theres a great counterexample of a wind farm in South Dakota with 600 local owners made possible by the cash grant in lieu of the tax credit.
Ive also discussed how low-cost financing could allow solar developers to opt out of the federal tax credit and still lower

If theres no tax credit, however, theres no high-priced

tax equity market or artificial barrier to local ownership. And both of these
changes may benefit the industry in the long run.
the cost of solar energy by 25%).

Financial incentives are an example of fad capitalismensures collapse of the system

Hildyard 2012 [Nicholas Hildyard, Larry Lohmann and Sarah Sexton.
February 2012 Energy Security For What? For Whom? Published by The
Corner House in collaboration with Hnuti DUHA Friends of the Earth Czech
Republic, CEE Bankwatch Network, Les Amis de la Terre-Friends of the Earth
France, Campagna per la riforma della Banca Mondiale and urgewald e.V.
investment that has taken place in energy systems is itself disciplined by
the logic of financialisation, particularly the demands of investors for above
market profits. As the financing of power generation plants, transmission
systems, gas liquefaction systems and other infrastructure has shifted from
the public to the private sector, companies have funded such projects (and
their own expansion) by raising debt and equity borrowing money and issuing shares. But the
mechanisms through which they do so are rapidly changing. Private equity funds are an
important new source of finance in North and South. 119 Such funds are pooled
investment vehicles that buy majority shares in companies, take over their
management, increase their profitability (often by stripping their assets) and then sell
their shares at a profit after a few years. The contributors to the fund, the
Limited Partners, are generally High Net Worth Individuals , pension funds,

These sources of money

do not invest so as to provide public goods such as energy supply, but to
make well above-market returns, 120 generally 30 per cent a year 121 (although

insurance companies, endowment funds and sovereign wealth funds.

infrastructure investment is more in the region of 10-20 per cent). 122 To avert catastrophic climate
change, however, sustained, predictable and ensured streams of finance are needed to pay for the

Until recently, clean tech funds that invest in

renewable energies such as wind and solar were enjoying a boom,
accounting for some 10 per cent of private equity energy investment. But
the surge began to falter in 2009, 123 with investment declining by 30 per cent in the third
quarter of 2010. 124 In a predictable pattern of fad finance , 125 many predict
that the clean tech bubble will soon burst as the financing moves to another
sector in the hope that it will be more profitable. The logic of financialisation
acts still further against secure, long-term funding for a transition by
necessitating the use of ever riskier financial instruments to leverage capital,
enhance profits and off-load risk onto others. 126 When things go wrong,
state funded programmes that could assist a transition have repeatedly been
cut to pay for taxpayer bailouts. The nationalisations of UK retail banks in 2008 and the
transition away from fossil fuels.

austerity measures being imposed across the eurozone are only the latest examples. In Spain, a
government-subsidised feed-in tariff scheme for solar photovoltaic panels was slashed as part of the cuts
imposed by the financial crisis. 12

Relying on incentives structures makes environmental

destruction and market competition inevitable
Adaman and Madra (Bogazici University, Department of Economics) 12
(Fikret & Yahya M., Understanding Neoliberalism as Economization: The Case
of the Ecology,
In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, governments and international
finance organizations began to call for and take regulatory measures in
order to prevent similar breakdowns in the future, causing some
commentators to quickly pronounce neoliberalism dead. Consider, for
instance, a most recent example: while writing this chapter, a special report
in the January 21-27, 2012, issue of The Economistembellished with a red
and black portrait of Lenin on the cover, triumphantly holding a cigar with a
dollar sign on itlamented the emerging worlds new model would be
the rise of state capitalism. Yet, this line of argument is based on a rather
simplified and narrow reading of neoliberalism, as a purer laissezfaire regime
where spontaneous markets reign free with minimal role for governments. A
closer look at the brief history of neoliberalism challenges this reading of
neoliberalism as a project/process of marketization on both the practical
and the ideational levels. Practically speaking, governments have always
played an active role in designing, instituting and facilitating the operation
of markets, not only before but also under neoliberalism. In other words, the
historical track record of three decades of neoliberal hegemony at a global
scale demonstrates that the much invoked dichotomy between state and
private capitalism fails to do justice to the intensity and the depth of
dirigiste and technocratic bureaucratic state involvement in implementing
neoliberalism (Harvey, 2005; Peck, 2010). In fact, if we were to follow the
directions proposed back in the end of the 1970s by Michel Foucault (2008)
in his prescient genealogy of neoliberal reason, at the ideational level,

neoliberal turn in economic thinking, quite distinct from the earlier,

late 18 th -century classical liberalism which aimed at protecting the
markets from the arbitrary interventions of the state, represents a

particular epistemic shift in the way the governments relate to

and regulate the entire ensemble of social relations through a
governmental matrix which is organized around the assumption
that all social agents (be they individuals, groups, enterprises, or
states) are calculatively rational and calculably responsive
towards (pecuniary or otherwise) incentives. In other words, if
neoliberalism is not (only) a drive towards marketization, but
rather more broadly a drive towards the economization of the
ensemble of social relations (viz. the economic, the cultural, the
political, and the ecological) through governmental dispositifs, then it would
be misleading to deduce the death of neoliberalism from the increasing
visibility of state involvement in the economy and society at large without
asking how that involvement is epistemically organized and whether or not it
successfully transforms social ontology in the direction of economization
(Madra and Adaman, 2010).
If one were to subscribe to this reading of neoliberalism as a drive towards
economization of the economic, political, social, and ecological spheres,
one could plausibly argue in our current conjuncture that, despite the fact
that the economic recession is still going strong in North America and
Europe, leading to political crises in Southern Europe (Greece, Spain, and
Italy) and potentially to the dissolution of the Euro-zone, neoliberalism
remains hegemonic. In response to this persistent crisis, governments are
electing not to return to a Keynesian-style demand-management policy
through deficit- or, better yet, progressive taxation-based spending policy
(as advocated by the likes of Joseph Stiglitz [2010]), and continue to
advocate and actually implement austerity programs despite widespread
popular unrest and opposition. But more importantly, while only a small
fraction within the neoliberal field still defend the market panacea paradigm
unequivocally, there is very little questioning of the economizing and
calculative ideologies of the neoliberal social ontological project. In this
chapter, our aim is to shed some light on how the neoliberal project
reproduces itself theoretically and practically in the context of the
government of the ecology. Given the everdeepening dual crises of
environmental pollution and the over-use of natural resources (including the
exhaustion of non-renewable energy and material sources), unveiling the
relationship between neoliberalism and ecological degradation
at both theoretical and policy levelsis crucial. Currently, the
privatization of natural resources (viz. natural parks, forests) is being
promoted; financial markets are finding their way into environmental policy
and conservation (viz. payments for ecosystem services, biodiversity
derivatives, species banking and carbon trade); and incentive schemes

are being designed to provide the right signal to agents in

their relationship with ecology (viz. the price-per-bag policy for
household waste). Critically engaging with these numerous policies and
their ideological sources will be possible only if one subscribes to the
understanding of neoliberalism as a project of economization as outlined
above. This constitutes the essence of this chapter.
More specifically, the chapter argues that the global spread of neoliberalism

as a set of ideas, interpretative grids, governmental interfaces, and

institutional dispositifs in relation to ecology is premised on the
conceptualization of human behavior from a certain perspective, according
to which the capacity of agents in understanding and responding to
economic incentives is taken as a postulate, and every human decision is
assumed reducible to a mere cost-benefit analysis. The chapter reads the
widespread and resilient hold of the neoliberal epistemic grid within theory
and policy-making by situating it, or embedding it, within the historical
context of intellectual continuities between neoliberal policies towards the
use of ecology and the general postwar intellectual legacy of neoliberalism
within the mainstream of the discipline of economics. For this purpose, it
traces the historical genealogy of neoliberal reasoning back to the
establishment of the Mont-Pelerin Society in order to defend the idea of free
market against the post-Great Depression hegemony of the Keynesian
welfare state capitalism (the Beveridge Plan in the UK, New Deal in the
USA, developmentalism in the Third World), by discussing the links,
affinities, and differences among not only the usually-recognized Austrian,
Chicago, and Virginia Schools, but also, and perhaps more controversially,
the left-leaning and egalitarian post-Walrasian, or better-known as
mechanism-design, approach. Indeed, the latter set of approaches,
because they highlight the limits and failures of markets (arising mainly due
to informational asymmetries) and advocate for the regulation of markets
and the design and institution of incentive-compatible

mechanisms that would substitute for markets, tend to be read

as alternatives to the neoliberal creed. Nevertheless, what
appears as an alternative from the neoliberalism-quamarketization perspective, can be considered only as a variant
from the perspective of our understanding of neoliberalism as
a project/process of economization. The common thread that has
held these diverse groups of intellectual networks together, the chapter
argues, is the ultimate belief that relying on economic incentives would
indeed produce a prosperous and harmonious society. In sum, this chapter
invites the reader to understand neoliberalism as a governmental

epistemic grid that aims to performatively bring to existence a

particular calculative and calculable organization of the entire
social field, including the ecologyas a governmental logic, while
undoubtedly including marketization and privatization among its policy
options, exhaustively entailing the economization of the political, the cultural
and the natural, and performatively promoting calculative (and

therefore calculable) behavior across all fields.

Incentive structures force individuals into a neoliberal
Read (University of Southern Maine) 9
(Jason, The University of Southern Maine, A Genealogy of Homo-Economicus:
Neoliberalism and the Production of Subjectivity, Foucault Studies, No 6, pp. 25-36,
February 2009)
In order to frame Foucaults analysis it is useful to begin with how he sees the distinction between liberalism and neoliberalism. For

. Classical
liberalism focused on exchange, on what Adam Smith called mankinds tendency to barter, truck, and
exchange. It naturalized the market as a system with its own rationality ,
Foucault, this difference has to do with the different ways in which they each focus on economic activity

its own interest, and its own specific efficiency, arguing ultimately for its superior efficiency as a distributor of goods and services. The
market became a space of autonomy that had to be carved out of the state through the unconditional right of private property. What
Foucault stresses in his understanding, is the way in which the market becomes more than just a specific institution or practice to the
point where it has become the basis for a reinterpretation and thus a critique of state power. Classical liberalism makes exchange the
general matrix of society. It establishes a homology: just as relations in the marketplace can be understood as an exchange of certain

Neoliberalism, according to Foucault, extends the

process of making economic activity a general matrix of social and
political relations, but it takes as its focus not exchange but competition.5 What
freedoms for a set of rights and liberties.4

the two forms of liberalism, the classical and neo share, according to Foucault, is a general idea of homo economicus, that is, the

they place a particular anthropology of man as an

economic subject at the basis of politics. What changes is the emphasis from an anthropology
of exchange to one of competition. The shift from exchange to competition has
profound effects: while exchange was considered to be natural, competition is understood
by the neo-liberals of the twentieth century to be an artificial relation that must be
protected against the tendency for markets to form monopolies and
interventions by the state. Competition necessitates a constant intervention on
the part of the state, not on the market, but on the conditions of the market.6
way in which

What is more important for us is the way in which this shift in anthropology from homo economicus as an exchanging creature to a
competitive creature, or rather as a creature whose tendency to compete must be fostered, entails a general shift in the way in which

neoliberalism entails a massive

expansion of the field and scope of economics. Foucault cites Gary Becker on this point:
human beings make themselves and are made subjects. First,

Economics is the science which studies human behavior as relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternate uses.

Everything for which human beings attempt to realize their ends,

can be understood economically
according to a particular calculation of cost for benefit. Secondly, this
entails a massive redefinition of labor and the worker. The
worker has become human capital. Salary or wages become the
revenue that is earned on an initial investment, an investment in ones skills or

from marriage, to crime, to expenditures on children,

abilities. Any activity that increases the capacity to earn income, to achieve satisfaction, even migration, the crossing of borders from

Of course a large portion of human

capital, ones body, brains, and genetic material, not to mention race or class, is simply given and cannot be
improved. Foucault argues that this natural limit is something that exists to be
overcome through technologies; from plastic surgery to possible
genetic engineering that make it possible to transform ones initial investment. As Foucault writes summarizing this
point of view: Homo economicus is an entrepreneur, an entrepreneur of
himself.8 Foucaults object in his analysis is not to bemoan this as a victory
for capitalist ideology, the point at which the ruling ideas have truly become the ideas of the ruling class,
one country to another, is an investment in human capital.

so much so that everyone from a minimum wage employee to a C.E.O. considers themselves to be entrepreneurs. Nor is his task to
critique the fundamental increase of the scope of economic rationality in neo-liberal economics: the assertion that economics is

Rather, Foucault
takes the neo-liberal ideal to be a new regime of truth, and a new way in which
coextensive with all of society, all of rationality, and that it is economics all the way down.

people are made subjects: homo economicus is fundamentally different subject, structured by different motivations and governed by

Neoliberalism constitutes a
new mode of governmentality, a manner, or a mentality, in which people are governed and govern
different principles, than homo juridicus, or the legal subject of the state.

themselves. The operative terms of this governmentality are no longer rights and laws but interest, investment and competition.
Whereas rights exist to be exchanged, and are some sense constituted through the original exchange of the social contract, interest is

The state channels ows of interest and

desire by making desirable activities inexpensive and undesirable
activities costly, counting on the fact that subjects calculate their
interests. As a form of governmentality, neoliberalism would seem
paradoxically to govern without governing; that is, in order to
function its subjects must have a great deal of freedom to actto choose
between competing strategies. The new governmental reason needs freedom; therefore, the new art of
irreducible and inalienable, it cannot be exchanged.

must produce it, it must organize it. The new art

of government therefore appears as the management of freedom,
government consumes freedom.


not in the sense of the imperative: be free, with the immediate contradiction that this imperative may contain...[T]he liberalism we
can describe as the art of government formed in the eighteenth century entails at its heart a productive/destructive relationship with
freedom. Liberalism must produce freedom, but this very act entails the establishment of limitations, controls, forms of coercion, and
obligations relying on threats, etcetera.9 These freedoms, the freedoms of the market, are not the outside of politics, of
governmentality, as its limit, but rather are an integral element of its strategy. As a mode of governmentality

neoliberalism operates on interests, desires, and aspirations rather

than through rights and obligations; it does not directly mark the
body, as sovereign power, or even curtail actions, as disciplinary power; rather,
it acts on the conditions of actions. Thus, neoliberal
governmentality follows a general trajectory of intensification. This
trajectory follows a fundamental paradox; as power becomes less
restrictive, less corporeal, it also becomes more intense, saturating
the field of actions, and possible actions. 10 Foucault limits his discussion of neoliberalism to its major
theoretical texts and paradigms, following its initial formulation in post-war Germany through to its most comprehensive version in the
Chicago School. Whereas Foucaults early analyses are often remembered for their analysis of practical documents, the description of
the panopticon or the practice of the confessional, the lectures on neoliberalism predominantly follow the major theoretical
discussions. This is in some sense a limitation of the lecture course format, or at least a reection that this material was never
developed into a full study. Any analysis that is faithful to the spirit and not just the letter of Foucaults text would focus on its
existence as a practice and not just a theory diffused throughout the economy, state, and society. As Thomas Lemke argues,
neoliberalism is a political project that attempts to create a social reality that it suggests already exists, stating that competition is the

The contemporary trend away from

long term labor contracts, towards temporary and part-time labor,
is not only an effective economic strategy, freeing corporations
from contracts and the expensive commitments of health care and
other benefits, it is an effective strategy of subjectification as well.
It encourages workers to see themselves not as workers in a political
sense, who have something to gain through solidarity and collective
organization, but as companies of one. They become individuals
for whom every action, from taking courses on a new computer software application to having their teeth
whitened, can be considered an investment in human capital. As Eric Alliez and
basis of social relations while fostering those same relations.11

Michel Feher write: Corporations massive recourse to subcontracting plays a fundamental role in this to the extent that it turns the
workers desire for independence...into a business spirit that meets capitals growing need for satellites.12

Neoliberalism is not simply an ideology in the pejorative sense of the term, or a belief that one
could elect to have or not have, but is itself produced by strategies, tactics, and
policies that create subjects of interest, locked in competition.
Because Foucault brackets what could be considered the ideological dimension of neoliberalism, its connection with the global
hegemony of not only capitalism, but specifically a new regime of capitalist accumulation, his lectures have little to say about its
historical conditions. Foucault links the original articulation of neoliberalism to a particular reaction to Nazi Germany. As Foucault
argues, the original neo-liberals, the Ordo-liberals, considered Nazi Germany not to be an effect of capitalism. But the most extreme
version of what is opposed to capitalism and the marketplanning. While Foucaults analysis captures the particular fear of the
state that underlies neoliberalism, its belief that any planning, any intervention against competition, is tantamount to totalitarianism.
It however does not account for the dominance of neoliberalism in the present, specifically its dominance as a particular technology
of the self, a particular mode of subjection. At the same time, Foucault offers the possibility of a different understanding of the history
of neoliberalism when he argues that neoliberalism, or the neo-liberal subject as homo economicus, or homo entrepreneur, emerges to
address a particular lacunae in liberal economic thought, and that is labor. In this sense neoliberalism rushes to fill the same void, the
same gap, that Marx attempted to fill, without reference to Marx, and with very different results.13 Marx and neo-liberals agree that
although classical economic theory examined the sphere of exchange, the market, it failed to enter the hidden abode of production
examining how capital is produced. Of course the agreement ends there, because what Marx and neo-liberals find in labor is

for the neo-liberals, as we have

seen, labor is no sooner introduced as a problem than the difference
between labor and capital is effaced through the theory of human
capital.14 Neoliberalism scrambles and exchanges the terms of opposition between worker and capitalist. To quote
fundamentally different: for Marx labor is the sphere of exploitation while

Etienne Balibar, The capitalist is defined as worker, as an entrepreneur; the worker, as the bearer of a capacity, of a human
capital.15 Labor is no longer limited to the specific sites of the factory or the workplace, but is any activity that works towards
desired ends. The terms labor and human capital intersect, overcoming in terminology their longstanding opposition; the former

the discourse
of the economy becomes an entire way of life, a common sense in
which every action--crime, marriage, higher education and so on-becomes the activity and the latter becomes the effects of the activity, its history. From this intersection

can be charted according to a calculus of maximum output for

minimum expenditure; it can be seen as an investment. Thus situating Marx and neoliberalism with respect to a
similar problem makes it possible to grasp something of the politics of neoliberalism, which through a generalization of the idea of the
entrepreneur, investment and risk beyond the realm of finance capital to every quotidian relation, effaces the very fact of

Neoliberalism can be considered a particular version of capitalism without

way of maintaining not only private property but the
existing distribution of wealth in capitalism while simultaneously
doing away with the antagonism and social insecurity of capitalism,
in this case paradoxically by extending capitalism, at least its symbols, terms, and logic, to all of
society. The opposition between capitalist and worker has been effaced not by a transformation of the mode of production, a

capitalism, a

new organization of the production and distribution of wealth, but by the mode of subjection, a new production of subjectivity. Thus,

it is not, as Marx argued, because

everything rests on an economic base (at least in the last instance) that the effects of the
economy are extended across of all of society, rather it is an economic perspective, that
of the market, that becomes coextensive with all of society. As Christian
neoliberalism entails a very specific extension of the economy across all of society;

Laval argues, all actions are seen to conform to the fundamental economic ideas of self-interest, of greatest benefit for least possible

It is not the structure of the economy that is extended across

society but the subject of economic thinking, its implicit

Relying on market mechanisms to facilitate the energy

transition make warming, international competition, structural
violence and war inevitable
Abramsky (visiting fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Science,
Technology and Society; fmr. coordinator of the Danish-based World Wind Energy
Institute) 10
(Koyla, Racing to "Save" the Economy and the Planet: Capitalist or Post capitalist
Transition to a Post-petrol World?, in Sparking A Worldwide Energy Revolution, ed.
Koyla Abramsky, pg. 26-7)
The fact that coal and oil are finite resources means that there is a long-term tendency in the direction of their
phase-out, regardless of what intentional short-term interventions are carried out or not. Many proponents of
renewable energy simply advocate leaving this phase-6ut process to the market. It is hoped that rising oil and coal

Efforts are focused on developing

a renewable energy sector that is able to compete, rather than
directly confronting, suppressing, and ultimately
dismantling the coal and oil industries. However, leaving the phase-out of oil
prices will make these fuels increasingly less attractive.

and coal to the market has at least three crucial implications. First, such a phase-out is likely to actually prolong the
use of fossil fuels. As long as these energy sources are profitable to extract and to use, they will be. Down to the last
remaining drops of oil or lumps of coal. Although resources are finite, they are still relatively abundant Even those
analysts who give the most pessimistic (though realistic) perspectives on resource availability, such as those
included in this book, do not predict a complete exhaustion of resources in the very near future. And, from the
perspective of climate change, a prolongation of fossil fuel use is the exact opposite of what needs to happen,

a market-based
phase-out of oil and coal will mean that the remaining oil and coal
resources are frittered away for immediate profit rather than to
build the infrastructure for a transition process. Given that building
a new energy system will require massive amounts of energy
inputs in a very concentrated period of time, this is a recipe for
disaster. The third important consequence is that leaving the transition process to
the market is likely to be increasingly coercive and conductive if
competition is left to determine who controls the last of these
phase-out must be sped up, not prolonged. Linked to this, the second consequence of

resources and for what purposes they are used. This means
competition between workers globally, competition between firnis, and competition
between states. This translates to massive inequalities, hierarchies, and
austerity measures being imposed on labor (both in and outside the energy sectan);
massive bankruptcies of smaller firms and concentration and
centralization of capital; and last, but not least, military conflicts
between states. Accepting a market-based phase out of oil and
coal is accepting in advance that the rising price of energy and a
transition away from coal and oil is paid by labor and not
capital, when in actual fact the question of who pays still remains to be determined. The answer will only
come through a process of collective global struggle, which occurs along class lines within the world-economy. It is
important to correctly identify these lines of struggle at the outset, otherwise it will be a struggle lost before the

Collectively planning energy use and fossil fuel

phase-out is proving to be an enormously difficult social process,
but it is likely to be far less socially regressive if based on
cooperation, solidarity, and collectively-defined social needs, rather
than if it is based around competition and profit.
fight even begins.

Incentives structures reenforce biopolitical neoliberalism

Adaman and Madra (Bogazici University, Department of Economics) 12
(Fikret & Yahya M., Understanding Neoliberalism as Economization: The Case of the Ecology,
Michel Foucaults close reading of some of the key texts of neoliberal thought at his 1979 lectures at the College
de France (Foucault, 2008; see also Tribe, 2009) moves beyond the popular representations of neoliberalism that
reduce it to a set of marketization policies. According to Foucault, neoliberalism is a response to the historical
unfolding of a constitutive tension of liberal governmental reason: how might one extend the realm of freedom
without inadvertently delimiting it with governmental interventions that are necessary for the extension of the
realm of freedom? In contrast to classical liberalism that tried to limit government control over markets,
neoliberalism answers this question by aiming at nothing less than modeling the overall exercise of political
power on the competitive logic of markets (Foucault, 2008: 131).

The emergence of

neoliberalism, according to Foucault, heralds the birth of a new art of government, a

biopolitical mode of governmentality, where the state ceases to
relate to its subjects as citizen-subjects with social rights, and begins to
conduct its functions under the presumption that subjects will
respond (predictably) to economic incentives in all aspects of their lives. In short,
neoliberalism, as a combination of an ideological discourse and practices, entails a push
towards a de-politicization of the social through its economization
viz. imposing a logic of cost-benefit analysis to all aspects of life
under the assumption that everything is commodifiable (see also Fine and
Milonakis, 2009).

This is the MO of neoliberalism

Adaman and Madra (Bogazici University, Department of Economics) 12
(Fikret & Yahya M., Understanding Neoliberalism as Economization: The Case
of the Ecology,

Neoliberal reason is therefore not simply about market expansion and

the withdrawal of the welfare state, but more broadly about
reconfiguring the state and its functions so that the state

its subjects through a filter of economic incentives rather than

direct coercion. In other words, supposed subjects of the

neoliberal state are not citizen-subjects with political and
social rights, but rather economic subjects who are supposed to
comprehend (hence, calculative) and respond predictably
(hence, calculable) to economic incentives (and disincentives).

There are mainly two ways in which states under the sway of neoliberal
reason aim to manipulate the conduct of their subjects. The first is through
markets, or market-like incentive-compatible institutional mechanisms that
economic experts design based on the behaviorist assumption that
economic agents respond predictably to economic (but not necessarily
pecuniary) incentives, to achieve certain discrete objectives. The second
involves a revision of the way the bureaucracy functions. Here, the
neoliberal reason functions as an internal critique of the way bureaucratic
dispositifs organize themselves: The typical modus operandi of this
critique is to submit the bureaucracy to efficiency audits and subsequently

advocate the subcontracting of various functions of the state to

the private sector either by fullblown privatization or by public-private