On BBC Two, George Monbiot had the entire studio applauding the overthrow of capitalism

George Monbiot and studio

On comedian Frankie Boyle’s BBC Two show, columnist George Monbiot had the entire studio applauding the overthrow of capitalism. Explaining what we need to do to prevent climate catastrophe, Monbiot said:

We can’t do it by just pissing around at the margins of the problem. We’ve gotta go straight to the heart of capitalism; and overthrow it.


“Pathetic micro-consumerist bollocks”

On the New World Order show, Monbiot went straight to the crux of the matter:

What we have to do is the big structural, political, economic stuff. What we’re being told to do is ‘change your cotton buds’ and all this sort of pathetic micro-consumerist bollocks, which just isn’t going to get us anywhere.

In October 2018, the UN warned we have 12 years to reduce the oncoming climate catastrophe. And this may downplay the problem, because if we hit climate tipping points, that could set off an unstoppable chain reaction.

On the show, Monbiot continued:

Switch to a plant-based diet… big big change – because animal farming has a massive environmental impact…

But beyond that, actually, everything we have to do is… overthrow this system, which is eating the planet with perpetual growth… Since when was GDP a sensible measure of human welfare? And yet everything that governments want to do is to try to boost GDP. Now, people like the OECD or the World Bank say ‘we aren’t asking for a lot of growth – just 3% a year’. That means doubling in 24 years… We’re bursting through all the environmental boundaries and screwing the planet already – you want to double it?… Double it again? Keep doubling it? It’s madness. We’ve got to find a better way of measuring human welfare than perpetual growth. We’ve got to start ramping down all fossil fuel production…

Monbiot then rounded off with a hopeful point:

It turns out that, through massive rewilding – ecological restoration – you can draw down… the carbon dioxide we’ve already produced…

The man is spot on. Sitting governments are sleeping at the wheel, leading us towards climate catastrophe. In the UK, the current manifesto of the main opposition party – Labour – pledges to roll out local, publicly funded renewable energy firms across the country to rapidly decarbonise the economy. It’s a matter of urgency that we support this, as well as the type of direct action young people like the school strikers are taking.

Featured image via screengrab – Another Angry Voice/ Twitter

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  • Show Comments
    1. I glad Monbiot is bringing this up, but instead of saying we have to overthrow capitalism it has to be replaced , and the GDP measurement is a small part of it. It has to be done. Many have thought about this “how” for 40 years so the knowledge is already there to begin. When he says perpertual growth he means perpetual capitalism, and perpetually that viewpoint is the only one considered to be worthy by the banks. As no other way is allowed to begin an intergration into their economic philosophy you can say its a totalitarian system.
      Time to make those long awaited changes , and I doubt Government has the imagination to do this.
      We have to create a conference for this with engaged, educated people by George?

    2. To alter this totalitarian aspect of capitlism one must understand Jacques Ellul la technique ” the totality of methods rationally arrived at , and having an absolute efficiency. It gives us our freedoms but we must submit to its rules, and strictures. ” The quote is from Vaclav Smil’s book Energy, and Civilization A History.
      He didn’t relate it to capitalism but it applies.
      One has to start this talk somewhere so here’s my comment.

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