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Nov 22, 2022

Awareness of climate change has never been higher — outright climate denialism seems to be a thing of the past. Business leaders and the corporate media no longer shy away from terms like global warming or climate change like they used to, and policymakers from all sides of the political spectrum are claiming to be climate leaders. 

So why, then, do things seem to be getting even worse? Why are the actions of those in power so out of line with what scientists and experts at the IPCC are urgently calling for? Why does COP after COP continue to accomplish close to nothing? Why are we still on track for catastrophic levels of warming? Well, there are a lot of explanations for this, but they can all be distilled into one overarching reason: green capitalism. 

In this episode, we explore how the idea of green capitalism has hijacked any real possibility for climate solutions — and why the logic of mainstream economic reasoning has consigned us to a future where the continued habitability of our planet is up for question. 

Adrienne Buller is a Senior Research Fellow at Common Wealth and author of The Value of a Whale: On The Illusions of Green Capitalism, published by Manchester University Press. In this Conversation we explore how powerful financial interests shape the contours and curtail the possibilities of our response to climate change, how the flawed logic of dominant economic thinking sets dangerous parameters for policymakers, and why, if we’re hoping to survive climate change and ensure a just, livable future for all, we must move beyond capitalism and embrace ecological, social, and economic principles designed to put people and the planet over profit. 

Thank you to Jenny Hval for the intermission music. Upstream theme music was composed by Robert Raymond.

Related Conversations / Further listening: The Green Transition Part 1 & 2

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