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Capitalism and it's Effects on the Planet

Capitalism. The thing that provides the roof over your head, the food on your plate, and the pollution in your oceans.

Capitalism has long used the world's 'natural, renewable resources to its advantage. But what happens when a resource is no longer renewable, thanks to frequent, sustained, repetitive damage? Capitalisms constant need for growth wreaks havoc on the sustainability of the complex, natural cycle of the world. These unprecedented changes to the climate have left many species, including humans, struggling to adapt and survive.

But, the fault does not lay on the consumer. In fact, the producers, companies, and corporations, are the ones pushing forward the worst of the pollution. With illegal and legal dumping grounds, the relaxation of environmental laws, and the increasing use of dangerous and harmful chemicals, rather than laying down laws and regulations, lawmakers are allowing capitalism to destroy the planet.

Capitalism makes a profit off of clean air and water, hoarding it and selling it back to us. In order to drive up prices, they make it a limited resource. But where does that leave the creatures and organisms not paying for clean air and water?

An Oxfam report from 2015 showed that the richest 10% of the planet causes half of the CO2 emissions, while the poorest 50% (3.5 billion people) is responsible for only 10%.

According to the UN, there are currently more than 20 million climate refugees. If the global temperature rises to more than 2 degrees, it is estimated that this number will grow to 280 million.

As pollution disproportionately affects poorer countries and communities, many poorer countries will be desperately sending their citizens to the countries that are run by the very companies that started the problem in the first place. Sound circular and silly, like it's ignoring the problem? That's because it is!

So, what is to be done?

Protesting, changing laws, boycotting companies, and supporting those who do their best in a complicated world to not do harm.

At the end of the day, money is simply paper we ascribe value to. Besides the artificial value we give to it, it's worth quite literally, nothing.

The planet's health? Invaluable. A future we can live in, for us, our children, and our grandchildren? Priceless.

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