The “climate change” disaster

This weekend, grab a cup of coffee and read the attached article and some of the references. We all must push back and reject neo-liberal technocracy as it is configured today…and CAGW/”climate change” is a primary example. Here’s a summary:

“the quantifiable entity called ‘the economy’ was created in the 20th century largely by reorganizing and redistributing knowledge and embedding new practices of description and calculation in governmental practice, and can at no point be sharply marked off from official coercion, state corruption and ‘non-economic’ institutions (Mitchell, 2002). Similarly, the neoliberal attempt to simulate efficient market outcomes by deploying cost-benefit analysis in policymaking depends on calculation and regulation undertaken by the state (Lohmann, 2009).”

“Nowhere is the state/market dichotomy more misleading than in the analysis of one of the last, most ambitious manifestations of neoliberalism – the carbon markets that began to emerge in the 1990s as the main international policy response to climate change.”

“Like the neoclassical shibboleths (the efficient markets hypothesis, rational expectations and the like) that have so picturesquely come to grief during the financial crisis, the carbon credit prices flashing on electronic screens in trading rooms on Wall Street or in the City of London reflect a complex political movement to reorganize and redistribute knowledge and power. Spelling out another notable chapter in the political history of commensuration (Espeland & Stevens, 1998), they form a part of one of neoliberalism’s last and greatest class projects: the attempt to appropriate the climate itself. Carbon trading thus takes its place alongside other movements of recent decades that have invented new possibilities of accumulation through the creation of fresh objects of calculation and the intensified commodification of some of the more hidden aspects of the infrastructure of human existence. Examples include attempts to expand credit by mathematizing and privatizing an unprecedented variety of uncertainties through derivatives markets (Lohmann,forthcoming), to privatize creativity through global intellectual property rights (Frischmann & Lemley, 2006), and to transform health, health care and even biological species into measurable, tradeable commodities.”

“The unfolding disaster of carbon trading prefigures the disintegration of the picture of a thoroughly calculable world to which neoliberalism clings more stubbornly than any state socialist project of the past. The important question is how this disintegration is to be effected politically…the answers are not yet clear, but here as elsewhere the fall of neoliberalism will be something to be achieved through patient movement-building and a long series of political struggles, not something automatically given by the mechanics of yet another crisis.”

Bud’s note: I would add Jacques Ellul’s book, The Technological Society, as a reference.…/th…/files/Neolib&Calc.pdf


About budbromley

Bud is a retired life sciences executive. Bud's entrepreneurial leadership exceeded three decades. He was the senior business development, marketing and sales executive at four public corporations, each company a supplier of analytical and life sciences instrumentation, software, consumables and service. Prior to those positions, his 19 year career in Hewlett-Packard Company's Analytical Products Group included worldwide sales and marketing responsibility for Bioscience Products, Global Accounts and the International Olympic Committee, as well as international management assignments based in Japan and Latin America. Bud has visited and worked in more than 65 countries and lived and worked in 3 countries.
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