Experts like Christopher Wright and Daniel Nyberg warn that capitalism is unsustainable in its current form as the relentless pursuit of growth wreaks havoc on the planet and threatens human and environmental health.
Capitalism has generated massive wealth for some, but it has devastated the planet and failed to improve human well-being at scale. For example, several data collected by Forbes magazine: at the environmental level, species are extinguished at a rate 1,000 times faster than the natural rate in the 65 million previous years, according to information from Harvard University. Since 2000, 6 million hectares of primary forest have been lost every year – we record each year 190 times New York in forest area.
On the economic level, even in the United States, 15% of the population lives below the poverty line. For children under 18, that number increases to 20% in the case of the North American country and the figures are higher in many of the countries classified as developed. Behind the mass extinction of species are commercial agriculture – mainly focused on intensive livestock feeding -, wood extraction and infrastructure development are causing habitat loss, while the dependence and use of fossil fuels is a relevant factor in relation to climate change.
Professors Christopher Wright and Daniel Nyberg published the book “Climate Change, Capitalism, and Corporations” last fall, arguing that companies are caught in a cycle of exploiting the world’s resources in increasingly creative ways. “Large corporations can continue to participate in an increasingly exploitative behavior for the environment by hiding the link between infinite economic growth and worsening environmental destruction,” they wrote.
Yale sociologist Justin Farrell studied 20 years of corporate finance and found that “corporations have used their wealth to amplify opposing views on climate change and create an impression of greater scientific uncertainty than actually exists.” Without balancing the economy with sustainability and human growth – through the circular economy, distributed property or economic decline – hunger, economic class differences and environmental destruction will be totally irreversible by 2050.