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Abdullah Köktürk

Can Ecological Economics or Sustainable Development Save The Environment?
Tarih: 04-03-2019 23:09:00 Güncelleme: 05-03-2019 08:54:00




The world is rapidly approaching to an environmental disaster. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere that causes global warming was 320 ppm (particul per million) in 1965 and today it has reached 400 ppm. In 1955, fossil fuel-borne carbon dioxide emissions was 1.5 billion tons per year, exceeding over 7 billion tons today. These data show that we are very close to irreversible figures.

The biggest reason for the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is motor vehicles used in cities and industrial production wastes. So, the main reason for global warming is technology and industry. In addition to factory wastes industrialization causes environmental pollution on many issues such as destruction of forests and other natural resources, destruction of vegetation, extinction of living generations, air pollution, water pollution and noise. Moreover, industrialization indirectly, is a source of many problems too.

Environmental problems can be different dimensions according to different development and industrialization levels. However, it does not change according to the economic systems and political regimes of countries. Socialist regimes can be insensitive to the environment as well as the capitalist states. Capitalism, socialism and communism have been equally incompetent in protecting the environment.

According to general opinion, environmental problems mainly arise in countries with free market systems. This is explained by the fact that consumption is at the forefront in the capitalist economies. However, environmental problems occur at production stage rather than consumption stage.

The words of Lenin in 1920s, "Communism is Soviet power plus electrification of the whole country" reveal the Bolsheviks’ belief in industrialization. Following this, Stalin initiated an enormous movement to industrialize the Soviet Union at all cost, with the introduction of the First Five-Year Plan in 1928. The value of the natural environment was forgotten in its efforts to transform the Soviet Union into a modern industrial society. Today, under Chinese Communist Party's plan, China Industry takes place on the top in polluting the world.

Ecological disasters such as extreme pollution of the Caspian Sea, the destruction of the Aral Sea, and nuclear disasters such as Chernobyl were occured during the era of Soviet Union. All these have revealed the existence of a wide and frightening environmental problems even in a socialist society. This shows us that environmental problems are the problem of planned economies as well as liberal economies, or that environmental problems are universal phenomenon and independent of systems.

Some authors (John Bellamy Foster et al.) suggest that Marx criticizes technology and industry in his theory of alienation. However, when Marx's works are examined collectively, it can be seen that he is a fan of technology and industry. Marx's views on ecological economics are nothing short of sustainable development or recycling practices of modern capitalism.

 “Sustainable development”, enforced by the United Nations Development Commission (UNDP), is one of the greatest lies of capitalism. Technological development and environmental protection are incompatible with each other. Industry that alienates man to himself and to nature, no matter which scientific method is used, it will continue to poison the environment and become the biggest cause of global warming.

Capitalism is one of the biggest problems of humanity. However, the sustainable development of capitalism and the ecological economics of socialism come together at the same point in terms of the harm of industry and technology to global warming. The machines polluting the environment more and more and also concentrating economic power under one hand are no longer the symbol of progress, but the symbol of the destruction of nature.

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