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CSSN Scholar Publications

Climate Change Solutions: Beyond the Capital-Climate Contradiction

October 6, 2020

Authored by Diana Stuart, CSSN Scholar Ryan Gunderson, and Brian Petersen, Climate Change Solutions represents an application of critical theory to examine proposed solutions to climate change. Drawing from Marx’s negative conception of ideology, the authors illustrate how ideology continues to conceal the capital-climate contradiction or the fundamental incompatibility between growth-dependent capitalism and effectively and justly mitigating climate change. Dominant solutions to climate change that offer minor changes to the current system fail to address this contradiction. However, alternatives like degrowth involve a shift in priorities and power relations and can offer new systemic arrangements that confront and move beyond the capital-climate contradiction. While there are clear barriers to a systemic transition that prioritizes social and ecological well-being, such a transition is possible and desirable.