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Why there is no "ethical consumption" under capitalism

the fairtrade logo 002 1 origFor the last couple of decades, topics like climate change, sweatshop labour and animal abuse have become hot-button issues in North America. In the 1990’s, stories emerged of billion dollar corporations like Nike, Apple, Nestle and Wal-Mart forcing workers to manufacture their products in sweatshops, terrifying consumers who hitherto had no knowledge of working conditions in the so-called “third world.” Additionally, information began to circulate on the truth about factory pollution and human-caused climate change, which for the first time made it a concern of those other than just scientists.  

Genetically-modified food: For human need or corporate greed?

The development of genetically-modified organisms (GMO) has opened up whole new possibilities for improving the nutrition of humanity. However, under capitalism, GMOs are being abused by large agro-corporations, such as Monsanto, to maximize shareholders’ profits at the expense of ordinary people around the world.  Instead, GMOs have reduced the safety and security of the food system for billions of people. What is a working-class approach to confronting the problems of GMOs and food security?

Carbon Taxes: A solution to the environmental crisis?

The question of climate change and the environment is one of the burning issues for today’s youth.  It is becoming increasingly evident that unsustainable exploitation of the environment cannot continue unabated.  One measure that is championed by the bosses and the ruling class, and is supposed to relieve the pressures on the environment, is a carbon tax, such as the one implemented in British Columbia in 2008. Five years later, can we say that carbon taxes genuinely work in protecting the environment, or are they simply one more tool in the bosses‘ arsenal in order to transfer more money into the bank accounts of corporations?

Climate change: Capitalism's elephant in the room

In the midst of so many tumultuous events — the global financial crisis and bourgeois push for austerity, the BP oil spill, the Arab Revolution, and disasters in Japan — it's easy to forget the slow, steady march to ecological catastrophe that remains ever-present in the background. Climate change is a reality, but the capitalists’ head-in-the-sand approach is a recipe for disaster in the face of this historically unprecedented challenge.

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