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The Myths of “Green Capitalism”

By Brian Tokar - New Politics, early 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

1. Gary Bryner, “Failure and opportunity: Environmental groups in U.S. climate change policy,” Environmental Politics Vol. 17, No. 2 (April 2008), 319-336.

2. The origins of U.S. environmental laws and shifting politics of regulation are described in Brian Tokar, Earth for Sale: Reclaiming Ecology in the Age of Corporate Greenwash (Boston: South End Press, 1997), 55-71.

3. Mark Dowie, Losing Ground: American Environmentalism at the Close of the Twentieth Century (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1995), 41.

4. Richard Berke, “Oratory of Environmentalism Becomes the Sound of Politics,” New York Times, April 17, 1990.

5. T. L. Anderson and D. R. Leal, Free Market Environmentalism (New York: Palgrave, 2001), 3.

6. Anderson and Leal, 4.

7. Project 88: Harnessing Market Forces to Protect Our Environment, Washington, DC (1988). For a fuller account for the emergence and consequences of the Clean Air Act amendments, see Tokar, Earth for Sale, 35-41.

8. That this was an explicit goal of the acid rain program is demonstrated by trading advocate and Business Week deputy editor Eric Pooley in The Climate War: True Believers, Power Brokers, and the Fight to Save the Earth (New York: Hyperion, 2010), 77-8. For an outline of the views of market advocates in the 1990s, see Tokar, Earth for Sale, 41-5.

9. George Monbiot, “We’ve Been Suckered Again by the U.S. So Far the Bali Deal is Worse than Kyoto,” The Guardian, December 17, 2007.

10. Patrick Bond, “Carbon trading nearly died in Europe this week,” January 26, 2013 (via email). For background, see Joshua Chaffin “Emissions trading: Cheap and dirty,” Financial Times, February 13, 2012.

11. R.H. Coase, “The Problem of Social Cost,” Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 3 (1960), 44.

12. J.H. Dales, Pollution, Property & Prices (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1968), 97.

13. W. David Montgomery, “Markets in Licenses and Efficient Pollution Control Programs,” Journal of Economic Theory, Vol. 5 (1972), 395–418.

14. Stephen Breyer, “Analyzing Regulatory Failure, Mismatches, Less Restrictive Alternatives and Reform,” Harvard Law Review, Vol. 92, No. 3 (1979), 547–609.

15. The story of Krupp’s recruitment to the ranks of market enthusiasts is recounted in Pooley, The Climate War, 62-71.

16. Frederic D. Krupp, “New Environmentalism Factors In Economic Needs,” Wall Street Journal, Nov. 20, 1986.

17. On EDF’s increasingly corporate-friendly outlook, see Tokar, Earth for Sale and Pooley, The Climate War.

18. Daniel Dudek, “Creating Self-Financing Environmental Markets,” Environmental Finance, Winter 1991-2, 512.

19. Cited in T. Gilbertson and O. Reyes, Carbon Trading: How it works and why it fails (Uppsala: Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, 2009) 22.

20. Larry Lohmann, Carbon Trading: A Critical Conversation on Climate Change, Privatization and Power (Uppsala: Dag Hammarskjold Foundation, 2006).

21. Lambert Schneider, “Is the CDM fulfilling its environmental and sustainable development objectives? An evaluation of the CDM and options for improvement” (Berlin: Öko-Institut, 2007).

22. For example, “Summary Overview: USCAP Blueprint for Legislative Action,” accessed from www.uscaorg/blueprint, January 16, 2009.

23. These provisions are detailed in Brian Tokar, Toward Climate Justice: Perspectives on the Climate Crisis and Social Change (Porsgrunn, Norway: New Compass, 2010), 36-44.

24. For an account of the U.S. Senate negotiations on the climate bill, see Ryan Lizza, “As the World Burns: How the Senate and the White House missed their best chance to deal with climate change,” New Yorker, October 11, 2010.

25. Theda Skocpol, “Naming the Problem: What It Will Take to Counter Extremism and Engage Americans in the Fight against Global Warming” (Cambridge: Harvard University, January 2013).

26. Paul Hawken, The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability (New York: Harper Business, 1993),  83.

27. Paul Hawken, Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement In the World Came Into Being and No One Saw it Coming (Viking Press, New York, 2007).

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