Many Americans – even those who recognize capitalism’s destructive impacts – find the idea of discarding capitalism for a more just system unimaginable. Yes, capitalism is part of the problem. But, they think, realistically, the world is not going to invent anytime fast a visionary postcapitalist system. Meanwhile we barrel toward environmental destruction. If we’re going to be pragmatic, as millions of concerned Americans believe, we should listen to the growing number of capitalist leaders and companies who are taking climate change seriously and proposing their own solution: green capitalism.
In early March, global food giant Tyson unveiled a new beef product line at the 2023 annual industry meat conference. Named “BrazenTM Beef”, it was the first ever product of its kind to receive the “Climate-Friendly” stamp from the US Department of Agriculture. The brand, which grew out of Tyson’s “Climate-Smart Beef Program”, reportedly earned this badge through securing a 10 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions compared to regular North American beef. The company is frank about the product’s marketing strategy. Tyson told the Progressive Grocer it is “trying to be upbeat and different”, with something that speaks definitively to younger Millennial and Gen Z consumers.
Where the Tickfaw River leads into Lake Maurepas in South Louisiana, a coffin containing a plastic skeleton is fastened to pilings rising out of the water. “Save Lake Maurepas From Impending Death by Air Products,” a sign above it states. This arresting visual captures the sentiments of opponents of a plan to develop the world’s largest carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) project under the lake. Air Products, a global hydrogen manufacturing company, is proposing to build a $4.5 billion “Clean Energy Complex” to manufacture blue hydrogen and an accompanying carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) project, that would be operational by 2026.