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HomeCLIMATE CHANGEOn the media reproduction of capitalist totality in the environmental protection discourse

On the media reproduction of capitalist totality in the environmental protection discourse

Environmental protection has become a central issue in the public debate as the urgency of climate change and other environmental problems becomes ever more apparent. However, this discourse is often shaped and reproduced by the mechanisms of capitalism, which means that fundamental structural changes are often avoided. In this article, we will examine the role of the media in the reproduction of capitalist totality in the environmental discourse.

Capitalist logics in the environmental protection discourse

Despite the growing calls for environmental protection and sustainability, many discussions and proposed solutions remain trapped within the framework of capitalist logic. This is reflected, for example, in the emphasis on market-based solutions such as emissions trading or the promotion of green technologies through investments and incentives for companies.

Greenwashing: the illusion of sustainability

One phenomenon that highlights the link between capitalism and environmental protection is greenwashing. Companies use this tactic to give the impression of being environmentally friendly while continuing environmentally damaging practices. A well-known example of this are oil companies that present themselves as pioneers in the field of renewable energies while continuing to extract and burn fossil fuels on a massive scale.

The role of the media

The media play a decisive role in disseminating and shaping the environmental protection discourse. However, they are often influenced by the same capitalist interests and logics as other social institutions. This is reflected in the way in which environmental issues are presented and which voices and perspectives are heard.

Example: Framing climate change

One example of the reproduction of the capitalist totality in the environmental protection discourse by the media is the framing of climate change. Climate change is often presented as a purely technical or scientific problem that can be solved through innovation and technological advances, rather than a political and social problem that requires fundamental changes in the economic and social structure.

Alternatives to the capitalist discourse on environmental protection

To bring about real change in environmental protection, we must go beyond the framework of capitalist discourse. This requires a recognition of the structural causes of environmental problems and the promotion of alternative approaches such as degrowth, commons-based economics and ecological justice.

The environmental protection discourse is strongly influenced by the logic and interests of capitalism, which often leads to superficial solutions and greenwashing. To bring about real change, we need to critically question the role of capitalism in the destruction of the environment and promote alternative approaches based on social justice, environmental sustainability and the common good.

Sources:
– “The Capitalist Production of Environmental Degradation” – Monthly Review: https://monthlyreview.org/2019/07/01/the-capitalist-production-of-environmental-degradation/
– “The Media and the Environment” – The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media: https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2010/12/the-media-and-the-environment/
– “Why ‘Green Growth’ Is an Illusion” – Jacobin Magazine: https://jacobinmag.com/2019/10/green-growth-sustainable-development-environmental-justice

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