I was sleepy the other night when I thought my husband said that there had been a 200 mile wide tornado killing people in Kentucky. Turns out it was a mile wide tornado (bad enough) touching down over a 200 mile area in several states (quite bad) in December (clear sign of a climate in crisis).
What he didn’t know at the time is that Amazon warehouse workers routinely deprived of their cell phones were buried under rubble when the roof collapsed.
Also that workers in Kentucky’s Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory who heard warning sirens and tried to leave were threatened with firing if they departed. Some stayed and died, some left anyway, and some stayed and survived to tell the tale.
The economic system producing both galloping climate change and burgeoning military budgets that drive climate change is a death cult.
Usually the claim “capitalism is a death cult” applies these days to the absence of public health policy that protects, you know, public health.
One cannot serve both commerce and health as the CDC has bent over backward to demonstrate.
In the second winter of a deadly pandemic the U.S. has racked up this dismal track record:
- no universal health care
- no free testing kits such as the rest of the world receives (and derision from the White House press secretary for even suggesting this would be a good idea)
- vaccine mandates rather than empirically proven access + education + incentive methods
- feeble vaccine distribution to low income nations we share the planet’s germ pool with
- miniscule economic relief for actual people (vs. corporations)
- huge growth in the numbers of unhoused people nationwide
- schools open despite higher infection levels and maxed out hospital ICUs nationwide
- widespread health care provider burnout
- obscene growth in wealth inequality
Extreme wealth inequality has been a significant force for toppling the social order throughout history. So have pandemics and other disasters.
Meanwhile, the engines of commerce churn on creating profits to buy off governments. Subsidies to fossil fuel corporations were $5.9 trillion in 2020, a whopping $11 million a minute.
That would buy a lot of testing kits. If only the U.S. prioritized life over profits.