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Capitalism and Global Warming


A reading by Jonathan T. Park, University of Utah, that discusses the link between climate change and capitalism. This reading discusses how consumer ideology in a capitalist society results in the overproduction and overconsumption of goods. It includes discussions on exploitation of natural resources, high energy expenditure, excess waste production and extensive environmental degradation due to pollution.

Students will learn how capitalist modes of production require large scale burning of fossil fuels to meet energy requirements that contribute towards global warming. They will also learn how the capitalist model can be modified for a sustainable future.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What are capitalist modes of production?
  2. Discuss the relationship between capitalist modes of production, fossil fuel burning and global warming.
About Tool
Tool Name Climate Change and Capitalism
Discipline Economics
Topic(s) in Discipline Capitalism, Carbon Emissions, Energy Economics, Capitalist Modes of Production, Rise of Capitalism, Consumerism, Materials Economy, Commodification, Fossil Fuels, Natural Resources 
Climate Topic Climate and the Anthroposphere, Climate Economics
Type of tool Reading
Grade Level  Undergraduate
Location Global
Language English
Translation      –
Developed by Jonathan T. Park
Hosted at University of Utah
Access Online, Offline 
Computer Skills Basic


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