Kim Stanley Robinson:
Am I saying that capitalism is going to have to change or else we will have an environmental catastrophe? Yes, I am. … The main reason I believe capitalism is not up to the challenge is that it improperly and systemically undervalues the future.
…the promise of capitalism was always that of class mobility—the idea that a working-class family could bootstrap their children into the middle class. With the right policies, over time, the whole world could do the same.
There’s a problem with this, though. For everyone on Earth to live at Western levels of consumption, we would need two or three Earths.
Looking at it this way, capitalism has become a kind of multigenerational Ponzi scheme, in which future generations are left holding the empty bag.