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FOSSIL FUEL SLAVES

Climate change: we are like slave-owners

An economy run on slave labour has much in common with one run on fossil fuels, argues Jean-Francois Mouhot. Ending suffering means we all need to become modern-day abolitionists.

Jean-Francois Mouhot

Why does climate change science generate so much heat and controversy? In a recent article in the journal Climatic

Change, I argue that we have a vested interest not to cut carbon emissions, similar to that of slaveowners in the 19th century who opposed the abolition of slavery.

First, slaves and fossil-fuelled machines play(ed) similar economic and social roles: ‘energy slaves’ (machines powered by fossil fuels) now do the work in our homes, fields and factories, which used

17 Number 19 January 2011

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