As humans, one of the strongest connections we feel is with our planet, Earth. We are born from it and we shall be buried in it. It nourishes us and takes care of us like a parent. This makes it our responsibility to take care of Earth and all of its constituents but there is no doubt that we have utterly failed in that regard. Today, Earth’s environment is undergoing devastation brought about by, among other factors, climate change and global warming. Biodiversity is being lost, global temperature is rising, sea levels have increased, wildfires are scorching the ground, food and water insecurities are increasing and diseases such as skin cancer are becoming common. Naomi Klein describes climate change as a ‘civilizational wakeup call’. In short, the planet is dying or rather it is being killed and each and every one of us irrespective of class, race, gender, nationality and creed is culpable. We are so accustomed to focusing on the technical matters that we completely overlook the basic idea that the parasite eating away at our planet’s roots is the economic system of capitalism. Capitalism is so destructive despite making several innovative contributions to society because of its two characteristics; the unflinching desire of profit maximization and fierce competition among capitalists. Corporations exist to fill its coffers with money and keep shareholders happy without thinking of their negative social and environmental impacts. As a result, overproduction and endless waste are an inherent part of capitalism. Most mentions of climate change do not thoroughly critique the free market system and Anna Pigott, an expert on Environmental Humanities maintains that “using generalized references to ‘humanity’ and ‘consumption’ as drivers of ecological loss is not only inaccurate, it also perpetuates a distorted view of who we are and what we are capable of becoming.” The corporate sector makes decisions about natural resources such as oil while the rest of us are left to deal with the results as if the world is only theirs. Moreover, afflicted communities such as those in the third world countries do not have a say about the waste in their communities and they are forced to have processing plants, refineries and dumps in their milieu. The Amazon Forest whose trees are the lungs of the earth, has been cut down because of corporate greed, it has lost 18 percent of its area in the last 40 years alone. John Perkins in his book ‘Confessions of an Economic Hitman’ describes that the corporate-based ‘death economy’ is based on fear, debt and insufficiency which in the long run benefits no one but in the short run benefits corporate executives. Jeremy Grantham, an investor, very aptly says, “We deforest the land, we degrade our soils, we pollute and overuse our water and we treat air like an open sewer, and we do it all off the balance sheet.” The Amazon Forest whose trees are the lungs of the earth, has been cut down because of corporate greed, it has lost 18 percent of its area in the last 40 years alone. John Perkins in his book ‘Confessions of an Economic Hitman’ describes that the corporate-based ‘death economy’ is based on fear, debt and insufficiency which in the long run benefits no one but in the short run benefits corporate executives Capitalism has opened up what Karl Marx called a ‘metabolic rift’ between humankind and the rest of nature. Our social organization and the functioning of our economy is alienating us from nature. Chris Williams, in ‘Ecology and Socialism: Solutions to Capitalist Ecological Crisis’, writes that Karl Marx described the ‘original source of all wealth’ as robbery. Claiming that capitalism is a sustainable economic system and that climate change is real is trying to have your cake and eat it. The intensity of the situation can be determined from the notion that according to the Global Footprint Network, Earth Overshoot Day (the day each year when humans have consumed a year’s worth of the planet’s natural resources) fell on August 1 in 2018, five months earlier. Ignorance may have been bliss but it is an unaffordable luxury right now. The time is now; to change, to act against capitalist ecological crisis and to curb further environmental degradation. We must understand that the environment is a shared zone; what happens there is caused by all of us and it affects all of us. Corporations make money and exploit the environment because consumers demand and are willing to buy the products that these companies make. The basic thing all of us can do is raise our voices through all accessible channels such as our social media accounts. We must use any and every platform to put the message of environmental degradation brought by capitalism out there. Martin Luther King said that a time comes when silence is betrayal. If we do not use our voices to develop awareness about this phenomenon, we are taking the side of the oppressor and 9p0[-=betraying the planet. Moreover, we need to adopt responsible and sustainable consumption practices. Otherwise, society will collapse on itself as the cost of climate change begins to add up. Some steps we can take include reducing meat consumption, buying cruelty-free cosmetic products and reducing carbon emissions of commute by preferring physical activity to automobiles. Making sweeping systems of completely altering the economic system is unreliable as well as highly misguided because the both ends of the spectrum (capitalism and communism) have their shortcomings. A middle way is needed where it is ensured that people have freedom but it is not exercised negatively. In a nutshell, capitalism is eating away our planet’s sustainability and it is up to us to fight it and the world a safer, cleaner place. Ernest Hemingway rightly said, “The Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for.” Our planet is the only known habitable planet and we should be ashamed of ourselves for making climate change and environmental degradation the legacy of the human civilization. We must wake up, raise our voices, and make our governments and companies accountable before it is too late. As Henry Thoreau put it, “What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” Time is running out. The author is an undergraduate student of International Relations at National Defence University, Islamabad Published in Daily Times, February 11th 2019.