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The novels As the World Burns, ATWB and The Collapse of Western Civilization, CWC, have opposing views when it comes to solving the climate change problem. They both agree that nothing can be accomplished on an individual level but instead by governments. However, ATWB shows that the government must be disconnected from businesses and CWC says that the government must takeover completely and regulate businesses and the people to fight global warming.

As the World Burns presents its argument using the president and CEO characters. These characters personify all major corporations and the government. One scene that depicts the CEO talking with president expands upon the relation that corporations have with the government. The CEO tells the president “No, the problem is that aliens are eating the planet. Aliens aren’t supposed to consume the planet, Mr. President. Corporations are.” (Jensen and McMillan 93). Corporations are known to have their hands in the pockets of politicians. They lobby for less regulation on how they produce their products and the world is suffering for it. Also from this scene the idea that consumption is the end goal, consumption by corporations is more important. This represents how larger businesses are known for pushing smaller businesses out of business. Monopolization is technically illegal and the government has tried to regulate businesses to stop this from occurring but it can’t truly stop a company from growing if it has some form of competition. Walmart is a great example of the modern monopoly because it has competitors like Target and HEB, but due to its low prices it attracts more customers.  This allows Walmart to grow exponentially and push smaller grocery stores out of business. In this way, it is just capitalism. The corporations also are shown to control the government in the book. The CEO explains to the president how corporation’s wants “applies to everyone. Nothing – and they mean nothing – can be allowed to stand in the way of their profits.” (Jensen and McMillan 95). This highlights how corporations are continually trying to raise their profits. McDonalds is another large company with restaurants across the world. Recently states have been raising their minimum wages and in response McDonalds has reduced its staff in those areas with the use of more automated systems. This means that jobs that could be done by hand and produce less hazardous waste is done by a machine that needs fuel to run. Loop holes can always be found. McDonalds must pay their workers the said amount but just not as many of them. A more frightening example of how the government has too much control would be how the President elect has said he will cut funding to the EPA. The government’s main way of trying to preserve the environment will be destroyed so that companies can make a larger profit. This organization should be ran and funded by the people, but that would only be possible if the same people who want it gone helped fund it. In ASTB the aliens were only the problem facing humanity and the earth at that moment. They were the tip of the iceberg. After defeating them the bird says to the wild army “we eliminated one threat to the planet. And now we’ve got to go after the other.” (Jensen and McMillan 218). The “other” being big business and the government because they are the real problem in this storyline.

In the Collapse of Western Civilization, regulation of companies by the government is greatly pushed. Companies had gone too far and the government had to step in. China was the first to do so and “took steps to convert its economy to non-carbon-based energy sources.” (Oreskes and Conway 6). This was possible because China already had control over its economy. It could easily tell its businesses to stop polluting so much and fund projects that would find solutions to the current situations. In the United States Walmart is a major company that is all over the country and due to its need for low prices it causes its manufacturers to transfer production over sea to countries that have less federal regulation therefore increasing pollution. Due to a lack of government intervention this cycle has continued.  Human and environmental rights are dismissed and the only one who wins is Walmart. CWC shows that because western countries allowed these trends to continue in the name of capitalism the whole world paid the price; even the western countries lost land and lives. In addition to continuing their detrimental practices the “wealthy nations dramatically increased their production of fossil fuels.” (Oreskes and Conway 19). The authors predicted that these countries would destroy the earth further in their continuation of Laisse faire economics. The only one to survive would be China due to its ability to regulate its economy and businesses. It’s because of China’s successfulness that other countries in the book followed suite. “China’s ability to weather disastrous climate change vindicated the necessity of centralized government…” (Oreskes and Conway 52). China paved the road to recovery. Government regulation was the answer. At the end of the book they discuss the idea of giving mankind more agency, but it seems that humanity cannot handle freedom.

Both As the World Burns and the Collapse of Western Civilization show that the government and companies are the true villains in the war against climate change. The world tries to tell the little man that he is to blame. That if everyone just recycled and switched light bulbs the earth would be saved. This is to distract from the true problem. Whether the government should be dismantled or allowed to take control is up for debate. However, something drastic is needed for change to occur.