The only remaining question is… are we ready to fix this
The climate situation is getting worse - all the trends are bad. The planet is getting hotter than expected, faster than expected and severe events like droughts, floods and wildfires are the new normal. If we do not get it right now we may lose coral reefs, rainforests and many other ecological systems upon which we depend - life on this planet could be about to become much more difficult.
December 2015, the nations of the world will once again come together to discuss a global climate treaty which would reduce global emissions - this time in Paris (COP21). Once again, the whole circus will come to town: corporate sponsors, NGOs, civil society groups, representatives of indigenous peoples, celebrities and the media. Everyone will want to be heard above the hubbub but the most important question that we should answer before even booking our low carbon transport to the funfair is this: why after 25 years of these meetings are emissions still rising?
Luckily Naomi Klein’s important new book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate cuts through the waffle and gets to the point. We live in a time when a highly organised and powerful group of (largely) old white men have successfully globalised an ideology that fine tunes the global economy to wage a ceaseless and devastating war on the atmosphere and biosphere. These people are neo-conservatives; their ideology is neo-liberalism; they worship free markets and they demand deregulated corporations drive endless economic growth and… they have been running the show since the mid 1980s.
All of us gearing up for the next big climate showdown should read Naomi’s book and get real. There is no point once again lobbying our politicians for the urgently needed Green New Deal that will create millions of jobs and transition us to the clean economy. They won’t listen and they do not care. The biggest and most powerful institutions in the world have been totally bought out. They will have us rounded up, held without charge, DNA swabbed and kicked down the street before they take action on climate change.
The global economy is the problem. We have left it too late for any amount of incremental change from within the system to have any chance of keeping the planet within the two degrees of warming scientists tell us is safe. We approach the inevitable end game. The only solution to climate change is a global political movement of sufficient size and power to dismantle the global economic institutions concentrating wealth and cooking our planet. We need to get the neo-cons peddling greed and wealth concentration out of the driving seat and put in place people and policies that: fundamentally restructure the economy, redistribute wealth, protect vital ecological systems and start immediately and radically bringing emissions down to safe levels.
The only remaining question is… are we ready to fix this??