The damage done is already beyond repair – Global warming poses a far greater emergency than, say, Islamist terrorism.
It would be reasonable to think that with all the Global Summits, and 97% of climate scientists have reached the conclusion that climate change will strikes to the molecular core of our existence it would be on the top of every countries to do list and world media coverage,
The failure of the climate change catastrophe to ignite wide scale is baffling to say the least.
Virtually no one any longer believes that temperature will be able to be contained to the internationally recognized tipping point of two degrees.
We are fools to underestimate the magnitude of the challenge.
The problem seems to be that the more distance we have between ourselves and the natural world the better. This has created a type of lethargy where we become very disoriented, and we don’t realize the impact our actions are having on the things we actually need in order to survive.
Until our ethics take the form of a living praxis that isn’t just concerned about insular community, that actually is concerned with the whole of humanity, and all of life on the earth we will remain blind to the danger.
Consumerism or no, capitalism or no, charity or no, there is no way to survive unless we do it together.
Seeing that we have the ability to tear things down, that we have the ability to destroy things, we also have the ability to do the opposite.
We can actually engage the problem and reverse the process. Nature has the power to regenerate itself, and if it’s able to do that without any help then what would happen if you actually helped it?.
The condition of the earth global capitalism has made the depletion of resources so rapid, convenient and barrier-free that “earth-human systems” are becoming dangerously unstable in response.
So the problem is consumption it expresses the psychological unwillingness of the character type produced within the consumer society to recognize the necessity for material sacrifice and even the existence of limits.
While capitalism facilitates and demands consumption, some mythical awakening will have to take place.
Once environmental collapse convert fully into economic and societal collapse this awaking will have come too late.
Yet, eyes wide open, shut the nations of the earth to do very little to avert the impending, entirely foreseeable catastrophe.
As everyone knows, the electoral cycles are systemically biased towards political and policy short-termism.
Because Nations participate in the international system predominantly to safeguard and advance their self-interest – the so-called “national interest”.
Only when they think the national interest is served will they form alliances or involve themselves in broader schemes of international cooperation.
For these reasons, the domestic political systems of the nation states potentially of greatest importance in the struggle against global warming–that is the advanced Western democracies—tend to paralyze the possibility of necessary emergency action. In the way it has evolved, the post-war international “system” of nations is entirely unfitted to the kind of broad-ranging international cooperation now required.
As the problem of global warming is a historical product of the early industrial nations, it is almost impossible to convince the largest newly emerging and fast growing economies—like India or Brazil or South Africa—that their overriding obligation is to act in the interests of the earth and not in the immediate, short-term interests of their own people.
The United Nations is powerless
The cap-and-trade system or a carbon tax and carbon credits is a joke.
Progress in combating climate change requires acts of good global citizenship.
Only a handful of advanced economies—Germany, Denmark, Norway most notably—have acted thus.
To date there is no meaningful action by the two largest economies of the world—the United States and China.
China will for a long-time remain heavily dependent for its energy needs on coal of which it has vast reserves.
Australia is involved in a grotesque scramble to open up vast new coal developments especially in the Hunter Valley and the Galilee Basin in Queensland.
American exceptionalism is now a threat to both the earth and to the future of humankind.
Similarly, it has been, and will continue to prove, impossible to convince the fossil fuel-reliant economies—like Russia and the oil-producing nations of the Middle East—to sacrifice supposed national economic self-interest in favor of the future well-being of human and other species.
Perhaps even more challenging however will be the investigation of the far more common and dangerous pattern, to which almost none of us is immune: namely denialism in everyday life, or the ways in which so many citizens, knowing what they do, manage somehow to live their lives in parallel universes, on one level of existence accepting intellectually that the threat of catastrophic global warming exists, and on another finding ways of living and thinking, calmly and comfortably, as if nothing of great moment was happening that was placing the future of humankind and of other species in gravest peril.
The question was posed.
Could humankind very rapidly wean itself from the source of energy on which its astonishing material well-being had for two centuries been based? We do not yet know what the answer to that question will be.
Some time ago I made a case in a post that if we want it we must pay for it.
( Have a Look)
In the mean time for those of you who walk around looking into your smart phones wondering where you are here are a few Documentaries that might awake you.