Take 30 minutes and watch Al Gore’s presentation at TED 2008. It’s an update to his first one, and is simultaneously more depressing because of the sheer scale of new data, and much more uplifting when framing the response as a call for higher consciousness to break out of our current democratic crises that are allowing the climate crisis to take place.
4 thoughts on “climate change as a “world war” level crisis”
I am cynical, because I think it would take a lot of money (which buys power) to bring change… and that money is in the hands of the people causing the problem. A lot industries must die or at least suffer billions of dollars in loss in order to save the earth, and a lot those same industries have politicians in their pockets. It’s the same people who bring you the middle east conflict and have significant power world wide. So, yes, we have the capacity, but not the power, and that’s bound not to change unless all the rich people of the world start feeling the crunch, and that’s just not going to happen. They’ll be there in the end and probably survive this war. We, the middle and the poor classes are most likely won’t survive if the grim predications of Lovelock come to pass. In Canada we are probably in a good condition, but if South of the border they start to suffer badly, the problems will cross the border and join us rather quickly.
See Lawrence Lessig’s writing about corruption of the political process.
I agree that it’s going to be difficult – our systems have evolved to a state where they are fine tuned to mass market appeal and sound-bite thinking. No politician will stand for anything because it will likely get them unelected next time around.
It’s going to take mass activism, on par (or greater than) the civil rights movement of the 60’s before the political system is changed. I haven’t seen many million-man-marches in support of environmental sustainability legislation…
Still skeptical, I don’t know if there is any sort of will, political or otherwise, as was strong during the 60s due to a lot of different players punting the issues… It’s a whole new ball game where complacency is the name of the game. Only a major crisis akin to the depression could possibly shift the odds of the leaders seeing the light — at which point it just might be too late. I have been thinking that perhaps its time to start prepping your survival shelter with 20+ years of food?
If we could get million man marches, and a few of them, and perhaps some leadership stronger than Al Gore’s, I mean the man’s great but he is no MLK. He’s the type of guy that you listen to, say yup he’s right and go right back to work. I don’t feel compelled to fix the world after listening to him speak, I wonder if anyone does — I am not the type anyway, I can be easily persuaded to walk away from messing with authority… and also I wonder why sort of pressures the gov will employ against people who start protesting en masse, these days they seem to crack down pretty hard for even the smallest protests, i.e. the recent ones in BC. So much so that a lot of people say screw this and walk away.
In China the government is scared of the people rebelling and starting riots, etc, so that keeps their ears open… But still doesn’t seem like it’s doing all that much to curb global warming, they are still concerned with profits and controlling Tibetans. The Americans are obsessed with security, or so they have their people believe, and the Europeans are in tow, at least up to this point but that seems to waning. Ultimately, though I think that the way that modern countries are premised on economics, they can never make moves to hurt existing industries and job markets, and as such they have very few tools to curb global warming, because you have to continue to grow, not decrease and decline… You can tax carbon emissions, but all that means is that products and services become more expensive, perhaps fueling others to find more economic ways of providing the same services, but if the issues are a massive short term problem and restructuring takes a long time (i.e. building clean energy sources), then we simply may not have enough time to deal with the crisis using the tools that modern non-control economies have at their disposal.
Right now America gives something like 18 billion dollars to Oil & Gas in the US in tax breaks, despite the fact that they have made something like 100 billion in record profit recently. So if you have that sort of power in the political systems, I don’t know how a few protests are going to pry that power away. The new boon is doing away with oil and replacing it with bio fuels, which basically is another way to keep these guys reaping profits at the cost of people starving in the world. I still am convinced it’s a sick power game, and they have the game rigged and enough profits to keep it that way no matter what, and their managers seriously believe that the crisis is just a big joke and any efforts to them should be fought will their entire war chest.
I have actually been thinking over the past few months about how to start change, without protests, without the mess, and with the blessing of the authorities and governments and how to use the internet to do that. Basically the core premise is that the people, i.e. you, have power to create a lot of economic value on the internet. Think about YouTube selling for a billion dollars and all the other startups that have sold for multi-millions. The the argument is that if people can do that, then why don’t the people organize to create a startup that creates a billion dollars in value and then dump that billion dollars to fixing American (and Canadian) political corruption? I even went so far as to write a plan to create such a startup, but I am still hesitant because I don’t know whether it’s a good idea, what do you think D?
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