Worldwide renewable power and biofuels received $43 billion-46 billion in subsidies last year, only a fraction of the government subsidies for fossil fuels, according to preliminary figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
By contrast, governments propped up fossil fuels with $557 billion of subsidies in 2008, according to figures published in June by the International Energy Agency.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up