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

Monday, September 20, 2010

Arctic Ice in Death Spiral

by Stephen Leahy from IPS.

I find it hard to believe that with the loss of Arctic ice we can stabilize the greenhouse effect and global warming by installing a lot of solar panels as this concluding paragraph suggests:
Meanwhile, a new generation of low-cost, thin-film solar roof and outside wall coverings being made today has the potential to eliminate burning coal and oil to generate electricity, energy experts believe – if governments have the political will to fully embrace green technologies.
From this data it is hard to believe that we haven't already passed the tipping point on global warming. The loss of ice will set in motion numerous positive feedback loops that will accelerate global warming and flooding of low lying areas. 

On the other hand, what have we to lose by working to replace a system that is obsessed with more production and more consumption to drive more profits for a tiny capitalist class?