The worst monsoon floods in a decade to hit a remote northeastern Indian state have killed more than 80 people and forced around 2 million to leave their homes, officials said Monday.You can expect that such articles as this about extreme weather, widespread forest fires, melting glaciers, and other natural calamities will become the new normal in the years and decades ahead. Unless, of course, you, I, and many others can stop the global growth, carbon-belching machinery of capitalism and replace it with a system that is capable of promoting social-economic justice and can function in harmony with nature.
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