Recent decisions by the governments of Australia, Japan and Canada to downgrade their efforts over climate change have caused panic among those states most affected by global warming, who fear others will follow as they rearrange their priorities during the downturn.Of course, all the leading capitalist nations have, to a great or lessor extent, reneged or dragged their heels on promises to reduce carbon emissions (Germany is probably the least sinful--see this). Of course, their capitalist ruling classes will always find ways to renege or cheat (probably the best way is to off-shore production to the least developed countries) to promote their own industries and profits.
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