Professor Nicholas Stern warns: “Whatever way we look at it, the action we need to take is immense.”As the UN Climate Conference in Paris starting on November 30th approaches, I've notice Obama making noises about environmental concerns. I like Stern's warning about a tipping point, but I am not at all optimistic about any significant reductions in carbon pollution of our atmosphere from these talks. I saw what happened in 2009 in Copenhagen, and I know that only a dramatic cut in production of useless things and a major plan to equably distribute needed things simply is not compatible with the requirements of capitalism. So we can have capitalism or we can have a biosphere that can sustain human life, but we can't have both. Guess which option our masters will choose?
If governments delay taking decisive measures to halt greenhouse gas emissions, he is convinced that a tipping point on climate will be reached. “In Paris, we need recognition of what we need to do − and how radical that change will be.”
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