After reading the latest articles put out by noted climate change/resource exhaustion specialists, it appears to me that they have reached a dead-end. They are looking at the upcoming climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico with despair. Albert Bates in his article entitled, Slouching Towards Cancun, writes:
In Copenhagen, the NGOs had displays and presentation rooms right at the Bella Center, the Ground Zero of the UN meeting. That ended the snowy December day Obama arrived, when, suddenly, NGOs were rationed passes, and then thrown out into the cold, quite literally. This year the host country is starting at the point of last year’s exclusion, dividing the delegate deliberations at the Moon Palace Hotel from the Civil Sector Sideshow at the Cancun Messe, 5 miles away. KlimaForum10, an off-site alternative congress continuing from this past April’s World Peoples' Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Bolivia, is even farther away, across impassible swamps and pedestrian-inadvisable highways.Richard Heinberg writes at length about the effects we will see if we continue with "business as usual":
They keep presenting basically the same arguments and data that clearly indicate that societies cannot keep on the same growth path that has occurred up to now. Some are beginning to see the futility of merely presenting the same arguments against growth. George Monbiot writes:
- The depletion of important resources including fossil fuels and minerals;
- The proliferation of environmental impacts arising from both the extraction and use of resources (including the burning of fossil fuels)—leading to snowballing costs from both these impacts themselves and from efforts to avert them and clean them up; and
- Financial disruptions due to the inability of our existing monetary, banking, and investment systems to adjust to both resource scarcity and soaring environmental costs—and their inability (in the context of a shrinking economy) to service the enormous piles of government and private debt that have been generated over the past couple of decades.
How should we respond to the reality we have tried not to see: that in 18 years of promise and bluster nothing has happened? Environmentalists tend to blame themselves for these failures. Perhaps we should have made people feel better about their lives. Or worse. Perhaps we should have done more to foster hope. Or despair. Perhaps we were too fixated on grand visions. Or techno-fixes. Perhaps we got too close to business. Or not close enough. The truth is that there is not and never was a strategy certain of success, as the powers ranged against us have always been stronger than we are.They all point to the effects of the growth model of our economic system, but refuse to name it or even suggest that this system of capitalism is the cause of unrelenting pressure to grow regardless of all the disastrous environmental and human consequences. Heinberg seems to think that economists are to blame:
Economists are merely generalizing from their experience: they can point to decades of steady growth in the recent past, and they simply project that experience into the future.At least George Monbiot seems to recognize that liberal environmentalists have reached a dead end and need to come up with some new ideas. He concludes his article with this important question and statement:
So what do we do now?
I don't know. These failures have exposed not only familiar political problems, but deep-rooted human weakness. All I know is that we must stop dreaming about an institutional response that will never materialize and start facing a political reality we've sought to avoid.Yes, I agree! And the political reality is the ruling class that is addicted to profits provided to them under the system of capitalism!
Academics and others are still too intimated to do this. They fear for their careers if they do. You see, back in the 1950s during the McCarthy period of witch-hunts, there was a great purge in the US of leftists in Hollywood, the unions, educational and media institutions. The effects of this purge is still felt today even though most people don't remember the origin.
Don't blame Joe McCarthy for what happened. He was mentally unstable, but a "useful idiot" to the ruling class at the time. It was only when he began to attack generals in the US Army with his crazy "commie" claims that the ruling class got rid of him.