I’m gonna take two weeks, gonna have a fine vacation
I’m gonna take my problem to the United Nations
Well I called my congressman and he said Quote:
“I’d like to help you son but you’re too young to vote”
Sometimes I wonder what I’m a gonna do
But there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues
I really like the way the “Is This So Difficult” thread went. Neither blogs nor usenet nor any other new media have been very effective in making progress, no more than the broadcast media that preceded them. What we need is a way for people to converge on issues, think about them together, round up the necessary expertise, and actually move toward new ideas. We had a glimmer of that in that thread.
I’ve always thought of climate change as just one of the more straightforward aspects of the sustainability problem. If we can;t get this one right, how can we move on to the others? Neven is proposing narrowing that down a bit: growth is the problem. Perhaps we can build a reasonable crusade on questioning the nature and sustainability of growth? After all, it seems to be at the center of the delusional structure of our time, and is a universal opinion of left and right. Full employment! Jobs! Economic Growth! Even population growth! It’s so written into every transaction, every behavior, every argument. And yet it’s obviously wrong, and has been obviously wrong since 1798
at the latest.
A lot of people will have a lot of resistance at that point. They’ll call you communistic (though if you’d said it thirty years ago in Moscow you’d presumably be called an imperialist for that; indeed, imperialism is an ideology of scarcity).
There are other ideas that seem to have resonance with a very wide audience. I have recently had some success reaching out to military types by making the analogy of the earth to a ship, which I owe to the quirky and sporadically brilliant (but genuinely brilliant nonetheless!) Buckminster Fuller. (no relation to Tom, one presumes…)
Which brings me to another really big question.
The fact is that now that there are enough of us to rock the boat, there does need to be some authority to keep the boat steady. One hesitates to argue for a global government; not only is the concept viscerally hated in America these days but it really does have some serious dangers associated with it. Would an American teenager today even fantasize about taking their troubles to the United Nations, like the protagonist in Eddie Cochran;s 1958 song?
In the coming decades, there has to be some authority, some amount of global soveriegnty. I think recent events have demonstrated beyond doubt
that we can’t cope with just the current system. You don’t run a ship with six big captains, a dozen less influential captains, and a hundred and forty minor captains. It seems to me that we have to press for a global decision-making process. (Anyone who is planning to fall back on geoengineering the more so!)
People who believe that such a thing is a very bad idea should reflect on the existence of the GATT and the WTO
. We have had global governance for decades now. We simply don’t give it any powers other than the protection of big capital. Don’t get me wrong. Big capital absolutely needs protecting; the whole bloody system falls apart otherwise. (As I understand it, it nearly did so last year.) We have become quite dependent on this system. But it really lacks some important priorities. There are other stakeholders on the planet, many (one hopes) as yet unborn. The thing that has utterly failed us is the collection of nation-states each acting in its own interest.
What a stupid way to go.
Is there an alternative? Is there a way to exert pressure on a global scale? Is that the end run around idiot nations and nationalisms?