Hope From Chaos: Can Political Upheaval Lead To A New Green Epoch?

climate solutions

Hope From Chaos: Can Political Upheaval Lead To A New Green Epoch?
Paid for with quantitative easing?
Dominic Alves / flickr, CC BY

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC) published its first major report 28 years ago. This watershed document described the ominous implications of escalating emissions and the scale of the challenge in reversing this seemingly inexorable trend.

Today, despite four further IPCC reports, 23 rounds of international negotiations, and thousands of climate change papers and conferences, annual emissions are more than 60% higher than in 1990, and are still rising. Put simply, the international community has presided over a quarter of a century of abject failure to deliver any meaningful reduction in absolute global emissions.

Certainly the rhetoric of action is ramping up. Yet those who talk confidently about renewables, nuclear and “carbon capture and storage” (CCS) eventually driving down emissions in decades to come are guilty of misunderstanding the fundamental science of climate change.

We face a “cumulative problem”, with rising temperatures relating to the build up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Based on this, the Paris 1.5°C and 2°C commitments demand total emissions remain within a small and rapidly dwindling “carbon budget”. Time is truly of the essence. Less than 12 years of current emissions will see our 1.5°C aspiration go the way of the dodo, with the 2°C carbon budget exceeded by the mid 2030s.

Paris defines a timeframe and scale of mobilisation reminiscent of major wars, yet our collective response remains much more akin to the apocryphal tale of a gently warming frog.

Continuing with today’s ineffective “mitigation”, delusion and fear will bequeath many humans and other species decades and even centuries of climatic instability. This preference for short-term hedonism (for the few) over longer-term planetary stewardship is essentially an active choice for politically expedient incrementalism over revolutionary change. The latter is a prerequisite of meeting our Paris commitments – but can such rapid change ever be more than a “romantic illusion”?

An assemblage of upheaval

The first two decades of this millennium have been marked by a series of deep upheavals, illustrating opportunities for rapid change, though not necessarily in a favourable direction.

The banking crises exposed the internal failure of our precious free market model to both self-regulate and deliver on its central tenet: the “efficient allocation of scarce resources”. It also revealed how, with sufficient political will, unprecedented finances could be mobilised at the stroke of a pen.

And as the bankers and economists regrouped to thwart progressive regulation, much of the power of unaccountable media barons was being seized by the amorphous twists and turns of social media. At the same time, political institutions in many parts of the world have faced serious challenges from the left, the right and “unforeseen” circumstances.

Set against this, and despite an orchestrated campaign of denial, there is now common acceptance that responding to climate change requires significant government intervention. Rounding off this assemblage of upheaval, the plummeting cost of renewable energy has coincided with widespread recognition that relying on fossil fuels also has serious consequences for health and security.

Hope from chaos?

In themselves, each of the above disruptions has important implications for the evolution of contemporary society. But broadly aligned they could be guided towards something much more revolutionary – perhaps even a progressive and epoch-changing confluence of circumstances?

Imagine a space where climate academics could be truly honest with policy makers about their analysis and conclusions, and where disagreements were discussed openly and constructively. Add to this, vociferous engagement by younger generations, listened to by a new breed of policy makers playing a straighter bat.

Imagine then an enlightened “quantitative easing” transferring resources not to banks, but to mobilise a rapid transformation in energy infrastructure, retrofitting existing buildings, decarbonising transport and constructing zero-carbon power stations. A reformist political agenda could begin to emerge, facilitating secure, local and high-quality employment, eradicating fuel poverty, improving urban air quality, driving innovation and eliminating carbon emissions. Stretch the imagination a little further to embed a democratic media reporting on this transformation to an increasingly savvy and responsive audience.

Under such conditions, an alternative progressive paradigm could be ushered in – and soon. Certainly, none of this looks likely, but who predicted the near-collapse of the Western banking system, the emergence of Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and Jeremy Corbyn, the rise and early demise of the Arab Spring, or even the plummeting price of renewables?

The ConversationMost political and economic pontificators, buttressed by naysayers and established elites, remain incapable of seeing beyond their familiar 20th-century horizon. But the 21st century is already proving how the future is a different country – one that could yet be shaped by alternative interpretations of prosperity, sustainability and equity.

About The Author

Kevin Anderson, Professor of Energy and Climate Change, University of Manchester

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Related Books

Dynamic Quantitative Easing: An Idea For Growth

climate solutionsAuthor: Malcolm Blair-Robinson
Binding: Paperback
Studio: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Label: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Manufacturer: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Buy Now
Editorial Review: An idea to stimulate economic growth without further government borrowing.

The Money Deception - What Banks & Governments Don't Want You to Know

climate solutionsAuthor: Thomas Herold
Binding: Paperback
  • For all our books; Cargo will be delivered in the required time. 100% Satisfaction is Guaranteed!

Studio: Independently published
Label: Independently published
Publisher: Independently published
Manufacturer: Independently published

Buy Now
Editorial Review: „It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.“ - Henry Ford

In this new startling book, Mr. Herold provides the most sophisticated insight and shocking details about the current monetary system. Never before has the massive manipulation of money caused so much despair and income inequality all over the world.

This book unveils over 20 secret methods used by banks, governments, and corporations to legally steal up to 90% of your income. Brilliantly written and astoundingly easy to understand, this book is an eye-popping exposure of the most sophisticated fraud in the history of mankind.

  • Why the current monetary system stands before the abyss
  • The magic trick how banks create money out of thin air
  • The myth of GDP growth and what really causes it
  • The physiological methods by which advertisers and insurances get your money
  • Will the government soon be forced to support Universal Basic Income?
  • Why BitCoin is not a practical investment tool and will soon vanish
  • Why crypto-currencies could free us from central banks and government regulations
  • Why a resource based economy could be the solution and make money obsolete
  • What you can do right now to shift from a money mindset into wealth creation

  • Over 8 years in the making…
    The shocking details about the biggest fraud in history ever – happening to you right now.

    Bubbles blow – in 2000 the Internet business bubble imploded, only eight years later the housing market crashed. Now we have the everything bubble! More than 3 trillion dollars – that’s a three with 12 zeros – have been injected into the market since then to keep it from collapsing.

    With catastrophic results…
    This money has been souped up by the 1% that now control 50% of the world's wealth. The fastest and biggest wealth transfer in history is underway. Money evaporates, as quick as water in the desert, from the middle class, leaving them struggling and without hope for retirement. The elite class is celebrating their biggest heist with insane, astronomical profits. This is not going to last.

    Before 2020 this ‘Everything Bubble’ is going to bust…
    This book reads like a thrilling novel, but sadly it’s based on facts. The secret techniques and methods almost all banks and governments have been using, and still using today to steal your money legally. It exposes in detail, brilliance and with clarity over 20 stunning tactics, which leaves you wondering why the whole system hasn’t crashed a long time ago.

    Hint: All of us keep it going by simply believing and still trusting it…

    Nevertheless the frightening facts, this book also provides astonishing insights into a solution that could create abundance for all people instead of only a few. This is a must read if you want to survive the global monetary transformation that’s underway right now.

    What's Happening to Your Money?
    It also describes the most likely transition into a new worldwide crypto-based currency, which will become the basis of our financial system. This financial transition into the crypto-currency area marks one of the most significant changes in the history of money and has the potential to end the control of central banks and governments.

    Before You Read Another Novel
    In spite of the frightening facts, it also provides remarkable and simple solutions to create abundance for all people. This is a must read if you want to survive the global monetary transformation that’s underway right now.

    climate solutions

    follow InnerSelf on


     Get The Latest By Email


    follow InnerSelf on


     Get The Latest By Email