This Changes Everything," Naomi Klein has come clean. For far too long she was in what she describes as a "soft denial" about climate change. Does this sound familiar?
"A great many of us engage in this kind of denial. We look for a split second and then we look away. Or maybe we really do look, but then we forget. We engage in this odd form of on-again-off-again ecological amnesia for perfectly rational reasons. We deny because we fear that letting in the full reality of this crisis will change everything.
"And we are right. If we continue on our current path of allowing emissions to rise year after year, major cities will drown, ancient cultures will be swallowed by the seas; our children will spend much of their lives fleeing and recovering from vicious storms and extreme droughts. Yet we continue all the same.
"What is wrong with us? I think the answer is far more simple than many have led us to believe: we have not done the things needed to cut emissions because those things fundamentally conflict with deregulated capitalism, the reigning ideology for the entire period we have struggled to find a way out of this crisis. We are stuck, because the actions that would give us the best chance of averting catastrophe - and benefit the vast majority - are threatening to an elite minority with a stranglehold over our economy, political process and media."
Ms. Klein may be late coming to the party but she's right. We - you and I - are today deciding our children's fate or we're more likely abrogating our responsibility to our children and theirs, handing it over to people with names like Harper, Trudeau and Mulcair. Of the lot, Harper is obviously the worst but the other two barely manage to hold the distinction of being "less worse."
While I'll wait until next week when my copy of Klein's books is to arrive before passing judgment, I'm curious about her focus on cutting GHG emissions. That is plainly necessary, abjectly critical, but is it too narrow a focus? How does it answer our other pressing existential challenges such as over-population, over-consumption; the loss of biodiversity, particularly the collapse of global fisheries; resource depletion including the global, freshwater crisis; food insecurity and all the ills that spawns from the spread of failed states to terrorism and resource wars?
I'm convinced by the considered arguments of Jared Diamond and others that global warming is but one part of a greater problem and that, if we're going to "fix" any of these challenges we'll have to solve them all. "Winning" has to be something better than mere survival, eking out an existence, and it has to be for everybody not just the advantaged.