Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Poor greens – despite Greta’s tears, the delegates barely pretended they cared.
After failure in New York, we must reshape the politics of climate change
Published on 24/09/2019, 4:40pm
Comment: Climate denial is no longer the problem, it is inaction of politicians who know what is at stake. They must feel pressure from all sides
By Nick Mabey
The UNSG Climate Action Summit in New York finally took the temperature on the global politics of climate action.
Spoiler alert – it wasn’t hot enough.
The summit also triggered the diplomatic starting gun for the next set of critical climate decisions coming in 2020 at COP26 in Glasgow. With so much climate pollution in the atmosphere, without a big increase in action at Glasgow it will be practically impossible to keep climate change within safe limits.
People are fired up for action from those with power and authority. Unfortunately, the lukewarm outcomes from the UN Climate Action Summit give little faith that the mercury is rising in the halls of power.
Despite the UN secretary general going far beyond the usual diplomatic niceties – only allowing leaders announcing real commitments a platform – the response from major polluters was virtually non-existent. If solutions are cheaper, public opinion is mobilised and impacts much clearer, why is political action not following?
In most countries more people want climate action than not. Anti-climate action forces are societally weak but focused; pro-climate action forces are potentially powerful but poorly organised. The problem is not how to raise awareness, but how to align these forces to make an impact on the thousands of decisions needed to reshape our economies and societies.
…Read more: https://www.climatechangenews.com/2019/09/24/failure-new-york-must-remake-politics-climate-change/
If people really are fired up for change, why isn’t the green party running the country? Why aren’t green politicians running every country?
The reason of course is because ordinary people have other priorities. Some of them might demand a bit of lip service on climate action, but they are completely uninterested in climate action which costs money, like paying carbon taxes.
But if you are a green you can’t accept this simple, self evident fact. If you are a green;
- You believe claims that renewable energy is cheaper than coal, but massive government intervention is required because a conspiracy of fossil fuel tycoons is stopping the world from embracing the cheaper option.
- You believe the people demand climate action, but politicians those same people elect and repeatedly elect are failing to prioritise the climate action demanded by the people who voted for them.
- You believe walking to work or taking the bus is an important symbolic act, despite owning or renting a house full of energy guzzling plastic appliances. And of course you still (mostly) own a car. And flying to holiday destinations or climate events is OK.
- You believe the world is going to end in 12 years (11 years? or is it all a joke? hard to keep track), but you still work your every day job, live your normal life, and have an occasional crying fit about how awful it all is.
- You believe that if your friends mess up enough people’s lives by stopping traffic on busy work days, you will build an irresistible momentum for a green revolution.
Imagine some poor historian a hundred years from now, who will have never met a climate activist in person, trying to piece together a complete picture of our times from articles like the one I quoted.