Guardian: To Solve the Climate Crisis We Need to Change How We Think about Wealth

Essay by Eric Worrall

“… We need to leave the age of fossil fuel behind, swiftly and decisively. But what drives our machines won’t change until we change what drives our ideas. …”

‘If you win the popular imagination, you change the game’: why we need new stories on climate

So much is happening, both wonderful and terrible – and it matters how we tell it. We can’t erase the bad news, but to ignore the good is the route to indifference or despair 

by Rebecca Solnit
Thu 12 Jan 2023 17.00 AEDT

Every crisis is in part a storytelling crisis. This is as true of climate chaos as anything else. We are hemmed in by stories that prevent us from seeing, or believing in, or acting on the possibilities for change. Some are habits of mind, some are industry propaganda. Sometimes, the situation has changed but the stories haven’t, and people follow the old versions, like outdated maps, into dead ends.

We need to leave the age of fossil fuel behind, swiftly and decisively. But what drives our machines won’t change until we change what drives our ideas. The visionary organiser adrienne maree brown wrote not long ago that there is an element of science fiction in climate action: “We are shaping the future we long for and have not yet experienced. I believe that we are in an imagination battle.”

To change our relationship to the physical world – to end an era of profligate consumption by the few that has consequences for the many – means changing how we think about pretty much everything: wealth, power, joy, time, space, nature, value, what constitutes a good life, what matters, how change itself happens. …

There’s yet another narrative that’s persisted at least since the invention of compact fluorescent lightbulbs and the Toyota Prius: that we must renounce abundance and enter an age of austerity. It’s all in the telling. To consider our age an age of abundance, you have to be counting sheer accumulated stuff and ignoring how it is distributed. That is, we live in an age of extreme wealth for some, and desperation for the many. But there’s another way to count wealth and abundance – as hope for the future, safety and public confidence, emotional wellbeing, love and friendship and strong social networks, meaningful work and purposeful lives, equality and justice and inclusion.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2023/jan/12/rebecca-solnit-climate-crisis-popular-imagination-why-we-need-new-stories

I think what the author is trying to say is if we embrace climate communism, can we feel better about our stuff being redistributed.

I think I’ll keep my toys. If poor people want their own toys, they should get off their butts and work for them.

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Stephen Wilde
January 14, 2023 6:05 am

Unfortunately, they are still gaining ground.
The lessons of the past 500 years are being thrown away.

strativarius
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
January 14, 2023 6:34 am

I’d say they were gradually being erased.

We can no longer say “we have found the bones of a neolithic man or woman”, because as woke archaeologists will argue, we don’t know what gender they identified as….

MarkW
Reply to  strativarius
January 14, 2023 7:45 am

In a recent school board meeting, parents who objected to biological males using the women’s restrooms and shower facilities were thrown out of the meeting because they were creating an atmosphere in which it was impossible to discuss the plans of the board.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  strativarius
January 14, 2023 10:12 am

We don’t even know if they had any words that signified different genders 🙂

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Dave Andrews
January 14, 2023 11:46 am

At least, we can be certain Neanderthals didn’t change the equipment they were born with.

Tom Halla
January 14, 2023 6:05 am

Another “you will have nothing, and be happy!” from the Grauniad.

Scissor
Reply to  Tom Halla
January 14, 2023 6:50 am

Even now, everyone is so happy. Thus Davos must be secured by 5000 well armed soldiers when WEF takes place.

Tom in Florida
January 14, 2023 6:09 am

“as hope for the future, safety and public confidence, emotional well being, love and friendship and strong social networks, meaningful work and purposeful lives, equality and justice and inclusion.”

Buzz words all, and always from those who don’t want to compete to get what they want. And of course, who will be determining what is meaningful work and purposeful living is the real hidden agenda.

guidvce4
Reply to  Tom in Florida
January 14, 2023 6:26 am

In other words, childish expectations for just being alive and stealing oxygen from the folks who live in realityville. And work to achieve what they want in life.

MarkW
Reply to  Tom in Florida
January 14, 2023 7:47 am

Anytime you see someone stringing that many buzzwords together, you know they are struggling for something to say and are trying to keep the word count up.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  MarkW
January 14, 2023 9:41 am

Call that process a “Trudeau”.
Meaningless piles of nothing

John the Econ
Reply to  Tom in Florida
January 14, 2023 12:19 pm

Sounds like someone who went to college, but didn’t master any marketable skills.

MarkW
Reply to  John the Econ
January 14, 2023 2:40 pm

Our VP is also pretty good at stringing together lots of nonsense without ever coming to a point.

John the Econ
Reply to  MarkW
January 14, 2023 2:59 pm

She makes me question my lack of interest in attending law school. I mean, if she was able to get a law degree, how hard could it have possibly been?

Frank from NoVA
January 14, 2023 6:10 am

‘The visionary organiser adrienne maree brown wrote…’

Why are communists always characterized as ‘visionary’ and the rest of us as schlubs?

barryjo
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
January 14, 2023 6:20 am

I guess we have different pharmacists.

strativarius
Reply to  barryjo
January 14, 2023 6:37 am

Or just better grade drugs

Chasmsteed
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
January 14, 2023 10:27 am

And poverty for all – the great leveling down.

‘The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.’
 
-Winston Churchill, House of Commons, 22 October 1945

MarkW
Reply to  Chasmsteed
January 14, 2023 2:43 pm

For the most part, under capitalism you are paid what your labor is worth.
The problem is that too many people think that they should be paid without regard to how hard they work, or if anyone wants to buy what you are producing.

Scarecrow Repair
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
January 14, 2023 12:12 pm

Because they see what isn’t so. The rest of us see reality.

Michael in Dublin
January 14, 2023 6:17 am

Correction:

I think I’ll keep my toys. If poor people want their own toys, they should get off their butts and work for make them. 😉

guidvce4
January 14, 2023 6:21 am

In other words, fantasy should guide what happens in the real physical world. The author states it by mentioning “imagination” in the article. This is a person who needs a “safe space” to act out against reality, preferably an enclosed one with padded walls.
The climate cult is realizing that their scam is no longer grabbing the attention of the majority of folks who have benefited from the work ethic.
So, a change in how the “climate” threat is called for…again. Yeah, that’ll do it. Not.
Morons and nitwits and idiots seem to be the leaders of the day. For now.
Just sayin’.

strativarius
January 14, 2023 6:29 am

Trust the Grauniad to come up with something like this. By today’s woke norms it should have been cancelled years ago…

“THE GUARDIAN is facing calls to “shut down” for hypocrisy after backing BLM protests when it branded Abraham Lincoln “abhorrent” in the US Civil War. Originally called the Manchester Guardian, the paper was founded in 1821 by John Edward Taylor using profits from a cotton plantation that used slaves.”

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/11864739/lincoln-guardian-shut-down/

Yes it actually sided with the south. And now? It’s against humanity per se.

“it matters how we tell it”

So how do they tell it? Well…

“The Guardian has updated its style guide to introduce terms that more accurately describe the environmental crises facing the world.

Instead of “climate change” the preferred terms are “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown” and “global heating” is favoured over “global warming”, although the original terms are not banned”.

And the best laugh…

“We want to ensure that we are being scientifically precise”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/17/why-the-guardian-is-changing-the-language-it-uses-about-the-environment

“a storytelling crisis”

Virtually every media outlet has got rid of their objective journalists and brought in partisan hacktivists. And as storytelling goes, they’re pretty substandard to say the least.

Last edited 24 days ago by strativarius
insufficientlysensitive
Reply to  strativarius
January 14, 2023 7:59 am

the preferred terms are “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown” and “global heating” is favoured over “global warming”, 

Remember, those terms are chosen and used by the politicians who fund the activists, not by the scientists (more and more of whom are being unfunded by said politicians) who still inquire throughout the real world for the truth.

strativarius
Reply to  insufficientlysensitive
January 14, 2023 8:04 am

Not forgetting the civil service…

mikewaite
Reply to  strativarius
January 14, 2023 9:38 am

As the Manchester Guardian the paper had the legendary C P Scott as editor and owner , whose most famous quote is probably:

-A newspaper is of necessity something of a monopoly, and its first duty is to shun the temptations of monopoly. Its primary office is the gathering of news. At the peril of its soul it must see that the supply is not tainted. Neither in what it gives, nor in what it does not give, nor in the mode of presentation must the unclouded face of truth suffer wrong. Comment is free, but facts are sacred.

  • Manchester Guardian, May 5, 1921.
  • Then the paper left its origins and seems to have abandoned truth and honesty along with its name .
Henry Pool
January 14, 2023 6:40 am

Ja.Ja. I wrote something about wealth and how and where the wealth of the world is going!

So, who is speaking for the people? | Bread on the water

James Snook
January 14, 2023 6:44 am

It appears that the fashionable phrase is no longer ‘Climate Crisis’ but the ridiculous ‘Climate Breakdown’.

Perhaps we should phone for a tow?

Stephen Philbrick
January 14, 2023 7:00 am

This was always the endgame.

It was never about climate change per se, but using climate change as an excuse to justify fullbore communism.

Many of us always do that, but it’s slightly surprising to see them coming this close to admitting it.

Henry Pool
Reply to  Stephen Philbrick
January 14, 2023 8:18 am

Apart from the rich who are running the show…

https://breadonthewater.co.za/2022/02/10/so-who-is-speaking-for-the-people/

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Stephen Philbrick
January 14, 2023 10:54 am

…always knew that… not …always do that…

Tom Abbott
January 14, 2023 7:24 am

From the article: “We need to leave the age of fossil fuel behind, swiftly and decisively.”

No. We don’t need to do this. There is no good reason to stop using oil, natural gas and coal.

Don’t let the climate alarmists stampede you into doing something really stupid and destructive like trying to eliminate fossil fuels from our lives.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 14, 2023 7:34 am

”…eliminate fossil fuels from our lives…”
DiCaprio will be upset when he can’t get fuel for his yacht…

Hivemind
Reply to  DMacKenzie
January 14, 2023 6:04 pm

And private jet.

David Dibbell
Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 14, 2023 7:53 am

Excellent point.

Robert Bryce has a good take on this – roughly quoted “If we didn’t have oil, we would have to invent it.” I follow him on Twitter. @pwrhungy

Also Alex Epstein with his new book Fossil Future is very good.

slowroll
Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 14, 2023 11:42 am

The result of this would returning to shoveling thousands of tons of horsehockey off the streets and dumping it in the ocean. At least it would create lots of jobs.

Right-Handed Shark
January 14, 2023 7:32 am

The works of Karl Marx re-written in flowery language and reduced to a few short paragraphs.

But still undiluted evil.

Last edited 24 days ago by Right-Handed Shark
Moriarty
January 14, 2023 7:38 am

I am fond of saying it ain’t about carbon dioxide or green house gases, global warming or climate change. The real goal is to radically change of our society, economic system and governance.

slowroll
Reply to  Moriarty
January 14, 2023 11:34 am

That’s why they’re known as watermelons.

DMacKenzie
January 14, 2023 7:38 am

….Change How We Think about Wealth

Change “Climate” to “Crime” and its an article from a year ago in a different section of the Grauniad.

MarkW
January 14, 2023 7:43 am

And to think, the trolls keep telling us that socialism/communism has nothing to do with the global warming movement.

insufficientlysensitive
January 14, 2023 7:54 am

But what drives our machines won’t change until we change what drives our ideas. …”

Great! The Guardian is outed for its desire for Thought Control – by its cronies, of course, not the rest of us rabble who can’t help thinking up an original idea now and then.

MarkW
January 14, 2023 7:57 am

you have to be counting sheer accumulated stuff and ignoring how it is distributed. 

Catch the key word, distributed.
According to the socialists, wealth isn’t earned, it’s distributed.
You did not earn the good things in your life, it was given to you. And if the socialists decide you should be given less, you have no right to object, because it was never yours in the first place.

Dena
January 14, 2023 8:00 am

Humans are greedy by nature but greed is good. It goes back to the cave man where a man might steal food to keep his clan alive. He might also take women so his clan might survive to another generation. You don’t hear anything about the guy who did’t defend his property because nobody is around to tell his tale.
Take it to a bit more modern. The pilgrims couldn’t leave the Mayflower until they signed the Mayflower compact. While praised as the first law in the new world, it was an agreement that all would share equally in the wealth of the new world. What happened is during the harsh winter, few wanted to work gathering food and constructing new buildings. As the result they almost died off. To save the people come spring the land and resources were divided and the people where told they could keep what they grew and if they decided not to work, there would be no handouts come winter. Needless to say, they quickly developed a work ethic.
Want is a part of our genetics. It’s what motivates us to survive and you aren’t going to change it by suggesting it’s for the greater good. A government that allows you to acquire with you desire while protecting you from others who would take your wealth from you is the best government. If the government should become the taker, it’s time to consider another form of government. People who suggest otherwise have never needed to deal with the real world and should be forced to live as the common person would long enough to understand the struggle we all face.

sskinner
January 14, 2023 8:02 am

“I have never understood why it is “greed” to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money” – T. Sowell

ringworldrefugee
Reply to  sskinner
January 14, 2023 10:42 am

If Thomas Sowell were required reading in high school our world would be a much better place.

QODTMWTD
January 14, 2023 8:07 am

I’d like to put the author in an operating room at any US trauma center and ask him to point to an item that wasn’t made of or with fossil fuels.

Hivemind
Reply to  QODTMWTD
January 14, 2023 6:10 pm

A Canberra (Australia) politician of a green nature once toured the emergency ward at the local hospital. Impressed by how much technology there was and how much power it used, he asked if surely some of the machinery could be turned off. The nurse asked him which patient he wanted to die.

Curious George
January 14, 2023 8:08 am

Please define “we”.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Curious George
January 14, 2023 2:23 pm

When petty tyrants use “we” they mean “you”.

MarkW
Reply to  Chris Hanley
January 14, 2023 2:49 pm

When they are talking about who needs to suffer, who needs to work harder, who needs to give up what they are used to, they mean “you”.

When they are talking about who is going to be making decisions, who is going to be getting more stuff, they are talking about themselves.

philincalifornia
January 14, 2023 8:08 am

Slightly off-topic story tip, although it is on the subject of useful idiot Guardian reader-types:

… and we have an early contender for the climate moron quote of the year:

“California is experiencing — coincidentally — both a drought emergency and a flood emergency,” said Karla Nemeth, the director of the state Department of Water Resources, adding that she attributed the situation to the impacts of climate change.

https://www.aol.com/news/california-hammered-rain-may-not-155337349.html

Hoyt Clagwell
January 14, 2023 8:42 am

” to end an era of profligate consumption by the few that has consequences for the many – means changing how we think about pretty much everything: wealth,power, joy, time, space, nature, value, what constitutes a good life, what matters, how change itself happens. “

If you ever needed convincing that this is all just a new religion, this pretty much confirms it.

slowroll
Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
January 14, 2023 11:37 am

…the First Church of the Boiling Globe…

Peta of Newark
January 14, 2023 8:53 am

Never a truer word, thank you grauniad

Quote:But what drives our machines won’t change until we change what drives our ideas. …”

And what’s driving our ideas right now is something vastly more (physically as well as mentally) damaging and addictive than Cocaine

i.e. Sugar

Only one real problem apart from its addictiveness, there’s now nothing else to eat on this Earth – we really have plumbed the very bottom of the food chain.

where next

“hic”
Hark, what was that noise?
“Oh it’s you Boris. How remiss of me, I nearly forgot to mention alcohol”

Retired_Engineer_Jim
January 14, 2023 9:32 am

Note that it is all about the “stories”. What about the facts? The Truth? How about real “data-driven” decision making?

HutchesHunches
January 14, 2023 9:57 am

Significantly, this view has been discredited over and over again. Each and ever variation of it, be it socialism, communism or whatever has proven to be an utter failure. The only exception, Communist China, has essentially survived by turning the productive means of their society over to effective capitalists, while keeping the most abhorrent aspects of communism in place for the rest of their society. Meanwhile, they steal our ideas and use comment image?resize=720%2C459&ssl=1 slave labor to sell cheap products back to us, while enriching their “Capitalist” sector at the expense of the masses. Idealists, such as the one writing this article are almost always sequestered in an academic cocoon of circular thinking that keeps spouting out this nonsense. Perhaps the only way we can rid ourselves of this menace is to experience the true effects of socialism in America. Then we might realize that what we had in the first place was the best we could expect to have as mortal, imperfect beings that we are.

Dena
Reply to  HutchesHunches
January 14, 2023 10:09 am

Actually they haven’t kept their nose out of business. They have encouraged foreign trade at the cost of developing their home market. It’s looking like we are going to enter a world recession and when we do, China will see a serious collapse of their market because they will have nobody to buy their products. The world won’t be be able to afford them and their people won’t want them.
Also they were only able to experience the growth they have seen because of technology theft. If they had to do their own development and pay the cost for that, their growth would have been far less because they money would go into R&D instead of developing the means of production.
China is a government controlled market place but it’s unlike anything that has been tried before.

John Oliver
Reply to  HutchesHunches
January 14, 2023 10:45 am

Well said. China is really a hybrid monster. There is also talk now about China’s economy collapsing; as if we really don’t have to worry anymore. I think that is very wrong thinking. Because their government the CCP doesn’t care how much the people suffer and they have created the tools to control them.

So they as a nation have more “staying power “ to weather a long economic storm than we do. Hard to compete against a country like China where every citizen is potential slave labor.

Tom_Morrow
Reply to  HutchesHunches
January 14, 2023 1:08 pm

Michael Ledeen wrote that China was the first mature fascist state, based on it embracing corporatist capitalism directed by the state. This is something he first noted 20 years ago.

https://pjmedia.com/michaelledeen/2011/01/20/china-the-first-mature-fascist-state-n187147

ringworldrefugee
January 14, 2023 10:44 am

“We are shaping the future we long for and have not yet experienced. I believe that we are in an imagination battle.”

Pretty sure she spelled “imaginary” wrong.

slowroll
January 14, 2023 11:31 am

What a lot of phsycobabble á la the codswallop from Jean Paul Sarte. The sad part is these people take themselves seriously.

Hivemind
Reply to  slowroll
January 14, 2023 6:16 pm

I once read a story by Jean Paul Sarte. It was really quite execrable.

pflashgordon
January 14, 2023 11:38 am

Reading this woman’s list of recent articles and books, and her biography that hides her education and experience, except to say she is a product of California public education, one can only conclude that she is batsh.t crazy. She knows nothing about anything, but vomits words onto the page with ease.

Gary Pearse
January 14, 2023 11:41 am

“But what drives our machines won’t change until we change what drives our ideas. …”

Here is the ‘thinking’ of someone who has absolutely no clue about what drives ideas! It is not a centrally planned thing.

Aetiuz
January 14, 2023 12:05 pm

Uh, no. To solve the climate crisis, we just need to ignore it. The climate crisis doesn’t exist. It’s not real. Just ignore it, and it will go away. Like magic.

Coeur de Lion
January 14, 2023 12:08 pm

Weather page still has 350ppm CO2 as the ‘safe level’. Poor saps.

philincalifornia
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
January 14, 2023 7:11 pm

As I’ve noted before, that number came from a robust consensus …

….. of the voices in Bill McKibben’s head.

Chris Hanley
January 14, 2023 12:15 pm

Rebecca’s essay is replete with first person plural pronouns: “we need” “we can” ” we urgently need” etc.
Who is she referring to, all Solnits, all Guardian writers, all ‘masters of journalism’, all feminist activists?
She doesn’t appear to be living like your average Bolivian.

It doesnot add up
January 14, 2023 12:18 pm

To solve the climate crisis we simply need to ignore the Guardian (and its BBC offshoot).

Ed Zuiderwijk
January 14, 2023 12:54 pm

Correction. …… how we think about other people’s wealth.

Last edited 24 days ago by Ed Zuiderwijk
Tom_Morrow
January 14, 2023 1:11 pm

Her little leftist diatribe indicates that she, being a true believer, thinks that better stories (i.e. indoctrination) will get people to stop looking at scientific reality and thus make changes to diminish everybody’s standard of living significantly, while happily chanting marxist slogans. Obviously, Marxism is the opiate of the dumbasses.

mleskovarsocalrrcom
January 14, 2023 1:50 pm

You go first.

Edward Katz
January 14, 2023 2:03 pm

The usual socialist song&dance that’s guaranteed by the Guardian and BBC, among others, but it’s a safe bet that few people, governments, industries and businesses will pay much attention.

Clarky of Oz
January 14, 2023 3:20 pm

Every crisis is in part a storytelling crisis.

“Once upon a time……………
……….. and they all lived happily after.”

Tombstone Gabby
January 14, 2023 5:17 pm

” … and friendship and strong social networks, … “

Well, there goes ‘smart phones’.

doonman
January 14, 2023 7:57 pm

If we all wish hard enough, Tinkerbell will come back

garboard
January 15, 2023 4:10 am

one look at all the private jets at davos shows what a joke this is . people like john kerry don’t want the common folk cluttering up their planet

Andy Pattullo
January 15, 2023 8:32 am

This is one person’s opinion that we should abandon our natural tendencies to try and thrive, reproduce and increase the quality of our lives. I suppose everyone has the right to believe what they want and act on their own inclinations but no-one has the right to force me or anyone else to do the same. NO ONE. It doesn’t matter what fictional stories are concocted about chaos, emergency, climate breakdown. The truth is the truth and no one has measured and proven any deleterious change in our climate let alone shown that we as a civilization are driving such a change.

Steve Smith
January 15, 2023 10:25 am

I will say to the guardian what I say to everyone that mentions the phrase “climate crisis ”
What climate crisis?

Editor
January 15, 2023 11:46 am

Rebecca Solnit’s remarkable article contains: “For too long, the climate fight has been limited to scientists and policy experts. While we need their skills, we also need so much more. When I survey the field, it’s clear that what we desperately need is more artists.“.

I think that means that in spite of having onside virtually every scientific organisation worlwide, every major political party in the western democracies, nearly all the mainstream media and all big business including the tech giants who control social media, they are still losing the argument. I don’t think that adding artists will turn that around. I hope not, anyway.

Gunga Din
January 15, 2023 1:56 pm

Why is it that “Greed” is accepted as an excuse by those suffer from “Envy” to take what others have?
Neither are desirable qualities no matter your bank balance.

AndyHce
Reply to  Gunga Din
January 15, 2023 7:53 pm

It is the natural, intrinsic nature of the parasite.

Tim Gorman
January 16, 2023 4:50 am

To consider our age an age of abundance, you have to be counting sheer accumulated stuff and ignoring how it is distributed. That is, we live in an age of extreme wealth for some, and desperation for the many. But there’s another way to count wealth and abundance – as hope for the future, safety and public confidence, emotional wellbeing, love and friendship and strong social networks, meaningful work and purposeful lives, equality and justice and inclusion.”

First, it isn’t “counting sheer accumulated stuff”. The words betray the meme’s behind this. As anyone working at a thrift store, a food bank, a Good Will store, or the Salvation Army can tell you it is the *sharing* of that “accumulated stuff” that works. Not *forced* sharing as Marxism envisions but voluntary sharing. You “accumulate stuff” to make your own life easier and then when you don’t need it then you share it with others. This quote betrays the author as believing human kind is greedy, crass, and selfish – and only Marxism can cure this. It’s a false view of humankind.

Second, “hope for the future, safety” means “accumulating stuff” that contributes to the future and safety via higher productivity by the individual. Again, the words betray the meme’s behind the author’s world view. Ask the plumber or electrician if accumulating the special tools that allows them to do the job with higher quality and shorter work times is a good thing or a bad thing. This applies across the board, even if it is the accumulation of wealth that can be used to invest in productive ventures.

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