Prof Will Steffen of the Australian National University and the Stockholm Resilience Centre explains, “It’s clear the economic system is driving us towards an unsustainable future and people of my daughter’s generation will find it increasingly hard to survive. History has shown that civilisations have risen, stuck to their core values and then collapsed because they didn’t change. That’s where we are today.” He is a co-author of a paper which states “There is an urgent need for a new paradigm that integrates the continued development of human societies and the maintenance of the Earth system in a resilient and accommodating state.” and concludes “...The Planetary Boundaries framework does not dictate how societies should develop. These are political decisions.”
It’s Up to Us
Few people today doubt the scale of the climate change threat. Media reports about unprecedented fierce storms, polar vortexes, heatwaves, droughts, floods and hurricanes focus attention on climate change. Dealing with all these extreme weather events will be among the major challenges facing humanity in the coming decades. One can only imagine the social and human impact of the new looming catastrophes. Climate change may well lead to famine and death in enormous numbers. It has the potential to cause such a social world scale collapse that it throws into question the existence of civilisation itself.
Far from halting all carbon dioxide emissions, the world’s major states and corporations are pumping out ever-increasing amounts with little sign of any meaningful slow-down. An immense inertia is at the heart of capitalism. Once patterns of production become established and with them great concentrations of wealth and power established, they are hugely resistant to any change. The CEOs who head the gigantic corporations, embody a logic that they must follow to survive, an every-expanding, profit-seeking course of capital accumulation, and they will resist anything which fundamentally threatens their economic power. It is those who control societies who have often been prepared permit the whole of society to plunge into chaos rather any challenge which undermines their power. The record of human history gives us no reason to suppose the heads the giant global corporations will behave any differently. A surer path to change is needed – the socialist road. Protest and direct action has to be mobilised as widely as possible. But the fight to halt and reverse climate change goes beyond mere reforms within the existing capitalist system.
Appealing to a partnership with employers as the video below does, will produce barren results