I don’t want to come across as a total doomer in this blog, but I also don’t want to pretend that gradual changes here and there, and a green growth economy are going to give us any chance of a future to look forward to. The situation is unbelievably dire, but if we do everything perfectly, we can salvage something that the youth of the world in particular can feel optimistic about.
We can’t “solve” the problem. People are and will continue to die from this self inflicted tragedy. People will continue to lose their homes and livelihoods. Many animals will continue to struggle and eventually go extinct. Those things are terrible and inexcusable. But it’s either horrific or unimaginably horrific. That’s our choice.
I believe strongly that it is wrong that as a world we don’t share our knowledge. Some countries do some things undeniably better than others, and we present these failings as “cultural differences”. The Dutch have a society that is built for cycling, Japan has a train system that is the envy of the world, China have an astonishing number of electric buses, and Sweden is making steel using hydrogen. Culture should have nothing to do with aspects of society that are central to our quality of life. Food and religious practices, yes. Infrastructure, transport, housing, taxes, social benefits etc, absolutely not.
Between all of us, we have the ability to transform the way we live to give ourselves a chance of making a better world. We only have a few short years remaining before things get out of control, but I believe it is still possible. All we have to do is choose to do it. There are no technological barriers in our way. We just have to let go of growth and consumption, and become a society where we live in harmony with each other and nature.
It sounds strange to say, but in order to have a future to look forward to, we have to stop being hard working, selfish people; and start being lazy, unselfish people.