The financial crisis which has unfolded this year has caused governments to release billions of dollars at short notice to prop up the financial system. One might wonder why such funds have never been available to alleviate poverty, cancel Third World debt, or take meaningful action on climate change. But we don’t wonder about such things, since we know the answer… governments are keen to protect ‘business as usual’ for the wealthy few, but they are far less keen to act to transform the lives of the poor or look to the long-term future of the biosphere.
Climate change is undoubtedly the most significant issue facing the planet right now. Human society must immediately begin rapid and radical alterations to the industrial and agricultural production systems causing much of the greenhouse gas emission that is driving this climate change. Yet we seem chronically (one might suggest criminally) unable to make the necessary transformation in the way we live. The best we can do – the EU’s much-trumpeted policy of 20% emissions reduction by 2020 – is ridiculously inadequate.
So what are our options?