A Political Solution to Climate Change

I am inclined to think that we need a major political/ economic paradigm shift to solve climate change, rather than a technological fix. Political frameworks are born out of, and in response to, the historical contexts in which they are situated. It is increasingly clear that global neoliberalism is doing irreparable damage to the environment. It is increasingly clear that capitalism as it stands disenfranchises most of the world’s population. Unless we can conceive of new frameworks in which to operate, technological fixes will be forced to operate within the existing ones. Technological fixes to climate change will have to be marketable and profitable, which will only perpetuate those systems. The difficulty lies in the fact that the people who actually have the power to implement new economic and political frameworks are the same people that benefit from capitalism and neoliberalism. Designing a viable replacement framework must include input from political theory, social sciences, climate science, medicine, economics, philosophy, and many other disciplines. A new framework must also seek to represent the interests of the world’s population with respect to race, class, and gender. A truly global effort to halt climate change would necessarily undermine state sovereignty, which would undoubtedly result in violent resistance. I just don’t feel that Westerners have the wherewithal to cooperate for the good of humanity. The emphasis on that the Enlightenment put on individuality may have been the most short-sighted failure of Western thought yet.

It is really impossible to say whether or not any field of science is still in its infancy, as we cannot know what we do not know. When it comes to climate science, I suppose that it’s better to act based on what we think we know as opposed to do nothing. It might turn out that human beings are a failed biological experiment. Regardless of humans the earth will continue to exist. New life may emerge, post-humanity and post-climate change, billions of years down the road. With the state of international politics at the moment, I am not optimistic about the world coming together to solve climate change. We are already seeing mass exoduses around the world, with more prosperous nations closing their borders. It is debatable whether these migrations are the result of climate change, but when you boil it down, everything is politics, and everything is the environment.

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