Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Planetary Polemic

I've been reading Naomi Klein's 'This Changes Everything'. It is quite a depressing tome and I've been making rather slow progress. In fact, I'm kind of worried that the global warming catastrophe described therein may happen before I finish it and find out what we are supposed to do to prevent it. The quote on the back from Stephanie Merritt says that "...crucially she leaves the reader with a sense of optimism." Not so far. 

I've been worrying about global warming or nuclear catastrophe since I first learned of them in the 1980s. Depending on what source you read, the nuclear threat is either fading or greater than ever. But everybody bar a few crackpot conspiracy theorists (and an American presidential candidate) is agreed that the threat from anthropogenic climate change is real and that we are already feeling its effects.

It has seemed obvious (and reading Klein's book has firmed up the statistics on this) that the interests of global capital and the interests of the planet are opposed. The 'sense of optimism' that Klein imparts to her readers is the sense that these things can change. We, the people, can take on capitalism and win. 

This is the most important battle we are facing. 

Red or Blue,
Old Labour or New,
In the EU or out of the EU.

Blue or Red,
Listen to your head,
Take up the fight or the planet is dead.

When Britain voted to leave the EU, I was concerned that we had weakened the negotiating position of both entities. When the trade deals are renegotiated do you think little Britain will be able to argue for clauses that ensure the well-being of the planet? 

It's Wednesday so I'm off to the pub, I will finish this polemic another time.

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