Earthshot: all good stuff, but. . .

I just watched the BBC1 Earthshot programme. The winners were excellent. But there was one very strange omission:


Why did she not take part?

Angela Merkel and Jacinda Ardern contributed. Surely Greta was asked?

Not only were the winners well deserved, but so were all the runners-up.

Why did they have to be in competition?

The seriousness of the threat to the entire Ecosphere (the word should be in general use) was evident to me as soon as I read Limits_to_Growth, published in 1972.

But I appear to have a peculiar mind. Not only did no one I spoke to think it important, neither did a single government respond to it.

At the time it was a theoretical prediction requiring unpopular solutions. The solutions, available in 1972, remain unpopular, but the problem is no longer theoretical.

Hence Earthshot.

Just to be clear, the Earthshot winners will certainly help, but not enough.

Much lip service is now being paid to the risk of climate breakdown, but CO2 emissions continue to rise as fast  as ever. In 1940 Britain perceived a threat from Nazi Germany which needed, and got full co-operation The threat now is far more grave. Anything less than World-wide co-operation – by governments – should be unthinkable.

My explanation for this astonishing omission is neoliberalism. Governments are under the control of transnational companies who will derive immense benefit from the ecological crisis, but they do recognize that it is dangerous, and needs to be handled carefully.

Hence Earthshot.

Greta Thunberg has asked “If the threat of climate breakdown is existential, why is everybody not talking about it?” I could answer that at length, but politicians offer populist solutions to rising  immigration, instead of the causes of emigration.

Just how insignificant was recognition of Greta’s existential problem was demonstrated by its absence as an issue from the Batley & Spen by-election on 1st July.

 But Earthshot remains firmly trapped in a search for practical solutions. Nothing wrong with them per se, but Earthshot is silent on population pressures,  the destruction of rainforest, or the continuing use of coal.

The suggestion central to this weblog did not fit into any of the ’practical’ categories.

Although the unconditional basic income does indeed have practical consequences, I continue to press for it as a mind set changer, towards a form of quasi-Buddhism – in tandem with eco-taxes, it can cause fewer demands of the Earth’s resources.

When that is accepted. both Earthshot winners and near missers will seem obvious – to elected governments.

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