Even catastrophes create opportunities for some. Mammals took advantage of the disappearance of dinosaurs. We often think of climate change in one of two ways:
- The end of the world.
- Return to nature.
Both are fundamentally religious visions of the post-climate future. They are ‘neat’ rather than wicked pictures of what comes next. But reality might be a lot messier, with the usual jockeying for power and wealth.
Quick summary: India is going to lose big time
Which is why climate change is a wicked problem, and needs wicked minds in response. Some choice quotes from the articles below:
“Draw a line around the planet at the latitude of the northern borders of the United States and China, and just about every place south, across five continents, stands to lose out. Productivity, Burke found, peaks at about 55 degrees average temperature and then drops as the climate warms. He projects that by 2100, the national per capita income in the United States might be a third less than it would be in a nonwarming world; India’s would be nearly 92% less; and China’s future growth would be cut short by nearly half. ”
👆🏾It goes without saying that India’s per capita income being 92% less (i.e., 1/12 th of what it could be) is a disaster for us. But per capita income might be the wrong measure of success or failure - much of India will be uninhabitable if business as usual continues.
“Green politics seems inextricably tied, in the popular imagination, with a form of utopian optimism derived from the unworldly idealism of the parties who promote it. Yet perhaps we are looking at the various Green New Deal proposals the wrong way: there is already a great deal of scepticism
about their capacity
to meaningfully arrest catastrophic climate change. But if we reinterpret the Green New Deal as primarily a means to restart a sluggish global economy after decades of stagnation, a gigantic form of Keynesian stimulus analogous to the New Deal after which it is named, or to the Trente Glorieuses
during which a shattered post-war Europe rebuilt itself, its appeal to global policymakers compared to the alternatives of either degrowth
or the status quo
makes sense. ”
👆🏾a very important point that the Green New Deal (like the New Deal itself) is a pragmatic policy response to a difficult situation, not a utopian vision.