The declaration by the former US Vice President, Al Gore, at Bali seems to me to move in the direction of articulating what we’re up against. Clearly that’s not just the accumulation of carbon, it’s about the incomprehension of the likes of George W. Bush.
Well, no it’s not incomprehension is it? It’s that he and other leaders and opposition parties are all geared up to the capitalist enterprise which demands more and more of the same. Thus we have the “green” British Petroleum going into Canada ready to exploit the environment in bigger and better ways than before. It’s a force no presidential candidate we’ve seen yet is prepared to ignore, nor will any of the major British political parties. All drive the same bus, a ramshackle 20th century banger, spewing out greenhouse gases in all directions as it creaks and groans.
George Monbiot writing in the Guardian reckons the answer is simple and cost effective. Just leave the fossil fuels where they are and carbon emissions stay locked away. Elsewhere George made another pertinent point: talk about tackling climate change and you’re a saint. Propose to do anything about it, you’re a communist.
There’s a lot of talk and argument. Bali has struggled to make sense of in the face of strong opposition from the US and others under the thumb of big business. The will? No one wants to upset America at the end of it so the final arbitrator will be climate change itself which will continue to dictate its terms regardless of what anyone has to say.