Current climate plans are based on a mistaken belief:
That, through incremental change, we can stop a complex system from crashing. But complex systems don’t work like this. They steadily absorb stress, then suddenly flip. We don’t know how close the tipping points might be.
By 2050 it might be all over. And I mean all.
It's possible that we could see cascading environmental collapse, flipping Earth systems into an uninhabitable state. What is needed now is sudden and drastic action to stabilise our life support systems.
Can it be done? Of course! The US switched its economy from civilian to military in a couple of months, following the attack on Pearl Harbour. And that was before digitisation made everything faster.
What's lacking is not money or technology. It's political will.
The problem is the power of legacy industries, and the people who have used them to become extremely rich. Their economic power currently outweighs our democratic power. This is what we need to change.
In other words, to prevent Earth systems from flipping, we need to flip our political systems.
And to everyone saying "too difficult", I say it's nothing compared to the "difficulty" of failing to do so: meaning the loss of our life support systems, and therefore of everything on which we depend.
All my working life, however careful I've been to reflect scientific findings, I've been told I'm an "alarmist", a "hysteric", a "bedwetter" etc. But now that I have a little more understanding of how complex systems work, I realise that, if anything, I was too complacent.
To those saying "but what? and how?", I don't have all the answers. But I have an outline of the political/economic destination I'd like to see: Private Sufficiency, Public Luxury, coupled with a far more deliberative and participatory politics.… and
I suggest a Big Organising model of political change, adapted and expanded from its original conception.
Is it the right model? Will it work? Is it sufficient?
I don't know. We need as many thinkers, organisers, activists and every other kind of person on this as we can get.
All effective change requires a human ecosystem: large numbers of people with very different skills coming together to flip the system. Yes, a common vision is needed, but I suspect no one person has developed it in its entirety. Creating it also requires a common effort.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with George Monbiot

George Monbiot Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @GeorgeMonbiot

15 Oct
I'm very glad the BBC has made this.
But it distresses me that in 2014, after a team of us had spent months developing a very similar series, it was instantly dismissed by a BBC channel controller, with three words:
"Monbiot? Fuck off!"
It's easy to forget that, until a couple of years ago, the BBC was fiercely hostile to any but the most muted and anodyne discussion of environmental issues. Senior bosses remain hostile to those who challenge the status quo. Yet our survival depends on doing so.
It wasn't until Greta broke through that the BBC twigged that one of the reasons it had lost so many young people was its disgraceful neglect - actually, not just neglect but active dismissal - of the only issue that ultimately counts: the survival of our life support systems.
Read 8 tweets
13 Oct
Every winter, parts of the countryside succumb to mob rule, as bloodsports enthusiasts run riot, and intimidate and attack those who object. In some cases, their attacks amount to terrorism.
Yet the government of "law and order" does nothing.
My column.…
I contrast the complete impunity with which these thugs are allowed to operate with the government's response to Insulate Britain, including draconian new laws against protest. I argue that it's less interested in public order than in creating an uncontested space for power.
I understand why Insulate Britain's protests are controversial. But whether you agree with them or not, they are trying to act in the public interest. Whereas the people running riot in the countryside are seeking nothing but their own grim pleasure.
Read 6 tweets
11 Oct
Here's an idea Dan: try paying a visit to your local food bank and explaining to the people in the queue that they're not in the middle of a crisis. You might get some informative responses.
A few times over the past year, I've been talking to people at the local foodbank and hearing their stories. They are devastating. While prosperous people can ask, "crisis? what crisis?", the costs of austerity and chaos being felt by people at the sharp end are off the scale.
But we are now so economically divided that people like Dan, and me, are scarcely affected by what the Tories have done to this country, and can't see it unless we cross the chasm.
It's all too easy to wave it away, in total ignorance of what other people are facing.
Read 4 tweets
10 Oct
Solidarity with @ChrisGPackham, unbowed despite yet another disgraceful attack.
Intimidation is rife in the countryside, especially against those who oppose hunting and environmental destruction. It's far from the domain of innocence we like to imagine.…
All too often, the police turn a blind eye not only to illegal hunting but also to attacks on those who oppose it. Around the country, they need to step up.
Something we urgently need to get past is the idea of "real" country people vs "interlopers" (ie those who weren't born locally). It's often associated with xenophobia and a closed and extreme mindset. Everywhere, new people bring new ideas, and should be welcomed.
Read 10 tweets
9 Oct
The terrible situation STILL faced by victims of the #cladding scandal demonstrates the outrageous nature of limited liability. Limited liability is a free gift to corporations. It allows them to walk away, leaving others to pick up the bill.
Here's what to do about it.
Limited liability should be a commercial product, purchased by limited companies from insurers, who can assess the nature and scale of the risk, and charge accordingly.
This would elimate at a stroke a large part of the externality problem.
More here:…
Why is this subject so seldom raised? One scandal after another reveals the cost that the current nature of limited liability transfers either to victims of corporate corner-cutting, or to taxpayers, who have to pick up the pieces.
It's time to start talking about it.
Read 4 tweets
7 Oct
1. This is really presumptuous of me, and I’m an amateur in the field, but reading through the most popular definitions of capitalism, it seems that almost all them airbrush its true nature to some degree. Could we, together, develop a better one, in one sentence?
2. I’m probably deceiving myself, but this feels to me like a tight definition. Unfortunately it’s likely to be incomprehensible to almost everyone:

“Capitalism is an economic system that constantly creates and ruptures its own hypervolume.”
3. This draws on a crucial ecological concept, developed by GE Hutchinson in 1957: the n-dimensional hypervolume. Here’s the presentation in which he explains it:…
Read 5 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!