2020 Is Our Last, Best Chance to Save the Planet says Justin Worland in this powerful piece on Time.com – from July 2020 yet very relevant today. In a very much related TIME feature from April this year, Chris Hughes states, and asks “The Free Market is Dead: What Will Replace It?” Here are some best-of snippets from both pieces – great food for thought!
“In the future, we may look back at 2020 as the year we decided to keep driving off the climate cliff–or to take the last exit. Taking the threat seriously would mean using the opportunity presented by this crisis to spend on solar panels and wind farms, push companies being bailed out to cut emissions and foster greener forms of transport in cities. If we instead choose to fund new coal-fired power plants and oil wells and thoughtlessly fire up factories to urge growth, we will lock in a pathway toward climate catastrophe. There’s a divide about which way to go” More via Time.com
“We’re standing at a climate crossroads: the world has already warmed 1.1°C since the Industrial Revolution. If we pass 2°C, we risk hitting one or more major tipping points, where the effects of climate change go from advancing gradually to changing dramatically overnight, reshaping the planet. To ensure that we don’t pass that threshold, we need to cut emissions in half by 2030… To achieve the 1.5°C goal without creating mass disruption has always meant thoughtfully restructuring the global economy, moving it away from fossil-fuel extraction slowly but surely. Scientists and economists agree this is the last opportunity we have to do so. “If we delay further than 2020,” says Rockstrom, “there’s absolutely no empirical evidence that it can be done in an orderly way.” More via Time.com
“We have always used regulation, public investment, and macroeconomic management to make our economy work, but we’ve done so sporadically and often weakly because we’ve told ourselves a different story about how the economy works. It’s time for the story we tell to match the reality of economic growth—and to fully embrace the opportunity that creates. We can look at shifting attitudes on childcare. Free market orthodoxy told parents with young kids that they were on the hook to find and pay for affordable, safe childcare. A managed markets outlook recognizes the obvious: cheap access to good childcare makes it easier for parents, particularly mothers, to join the labor force, boosting economic activity…” Chris Hughes via Time.com
“But the vast majority of American’s won’t buy it. They know that capitalism is not the problem—it’s the variety of capitalism that’s been practiced over the past 40 years. When an accountable state effectively manages markets, those markets can create widely shared, stable prosperity. The challenge to come will be shaping the new common sense about political economy into a practical program to deliver on its promise. That era begins now” via