Monday, July 16, 2007

Costs too much

It's deeply ironic that we can muster whatever it takes to buy stuff to blow humans to bits, but we have trouble coming up with enough change to save something as trivial as, say, life on earth. God bless the neoclassical models!

Anatol Lieven put it well a few months ago:

The question now facing us is whether global capitalism and Western democracy can...make the limited economic adjustments necessary to keep global warming within bounds that will allow us to preserve our system in a recognizable form; or whether our system is so dependent on unlimited consumption that it is by its nature incapable of demanding even small sacrifices from its present elites and populations.

If the latter proves the case, and the world suffers radically destructive climate change, then we must recognize that everything that the West now stands for will be rejected by future generations. The entire democratic capitalist system will be seen to have failed utterly as a model for humanity and as a custodian of essential human interests.
For the record, I'm betting on failure. Regrettably.