Positive visions: The climate opportunity

Dealing comprehensively with the climate crisis arguably demands cultural, political and social changes that run far deeper than just dropping coal power in favour of wind and solar. Part of this is that the world needs to move away from an extractivist economic model towards a restorative economic model. This insight is beginning to inform political thought that links the danger of climate change with an opportunity to decisively address long-festering problems of inequality and social exclusion.

These are visions that do not dwell on the undoubtably immense challenge of learning to live in a world facing inevitable climate damage under even the most optimistic scenarios, but rather turn to figuring out how we can create robust, healthy societies that can cope with those challenges:

  • The Green New Deal discussion has been under way for several months in the US. The single best formulation of the GND, the only one that is ambitious enough to match the scale of the climate crisis, has been proposed by Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
  • However, Green New Deal thinking is also incredibly advanced in Europe, not least by the Diem25 cross-border political movement: European New Deal.
  • If you’re not feeling like reading a long policy document, and would prefer a healthy dose of inspiration, rather watch this video: “A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,” a seven-minute film narrated by the US congresswoman, illustrated by Molly Crabapple, and published by The Intercept.