Our economic system is unsustainable by its very nature. The only response to climate chaos and peak oil is major social change.
This is from Robert Newman writing in The Guardian, and I agree completely. He says we need to break up corporate power, give power back to the people (both figuratively and literally), and create personal and national carbon rationing systems. Again, this sounds good. Capitalism left to its own devices probably can not find solutions to climate change and peak oil because it will always be overly focused on short term profit. Thus, something new is needed.
So, the question for Socialists and Left Greens is, how can these needed changes be accomplished? Socialism posits a strong central government, and all indications are the coming years will bring massive decentralization, countries breaking into fragments over battles for oil and water, with a continuing “hollowing out” of governments as John Robb puts it.
So in this brave new decentralized world, where are the central governments that can mandate change at global or even national levels? Answer. Nowhere. They won’t exist with anywhere near the power needed to create such change.
Capitalism sure isn’t working, but it’s difficult to see how socialism can exist in the coming years either.