It could be different
It’s clear what a sane, fair and compassionate response to the climate emergency would look like. Science and solutions have been known for decades.
If governments were serious there would be a wartime-style mobilisation of resources and infrastructure.
There would be massive appropriate funding, sourced from those especially in the corporate and financial world who have been most spectacularly enriched by the carbon boom, not ordinary people.
There would be fair climate compensation for the Global South instead of broken promises. Those who caused the mess, and could have prevented it, would pay for loss and damage.
There would be proper funding from the wealthy nations to help other nations shift to a green economy and break the cycle of poverty.
There would be state of the art insulation so we stop wasting billions of tons of energy leaking from buildings across the world.
There would be an end to fossil fuel finance and subsidies.
There would be an end to financing ecosystem destruction.
There would be international ecocide laws.
There would be a rewiring of the system so that it serves people instead of greed.
Yet none of this necessary and long understood action is happening at anything like the speed and scale the science demands.
The good news is that many of the solutions we need exist already. Indigenous people, experts, scientists and policy makers have solutions that need to be mobilised at all levels of our societies. Governments have tools at their disposal to regulate, tax and ban harmful activities, and to incentivise better ones. Research has demonstrated repeatedly that many of these changes would not just prevent carbon emissions but save people and governments money and improve our health and wellbeing.
In short, we have the technological, scientific and creative means to address the crises we face and to transform the 21st century into a decent flourishing future for all.
And we have the support. We are united on this. The biggest ever survey finds two-thirds of people across the world think climate change is a global emergency and our leaders need to act now. 74% of people in G20 countries want climate crisis and protecting nature prioritised over jobs and profit.
But the powerful vested interests of today, and the destructive consumption of a minority are currently preventing that better tomorrow. Unless we act right now and stand up to them as if our lives depended on it, they will have committed us to a future where the best we can hope for is mitigating exponential catastrophe.
Another world is not just possible, it is necessary! But it will only happen if a critical mass of people are prepared to disrupt our journey towards catastrophe and untold suffering.