Read this and weep.
I predicted that in the aftermath, climate change was gonna be far down almost everyone’s list. You don’t need to be freaking Nostradamus, you just need to know that issue attention cycles exist, and they apply to issues that matter/that you care about/are invested in.
And so it has come to pass. Yes, yes, the cost of living crisis (that is gonna start hitting people who voted for austerity, to punish people further down the totem pole than themselves). Yes, yes, that maniac’s war (he was a maniac we were fine with, for a long long time). There’s ALWAYS something that comes along and knocks climate off the “top” spot (truth be told, it’s never really the top spot – a lot of what passes for attention is pre-emptive PR froth).
And as in that fable about the ant and the grasshopper, in the “good” times, the grasshoppers with their placards and their smugospheric self-regard thought that they did not need to invest in the long-slow-hard difficult work of actual capacity building. No, repeated mobilisation would do, because the revolution of the Righteous was surely at hand.
And here we are, weaker than ever, having learnt nothing, having built nothing, with – and this is the kicker – seemingly no capacity for learning anything.
And the glossy relaunched rebooted “green media” outfits have been complicit in this, have never tried to do anything challenging or intellectually and strategically important – too busy fanboi-ing tedious academics and even more tedious councillors. That apparently is how they think they deserve their activist credibility tokens. It would be laughable if it were not so tragic.
To be clear, the climate problem, the climate issue, wont’ go away. But the opportunity to build something bigger, better, to cope with the abeyance that was always coming and is now here, that opportunity has sailed/sunk/left the building/been pulled down, whatever you want to say.
All entirely predictable (and predicted) and avoidable (but not avoided, because those “in charge” were too unskilled, unaware and – most of all – busy turning people into ego-fodder.
Most of the species on this planet – and most of the members of the “dominant” species – do not deserve what is coming, but they are going to get it nonetheless.
It is now over half a century since credible warnings of the consequences of the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere began to circulate in “progressive” circles. And what is there to show for it? In countries where they don’t shoot you/jail you for having the wrong opinions (and where activists can therefore point to good reasons for failure), what have the social movements actually achieved? How many opportunities to have they usefully seized? How much have they learnt?
What a species.