Can our Political Systems Deal with Climate Change?

Protestors outside the Copenhagen climate talks, December 2009 (Image: Bastien Vaucher http://bit.ly/1cVuhck)
Protestors outside the Copenhagen climate talks, December 2009 (Image: Bastien Vaucher http://bit.ly/1cVuhck)

So here’s the thing. Despite decades of debate and a scientific consensus that anthropogenic climate change is a real and present danger to not only our societies, but our future as a species – greenhouse gas emissions continue their inexorable rise. This year we passed the symbolic 400 ppm CO2 concentration levels (not seen on Earth for several million years) and we now appear destined to exceed the politically constructed fiction of a 2 degree limit on global warming. The house is on fire, the experts are screaming ‘do something!’, and yet we remain oblivious, addicted to the distractions of hyper-consumption and tech-toys. Which brings me to the topic of this post: can our political systems actually deal with the challenge of climate change?

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