Omelas and the moral catastrophe of climate change
The world’s wealthiest live in Le Guin’s Omelas: while they may or may not be “happy,” they have access to everything they could ever want. The only cost? The four billion people in the “basement” of the world, the Global South, who are being driven past the brink into a future that would be unimaginable if it weren’t already here, with water sources running dry, forests burning and crops failing.
What the Wet’suwet’en raid tells us about Canada’s ‘liberal democracy’
Canada, like most of the Western (wealthy) world, is a self-styled “liberal democracy,” broadly considered the gold standard in global development. Liberal democracies are founded on a commitment to universal human rights and freedoms, values codified in international law. But in the last week in Canada, we have seen these liberal values rocked to their core.
Electoral politics can’t solve climate change
Climate change isn’t a technical problem, it’s a power imbalance problem. And polite participation in electoral politics—perform your civic duty then return to a quiet life of economic production—has never successfully challenged power before. We shouldn’t expect it to be able to now. Instead, we need to draw our lessons from major social breakthroughs of the past.
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