Guest post: We continue to think up simple solutions to complex problems

Originally a comment by iknklast on How can Manchin.

It’s fine to be optimistic, but since we’ve already passed several tipping points, it is probably unfounded. We can’t solve all our problems with solar panels and wind farms because emissions control will not solve our problems. Global warming isn’t the problem, it’s the fever that tells us there is an underlying problem. We can fix emissions all we like and still careen to ecological disaster at a breakneck pace. And, even if I thought we would reduce our emissions, we needed to do it a long time ago, say, about the 1980s…earlier would have been better, but there was still time to fix things by the end of the 1980s. By the beginning of this century, we were already in too deep, but we could slow down global warming. At this point? Maybe we can slow it down or keep it to a lesser warming, maybe we can’t.

Here’s a simple proposition: when the economic system comes into conflict with the ecological one, it is the economic one that must give way. If it does not, we are like crash dummies heading toward the wall. That will mean some serious long-term thinking, and some serious action that goes beyond rhetoric. This is what no one wants to hear, so we continue to think up simple solutions to complex problems, simple solutions that promise to leave everything essentially as it is, no lifestyle changes necessary.

The simple truth is, we can’t solve this problem while there are 7 billion people in the world. Every solution we come up with will “hurt the poor” (even those that won’t, or will even help, like mass transit). As Jesus said, the poor will be with us always, providing a convenient excuse for middle class drivers of luxury automobiles that don’t want to do more than change their fuel source.

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