Do you know what would make everything better? A single, effective government which controls the entire planet. This would stop global warming/climate change in its smoking hot tracks. Well, that is one perspective:
To be effective, a new set of institutions would have to be imbued with heavy-handed, transnational enforcement powers. There would have to be consideration of some way of embracing head-in-the-cloud answers to social problems that are usually dismissed by policymakers as academic naivete. In principle, species-wide alteration in basic human behaviors would be a sine qua non, but that kind of pronouncement also profoundly strains credibility in the chaos of the political sphere. Some of the things that would need to be contemplated: How do we overcome our hard-wired tendency to “discount” the future: valuing what we have today more than what we might receive tomorrow? Would any institution be capable of instilling a permanent crisis mentality lasting decades, if not centuries? How do we create new institutions with enforcement powers way beyond the current mandate of the U.N.? Could we ensure against a malevolent dictator who might abuse the power of such organizations?
If we are ever to cope with climate change in any fundamental way, radical solutions on the social side are where we must focus.
Any questions? Didn’t think so. After all, you wouldn’t want to run the risk of having a heavy-handed, transnational force drop by your house or business or farm and do a little enforcement, would you?
**Bonus: The answer to the question, “Could we ensure against a malevolent dictator . . . .” is “No.”**