Paris: We Need System Change!


Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery*

12 December 2015 

WE NEED SYSTEM CHANGE, NOT CLIMATE CHANGE! Civil society, excluded from the COP21 conference by the French government, carried banners with this slogan on the streets of Paris. They did so in defiance of tear-gas-using black-clad police.

Greenpeace_Climate_March_2015_Madrid

**Photo: Greenpeace’s activists and supporters participate in the Global Climate March, one day before the beginning of UNFCCC Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris. November 29th 2015, Madrid. | Author: OsvaldoGago | Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.| Wikimedia Commons

System change has been the motto for climate marches throughout the world. Our entire system is leading us towards disaster, and this includes both economic and governmental establishments.

To save human civilization, the biosphere and the future, the people of the world must take matters into their own hands and change the system.

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/12/11/we-are-out-time-we-need-leap

http://www.thenation.com/article/naomi-klein-sane-climate-policies-are-being-undermined-by-corporate-friendly-trade-deals/

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/12/08/liberte-not-just-word-klein-corbyn-call-mass-protest-cop21

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/33982-the-cops-of-cop21-arrests-at-the-paris-climate-talks

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/33961-climate-change-justice

http://www.countercurrents.org/avery280914.htm

Our present situation is this: The future looks extremely dark because of human folly, especially the long-term future. The greatest threats are catastrophic climate change and thermonuclear war, but a

large-scale global famine also has to be considered. All these threats are linked.

Inaction is not an option. We have to act with courage and dedication, even if the odds are against success, because the stakes are so high. The mass media could mobilize us to action, but they have failed in their duty.

Our educational system could also wake us up and make us act, but it too has failed us. The battle to save the earth from human greed and folly has to be fought through non-violent action on the streets and in the alternative media.

File:Global Warming Map.jpg

***This figure shows the difference in instrumentally determined surface temperatures between the period January 1999 through December 2008 and “normal” temperatures at the same locations, defined to be the average over the interval January 1940 to December 1980. The average increase on this graph is 0.48 °C, and the widespread temperature increases are considered to be an aspect of global warming. | Prepared by Robert A. Rohde from public domain data and is incorporated into the Global Warming Art project. | Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. | Wikimedia Commons

We need a new economic system, a new society, a new social contract, a new way of life. Here are the great tasks that history has given to our generation: We must achieve a steady-state economic system.

We must restore democracy. We must decrease economic inequality. We must break the power of corporate greed. We must leave fossil fuels in the ground. We must stabilize and ultimately reduce the global population. We must eliminate the institution of war.

And finally, we must develop a more mature ethical system to match our new technology.

http://www.fredsakademiet.dk/library/need.pdf

What are the links between the problems facing us? There is a link between climate change and war. We need to leave fossil fuels in the ground if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change.

But nevertheless, the struggle for the world’s last remaining oil and gas resources motivated the invasion of Iraq, and it now motivates the war in Syria. Both of these brutal wars have caused an almost indescribable amount of suffering.

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/33991-end-war-ming-we-need-system-change-not-climate-change

ISIS runs on oil, and the unconditional support of Saudi Arabia by the West is due to greed for oil. Furthermore, military establishments are among the largest users of oil, and the largest greenhouse gas emitters.

Finally, the nearly 2 trillion dollars that the world now spends on armaments and war could be used instead to speed the urgently needed transition to 100% renewable energy, and to help less-developed countries to fave the consequences of climate change.

There are reasons for hope. Both solar energy and wind energy are growing at a phenomenal rate, and the transition to 100% renewable energy could be achieved within a very few decades if this growth is maintained.

But a level playing field is needed. At present fossil fuel corporations receive half a trillion dollars each year in subsidies.

Nuclear power generation is also highly subsidized (and also closely linked to the danger of nuclear war). If these subsidies were abolished, or better yet, used to encourage renewable energy development, the renewables could win simply by being cheaper.

http://eruditio.worldacademy.org/issue-5/article/urgent-need-renewable-energy

http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2012/11/18/Climate-change-report-warns-dramatically-warmer-world-this-century

http://therightsofnature.org/universal-declaration/

We can also take inspiration from Pope Francis, whose humanitarian vision links the various problems facing us.

Pope Francis also shows us what we can do to save the future, and to give both economics and government a social and ecological conscience.

http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html

None of us asked to be born in a time of crisis, but history has given great tasks to our generation.

We must rise to meet the crisis.

We must not fail in our duty to save the gifts of life and civilization that past generations have bequeathed to us.

We must not fail in our duty future generations.

john_avery*John Scales Avery, Ph.D., who was part of a group that shared the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize for their work in organizing the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, is a member of the TRANSCEND Network and Associate Professor Emeritus at the H.C. Ørsted Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

He is chairman of both the Danish National Pugwash Group and the Danish Peace Academy and received his training in theoretical physics and theoretical chemistry at M.I.T., the University of Chicago and the University of London.

He is the author of numerous books and articles both on scientific topics and on broader social questions. His most recent book is Civilization’s Crisis in the 21st Century http://www.learndev.org/dl/Crisis21-Avery.pdf.

More articles by John Scales Avery in Human Wrongs Watch:

Paris and the Long-Term Future

We Must Stop the Madness of Brinkmanship

Paris, India, and Coal

Paris: A Sense of Proportions Is Urgently Needed

Debt Slavery

Book Review: Aurelio Peccei and Daisako Ikeda, “Before It Is Too Late”

The Need for a New Economic System – PART IX: a New Society, a New Social Contract, a New Way Life

The Need for a New Economic System – PART VIII: The Cooperative Movement

The Need for a New Economic System – PART VII: The Global Food Crisis

The Need for a New Economic System – PART VI: Adverse Effects of Globalization

The Need for a New Economic System – PART V: The Threats and Costs of War

The Need for a New Economic System – PART IV: Neocolonialism and Resource Wars

The Need for a New Economic System – Part III: Climate Change and the Urgent Need for Renewable Energy

The Need for a New Economic System – PART II: Entropy and Economics

The Need for a New Economic System – PART I : Limits to Growth

Israel, Iran and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Debt Slavery

Will the Real Issues Be Discussed in 2016?

Militarism’s Hostages

New Hope for Avoiding Catastrophic Climate Change

Exponential Growth

Albert Einstein, Scientist and Pacifist

“The Path to Zero: Dialogues on Nuclear Dangers”, by Richard Falk and David Krieger

Millay’s “Epitaph for the Race of Man” 

The Future of International Law (Part I)

The Future of International Law (Part II)

The Future of International Law (Part III)

Europe Must Not Be Forced Into a Nuclear War with Russia

Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Europe – The Dangers Are Very Great Today

Why Is the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons So Urgent?

Why Is the Military-Industrial Complex Sometimes Called “The Devil’s Dynamo”?

Of Reciprocity and Karma

Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand Is at Our Throats

Perpetual War

Kill or Be Killed… Or Both!

Does It Make Sense to Saw Off the Branch on Which You Are Sitting?

Blood for Oil – The Close Relationship Between Petroleum and War

Images:

**Photo: Greenpeace‘s activists and supporters participate in the Global Climate March, one day before the beginning of UNFCCC Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris. November 29th 2015, Madrid. | Author: OsvaldoGago | Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.| Wikimedia Commons

***This figure shows the difference in instrumentally determined surface temperatures between the period January 1999 through December 2008 and “normal” temperatures at the same locations, defined to be the average over the interval January 1940 to December 1980. The average increase on this graph is 0.48 °C, and the widespread temperature increases are considered to be an aspect of global warming. | Prepared by Robert A. Rohde from public domain data and is incorporated into the Global Warming Art project. | Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. | Wikimedia Commons

2015 Human Wrongs Watch

 

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