Which side should we be on?
By Mike Meyer
Let’s start with a quote. “we, as human beings, must respect nature, follow its ways, and protect it” and we must “encourage simple, moderate, green, and low-carbon ways of life, and oppose extravagance and excessive consumption.”
We have in this statement the essence of the new order that is critical to our survival as a species. These are the words we are expecting to hear from the most powerful leaders on this planet. We need to hear these words to have hope that the massive challenges we are facing in climate change and restructuring of planetary resources to provide equitable well being to all life on this planet. So far we have not heard this from any major planetary leader except one. The quote above is becoming famous as it marks the rare statement of hope by Xi Jinping in his address to the National Congress of the Communist Party in Beijing last October.
The shock of this was lost in the ongoing disaster of the Trump chaos. These are the polar opposites that we are now beginning to struggle to understand in order to orient our vision of the future. For Americans and for many others this is a difficult and stunning change and one of major and immediate importance.
For America we are locked in a vision of racism, greed, ignorance, and denial of reality all in the name of neo-fascist authoritarianism. But we have a clear statement of hope from the rapidly growing center of power in Beijing. And these statements are not just words but are being implemented with commitment at a speed and breadth that is stunning to the rest of the world.
While the content of these words is all that we could hope the contradiction of them coming from the fastest growing economy is equally hard to handle. The rate of growth in China and the waste that is resulting is unsustainable. The problem of late capitalist radical greed is the historical basis of our economic and planetary disasters. We need a complete transition to a new economy that replaces the failure of endless production and endless exploitation of people and our planetary resources.
The amazing thing is that the Chinese government is talking about it and saying that they are going to do it. While the difficulties are very large they don’t usually talk about things, particularly Xi Jinping, without doing them. The US government is now handled by gibbering idiots who have declared knowledge to be “fake news”. So who is closest to what needs to be done? The latest Trump action is to cancel NASA’s carbon study tracking the key agent driving climate change because Trump and his goons do not believe in science or the accelerating deterioration of our climate. That would appear to be as opposite a position as you could get to what China has recognized and is working to prevent.
There are many issues with China as another large authoritarian nation suppressing and abusing segments of it’s population. That goes on the negative side for both China and the US. But maintaining a survivable atmosphere and, at least, recognizing that everything we are doing is working directly against a sustainable planet is a very positive step. The US government is not even in the game and is working against all scientific knowledge and sense.
The great majority of people on this planet understand the climate problem that we are facing now. Who do you think they will side with if that were required?