In the last weeks, yet another series of ‘natural’ catastrophes struck in different parts of the world: there was Hurricane Florence, an earthquake and a tsunami in Indonesia, and now, flash floods on the island of Mallorca and in the South of France. Vast areas have been devastated, thousands of people were wounded, and many lost their lives. At the same time, efforts related to environmental protection – specifically those intended to slow down climate change – seem to be, if not stalled, then surely diminishing. In a couple of European countries, entreaties to preserve jobs in coal production are finding more support than calls to scale down the coal business rather soon. And this is occurring at a moment when both the evidence (see above) and also the scientific forecasts indicate that not much time is left before we may reach a tipping point after which living on the earth will be much more precarious, and hundreds of millions of people will be endangered.
So what can be done? How can we shift the balance of interests – and move away from short-term support for industry and union interests in coal, oil and gas production and toward a set of policies that will slow down climate change at a faster rate than is happening right now?