It is obvious that environmental devastation is a global problem which demands a global response. But I’ve been so discouraged by the paralysis in this country, that I haven’t had the energy to think globally. Didn’t think a global response was ever going to be possible.

But in a recent article umair haque writes about the speech Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres recently gave to the General Assembly. Which gives me a little hope that a global response might be possible.

The Secretary General of the UN just called for a Global New Deal. And nobody listened. But they should have, because this is precisely the idea we need if our civilization is going to survive. What he means by Global New Deal is all the above — taxing windfall profits, so that investments can be made, now, urgently, in basic systems for all, which we so clearly need, from food to water to energy and so on.

But he doesn’t stop there. He’s not just proposing, but demanding, a reinvention of the global financial system to invest even more. He calls on the IMF to expand its Special Drawing Rights, and create a Global Stimulus Package.

The Alarm Bells of Civilizational Collapse Are Ringing — But Are We Listening? If Our Civilization Is Going to Survive, It’s Going to Have to Change Like This — Fast by umair haque, Eudaimonia and Co, Sep 22, 2022

In this latest version of a diagram I’ve been working on, newly added are attention to the global aspects of environmental chaos and the need for a global new deal.

We have a duty to act. And yet we are gridlocked in colossal global dysfunction.

The international community is not ready or willing to tackle the big dramatic challenges of our age. These crises threaten the very future of humanity and the fate of our planet.

Let’s have no illusions. We are in rough seas. A winter of global discontent is on the horizon. A cost-of-living crisis is raging. Trust is crumbling. Inequalities are exploding. Our planet is burning. People are hurting — with the most vulnerable suffering the most.

Our world is in peril — and paralyzed. Geopolitical divides are undermining the work of the Security Council. Undermining international law. Undermining trust and people’s faith in democratic institutions. Undermining all forms of international cooperation. We cannot go on like this. Even the various groupings set up outside the multilateral system by some members of the international community have fallen into the trap of geopolitical divides, like in the G-20.

But the reality is that we live in a world where the logic of cooperation and dialogue is the only path forward. No power or group alone can call the shots. No major global challenge can be solved by a coalition of the willing. We need a coalition of the world.

There is another battle we must end — our suicidal war against nature. The climate crisis is the defining issue of our time. It must be the first priority of every government and multilateral organization. And yet climate action is being put on the back burner — despite overwhelming public support around the world. Global greenhouse gas emissions need to be slashed by 45 percent by 2030 to have any hope of reaching net zero emissions by 2050. And yet emissions are going up at record levels — on course to a 14 percent increase this decade.

Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres

Excellencies, let’s tell it like it is. Our world is addicted to fossil fuels. It’s time for an intervention. We need to hold fossil fuel companies and their enablers to account. That includes the banks, private equity, asset managers and other financial institutions that continue to invest and underwrite carbon pollution.

And it includes the massive public relations machine raking in billions to shield the fossil fuel industry from scrutiny. Just as they did for the tobacco industry decades before, lobbyists and spin doctors have spewed harmful misinformation. Fossil fuel interests need to spend less time averting a PR disaster — and more time averting a planetary one.

Of course, fossil fuels cannot be shut down overnight. A just transition means leaving no person or country behind. But it is high time to put fossil fuel producers, investors and enablers on notice.

Polluters must pay.

Today, I am calling on all developed economies to tax the windfall profits of fossil fuel companies. Those funds should be re-directed in two ways: to countries suffering loss and damage caused by the climate crisis; and to people struggling with rising food and energy prices.

Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres

Joy is the sunrise
breaking through night’s remains,
bright shone new
on a shell-wracked shore;
a fresh tide-scrubbed world
redeems what was,
to is.

J. Drew Lanham Joy is the Justice We Give Ourselves. (excerpt)

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