UK Guardian: To Solve the Climate Crisis We Need to Change How We Think about Wealth
By Eric Worrall
“… We need to leave the age of fossil fuel behind, swiftly and decisively. But what drives our machines won’t change until we change what drives our ideas. …”
‘If you win the popular imagination, you change the game’: why we need new stories on climate
So much is happening, both wonderful and terrible – and it matters how we tell it. We can’t erase the bad news, but to ignore the good is the route to indifference or despair
by Rebecca Solnit
Thu 12 Jan 2023 17.00 AEDT
Every crisis is in part a storytelling crisis. This is as true of climate chaos as anything else. We are hemmed in by stories that prevent us from seeing, or believing in, or acting on the possibilities for change. Some are habits of mind, some are industry propaganda. Sometimes, the situation has changed but the stories haven’t, and people follow the old versions, like outdated maps, into dead ends.
We need to leave the age of fossil fuel behind, swiftly and decisively. But what drives our machines won’t change until we change what drives our ideas. The visionary organiser adrienne maree brown wrote not long ago that there is an element of science fiction in climate action: “We are shaping the future we long for and have not yet experienced. I believe that we are in an imagination battle.”
To change our relationship to the physical world – to end an era of profligate consumption by the few that has consequences for the many – means changing how we think about pretty much everything: wealth, power, joy, time, space, nature, value, what constitutes a good life, what matters, how change itself happens. …
There’s yet another narrative that’s persisted at least since the invention of compact fluorescent lightbulbs and the Toyota Prius: that we must renounce abundance and enter an age of austerity. It’s all in the telling. To consider our age an age of abundance, you have to be counting sheer accumulated stuff and ignoring how it is distributed. That is, we live in an age of extreme wealth for some, and desperation for the many. But there’s another way to count wealth and abundance – as hope for the future, safety and public confidence, emotional wellbeing, love and friendship and strong social networks, meaningful work and purposeful lives, equality and justice and inclusion.
I think what the author is trying to say is if we embrace climate communism, can we feel better about our stuff being redistributed.
I think I’ll keep my toys. If poor people want their own toys, they should get off their butts and work for them.