Sunday, 6 December 2009
Can Democracy Save the World?
America is the key to saving the planet. Under President Obama a change of consciousness, from the headlong progress of consumerism and materialism to a realisation that the environment and man's very existence on Earth is in danger, is dividing the nation, and the world, into two opposing camps. Those in opposition to proposals to deal with climate change are in fear of losing their jobs, particularly in the coal industry. There is sufficient coal in the ground to power America with abundant energy for several hundreds of years - similarly in Britain. The fact is that coal is one of the greatest pollutants of the atmosphere and consequently it constitutes a greater threat to global warming with destructive CO2 emissions.
America needs to set an example to the rest of the world, whose leaders are now beginning to heed the warnings of scientists across the globe. Yet, there are powerful lobbies in Congress which can block the President's proposals and as always: money talks. The President's hands are tied. He cannot make decisions which affect millions without the approval of Congress. He cannot always rely on his Democrat supporters who look to their electorate for support, the very people whose jobs and way of life are threatened. The system of checks and balances which is the bulwark of the democratic system of government in America is the very obstacle to change, whereas in China, for example, progress can be given free rein, under a powerful benevolent oligarchy. Can democracy save the world? The indications are not at all optimistic.
Climate clash: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8398103.stm