The Systems Shuffle

Those making money out of a broken system will of course do their best to keep that system running.

We NEED planes, there’s no WAY we can do without cars, there’s no CHANCE of carbon-neutral UK by 2050: there is NO alternative. Then a crisis like COVID comes along and we see change is very doable, it just suits us not to change. Everyone wants change, few want to change. The status quo is safe, less risky, and feels good.

The Systems Shuffle is the Humphrey Appleby-like series of anti-change excuses. There is a similar series of fall-backs when confronting climate change.

  1. The outright denial excuse. It doesn’t exist.
  2. It may exist, but man might not be causing it.
  3. It might be man, but it couldn’t be, God wouldn’t allow it.
  4. It might be man, but God would not allow man to destroy himself.
  5. We need more data, and the data you have is flawed.
  6. We need the jobs. Going Green will cost us.
  7. Change is coming. Calm down.
  8. Socialism! We have the right to consume and We’re All Individuals!!
  9. The balanced argument pro- and anti- a la BBC
  10. It’s partially man, but those greedy billionaire scientists are just promoting their own ends.
  11. There’s a tech fix we can manufacture for that, or will be (usually at least 10 years away).
  12. It’s man-made, but it’s not that serious – think year 2100 scenarios (after we’re all dead).
  13. It’s the Chinese. Or the Russians. Maybe the Indians. Anyway, they need to cut back first (the racist argument).
  14. We’ll fix it by 2050 (after we’re all retired)
  15. It’s too late, we can’t fix it. Get as rich as you can and get to NZ.
  16. D’oh.

We know the excuses are rubbish, they add to our anxiety. What we need is a future vision and a plan to get there.

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