How Climate Change Could Help Spread Democracy

When I wrote about Adam Stein's assertion that climate change may still be compatible with a brighter future, many commenters mistakenly thought that he was arguing that climate change would actually create a better future. (His point was not about causality, but rather that we might still have more prosperity despite the challenges thrown at us.) So I am guessing that Rachel Godfrey Wood's argument that climate change may actually help address inequalities is likely to be equally controversial:

"Right now, in the Arab world, it has been suggested that hikes in food prices have encouraged populations to challenge their regimes, to date leading to two changes of governments and widespread unrest in other countries. If it is true that food price hikes provided the spark for the demonstrations, and if changes in the climate have had a role in those food price rises, wouldn't that make recent events the Middle East a case of "good" climate change destabilisation?

Before folks get too riled up, it's important to note that Godfrey Wood is not ignoring the potential horrendous impacts of climate change, nor is she suggesting we should not try to cut our emissions or reverse environmental damage. What she is saying is that shocks are most likely inevitable, and that it is equally inevitable that somebody will try to take advantage of those shocks. Those who believe in democracy, equality and freedom would do well to keep an eye out for opportunities, as well as dangers.

Tags: Activism | Economics | Global Climate Change | Peak Oil | Poverty

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