Jonathan Symons brings together three dynamic and highly intertwined topics – climate, politics and technology – and provides an upbeat perspective on what might be possible when climate emergency management focuses on state-led innovation and universal development.
I recommend chapter five on IMF [International Monetary Fund] conditionality, hegemony and unintended social impact.
Mr Symons prompts readers to consider the philosophical dilemma between emissions and development: in the extreme, a Malthusian-inspired genocide to limit carbon emissions and the impact on least-developed countries as vital energy access is cut off from these communities.
Let us get up close and personal on climate justice: it is easy to hold the moral high ground when we live in a world of 4G access and heated homes.
It is quite different when one has to make existential choices between freezing to death at minus 20 degrees or burn coal for heat to stay alive.
This does not refute moral responsibility of the states to provide alternative energy access to its population, whether in developed or emerging economies; probably more so in emerging economies, given the rate of acceleration of carbon emissions is correlated with economic growth and poverty reduction.
This book is a timely publication to encourage a constructive and engaging dialogue to address the climate crisis as protests around the world become more decentralised, with different narratives and radical stances stimulating diverse societal responses to a noble cause.
The recommendations in this book provide thoughtful pathways to reimagine holistic solutions to solving our crisis.
The biggest challenges may lie in how different political systems and ideologies may interact and make compromises to reach “global, social democracy, equality and universal public services”.
How can we prevent term-bound politicians making short-term decisions that are sub-optimal?
I recommend those who are interested in climate emergency to read this book and ask themselves what sacrifices they are willing to ensure “universal human flourishing”.
Christine Chow is engagement professional at Hermes Investment Management
Published by Polity Press