The world is unpredictable and strange. Still, there is hope in the madness | Rebecca Solnit

The world that is coming is something we can work toward but not something we can foreseeI can’t say I have confidence in the future, but I have a lot of confidence in its unpredictability, based on the fact that the past has regularly delivered surprises. It’s easy to forget in retrospect how astonishing the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Velvet Revolution were in 1989, or the arrival of the Zapatista army on the world stage in 1994 or how marriage equality seemed like a long shot just before it became a reality in countries all over the world not long ago or how Ireland and Argentina recently legalized abortion. The terrible too comes along without warning. Often a major event – this unforeseen global pandemic, the invasion of Ukraine – then itself has indirect consequences that matter. The pandemic led to a radical shift in the US labor market, including rising wages, worker walkoffs and refusals that at times have seemed tantamount to a general strike, and remarkable labor organizing against some of the most resistant low-wage employers.Both the pandemic and the invasion have significant consequences for climate politics. First of all they should shake loose the expectation that we know what will happen, that the world of next week will be pretty much the same as last week. Second they should mean that people stop saying we can’t make dramatic changes because 2022 seems to be as much about sudden and profound worldwide change as 2020 was. Continue reading…

The world that is coming is something we can work toward but not something we can foresee

I can’t say I have confidence in the future, but I have a lot of confidence in its unpredictability, based on the fact that the past has regularly delivered surprises. It’s easy to forget in retrospect how astonishing the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Velvet Revolution were in 1989, or the arrival of the Zapatista army on the world stage in 1994 or how marriage equality seemed like a long shot just before it became a reality in countries all over the world not long ago or how Ireland and Argentina recently legalized abortion. The terrible too comes along without warning. Often a major event – this unforeseen global pandemic, the invasion of Ukraine – then itself has indirect consequences that matter. The pandemic led to a radical shift in the US labor market, including rising wages, worker walkoffs and refusals that at times have seemed tantamount to a general strike, and remarkable labor organizing against some of the most resistant low-wage employers.

Both the pandemic and the invasion have significant consequences for climate politics. First of all they should shake loose the expectation that we know what will happen, that the world of next week will be pretty much the same as last week. Second they should mean that people stop saying we can’t make dramatic changes because 2022 seems to be as much about sudden and profound worldwide change as 2020 was.

Continue reading…

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