In a Guardian article, ‘It is profitable to let the world go to hell’, Jo Confino describes the 42 year frustrating struggle by Jørgen Randers to inject a note of sanity into government climate policies.
“It is cost-effective to postpone global climate action. It is profitable to let the world go to hell.
“I believe that the tyranny of the short term will prevail over the
decades to come. As a result, a number of long-term problems will not be
solved, even if they could have been, and even as they cause gradually
increasing difficulties for all voters.”
We see this inability to include a long term perspective down to the local government level. City of Santa Cruz Water Department managers are unable to view future water supply challenges in terms of population growth, insisting that water neutral development, that is increased water use efficiency, will allow population growth indefinitely into the future.
Of course, increases in efficiency are a short-term solution, since efficiency can only increase to a point of diminishing return. Population increases will inevitably overcome efficiency of use.
But the bureaucratic mentality cannot embrace this viewpoint, because that means the entire capitalist consumer approach must be abandoned on the scrap heap of history. So the blinders remain fully in place as the opportunities for meaningful and effective change swoosh rapidly downstream to the ocean.