By Tim McNulty
CLIMATE change has been placed back on the agenda of world leaders following President Joe Biden’s virtual summit last month.
However in the age of neo-liberal orthodoxy ecologists are concerned limited actions and ideological straightjacketing are stemming any real progress.
Laurie Laybourn-Langton the co-author of, ‘Planet on Fire: A Manifesto for the Age of Environmental Breakdown’, has argued that “status quo neoliberalism” risk losing out to the far-right on climate.
Laybourn-Langton told Novara Media‘s Aaron Bastani: “If you look at the powers that be which are arrayed around the world at the moment you have got a few tribes that you can discern.
“You have got the status quo neoliberalism which you could argue is going through a modification to properly recognise at least the climate element of the crisis.
“You have then got what we call denialist conservatives like for example the former Trump administration and the you have the open kind of eco-nativist facist approach.
“We argued in the book as things get worse the first two could start to fold into the final one.”
The researcher has raises French President Emmanuel Macron as an example of the systemic failure on neoliberalist to prove the radical transformation needed to ward of climate catastrophe.
He said: “So for example take someone like Emmanuel Macron who we would very much put in the neoliberal status quo element.
“Even if he is potentially starting to experiment, at least in terms of rhetoric, with some modification on the status quo.
“They don’t talk about this as being an overall destabilisation of the natural world, they are not introducing policies at the sufficient level of systematic change.
“Which by the way something the scientific community is very clear about we need changes in paradigms, goals, technology, everything needs to be moving and very far.
“And while that is going on and talking about making the planet great again as Macron has done then pumping money into Frontex, the European border force, in a way that does not fill you with confidence that we are not going to react as benevolently as we need to people who are going to be forcibly displaced.”
Laybourn-Langton paints a disturbing picture of what comes next as climate issues grow more intense across the western world.
He said: “As things get worse it is not hard to imagine a situation where a there is a kind of militarised securitised knee jerk reaction to things getting worse.
“And there is an attempt to pivot to appeal to populations that are very scared understandably and are being appealed to by the harder right.
“Meaning that status quo neoliberalism begins to nudge itself more and more in that direction.
“You just need to look at the so-called migrant crisis of the 2010s in Europe to see the prelude to that.”
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