Writings

Climate change is a white swan

At the advent of danger there are always two voices that speak with equal force in the human heart: one very reasonably invites a man to consider the nature of the peril and the means of escaping it; the other, with a still greater show of reason, argues that it is too depressing and painful to think of the danger since it is not in man's power to foresee everything and avert the general march of events, and it is better therefore to shut one's eyes to the disagreeable until it actually comes, and to think instead of what is pleasant.

Trump's coming ‘climate moment': and why we should be careful what we wish for...

Electoral democracy has largely failed. It has been captured by big corporates, suborned and crudified (de-deliberationised) by the corporate media, and sidelined by neoliberal globalisation (and the consequent minute-by-minute power of ‘the markets').

Perhaps the most spectacular ever instance of the failing of electoral democracy has been very recent indeed: it is the election of Donald Trump to (what is still, even now) the most powerful office in the world.

The Rise of the Robot: Dispelling the myth

Robotisation is probably going to be a temporary phenomenon: planetary limits will (within a generation or at most two) severely limit the supplies of raw materials and energy needed to enable large-scale robotisation, and pollution-crises - part-speeded-up by huge investments in automation/robotisation - will have the same effect. The question is whether we can rein in robotisation soon enough to ensure that ‘Peak Robot' occurs under our control, and not as a result of a crash forced on us by collapsing ecosystems.

The delusion of endless growth

After Brexit and Trump: don't demonise; localise!

The election of Donald Trump was a rude awakening from which many people in the US have still not recovered.

Their shock is similar to that felt by UK progressives, Greens, and those on the Left following the Brexit referendum.

In both cases, the visceral reaction was heightened by the barely-disguised racist and xenophobic messaging underpinning these campaigns.

'Progressive Alliance' is now the only alternative to the Tories

If we've learned anything from politics over the past year, it's that the era of two party politics seems to have crashed into a long-overdue end.

We are now faced with a crossroads: either we allow the UK to succumb to single party hegemony, or we pry open the door to pluralistic politics and allow a truly democratic multi-party politics to thrive.

Failure to achieve proportional representation could leave us facing unending Conservative governments for the foreseeable future - something we desperately cannot afford at this time of poverty and climate crisis.

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