In the context of COP28, there is a lot of talk about climate hypocrisy.
There is indeed reason to be cynical in seeing the future of the climate being negotiated under the presidency of Al-Jaber, boss of a large oil company. Especially since he can count on the help of 2,456 industry lobbyists from all countries.
But what is happening in Dubai is just the forest for the trees.
The real climate hypocrisy lies elsewhere.
The real question to ask
What do the climate crisis, food insecurity, housing shortages, rising homelessness, migration crises, erosion of our public services, increased social tensions, armed conflicts and inequalities mean?
They have in common societal choices that favor the profits of a minority to the detriment of society and the environment.
In other words: a market economy which externalises environmental and social costs, incapable of taking into account its medium and long term impacts.
There you have it, climate hypocrisy: believing in the utopia of infinite growth in the consumption of materials and energy without taking into account the limits of ecosystems and humanitarian needs.
One decision at a time, we have gradually institutionalized greed. This system is blowing up in our faces. Faster than we thought.
Think about the causes
Profits have been privatized and costs socialized for decades.
The fossil fuel sector in Canada is just one example. Private oil companies have been raking in record profits for decades while being subsidized to exploit a collective resource. And who will pay the exorbitant costs of climate extremes?
The whole company! The less fortunate here and elsewhere for a long time and soon all our children.
But today, even the middle class in rich countries is affected by the multiplication of interrelated crises generated by the neoliberal policies of recent decades.
So we invent false culprits for our problems: immigrants, minorities of all kinds, civil servants, scientists, progressive governments. Even women go through it, according to the absurd arguments of the Andrew Tates of this world and other influencers.
We swallow lies wrapped in half-truths without even realizing that we are being poisoned.
However, the causes of the problems we are experiencing are systemic. These are the causes that we must face together and now. A decision with heart and rigor.
Because believe it or not: the world can be even worse than it is now if we choose division over cooperation.
To implement solutions that will address the systemic issues that threaten our quality of life, it is imperative that we join forces rather than divide ourselves.
Cynicism and polarization of opinions create a social environment unfavorable to collaboration and collective action. They feed the system that destroys us.
We cannot change the past. But we can change the future.