In this moment, we are reminded of how crises of war, authoritarianism, neoliberalism, and climate are highly intersectional. Each crisis cannot be tackled as a distinct challenge, they are all part of one picture.
In an article written in the first days of the war on Ukraine, Bill McKibben put forward an idea: ‘One way to dramatically reduce Putin’s power is to get off oil and gas … So now is the moment to remind ourselves that, in the last decade, scientists and engineers have dropped the cost of solar and windpower by an order of magnitude, to the point where it is some of the cheapest power on Earth. The best reason to deploy it immediately is to ward off the existential crisis that is climate change, and the second best is to stop the killing of nine million people annually who die from breathing in the particulates that fossil fuel combustion produces. But the third best reason – and perhaps the most plausible for rousing our leaders to action – is that it dramatically reduces the power of autocrats, dictators, and thugs.’
There is seemingly never a ‘good’ time to address the complex issues associated with crisis. But, there is reason to hope that, in response to these emergencies, we can coordinate international political will to encourage a sharp turn towards renewables. As Rebecca Solnit said, ‘It is important to say what hope is not: it is not the belief that everything was, is or will be fine...The hope I am interested in is about broad perspectives with specific possibilities, ones that invite or demand that we act. You could call it an account of complexities and uncertainties, with openings.’ Before a shift happens, it can seem impossible; afterwards, it seems inevitable.
To find further information on the intersectional nature of crises, visit our resource list here.