The word “inequality” has, for far too long, been taken as code for “poverty.” It’s time to take it as well as code for “wealth.” And what is wealth? When does a person or community qualify as part of the global economic elite? What is a luxury, and who decides? Lots of questions here, and they couldn’t be more topical.
Enter Hans Rosling, who has with his gapminder project emerged as one of our very best guides to the statistical complexity of this, our civilization at the edge. You could easily, and productively, spend a day studying the ins and outs of his fabulous presentations, and learning how to do your own with gapminder desktop. But of course you’re too busy, so why don’t you instead invest nine minutes watching this brilliant video, from a talk Hans recently gave at TED Women.
Serious. Just do it. Right now.
Here, from the excellent Labor Network for Sustainability, is a rather inspired from-the-heart piece that looks straight into the abyss and finds, not despair, but rather the foundation of a true global climate-justice mobilization, one that might just be able to scale. The pivotal paragraph of Fighting Doom: The New Politics of Climate Change says it very well indeed:
But my political alter ego is oddly less pessimistic. Rather than triggering gloom, the climate crisis has surprisingly stirred up more hope than I have felt in twenty years as a progressive activist. After decades of progressive retreat it is a strange feeling. But I am haunted by the suspicion that this coming crisis may be the first opportunity we have had in generations to radically re-shape the political landscape and build a more just and sustainable society.