To the Editor:
A senior discussion group in Sun City Huntley recently expressed disappointment at the ascendance of “radical left” Democratic candidates like Warren and Sanders, preferring more centrist Joe Biden. Age tends to addle one.
The human species, for the first time in its existence, is facing a global perfect storm of simultaneous climate change, soil deterioration, and oil depletion. Centrist business-as-usual policies for another two decades will sentence billions around the world to premature deaths.
Garrett Hardin, in “Tragedy of the Commons,” pointed out that common resources are often abused by a powerful or privileged minority to the detriment of everyone else. Climate, soil, and fossil fuels are global common resources that Americans have exploited to our benefit and everyone else’s detriment.
People around the world are aware of the injustice of America’s current official reluctance to take meaningful action to remedy the problems we largely created, notably the 12 million climate/crop-failure refugees from Syria and Central America these last few years.
Remedies suggested by scientists committed to resolving our global dilemma include making agriculture a public utility, taxing carbon emissions, paying farmers for sequestering carbon, making food a universal human right, subordinating capitalism to human well-being, and more, all radical but all, in the estimation of those who study them, essential to rescuing human civilization.
Timidity in addressing the commons challenges the world now faces will lead to untold premature deaths. Our dilemma, unprecedented in human history, demands radical action. Call their remedies socialist or radical-left, we are a social species and radical social measures have been central to our success thus far.
To adequately address the challenges we face, we need to double down on that nature, not shy away from it. Radical problems demand radical solutions – not the centrist compromises that created them. It has ever been thus.
Donovan C. Wilkin