Climate change is a symptom

photo of the great pyramid

We spend a lot of cognitive energy thinking about climate change, but climate change is not our core problem. Climate change is a symptom. It’s an awful symptom that will radically change, possibly destroy life on earth. But we actually know what to do about climate change. We’d have a decent shot at slowing climate change if we got serious about biochar. Or renewable energy. Or eating fewer animals. 

Yet we chose not to do these things. We have a complex global system that drives individuals, communities, and countries to make choices that are directly against their own long-term self-interest. Kim Stanley Robinson argues that capitalism undervalues the future. Is capitalism as we know it the problem then? Is focusing on growth the problem?

This is not one of those posts that end with an answer. Just a question. If climate change is the symptom, what is the cause?