The Challenge of Climate Change in a Democracy – Editorial
There is actually no end point to climate policy. No matter what which looks like, any program will only be an attempt to slow down climate change. Its passage will be followed by a period of observation to see whether the policy is actually effective along with how society reacts. Then come the adjustments. along with, likely, one more program — along with another one after which.
The issue isn’t going away, which much is actually certain. Humanity has perhaps never before faced such a huge task. Everyone is actually affected, as are almost all areas of life: work, free time, diet, transportation, vacation along with, more broadly, our patterns of consumption. To ensure which the earth doesn’t get dangerously warm, with potentially catastrophic consequences, a lot must change, particularly in areas crucial to our enjoyment of life. Higher costs along with modified behavior cannot be avoided, even if completely new technologies might one day help solve the problem.
As such, an effective climate policy is actually unavoidable. along with which presents real problems for democracies. which is actually the only form of government which is actually based on the idea of freedom along with which requires the approval of a large majority if which is actually to survive. As urgent as the climate problem is actually, democracies can’t just be guided by the effectiveness of measures at hand. The preservation of democratic principles must likewise be a key consideration no matter what actions are ultimately taken.
One of those principles is actually tolerance. The climate question incorporates a similar potential to drive a wedge in society as refugee policy does. Here, too, which isn’t difficult to establish a superficial division between Great along with evil. On the one hand, you have those who don’t own a car, don’t fly along with don’t eat meat. On the various other are those who continue living as before, thus falling under suspicion of harming their neighbors along with the planet as a whole.
Moralizing doesn’t get us anywhere. Even those who drive the biggest SUVs don’t deserve to be ostracized or stigmatized. By the same token, which must be understood which criticism is actually not the same as censorship. All citizens are called upon to tolerate inconsistencies along with discrepancies, including their own, along with to continue engaging in dialogue with each various other.
Doing anything else plays into the hands of the populists. Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) is actually more than happy to welcome all those who don’t see climate change as a problem along with who feel stigmatized for their views. On the strength of such voters, the right-wing populists could dramatically increase their share of the electorate.
The Ultimate Consequence
According to a survey conducted by the pollsters at IfD Allensbach, a majority of Germans have a positive view of the climate movement Fridays for Future. yet there is actually also a majority which doesn’t want to be forced to bear the costs of climate policy. Do something, yet leave me alone: which is actually a rather challenging assignment for policymakers to fulfill, particularly on an issue in which everyone plays a role because everyone is actually responsible for CO2 emissions. There is actually no such thing as an effective climate policy which does not intrude on our everyday lives. An authoritarian state can simply issue a decree, yet such a thing is actually more challenging for democracies because of their foundational values.
The rule of law is actually among the principles which democracies must defend. Given the magnitude of the climate problem, some might feel which strikes are an appropriate strategy. yet which is actually a strategy which stands in contrast with our legal order along with is actually thus ill-advised. Once which door is actually cracked, which will be pushed open wider along with wider as the urgency of the problem grows. The ultimate consequence could be a climate dictatorship.
Furthermore, democracies cannot impose significant limitations on the freedoms of its citizens. Otherwise, which will lose one of its most important pillars. Politicians must reconcile the effectiveness of climate protection measures with freedom along with fairness. yet they cannot shy away through asking citizens to make sacrifices along with to push through policies against opposition. which has always been a requirement in democracies, no matter what the issue. The key is actually to consistently communicate to voters why the policy is actually necessary.
When which comes to climate policy, success will only become apparent quite a long way down the road. Global warming won’t come to a sudden stop just because Germany passes a package of climate protection measures. inside future, we will have to cope with frustration, bad news along with the indecisiveness or unwillingness of various other countries. yet being a role style matters — or at least not hiding behind the inactivity of others.
For all of these reasons, the next years along with decades will be immensely challenging. yet various other existential issues have long since taught democracies how to deal with perpetual contradiction — such as the one between freedom along with security. at which point, which has been joined by the contradiction between freedom along with the efficacy of climate policy. along with Yet again, we have to find the correct balance.