Climate Shifts Aren’t Limited to the Weather – by Thomas Friedman – NYT

“I have a simple view of governing today: We are in the middle of not one but three climate changes at once to which government must help citizens respond — and Donald Trump doesn’t have a clue and China does.Here is what I mean: We are in the middle of a change in the climate of the climate. We are going from “later” to “now.” In the past you could fix any climate/environmental problem later or now. But today later is officially over. Later will be too late. At some point, the deforestation of the Amazon is not reversible.

We are the middle of a change in the “climate” of globalization. We are going from an interconnected world to an interdependent one, and in such a world your friends can hurt you faster than your enemies: Think what happens if Mexico’s economy fails. And your rivals’ falling becomes more dangerous than your rivals’ rising: We will be hurt a lot more by China’s economy tanking than its putting tanks on islands in the South China Sea.

And lastly we’re in the middle of a change in the “climate” of technology. We’re moving into a world where machines and software can analyze (see patterns that were always hidden before); optimize (tell a plane which altitude to fly each mile to get the best fuel efficiency); prophesize (tell you when your elevator will break and fix it before it does); customize (tailor any product or service for you alone) and digitize and automate just about any job. This is transforming every industry.”

Thank you Thomas Friedman.

Here is a comment I heartily endorse.


NYC 3 hours ago

To a very good summary I would add a fourth: population growth. In past centuries poor and uneducated immigrants could use their physical labor then build an existence. The world still had uninhabited places – several billion less of us. All those parameters have changed:
• while industrial countries stabilized their population, the destitute and uneducated have multiplied. But with automation doing much of our physical labor, even most factory jobs require language and computer skills. The number of physical jobs is shrinking.
But industrialized countries have their own growth problem: Not as in population but as in ‘Capitalism ‘ . We need an economic philosophy of sustainability and scaling back wasteful overconsumption. The measure of growth of production, of stock prices, of profit needs to be redefined. We are eating the tree we are sitting on while those sitting on the branches are getting more.
We can choose China’s way of a world-wide 1-2 child policy – and abandon outdated religious procreation doctrines (and reinstate US Family planning services here and abroad) or let nature and war do their ugly adjustment.