In the space of 2 hours this morning at Dalian, my brain is broken. 3 people whom I think very highly of, within 2 hours of each other, have all said that they’re very very worried about the future of democracy.
The first said it in the context of global climate change: “Democracy is going to have a hard time surviving climate change [in 10 years or so].”
The second was Tom Friedman, in response to Martin Wolf, a Financial Times writer — Martin said this: “News is expensive; information wants to be free.” And he’s concerned that to have a functioning, healthy democracy, you need legitimate news (construe that how you will, but he and Tom mean that it has reasonable editorial standards and process).”
But it’s the climate change one that knocked my hat into the creek, as Diego says from time to time. The implication is that effects from climate change have the potential to put tremendous stress on our political systems; market dynamics may not be able to address the problems, and direct democracy may actually make the problem worse, not better. (If you have any doubt, think about Prop 13 in California, (relatively) cheap gasoline in the States, even now, or the person who cut down the last tree on Easter Island.)
Sobering & brain-breaking. Lots to think about.