Christian Parenti argues that climate change will force us to embrace government instead of the right's attitude that government is "oversized, wasteful, bureaucratic, corrupt, and oppressive."
In recent decades, the number of Major Disaster Declarations by the federal government has been escalating sharply: only 12 in 1961, 17 in 1971, 15 in 1981, 43 in 1991, and in 2011 -- 99!
To adapt to climate change will mean coming together on a large scale and mobilizing society’s full range of resources. In other words, Big Storms require Big Government.
This is an excellent topic and one worthy of considering. As to government being "bad" as Reagan and others so confidently stated, government is bad when it is out of balance, when owners of capital have power over owners of small business and wage earners; when owners of labor have power over owners of capital, that, too, creates imbalance. We have tried both from the "Roaring 20s" shifting power back and forward through the Great Depression and WWII, the efforts to get people back to work when the war ended and then the next shift with the Reagan/Thatcher shift. We are now at the most recent power shift and the arguments going on at Davos 2012 reveal the energy being exerted to keep neoclassical economics and others trying to bring in community centered economics. Watching the charts and graphs helps to understand which side is winning. The reality is, no one wins when both sides are not balanced.
Teachers, police, and firefighters being laid off, small businesses closing, homes being foreclosed. Why is this happening? Is it because of the poor work ethics or pigs eating at the public trough? Hardly, it is a systems problem. Private enterprise and corporations cannot solve these kinds of problems. This is where government has the primary role, and although there are powerful voices at Davos trying to silence the opposition, the facts remain. Our financial institutions are broken and government has the responsibility to step in to provide a level playing field for owners of capital and owners of small businesses and wage earners.