No show gave its fans so much hope at the beginning of each season that this one would end differently than the last… only to fall apart at the end and make you wonder why you spent all those hours watching Seattle detectives Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman) chase down bad lead after bad lead and smoke cigarette after cigarette. Every year, fans rolled that rock up the hill of fine acting, great dialogue and stunning visuals, only to be crushed as it rolled back down, thanks to the end of the season making no sense, or executed so poorly that you found yourself yelling at the screen.
The thesis of the book is that by responding robustly to climate change — in line with what scientists tell us we have to do — we have a once-in-a-century opportunity to solve some of the biggest and most intractable problems facing our economy. I’m talking about creating countless good jobs, rebuilding ailing infrastructure to help protect us from the heavy weather that we’ve already locked in, and lowering our emissions so it doesn’t get markedly worse. We also have an incredible opportunity to address our most intransigent economic problem, which is inequality within our countries, and also between our countries. We can also have safer, more livable cities and cleaner air. So there is a lot of potentially good news. The bad news is that we can’t do any of this by just changing our light bulbs or politely lobbying governments behind the scenes. We need to have a robust public debate about what values we want to have govern our society. The argument I make in the first part of the book is that the reason we’ve failed so spectacularly to rise to this existential crisis — and by failed I mean our emissions are up 61 percent since we started working on this issue in the early 1990s — is because the things we have to do clash fundamentally with the core ideology that has reigned in this same period, which is market fundamentalism.
Attacking ISIS directly, by air strikes or special operations forces, is a very tempting option available to policymakers, with immediate (but not always good) results. Unfortunately, when the west fights fire with fire, we feed into a cycle of outrage, recruitment, organizing and even more fighting that goes back decades. This is exactly what happened in Iraq during the height of a civil war in 2006 and 2007, and it can only be expected to occur again.