chapter  12
35 Pages

Confronting Denial

Sticking with the hypothesis that it’s theoretically possible to transform the workings of contemporary capitalism in order to achieve a sustainable economy, you have then got to ask why it is proving so difficult to address that transformative challenge – bringing us back to the uncomfortable but pervasive phenomenon of denial. As we saw in Part I, it’s all but impossible to ignore the accelerating decline in our life-support systems; yet politicians seem paralysed by the immensity of the changes required. They’ve started to get climate change, but they still absolutely don’t get any deeper analysis of our total dependence on the natural world. What this means is that we have to completely rethink our understanding of security. The billions of dollars we currently spend on arms and military security (not least on the increasingly costly ‘war against terror’) are systematically undermining the ecological and social conditions upon which our long-term security actually depends. The continuing dependence of the US upon wholly unsustainable supplies of oil, particularly in the Middle East, inflicts massive direct and indirect costs on both its own citizens and the rest of the world, hampering efforts to address issues of chronic poverty in developing countries and equally pressing issues of collapsing natural systems.