In his message launching the most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on April 4, 2022, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres offered the following chilling observation:

“Climate scientists warn that we are already perilously close to tipping points that could lead to cascading and irreversible climate impacts.

But high emitting governments and corporations are not just turning a blind eye; they are adding fuel to the flames.

They are choking our planet, based on their vested interests and historic investments in fossil fuels, when cheaper, renewable solutions provide green jobs, energy security, and greater price stability.”

The institutions he cited are also blocking efforts to protect Earth’s natural environment, end poverty and extreme and growing inequality, and prevent further deaths from weapons of war.

There are many good and committed people working within these institutions, but their structures are relics of an era of imperial rule in which their function was to secure the absolute rule of kings and queens on the pretext that they ruled by the will of God.

Much has since changed. We are no longer ruled by kings and queens, but we are not free of the top-down structures designed to enable their rule. Power now rests in the hands of global financiers who rule by their control of our access to money. They enjoy the support of economists who assure us that the lust for power through wealth is inherent to human nature, and that maximizing our individual financial return ultimately maximizes the well-being of everyone.

We have tested this perverse premise on a global scale and are now bearing its devastating consequences: The destruction of Earth’s capacity to sustain life, an unprecedented concentration of wealth and power, and billions of people leading lives of daily desperation.

Change will come, and can only come from committed people mobilizing in common cause as a powerful social movement. Together, we can transform the institutions of global society to distribute power and organize from the bottom up. Critical elements are in place, but we have yet to acknowledge our common purpose.

Read the full article about climate crisis by David Korten at YES! Magazine.