All these claims can be contested, but the supremacy of democracy is perhaps most obviously vulnerable in the fight against climate change.
Since 1992 — when nations promised to stabilize “greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate system” — the problem has accelerated. Annual CO2 emissions have increased more than 60 percent, atmospheric concentrations more than 15 percent, and the Earth has warmed more than half a degree centigrade. This has contributed to shrinking Arctic sea ice, rising sea levels, and increasing damage from wildfires and extreme weather events.
As climate change plays a role in a broad range of human tragedies, including pandemics, we know the worst is yet to come. But are we — that is, our democracies — equipped to tackle it?
As Plato identified more than 2,000 years ago, democracies are….
Opinion by Dale Jameson, Professor of environmental studies and philosophy at New York University