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How climate change puts globalization in reverse


Painting climate change as sheer disaster without offering an alternative vision blows people’s world to pieces and offers them nothing. This is what Rob Hopkins, an environmental grassroots campaign award-winner, sees as a significant challenge to roping people into cutting their carbon emissions. Hopkins speaks about his global forecast in this thirteenth, and final, video in the series "Peak Oil and a Changing Climate" from The Nation and On The Earth Productions. The future world will be much more localized, which is not such a gloomy picture, he says.

Hopkins argues that high energy prices should be seen as a positive push towards a new economic model, noting that high oil prices encouraged the US to start producing its own steel again. He likens state-sponsored oil subsidies to giving liquor store discount coupons to an alcoholic relative.

This necessary transition will be like reverse globalization, and will undoubtedly be an enormous shock to the population, he says. “But then, so was the process we’ve seen over the last 50 years. It drove farmers to suicide, it bankrupted lots of people and it drove many millions of people off of the land. As we go back the other way it will be a process that throws open many opportunities for people who are entrepreneurial, imaginative and creative.”

—Sara Jerving

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