Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Jimmy Carter demonstrated the problem with telling the public unpalatable news. It is possible, I believe, to have a moral position without leading with the hair shirt. We still do, (just?), have the possibility of a sustainable future and the fact that we have been unable to convince the obtuse majority of the dangers of the path we are currently following does not mean we are exempt from the duty to continue to do and to attempt what IS possible. After all people of the age of the younger cohort on ET will potentially be around for another 50 to 60 years and it is impossible to say what kinds of societies the extremely complex world system will we have now will produce in even another twenty five years, which, optimistically , I could live to see.

Those with children and grandchildren often become more concerned with the world those children and grandchildren will inherit. This should be encouraged. Building a sustainable future IS a moral position. We do not have to know how quickly fossil fuels will be depleted or how high the seas will rise to advocate for the most sustainable future possible, especially when it is only a little more expensive than the least sustainable future possible. Nor would it be inherently repugnant to advocate for the most sustainable future with the highest possible standard of living. Better to fall short in attaining a desirable goal that CAN be sold to the public than to fail to sell the idea that we have to expect and settle for less.

The only thing we have to use less of is non-renewable resources. It is lack of vision that would condemn us to a markedly bleaker future. We have not seriously, as societies, attempted to find out how well we can live renewably. Advocating to find out IS a moral position.

Likewise, it is conservative to maintain rule of law in our societies and that is manifestly failing due to the disproportionate power and influence of the very wealthy. Better to advocate for enforcement of the law on the grounds that the alternative is either anarchy or dictatorship and succeed than to argue that it is only fair that the wealthy be taxed and their power diminished on grounds of fairness. We can make a good argument that THERE IS NO ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATIVE TO THE RULE OF LAW.

Current events provide ample arguments that there are no good alternatives to rule of law and that, at the highest levels of our society, behavior has become so lawless that the norms of our society preclude lawful behavior in many areas of business and government, per Gresham's Law. And it is not as though this lawlessness is producing a stable, growing economy. Allowing our societies to be run by pirates is inherently wasteful and indulgent of the excesses of the piratical elites. Stopping that lawless squandering of precious resources and the resultant blighting of lives IS a moral position.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 10:22:53 PM EST

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