In a nutshell: why our democracies block environmental laws and what we can do about it

Photo by Mockup Graphics on Unsplash
  1. Problem: The environmental crisis
  2. Sub-problem: The political system blocks the environmental laws we need.
  3. Intermediate cause: The societal acceptance of the idea that economic growth should is always good and should be our societies’ priority.
  4. Root cause: The inherent advantage of false information (e.g. the idea that economic growth is always good), which can be exaggerated and more easily catch people’s attention. Due to the lack of mechanisms to avoid the exploitation of such advantage, our political system is dominated by “the race to the bottom” and gives advantage to politicians governing for corporate interests, which benefit from, and thus push, the economic growth story.
  5. High leverage point: Improve the information environment as to increase citizen’s capacity to detect false information. This can be done through education, or with, for example, institutions that verify the veracity of political arguments (e.g. “truth ratings”). A few ideas: from the Center of Humane Technology (focused on social media), Yale researchers, Institute for the future, and Thwink.
  6. Key feedback loops identified: The race to the top/bottom, represented in the diagram here below.
Key loops identified: “the race to the top” and “the race to the bottom”.

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