It's a bit of conceit among the "educated left" that, "We're on the right side of history." Gender, racial and income equality. The Green New Deal. Voting rights. Community action. All these things are laudable in the context of a healthy planet, capitalist economy and an orderly set of interdependent international relationships. But in the face of a global, inevitable existential climate event, are they even remotely appropriate? Is democratic action the best way to forge through a crisis of unprecedented magnitude? Or the slow wheels of compromise and consensus grind us to a pulp as our inability act decisive brings the world as we know it to an end?
A couple of perhaps unrelated observations: When W took over in January, 2001, there were "secret" meetings between the Bush Administration and the heads of the energy industry, the content of which has never been revealed. The policies that came out of that meeting that characterized the Bush Administration made little sense other than seen through the lens of greed and power. The liberal among us (myself included) assumed nefarious motives and a sweetheart deal to fatten the oil barons. We weren't wrong. They definitely got fat. But what if that windfall was the byproduct of something much bigger? What if you just took the reins of power and found out definitively, that it was too late for energy transformation, that climate change was so far advanced there was little to do in the short-term but minimize the carnage to come. You might behave as Bush and Cheney did.
First, you would try to extend the inevitable energy shortage for as long as possible by Increasing/securing supply (invade Iraq, initiate fracking anywhere and everywhere). The second thing you would do is create a lifeboat for the wealthy--the ones most able to survive, through tax breaks and sweetheart financial deals. The third thing you would do would be to weaken Constitutional protections. This is the most pernicious--people are going to have to be moved and categorized for the rest to survive. I can't believe what I'm writing here and I definitely do not emotionally or intellectually support a word of it. But in the context of an extinction-level event, not all of us are going to survive. The first thing that goes out window are our rights. Bush set the table, Trump's band of merry fascists have sat down to dinner to feast on our Constitution and the rights that it confers.
In order to survive the next 50 years, and perhaps as a species, we going to need centralized action. Political movements, and ironically technology, are trending this way. Democracy is under fire nearly everywhere. In the US, in Europe, in Asia and India as populations become more restive and hammer-locked governments fail to meet the needs of their citizens.