Social tolerance may flip before planetary boundaries


We’ve heard a lot lately about the idea of planetary boundaries, separate tipping points of environmental mayhem, with incalculable feedback loops between them.

We should perhaps think more about social and political boundaries of tolerance, especially within countries threatened by a climate crisis which is not their fault.

How much longer will they be prepared to turn up at UN conferences, squeezed between a domestic existential rock and the hard political intransigence which is the preserve of the most powerful countries?

I’d love to know how each of the vulnerable countries now meeting in Bangladesh really feels about how close they are to these limits of climate injustice:

* the political threshold of despair – the point at which the favourite phrase of UN climate talks – “long term cooperative action” – becomes a joke
* the bureaucratic threshold – when the demands of “measurement, reporting and verification” become even more disproportionate to the non-arrival of promised climate finance
* the public tolerance threshold – are there sufficient outlets for expression of anger as people in vulnerable countries become more aware of the cause of their predicament?
* the limits to adaptation – when no amount of cash can save a local environment and people start moving

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this post was first published by OneWorld UK

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