Democracy is the planet’s biggest enemy

David Runciman in Foreign Policy:

The climate crisis is an issue that requires long-term thinking across the generations, yet electoral politics is geared toward responding to immediate grievances. Politicians can talk about taking the long view, but without institutional changes to the way we practice democracy, they are unlikely to look beyond short-term political gains.

The young and the old increasingly look like two distinct political tribes, and the differences are perhaps starkest over climate change. Recent polling in Britain indicates that for nearly half of all voters aged 18 to 24, global warming represents the most pressing issue of our time. Less than 20 percent of voters over 65 think the same. In the United States, only 10 percent of eligible voters aged 18 to 29 describe climate change as a “not very serious problem,” compared with 40 percent of those over 65 who call it that.

Observing the generational divide on climate change is easier than accounting for it.

More here.