He said that the problem with short term elections was that politicians ‘think the issues facing the electorate are ones that are going to change their lives tomorrow or the day after, and those are the ones they concentrate on’.
So much this. As much as I love democracy and the idea of getting to vote every four years… it does have its issues. It makes it hard to get anything done long term, and tackling climate change is a long term battle. It’s tough to get anything significant done on that kind of scale in 4 or 8 years, and even tougher to get the things that have been set in motion to stay in motion.
President Obama announced the Clean Power Plan in 2015, which would intentionally favor energy sources like wind and solar over traditional fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. Over time, people began getting concerned on its impact on jobs and economic growth. It’s been scrapped by Trump in favor of a new plan. And I’m sure the next president that takes the seat will scrap that in favor of their own plan, and then the one after that will can it and do something else, etc etc etc.
It’s not a system that can take 10-30 years of downturn to invest in a liveable future for the next couple hundred years after that because a presidential term is 4 years and people vote based on what they need now, not what they need 10-30 years from now. And we’ve already established that big business can only see the future in quarterlies and give not one fuck about anybody but themselves when you have companies like Exxon and Shell who actually do the research and predict catastrophe, and not only do they not do anything about it, but actively engage in lobbying and disinformation to actually keep things going the way they are instead of inciting change.