Olivier Assayas's film on the aftermath of May 1968 is infantile ultra-leftism
JOE GLENTON explains his need to respond to a world that is unsustainably divided
ENO's production of La Boheme is a triumph,
There are many books about the effects of climate change, the need to reduce carbon emissions and how to achieve that reduction.
The technologies exist but, Harald Weltzer asks in a deeply depressing study, do we have the political will to do so?
The faint glimmer of hope is that human consciousness and awareness of the problem is being raised.
Yet though we register ecological changes and problems, that awareness can be generationally diluted.
The "democratic amnesia" of the West has seen us forget how we gained our superior wealth and power. One effect of their acquisition is global warming and it is unlikely that any strategy other than "business as usual" will be the choice of the affluent countries.
As Weltzer makes clear, those responsible for the problem will suffer least and through their technological skills and innovations may even benefit from it.
The unfairness is palpable, not just between states but between the generations.
What is most frightening about the book is its description of the social tensions created in pursuit of resources, whether for land, water, oil or minerals. This, Welzer argues, will give rise to violent and chaotic conflicts, civil wars and massive refugee flows.
History shows that uncontrollable events lead to discontent, the dismantlement of the rule of law and the aberrant behaviour people are prone to, even in an enlightened world, when their standards of living are threatened.
The speed with which the people of Germany in the 10 years from 1933 slid into a situation where the Holocaust became possible is an evident example.Those who believe that it can't happen again forget US atrocities in Vietnam and the conflicts in Rwanda and Yugoslavia. Climate wars are already here although we may not be aware of them in countries such as Sudan.
In the meantime Europe and the US are extending their buffers to keep refugees away from their borders, shifting the problem upstream.
Weltzer's arguments range so far and wide that there is a danger of confusing the reader but the clarity of the writing and the excellence of Patrick Camiller's translation from German avoid that pitfall and make this an absolutely essential read.