22 Aug 2009
Leading public figures and personalities from all around the world respond to the question of democracy and the ability of its elected representatives to respond to the global crisis of climate change. Some of their responses are captured below.
Vivienne Westwood (fashion designer, United Kingdom): "It's very, very difficult to convince people to think in the long term when they've got all these short term problems, you know. 'What am I going to feed my baby?' -- if you live in Africa."
John Humphries (broadcaster/journalist, United Kingdom): "There are a few big things with democracy. One of them is that it probably can't solve our biggest problem, climate change. And the reason for that is that most politicians however well meaning they may be, are preoccupied almost entirely with being re-elected. They want to stay in power."
Ken Loach (director, United Kingdom): "Today's politicians can't solve climate change because they are the representatives of the people who are destroying the climate."
Njongonkulu Ndungane (former archbishop, South Africa): "You must never leave politics to politicians."
Yue He (TV presenter, China): "Perhaps (a) dictator could solve this problem."
Kazuhiro Soda (director, Japan): "I'd like to believe that there is a chance."
Liza Marklund (author/journalist, Sweden): "Climate change cannot be solved on an individual level and you can't give the responsibility to the big corporations."
Slavoz Zizek (philosopher, Slovenia) "So we have to deal with this democratic political process. It's maybe the worst possible (process) to solve climate change, but unfortunately all other options are even worse."
Alex Jones (director, United States): "What democracy can do by back firing - that's the danger of it - is the corporate media that wants a global tax can brainwash the public to push to end man-made climate change - the great crisis - and push for a global tax. It will do nothing to even fix the problem, if you believe, you know, the preface, but it will give the corporations more power. So c'est la vie - must be good."