Saturday, 4 April 2009

A note of hope on the politics of climate change

In my previous post, I noted how useless politicians were in dealing with climate change issues. There is another side to that argument that wouldn't exist if it weren't for the fact that Barrack Obama was elected President. He is living proof of our species potential.

Within his first days of office, he takes decisive decisions to address environmental, social and legal issues in the U.S.. He thereby demonstrates true leadership. At what cost? Demonstrating true leadership is a balancing and highly skilled exercise. A study of Obama's statements is extremely revealing: he is capable like no other politician of speaking to the electorate as a whole.

In dealing with problems, he adopts a dual approach which can be observed in nuanced, balanced statements attempting to find outcomes satisfying opposite views and thereby catering to a wider audience, a true exercise in democracy. He is capable of doing this at the same time as he furthers a single-sided agenda. The secret of his leadership resides in his highly skilled communication ability to satisfy both sides of the electorate in order to get an issue really satisfying one side to move up the agenda.

The cost will come in the future as true leadership means that sooner or later powerful interests in the electorate will be alienated and find a way to undermine the progress that has been made. This is what lead Obama to be elected in the first place: a combination of the financial crisis and Bush's lack of leadership. But the same effect will be at play in the future, change leads on to more change.

The essence of leadership is this: you can either be good to people or good for people. Being good for them justifies taking actions they disagree with in the present but that the leader expects will benefit them in the future. This process can't really be described as good or bad.

Our society is badly in need of true leadership but it is a rare commodity. I'm a big believer that the leadership that society needs exists in every individual who discovers they are capable of taking matters in their own hands and achieving significant changes.

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