How can we address problems that sometimes seem unsolvable? How to lift families mired in generations of poverty to a better life? Stop the .ow of carbon into our atmosphere? Or remove corporate in.uence from our politics? ese are problems so large some are resigned to enduring, rather than confronting, them. But surely that is not the best course. e road ahead is full of possibilities. To navigate it well we must pay attention to its deep, entrapping .ssures and .nd new ways around them. e good news is that many Americans now recognize the scale of these challenges, and interest is high in .nding out how we might address them.
I certainly don’t think I have all the answers, but I do believe I can help .nd a place to begin. After over forty years of working in the environmental movement and in international development, I have come to the conclusion that our largest problems—from climate change to inequality and poverty—are deeply rooted in the fundamentals of our political-economic system. Working within that system to achieve incremental changes, however valuable, will never be enough. e current system is simply not programmed to secure the well-being of people, place, and planet. Its priorities, as we see every day, are GDP growth, corporate pro.ts, and the projection of national power—typically military power.