I pretty much agree with _everything_ you said.
So, my differences. Re democracy. The majority of people are not very committed to solving _any_ of those problems, big or small. While they may pay som lip service to them, it's certainly not important enough to let it be a major factor in choosing who to select as decision makers. _Much_ less it being important enough for them to hit the streets. So, the majority of decision makers don't make this a major issue, either. And little (at least not enough) gets done. On all the problems, large and small.
Note that, personally, I'm solidly in the minority who do care. And I care a lot. Actually made something of a career out of doing something about this stuff, when I could have made more money doing something else. And I saw, for many years, how little "doing the right thing" motivated people at all levels. It was nowhere near as important to them as fairly small amounts of money or power.
If that was the case for big problems, it's certainly the case for small ones, like light pollution in astronomy. If we're going to make any progress on that in a democracy, we need to be able to show a large number of people why this is a significant problem FOR THEM. I really don't know how we could do that.
In a 'true democracy' everyone, even the 'polluters' would vote for clean air and water, dark skies, mom, and apple pie. A 'clean environment' is not a "political issue" until "special interests" make it that to defend their 'part' of the Golden Goose and maintain their status quo.
Up until the last couple decades of the 20th Cent' the then pol, "conservatives" were all for conservation (go figure) even establishing the federal EPA and so many states followed that lead. A Dept. of Energy to research alternatives, was started after the first major oil crisis of shortages was caused by OPEC cartel. The scientists working for the world largest major fossil fuel production company freely published their science papers predicting the 'green-house' effects uncontrolled releases of green house gases would cause.
The term "green house gas" was 'invented' by the same Swedish scientist who discovered the IR heat trapping properties of CO2 and predicted the world's climate would warm because of it, ~150 years ago! So, the company even started up divisions dedicated to developing alternative cleaner sources because the then corporate 'leaders' recognized it was time to start the change and they knew the oil would run out in a few decades or at some point anyway. Then "investors" got involved. Propaganda machines went into full gear to defend the status quo, the scientists were fired or left. Their papers buried, literally in circular files and corporate basements.
The rest is where we are now. Except 2/3 of the pop. weren't even born when the "conservatives" were for 'fixing problems' before they were against it, and telling us its all a hoax. We're now 3 or more cycles of swirling further down the toilet.
But the 'chickens are coming home to roost' and tens of millions are waking up because they are effected directly. In the 'west' we've had many summers of viewing ruined by wildfire smoke. Never saw anyone east of MIss. R. complain. This summer because smoke from Canada covered the 200 million in the east, it really got 'noticed.' Stronger then ever hurricanes and tidal flooding are also getting the attention of joe six-pack who can't get insurance on his house in FL or can't take the NY subway cause its flooded. This time its not un-like the mid-wests burning rivers and lakes, Love Canals and coal sooted cities, DDT poisoning Bald Eagles and lead filled water that finally raised and started the "environmental movement" in the 60s. But yeah, its very late in the game and the defensive line of the status quo is only weakening slowly. And so far at least, in this democracy, we're always only one election cycle away from the status quo going the way of child labor, locked work place doors, buggy whips, slavery, women and others not allowed to vote, whale oil for lamps etc.
Edited by Ron359, 19 September 2023 - 04:19 PM.