Climate Change and a New Social Contract

Kim Ockhyen
978-89-6545-314-7 03330
August 2015

Unlike other books on climate change that concentrate on specialized fields and the natural science aspect, this book reaches beyond disciplinary boundaries to deliver key information for the general public to understand and practice. The author finds the cause of climate change in “free riding”. Humans enjoy various services provided by the natural ecosystem, from beautiful scenery to food, industrial resources, and the purification capacity, while consuming energy in excess and releasing pollutants without any consideration for the future and future generations. Today, the effects of global warming transcend national borders. The ultimate question that we face is fundamentally social and political. “How will we live? What kind of world do we want to live in?” This is why we are in desperate need of a new, twenty-first century version of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s social contract, which will transform our way of life.

The first part of the book deals with the causes and complex effects of climate change, while the second part presents a new social contract as a new method of sustainable development. The new social contract that Kim discusses includes practical methods according to the actors, levels, and social systems from the individual to the local community, and from the individual state to international organizations. It is now time for a society that has pursued “fast-paced” development to welcome a green shift. The author argues that renewable energy technology to replace fossil fuels will in the long term be efficient even from an economic perspective, and by comparing the energy policies of various states, he shows that we can guarantee sustainability and effectiveness when the green transition is stipulated in a kind of “climate change act” including policies to provide financial support. However, since the responsibility and burden for this green shift does not apply equally to everyone, coordination at the political level is vital.

According to the author, development is presenting a new direction by overcoming the threats of the times. This is why climate change is “an unintentional gift that can once again strengthen discipline, coexistence, and serious dialogue in the relationship between man and nature and in the relationship between people.” With this book and its positive energy, readers can create change in their daily lives with a macro perspective on climate change.