[Editors Note: While GST finds much to agree with in this article, we disagree with the author's assertion that "curbing growth within environmental limits is central to the idea of a Green New Deal." On the contrary, the Green New Deals of the US Congress and the Green Party would increase growth.]
It may seem nonsense that humans are unable to make important changes to the system they have built. But just how free are we? Rather than being masters of our own destiny, we may be very constrained in how we can act.
If you jump in your car to get to a particular destination, you can’t travel in a straight line “as the crow flies”. You will use roads that in some instances are older than your car, you, or even your nation. A significant fraction of human effort and endeavour is devoted to maintaining this fabric of the technosphere: fixing roads, railways, and buildings, for example.