Problems reveal themselves over time.
At first you struggle to fathom what’s going on; there may be multiple signs of danger but you’re unlikely to understand what they’re trying to tell you.
The good news is that, as seconds become minutes become hours you eventually realise what kind of trouble you’re in. The bad news is as the problem becomes clearer it also gets worse:
It’s a moment politicians can’t (or won’t) seize, because they’re not prepared to be wrong. That’s why they perform so badly with serious and pressing issues like climate change; they figure new evidence appears every day, so why not wait until we know everything?
They either don’t know (or don’t care) that by the time we reach 100% certainty we will have exactly 0% alternatives.
That’s why we need leaders, not politicians.
Leadership is a job for people who are prepared to make very big guesses about a future no-one can know very much about; people with the courage to act without the benefit of certainty.
It’s a tough gig, which might explain why so few people are up to it.
Leaders move while there’s still time.
Politicians wait until there’s no doubt.
Our species has some very serious problems to face; let’s not waste whatever time we have left by mistaking politics for leadership.