Keywords: Institutions and Growth; Environment and Growth; Valuation of Environmental Effects; Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism; Secession
We have known for a long time that the environmental question cannot be postponed, yet the attempts made so far have not succeeded in achieving the reversal of direction so often hoped for. What is it that makes it such a difficult task to follow up on choices and policies capable of halting the race towards an announced disaster? How does this sort of «environmental impasse» arise? The articles by Dimitri D’Andrea, Luigi Pellizzoni and Alice Mah presented in this issue are discussed in the light of the diagnoses and possible ways out they propose. Although the articles have different focuses (the legacies of modernity, ecosystem services, degrowth in petrochemicals), three elements of convergence emerge: an awareness of the need for choices and policies capable of questioning the foundations of the current system of production and consumption (an awareness that opens up the willingness to imagine that another way is possible); the need to bring into play different forces and institutional levels calibrated on bioregions; the emergence of combinations of new subjectivities and actors who, taking seriously the warnings of experts and the evidence of experience, will regain the «mobilizing fear» that drives us to take care of the world for the future.