There is a scientific consensus that the earth is at a dangerous tipping point, yet our political and economic institutions lag far behind the need to act quickly and decisively on climate change. This chapter seeks to answer the question of why, despite what modern science has known about the world and what climate scientists have been warning us about for decades, do our political and economic institutions continue to be so recalcitrant? How might those concerned about climate change begin to affect our decision-making apparatuses? My answer to this problematic draws on two strands of thinking about the sources of the problem: the work of Debeir, Deléage and Hémery (1991) in tracing the central role of energy systems in human development and in the erection of political/economic regimes that resist change; and the application of Thomas Kuhn’s theory of paradigm shift in science to the realm of political ethics by cognitive scientist George Lakoff. I then use Lakoff’s theory about how the mind works to decode the Enlightenment paradigm that has shaped the nation-state system and the capitalist economy in order to show how its conceptual distortions have impeded us from moving toward a new ecological paradigm based on how the earth system actually works. Finally, I develop a schematic framework that contrasts the Enlightenment paradigm with the ecological paradigm and suggest some ways of working to bring it into sharper focus.