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History's Lesson for Climate Action: No Other Choice 'But Mass Mobilization'


History's Lesson for Climate Action: No Other Choice 'But Mass Mobilization'

Jon Queally, staff writer

With less than 100 days until high-level UN climate talks take place in Paris, key leaders from the global climate justice movement have come together with a joint statement that affirms their belief that only mass popular mobilizations across the planet demanding a drastic reckoning with the world's fossil fuel paradigm will suffice when it comes to confronting the increasingly dire and intertwined threats of neoliberal capitalism and planetary climate change.


Morality, born not out of superstition, but rather mortality, may hold wonders for humanity. Perhaps we shall grasp and use it.


Article from Truthout from yesterday:
The Colonial Origins of Conservation: The Disturbing History Behind US National Parks][1]


Given the perpetual failure of climate talks to produce any meaningful and lasting results on curbing emissions, maybe it is time to have talks on how to cope with the changes being wrought by climate change, now and in the future. Be nice to get some return on all the fossil rules that will be consumed in hosting such events, for a change. Rome is burning as we speak.


I think humanity needs to make our leaders take action just as the article states. Concrete steps to get us off fossil fuels and leave the crap in the ground. But maybe we need to figure out a better way of getting our leaders to do what we want them to do.

Perhaps we need to get more on the case of the media far more than we do now. The media is how the public communicates with our culture and with our leaders.Yes our leaders see our demonstrations but in between them then what? Maybe we should start a media write in campaign until the media takes notice (like we want the leaders to take notice) that this is not just some issue but the defining issue of the age!

Our leaders fear bad press more than anything else and the press is where we need to effect a cultural shift to make them reflect our deep concerns. The press is only just now beginning to talk about global climate change.How does that work? A short time ago they barely mentioned it at all yet suddenly it became okay to write the words global warming etc.

Perhaps we need to try a different route to convince our leaders to get serious about climate change? We talk to our leaders directly but our doing so seems to only be heard indirectly. However even an indirect reference to a politician in the media is heard directly. Funny how that works

Maybe we should speak to our leaders directly by focusing our energies to changing the media to be more actively engaged in the struggle to save our planet. Our leaders would hear us better through the media. which at the moment seems only mildly concerned with climate change as if it were a yet distant problem. Change the media outlook to change our leader's perspective.

We want them to do what is necessary but they would rather not (it'd be a lot of work admittedy). When the media makes them look irresponsible and incompetent or simply corrupt and/or too lazy to bother, our leaders get scared that they will lose popularity.

Changing the media changes the politicians and then just maybe they'll change the world.


The only way to "make our leaders take action" would be to "get more on the case of the media." I believe that The Great Ruling Elite are so stupid that if leftists, liberals, and progressives would use all the giznos, network, channels that They have made available to direct propaganda back at Them rather than at each in sad oneupsmanship back-and-forths . . . But I could be wrong. So I will probably still ask questions in hopes that Other Than Me will have something to say.

As to Monkey Wrenching: if only the office workers of the world could unite: the clerks, clerk typists, administrative assistants, data entry workers, secretaries, file clerks, transcribers et al could realize the power they hold in their heads and skilled fingers. In many bureaucratic institutions -- government and corporate both -- they are the ones who really make things work. It is not unusual in a bureaucratic setting for the line supervisors to not know how the details of how work is done, to be unable to "cover" should the clerical staff absent itself en mass. The clerks not only are the only ones who know how the systemic functions work but often they maintain the filing systems so if they were protected by worker solidarity from "disciplinary action up to and including termination," they know where the bureaucratic bodies are filed away so they are perfectly positioned to do some really damaging leaking


A lot of things need doing and leaks are certainly important because these days a governing elite has figured out that the easiest way to do what they want without interference from the public is to classify everything even to the point of trade deals. Classifying everything is destroying democracy outright. People can't vote for something that they aren't allowed to know about. Secret provisions in trade deals is not democracy and it isn't national security either... it is fascistic actually.

I just think people should start getting on the case of the media with write in campaigns and emails etc. to show the reproters and editors how people really feel. The press is also driven by popularity ratings.


Good article. As someone who has been to Yosemite, I recommend the link.


So it is physics that informs your sense of disdain of liberalism's moral platitudes? Or rather, have you taken a moral position on that – what ought or what ought not be done?


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I keep thinking at how corporations have been buying up large tracts of arable land in Africa which of course can be irrigated. Similarly in So, America. Insurance companies are refusing to provide insurance for environmentally risky projects (try getting insurance on that beach front property at a reasonable rate or flood insurance elsewhere. I think they know full well what is coming and how fast but they want the money while it lasts.

When the golden goose began to sicken and appeared near to death they still insisted on just one more golden egg... as long as it was them who would be the ones to get it.





Yeah, I know, but I'm busy, I've got to rearrange the deck chairs! wink


Totally appropriate analogy. What was the next stage? Panic for the life boats? It doesn't bear thinking about.


Expect aggressive riot police, tear gas and worse as these events progressively reveal that all the rhetoric is so much BS. Effectively the summit will be the criminals lies mixed with a sharp reminder who really runs the show. Violence becomes - unfortunately - increasingly likely as each year passes.


All you ever do is spout defeatism and cynicism and to what end? Do you get a perverse pleasure from dissuading people form trying to make things better. I notice you apply the same old same old fatalism to almost everything. Like in this instance. You spout your dismal disblief that anything people will do could matter. To what end though? Should they do nothing?

A march may not instantly change the world and the politicians may attempt to dismiss it but look around you. People are shutting down coal mines, coal operators are closing mines on their own, people and cities and institutions are divesting and everybody is now very much aware of impending climate change. Geez half the country west oof the Mississippi is choking with smoke or ablaze. The drought is looking permanent. You best believe that politicians are gauging just how serious the public concern is getting. A large turnout for a march signifies trouble to the politicians and a low turmout would let them relax more. They may not be doing much but our politicians are worried as to whether they can still keep getting away with it. A big turnout for the marches will make waves among the politicians.

The same old same old just ain't the same as it used to be.


If the rhetoric was genuine the voices involved would focus on the urgency rather telling us how it is all so terribly difficult. Those at the summit have no excuse for not being informed and anyone vaguely paying attention knows things are desperate. We cannot afford to agonise over process and economic issues. The developed nations are both the biggest offenders and the most powerful... and the least willing to act. That is how I judge the rhetoric to be BS. To borrow someone else's analogy, when the Titanic was sinking, I doubt anyone said This is a tricky problem - let's sleep on it and look at it again tomorrow,


It's over folks. We've been duped and lied to and placated and put off long enough. Here's the simple choice:either we start now to physically block, disable, destroy, the fossil fuel industry from killing the planet or we all die. Pretty straight ahead. One thing for sure, thinking that somehow these rapacious pricks will respond to going through the proper channels is a death wish. We've known this shit from the 60's and we've tried to use reason and facts and it's been one big waste of time. The fossil fuel industry has no intention of stopping or even slowing down because all they care about is profit. There is no environmentally safe way to get coal and oil and natural gas from the earth...none. It's been one big charade with the EPA and Earth Day and all the politicians promising this and that. So what do you think folks? Shall we go out with a whimper or with a bang? See you in the streets.


Total bullshit. Obama has done a lot? What planet are you on? Obama is a corporate whore, like Bush I and II were and like Bill and Shillary are and like Reagan was. They all bend over and bow down to their corporate pimps.


You may be right but I'd like to raise a voice for nonviolent civil disobedience (and what could be a corporate version of civil disobedience), protest, boycotts and physically block, delay and otherwise upset the same old same old ...

... but not disable and destroy because that gives them an excuse to physically disable and destroy us. Those folks shut down the operation of the world's largest coal mine without violence and no violence was done to them (there were arrests but that is part of civil disobedience).

Full disclosure, back in the day and a long ago day it was too, I was not quite the practicioner of peaceful non violence that I would become. It was all new to everyone and Kent state and the Chicago convention and all the rest from the Black Panthers to brutality shown civil rights marchers etc... plus the war... ahem... I broke a window in the justice department and stopped people from starting a fire elsewhere at the same protest. It was the mindless lashing out of a few angry people wanting to start a fire that forever changed me. My throwing a rock at a window placed no one at risk (it was an empty room) in what I saw as a symbolic act. Starting a fire at a kiosk building wasn't symbolic of anything and fire will spread and so does that mindless lashing out attitude. Those others wanted to start a riot which I stopped as well (typically in the middle of a huge protest I'm having a debate with a few emotionally worked up people who would take no responsibility for what they wanted to do) but a hundred thousand or two others wanted a peacful protest. I began my path to non violence on that day. Lashing out always includes running away and letting others take the heat. Civil disobedience takes more guts and stays to make a point and state a message of why. No fires no way not ever - imo.

Sure we are all angry but lashing out plays into the hands of the powerful and it is simply stupid. There is no need to destroy property, the coal loader vehicle itself is not the problem but the removal of coal from the mine is. Stopping the mine's operation was the victory not temporarily destroying property.

In all my subsequent decades I have seen only civil disobedience and non violence achieve any victories. I have never seen any violence win anything. Police are well equipped and as we see they shoot and maim people. If they do that they lose and are seeing that. Giving them justification to use excessive force lets them get away with it.

Non violent resistance is intelligent and puts time on our side. The more we do non violence the more that people will join us and then the operations of coal mines or drill rig ships heading up to Alaska get delayed and disrupted. The more we can do such things the less that the fossil fuel industry is able to function with impunity.

Knock and keep knocking and even God will take notice and try to work out a way with you to get you to stop knocking.

Agree with everything you say except the destroy part. Maybe someday when sea levels are a few feet higher and still the insanity is continuing then you'd have a point but we can make the switch to alternatives without going that far as yet.

Let's say there are 500 million solar roofs installed as one candidate has promised (she gets her nod for that). People will all see that this really works, saves them lots of money and makes a whole lot of sense given global warming. That will create more effective change than will a pitched battle between police and a few violent protestors ever could. Millions would want to get solar and wind because it is logical not because it was associated with violent protests..

Just my opinion but I've never seen violence or destruction of property achieve much of anything although it might feel like it at the moment. In the long run it is bad press and an excuse for people to not listen to the reasons people claim to have had for doing it. Nobody listens when it involves violence. Linking arms and blocking traffic on a bridge is not destroying a bridge. Both ways stop traffic but only one way got people to listen.as to why people were blocking traffic. The other way turned them off no matter what the reasons might have been because violence and destruction is useless to everyone.

I hope you see my point.