Home | About | Donate

Time for Feeling Powerless in the Face of Climate Chaos Is Over


#1

Time for Feeling Powerless in the Face of Climate Chaos Is Over

May Boeve

2015 is on track to be the hottest year in recorded history, and this December hundreds of world governments will meet in Paris to try to strike a global climate agreement. It will be the biggest gathering of its kind since 2009, and it's potentially a big deal for our global movement.

"No matter what happens in the negotiating halls, we must build power to hold them accountable to the principles of justice and science."


#2

Yay May Boeve!!!

The sleeper awakes, apathy is shed. Humanity understands. People have gotten the message. A call to the human heart -

Resist the dying of the world

The corporations and the politicians expect business as usual. They expect a bit of noise but little more than that will oppose them. They miscalculate because they are deniers themselves and avoid seeing how dire things are getting. So they don't expect to encounter all that much resistance. They fail to realize what motivates people. We have no choice but to stop them. They don't think of it that way. The reality is that they have left humanity no other choice but to stop them polluting.

Your article is such welcome news. People are just waiting for some way to participate. For some way to make a difference. To help out in some way. People want to do something to help!

Give them a way to help and people will willingly join in and help out.

Yay 350.org!!!


#4

I think it is time to place the blame for global warming and every other crime against humans and nature squarely where it belongs, on conservatives.

It does no good and a lot of harm to use the "we", as if liberals and progressives had anything to do with the atrocities that conservatives perpetrate in the name of money and reactionary fear.


#5

i recently learned that O'Malley is a past chair of the Clintonian Democratic Leadership Council, the group that very purposefully auctioned off the Democratic Party to the corporate sector.

Clinton's DLC has disbanded (after successfully renouncing and helping dismantle FDR's New Deal legacy in the name of increasing Democratic Party access to corporate funding), but more recently, O'Malley is a co-founder of another pro-corporate Democratic Party organization shamelessly called NewDEAL. The agenda and activities of NewDEAL are basically the same as the DLC: Sell out the Democratic Party in exchange for fat wads of corporate campaign cash.

i've also seen folks question O'Malley for the militarization and aggressive racial targeting of the Baltimore PD. i know nothing about that but he was the executive so there has to be some accountability for abuses.

Not sure if you're aware of these activities, but the takeaway is: O'Malley is by no means cut from the same cloth as Sanders.


#6

"We have met the enemy, and he is us". A famous line from the comic strip character Pogo. We seem to be awakening to the idea that it is our personal responsibility to provide for our energy needs. We determine, individually, what future we live in. While demonstrations, marches, and assorted other tactics have their place, and are necessary, if for no other reason than to vent some pressure....the ultimate tactic is to install solar panels. And if the installation happens to be a stand-alone, battery storage system, the electric utility understands they have irretrievably lost you as a customer. Build your system large enough to power your home and a commuter electric vehicle. Now your home and short-range transport are fueled by the sun. No need for federal credits or politicians to bless this transaction, you apply your own evaluations. Be sure to credit your newfound personal security and the fact that any more developments in battery storage will only be a feather in your hat!


#7

Solar panels are number 2, not number 1. Becoming vegan or vegetarian has more impact than installing solar panels. A solar collector to replace the hot water heater ties for number 2.


#8

If you eat meat, you dine with the conservatives. They hate the very concept of vegetarianism, just like most self-identified progressives do, as indicated by the ridicule deposited after my vegetarian remarks. Then they deny that they have ever ridiculed my remarks! By "they" I refer to conservatives and hypocrites who self-identify as progressives, moaning that conservatives are destroying the world while they eat dead bodies of slaughtered animals, completely oblivious to the effects of their actions on global warming, human health, water shortages, etc. And if not oblivious, they just don't give a hoot.


#9

wow. chair of the DLC? perhaps a true change of heart? That's just weird! DLC was awful. Isn't it now Third Way?


#10

Lighten up.

Plants have feelings:

http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-01-09/new-research-plant-intelligence-may-forever-change-how-you-think-about-plants

I agree with your depiction of right wing conservatives, but their left wing conservative counterparts are just as anal.

I don't agree that we are are not meant to "eat dead bodies of slaughtered animals". We have been doing that throughout history.

But 7.4 billion humans have overpopulated the earth to the point that we can't very well afford to eat meat without adding to the to the problems.


#11

I'm sorry, the idea that the way to 'empower' people is to ask them to bang their head against the same damned wall you've been banging your head against for 20 years now, without making a dent in it, is absurd. Not one mention of meat here or on your brochures available for download on your website, nor anywhere on your web site without doing a search. This is the most ambitious agenda you've ever proposed? To get people to march in the streets? As Obama approves drilling in the Arctic, you really think the solution is political??? How about encouraging people to change their diets, to stop supporting chemical monoculture and factory farms?? Now THAT would be ambitious. More importantly, it would actually EMPOWER people to do something effective by exercising power we actually possess rather than asking bought-and-paid-for politicians to exercise their power just a little less destructively. A year ago, everyone was saying Paris was the last gasp, and now you are already managing expectations in order to ensure the political viability of your organization. I really hope I'm wrong, but what I feel you are really doing is setting people up for despair and discouragement. With 7 billion people and 1.3 billion cows, with the livestock industry responsible for 51% of GHG, oceans dying, and clean water disappearing, if we do not change our diets, it will not matter what the politicians do. And if we do change our diets? It will not matter what the politicians do! THAT'S EMPOWERMENT.


#12

Actually based on our dentition, human beings evolved as omnivores with teeth that can both sheer meat and masticate as well. Like many large primates which actively hunt and consume meat (except gorillas), humans are designed by nature to eat a fairly large portion of their diet as meat.

Recently it has been theorized that the extra protein gleaned from eating meat may account for our species developing such a big brain and corresponding intelligence. The heavy demands for protein needed for our brainpower came from meat.

Vegables may state the protein content available to wise vegetarians (i was a vegable myself for several years) but we import lots of food and we had developed big brains a lot earlier than we did agriculture. Winters were tough and it is meat eating man that adapted to every climate and land area except antarctica.

Humans are omnivores as our specialized teeth show.


#13

by Finian Cunningham
Writer, Dandelion Salad
East Africa
Crossposted from RT
August 16, 2015

US President Barack Obama has given an extraordinary ultimatum to the Republican-controlled Congress, arguing that they must not block the nuclear accord with Iran. It’s either “deal or war,” he says.

In a televised nationwide address on August 5, Obama said:

“Congressional rejection of this deal leaves any US administration that is absolutely committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon with one option: another war in the Middle East. I say this not to be provocative. I am stating a fact.”

The American Congress is due to vote on whether to accept the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed July 14 between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers – the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China. Republicans are openly vowing to reject the JCPOA, along with hawkish Democrats such as Senator Chuck Schumer. Opposition within the Congress may even be enough to override a presidential veto to push through the nuclear accord.

In his drastic prediction of war, one might assume that Obama is referring to Israel launching a preemptive military strike on Iran with the backing of US Republicans. Or that he is insinuating that Iran will walk from self-imposed restraints on its nuclear program to build a bomb, thus triggering a war.

But what could really be behind Obama’s dire warning of “deal or war” is another scenario – the collapse of the US dollar, and with that the implosion of the US economy.

That scenario was hinted at this week by US Secretary of State John Kerry. Speaking in New York on August 11, Kerry made the candid admission that failure to seal the nuclear deal could result in the US dollar losing its status as the top international reserve currency.

“If we turn around and nix the deal and then tell [US allies], ‘You’re going to have to obey our rules and sanctions anyway,’ that is a recipe, very quickly for the American dollar to cease to be the reserve currency of the world.”

In other words, what really concerns the Obama administration is that the sanctions regime it has crafted on Iran – and has compelled other nations to abide by over the past decade – will be finished. And Iran will be open for business with the European Union, as well as China and Russia.

It is significant that within days of signing the Geneva accord, Germany, France, Italy and other EU governments hastened to Tehran to begin lining up lucrative investment opportunities in Iran’s prodigious oil and gas industries. China and Russia are equally well-placed and more than willing to resume trading partnerships with Iran. Russia has signed major deals to expand Iran’s nuclear energy industry.

American writer Paul Craig Roberts said that the US-led sanctions on Iran and also against Russia have generated a lot of frustration and resentment among Washington’s European allies.

“US sanctions against Iran and Russia have cost businesses in other countries a lot of money,” Roberts told this author.

“Propaganda about the Iranian nuke threat and Russian threat is what caused other countries to cooperate with the sanctions. If a deal worked out over much time by the US, Russia, China, UK, France and Germany is blocked, other countries are likely to cease cooperating with US sanctions.”

Roberts added that if Washington were to scuttle the nuclear accord with Iran, and then demand a return to the erstwhile sanctions regime, the other international players will repudiate the American diktat.

“At that point, I think much of the world would have had enough of the US use of the international payments system to dictate to others, and they would cease transacting in dollars.”

The US dollar would henceforth lose its status as the key global reserve currency for the conduct of international trade and financial transactions.

Former World Bank analyst Peter Koenig says that if the nuclear accord unravels, Iran will be free to trade its oil and gas – worth trillions of dollars – in bilateral currency deals with the EU, Japan, India, South Korea, China and Russia, in much the same way that China and Russia and other members of the BRICS nations have already begun to do so.

That outcome will further undermine the US dollar. It will gradually become redundant as a mechanism of international payment.

Koenig argues that this implicit threat to the dollar is the real, unspoken cause for anxiety in Washington. The long-running dispute with Iran, he contends, was never about alleged weapons of mass destruction. Rather, the real motive was for Washington to preserve the dollar’s unique global standing.

“The US-led standoff with Iran has nothing to do with nuclear weapons,” says Koenig. The issue is: will Iran eventually sell its huge reserves of hydrocarbons in other currencies than the dollar, as they intended to do in 2007 with an Iranian Oil Bourse? That is what instigated the American-contrived fake nuclear issue in the first place.”

This is not just about Iran. It is about other major world economies moving away from holding the US dollar as a means of doing business. If the US unilaterally scuppers the international nuclear accord, Washington will no longer be able to enforce its financial hegemony, which the sanctions regime on Iran has underpinned.

Many analysts have long wondered at how the US dollar has managed to defy economic laws, given that its preeminence as the world’s reserve currency is no longer merited by the fundamentals of the US economy. Massive indebtedness, chronic unemployment, loss of manufacturing base, trade and budget deficits are just some of the key markers, despite official claims of “recovery.”

As Paul Craig Roberts commented, the dollar’s value has only been maintained because up to now the rest of the world needs the greenback to do business with. That dependency has allowed the US Federal Reserve to keep printing banknotes in quantities that are in no way commensurate with the American economy’s decrepit condition.

“If the dollar lost the reserve currency status, US power would decline,” says Roberts. “Washington’s financial hegemony, such as the ability to impose sanctions, would vanish, and Washington would no longer be able to pay its bills by printing money. Moreover, the loss of reserve currency status would mean a drop in the demand for dollars and a drop in willingness to hold them. Therefore, the dollar’s exchange value would fall, and rising prices of imports would import inflation into the US economy.”

Doug Casey, a top American investment analyst, last week warned that the woeful state of the US economy means that the dollar is teetering on the brink of a long-overdue crash. “You’re going to see very high levels of inflation. It’s going to be quite catastrophic,” says Casey.

He added that the crash will also presage a collapse in the American banking system which is carrying trillions of dollars of toxic debt derivatives, at levels much greater than when the system crashed in 2007-08.

The picture he painted isn’t pretty:

“Now, when interest rates inevitably go up from these artificially suppressed levels where they are now, the bond market is going to collapse, the stock market is going to collapse, and with it, the real estate market is going to collapse. Pension funds are going to be wiped out… This is a very bad situation. The US is digging itself in deeper and deeper,” said Casey, who added the telling question: “Then what’s going to happen?”

President Obama’s grim warning of “deal or war” seems to provide an answer. Faced with economic implosion on an epic scale, the US may be counting on war as its other option.

Finian Cunningham, is a columnist at the Strategic Culture Foundation and a Writer on Dandelion Salad. He can be reached at cunninghamfinian@gmail.com.


#14

Even the Pope's parade must be "rained on".Y es we do have climate change: no, it is not primarily due to human intervention. These statements may be easily confirmed simply by researching the subject on-line.In depth research will readily reveal the substantial numbers of experts who not only disagree with anthromomorphic climate change, they explain and illustrate their researches to back that up. However the "kicker", so to speak, that places this debate squarely in the ball park, comes when we examine where we are in the milky way. Our little cluster of it is doing what it has always done; it is not only swirling, rotating all it's constituent parts within itself, but the whole of our cluster is also fulfilling a six thousand year orbit within a greater portion of the Universe. Woven into this orbit are locations which cause our Planet to endure "Ice Ages"; nothing we humans can say or do will ever influence that fact. The Earth is currently very close to the beginning of our next "Ice Age"; when it comes North America all the way down to New York, and Europe, all the way down to Spain, will be covered in Ice and Mountainous Glaciers. Please, just consider, how will human intervention measure up when compared to the great energy and might of the Universe? Our time would be better employed deciding what we may do to mitigate the disastrous effects all this will have on the human race. The United States and Israel have created the devastation neccessary to cause millions to migrate, even that is too big for world authorities to deal with; the desire to escape the approaching Ice Age conditions will be orders of magnitude greater. The cold will be monumental, all our food growing land areas will be severely curtailed, human populations will be very severely reduced. In fact all the problems we complain of now, will all be solved by Earth's orbit.


#16

As far as personal changes go, eating less meat is far more important. It costs nothing, gives immediate, free benefits in GHG reduction and a lot of that reduction is in methane, which as a shorter-lived GHG, will lead to faster reduction in warming.

However………

Reducing by maybe 50% the harm that maybe 7% of the population does, maybe at some point 30% of the harm that 30% of the population does—does that sound like enough? Personal changes are important for instigating further change, inspiring others, refining methods, helping activists become more integrated as time goes by... but in the end personal changes mean nothing without political change.

Movements are built in many ways; one of the main ways is a series of increasingly large demonstrations showing people on the fence that they're about to have a choice between being part of a growing group or a shrinking one. Little demonstrations foreshadow larger ones, whispering, then speaking, then trumpeting, that there's a message that should be paid attention to. They are a sign that behind the 10,00, then 300,000, then a million, there's a growing majority who agree with the demonstrators to varying degrees. That signals media to start talking about the issues in a more sympathetic way, signals opponents to start making concessions, politicians to start running if they agree, or pass bills if they're already in office, etc. Demonstrations are the impulse toward avalanches.