More often than not, the news cycle conspires to be routinely depressing and largely disempowering, highlighting the myriad escalating crises that are by now well-known while offering few significant options for confronting and altering them. From guns and terrorism to floods and fires, the news queue relentlessly depicts a world in turmoil, with the details of the spectacle shifting so rapidly from one piece of confirmatory evidence to the next that even those inclined to pay attention may be tempted to tune out.
My feeling is that it is more productive to focus on the solutions to the climate change crisis than the root causes, which tend to get into bewildering complexity and as well differences of opinion. Basically the solution would seem to involve three main things, greatly increasing energy efficiency in all sectors, implementing renewable energy sources, and stopping massive deforestation. Other measures are also needed such a changing agricultural practices so soils release less nitrous oxide and absorb more carbon dioxide and reducing methane emissions from ruminants.
The article is right on - connect the dots, address root causes. Effectively dealing with climate change will not happen without fundamental changes to economic, social, and political systems. That means moving to a vastly more just and equitable world.
As Chris Hedges points out today, a major shift in the diets of those who eat too much meat is also part of the calculus as is a reduction in militarism. After all, with 1000+ bases all requiring fuel, and vehicles like Hummers using 10 miles to the gallon, the military juggernaut is a HUGE cannibal when it comes to fossil fuels.
Also, the political and financial clout of the existing fossil fuel empires cum corporations represent a formidable opposition to all of the wiser provisions and operations that could offset what's already shaping up to be climate catastrophe in slow and ongoing motion.
While I was glad to see Mr. Amster mention gender equality on his list of things that require remedial shift, he never once mentioned capitalism... which is an interesting omission given his several mentions of the Piketty Study and what its Shock Doctrine Kings of Capitalism have managed in the way of sending so much newly-minted (via Wall St's magical instrumentation) wealth to the tippy top of the fiduciary pyramid.... the elites' version of "anti-gravity monetary policy."
THIS is what's really going on:
A major reduction in eating beef would be huge but I don't see that happening. Actually, as affluence grows in developing countries it is likely eating meat, and particularly beef, will increase. This does not look like a hopeful area to me. The best hope is probably some breakthrough in diets for cows which they are working on. Dairy consumption is a similar problem. It is hard to read the news nowadays and see any hope for a reduction in militarism. The dreams of the anti-war movement so far are not coming true. Much of what can be done to stop using fossil fuels does not involve fossil fuel companies, particularly when it comes increasing energy efficiency of buildings. Also, adding renewable energy such as solar and wind does directly involve fossil fuel companies. However, to really get things moving subsidies are needed in the form of tax incentives and the fossil industry can play a big role in preventing such tax incentives being passed by Congress. Whether the solar tax credits will be extended beyond 2016 by Congress is a major concern and it seems likely that the fossil fuel industry will lobby against an extension.
The 3Ts are the most important current issue and stopping them is top priority.
Thanks for the video link. I will be sharing it widely.
I think that exactly that question in the Subhead... "Are we finally to grasp that deep-seated inequalities are a hallmark of unsustainable systems?" applies also to the system of social activism.
If the amount of passion, the number of organizations, and the long list of experts on "peace" inside of civil rights', environmental and human rights activism is not doing more than raising awareness and widening cracks in the wall of power, then it's because what's unsustainable is the erratic current strategy of bombarding activists with the things they know already and not giving them more than the next petition to sign and the next protest to join and get harmed.
I believe it's a duty for any author to stop perpetuating this narrative of defeat based on their own assumption that change is impossible and do some more research into unconventional ideas by common mortals. #repeace
You're individuals. You are erratic, conflicted, disorganized. Every decision is debated, every action questioned. Every individual entitled to their own small opinion. You lack harmony, cohesion, greatness. It will be your undoing.
--Seven of Nine - Star Trek Voyager - Skorpion
"The Grand Enclosure" as characterized by Assange, most notably based on GDP (I tend to think of as Great Destruction Producer) metrics, are the direct legacy of genocidal conquest. Among the earliest economic concept threshing fora was the 16th century British conquest of Potosi in which millions of indigenous people died. The British empire was massively launched by the silver and concepts written with the blood of others and hermetically sealing the murderous Cartesian dynamics in competitive denial that saturate all its dimensions at this point.
The tragic permeation of methods by its internalized and solipsistic rationals amounting to an irreducible terror of its own incapacity to sustain in a healthy way is good reason to remove oneself whenever and however possible, as much as possible. Recognition that the literally heartless and failed mythology of predatory capitalism entails an equally perverse destruction of human creativity, and when that is not possible, a forced assimilation, make local community engagement and global rights awareness and activism an imperative for the well being of the planet.
As this brittle hydra behemoth doubles over and down in its consumptive throes the cracks let light through, causing greater cracking all over the place letting more light in! Shine it on nature and the elegance of all that can by schooled through the intellectual and spiritual encyclopedia that is the dynamics of the earth and heavens.
This article goes several steps in the right direction:
Our crises are holistic, synergistic, intertwined, not separate, discrete, unrelated.
Realistic solutions can only be holistic, synergistic, and intertwined.
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I suspect only politically feasible way in USA to slow climate change is emissions tax on fuel burned in USA and carbon tax on exports to give incentive to burn less fossil fuel and use all revenue from tax to buy fossil fuel as mineral rights from ONLY too big to fail fossil fuel firms until emissions peak; then add tax on energy regardless of carbon footprint for revenue to buy all remaining fossil fuel as mineral rights until concentration goes to 320 ppm. Then any remaining revenue can be used for capture of CO2 from ambient air and compression to use as fracking/hydraulic/heat-transfer fluid for geothermal wells, dikes to save high value real estate from flood, and desalination of seawater for fresh water.