Climate change is an historic opportunity to not only heal the environment, but also to roll back the tide of injustice and ever-widening inequality that is an integral feature of our current economic system. It represents our greatest hope of solving multiple, overlapping crises at the same time; of spreading wealth, resources and political power from the few to the many; of unleashing our suppressed human values of empathy and solidarity on a global scale; and of creating a “People’s Shock” that reinvigorates democracy from the ground up.
Mr. Parsons is to be commended for bringing the plight of the world's hungry into the discussion. Missing, however, from his argument is the role that war plays in furthering the acquisition frenzy of the imperial empire-building 1%:
"... providing social protection to all people living in extreme poverty could be achieved with a relatively small amount of global GDP. But there exists a stark lack of public debate about the extent of this ongoing crisis, and the urgency of ensuring that everyone has access to sufficient food, clean water, adequate shelter and medical care – the essential resources that most people in affluent countries take for granted. Climate change is indeed a planetary emergency; but needless poverty-related deaths constitute a global emergency too, one that will require an immense awakening of public concern if this longstanding crisis is to be addressed with the level of attention it has always deserved."
So long as nations spend fortunes on armies, maintaining weapons, developing weapons and owning enough media influence to push pro-war stances, there will be a constant flow of orphans, along with the continued (and senseless) impoverishment of citizens, added to the residual poisons left behind by weaponry that make so many sick.
Triage--in the form of helping the poor and hungry is a small part of the true and necessary equation. Without PEACE and a global compact to eradicate the flow of weapons--with equal efforts to put out the fires that the Bush Junta's Middle East Wars lit (an effort that runs in karmic parallel to putting out the fires now raging in Washington State and California) the effort becomes a fool's errand, even if of good intentions.
How could Dr. King's brilliant insight be lost? He specified that if money was wasted on wars it would never return to fix what was broken (particularly in inner cities) in our own land. Others have made clear that allotments go to EITHER guns or butter; and the Republican clown show along with those Dems beholden to the corporate-MIC status quo always choose guns over butter.
Furthermore, I would submit to you, Mr. Parsons, that you've bought into the dominant ideology--that of the Warriors--in taking as universal THEIR worldview. Here is what I am basing that assessment upon:
"...it’s to completely rethink our relationship to each other and the natural world, to go beyond our dominant “extractivist” worldview and neoliberal mindset, and to embrace a new global understanding of our common humanity."
It is true that it is OUR dominant extactivist view? Or is that the view of the Energy moguls? Certainly this is NOT the view of those working against the protocols that are destroying our planet's biosphere and thus the biomes that would (and could) sustain sentient life. Also is it OUR neoliberal mindset, or that of those in DOMINANT positions who write and enforce policy?
It is critical that people recognize that dominant narratives coded by and for those in dominant positions in no way favor those in everyday positions, nor do the views of elites--regardless of how much $ is spent on P.R., spin, lies told often, and slick forms of propaganda--reflect the views of the majority of this world's citizens.
Agree, Mr. Parsons. Perhaps enlisting Ms. Klein and others who have a knack for organizing on a large scale?
I'd venture to say that Occupy began some of that, and is still active in many cities, bringing medical and housing attention to those without. What group (apparently) did the most good after Hurricane Sandy? From all reports, it was Occupy that stepped into the gap. Sadly, many groups were "feeling their oats" and turned off the middle class that we need to get involved. And/or they were just shut down before they had a chance to spread.
Perhaps caring about those in need in our cities can be a prelude to caring about those globally, those in far worse conditions on the "other side" of the world.
While I challenge the motives of at least some posters who relentlessly hammer at Bernie Sander's non-statements about military priorities, protocols, and objectives; it's quite curious that THIS component of the global picture--regarding military exploits--both in terms of weapons' initial costs and what they produce in the way of costly destruction--does not come into the calculus of either the Pope or Ms. Klein:
"Indeed many of the policy positions outlined in the Encyclical are also advocated for in Klein’s book, from degrowth economics and limits on consumption and growth, to agroecology, fossil fuel divestment, technology transfers and the repayment of ecological debts, as well as the repudiation of false solutions like carbon trading."
Fascinating, isn't it? And also proof positive of my long-assertion that "Mars rules." For how can it be otherwise, that this elephant in the room, this dark destructive force that cannibalizes so much in the way of human blood and treasure, this entity that extracts rent in the form of 1000 bases situated all over the world is not even given the faintest of mentions when IT is directly responsible for the spread of despair, disaster, and deprivation? When the funds it subsumes into its disastrous self would otherwise build bridges, feed the hungry and house the homeless.
It is time to call militarism and the GREAT LIE that weapons make for strength or that WARS make for national security to the karmic mat. And who better than this Pope and Ms. Klein and Mr. Sanders and anyone else with a functioning intellect that's still connected to a functioning soul/conscience... who has a platform... from which to make these sinister links known?
It reminds me of the Jack Nicholson character stammering: "You can't handle the truth."
Why is it that the M word (for Mars rules as well as the Cancer of unbridled militarism which comes under its command) is never spoken?
Calling on this lofty "We are all one family" has its positive implications, but again, there is NO mention of militarism's footprint anywhere in this long and otherwise thoughtful piece of writing. Check out this:
"Rather than beginning with the question of how to reorganise society and implement a greener and fairer economic alternative (which is typically conceived within the context of rich industrialised nations), the question is how to completely reorder government priorities in order to provide the basics of life to everyone who subsists in a severe state of poverty – which should not be seen as an end in itself, but as a first major step towards world rescue and rehabilitation."
That reorganization must defang the military starting with the U.S. M.I.C. It is BOTH the chief aggressor and starter of conflicts around the globe and its adjuncts also supply the vast majority of weapons... many to nations destabilized by its own dark efforts.
The mentality that looks away from the soldiers marching down the street is eerily akin to that of Germany during the l930s when Hitler's soldiers became a normal, virtually unquestioned appendage of daily life.
From the article:
"In contradistinction to Naomi Klein’s call to mobilise public opinion around a systemic approach to tackling climate change, Mesbahi argues that securing the modest provisions outlined in Article 25 - for adequate food, housing, healthcare and social security for all – ultimately holds the key to resolving our complex interrelated crises. He posits that we can never tackle the climate emergency without first of all remedying the injustice of poverty amidst plenty, because resolving the human emergency of life-threatening deprivation is where the solution to our wider ecological problems initially begins."
Many will take from this assertion a call to question the ultimate direction of capitalism, itself. And as Ms. Klein has brilliantly explained, today's robber-baron era has unleashed a particular BREED of capitalist that is so abhorrent to the most basic tenets of justice, fairness, and humanity as to qualify as Shock Doctrine criminals. What disasters they can't purposely mobilize or create they will otherwise--by chance--capitalize upon.
Yet unchecked capitalism--like that of the so-called "Free Market," starring criminals in suits who purposely decimated the Glass Steagal Act to deliberately CREATE another worldwide Depression (having themselves absconded with countless billions of dollars!!!) --must be taken into the equation along with its military counterpart. Otherwise, it's a half-assed equation. Without armies backing up the confiscation of goods and services, or courts answerable to martial government entities, The Peoples' protests WOULD overwhelm such unjust systems of commerce, law, and culture quite efficiently.
"There can be no McDonalds without McDonnell Douglas" is apt. Today's capitalism is extended via a martial fist in each glove.
Take away the armies, and today's kings convinced of their divine right to rule over the world by impoverishing so many could not sustain their positions for an hour!
I agree that the war machine is the greatest detriment to the development of a world where justice, as opposed to charity, prevails.
And I think that we should re-visit the commandment that "man" should go forth to populate and rule the earth. We need to to see the earth as "belonging" to all. That is, there needs to be universal land reform.
No. MAN must give up his arrogance given that HIS dominion has led to:
- Worldwide levels of rape/sexual abuse impacting ONE BILLION females
- Weapons left behind in nations like Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam that STILL bring Cancer (Agent Orange) and still cause children to lose limbs (live mines)
- Poverty rates are indicative of criminal disregard... particularly when it's also true (see: Piketty Study) that phenomenal sums of wealth have been "engineered" into the hands of the 1% while virtually everyone else has experienced financial contractions (lower home equity, fewer good jobs, many temp jobs with lousy benefits, zero interest on bank savings, etc.)
- Forests are burning to the tune of 300 square miles alone in Washington State
- The atmosphere is burning up
- Wars are being spread as military top echelon and their pals in the weapons-making firms get fat with cash
- Cancers are spreading... which MANY of US believe is a direct consequence of the confluence of so many toxic chemical assaults on our bodies
- Depression is so pervasive that the 4th leading drug sold worldwide happens to be anti-depressants
- Schools are closing and college costs too inhibitive for most
- The Middle Class is being morphed into a new feudal serf caste
And so much more.
If MAN knew how to manage--since it's largely been the Anglo-European male elites who have designed and run the show as the ultimate dominators and shapers of culture, law, religion, academe, militarism, and applied economics--the world would not BE in the crisis state that it is in.
THIS is the argument for other than (white) MAN holding dominion.
Ask the women peasant farmers of India (as Vandana Shiva so eloquently explains) how to farm. Not Monsanto with its dangerous products.
Ask the Indigenous how to work with the earth... rather than some Hedge fund's pro-corporate capitalism's exploits think tank's luminaries.
Ask WOMEN to decide if war should be fought. And/or send in--first on line--the children of the bankers and congress and senate that WANT war.
I'll quit here, but I think even you can grasp my gist. It is the asymmetric priorities of MAN that tend to destroy, control, possess, use, abuse, exploit LIFE--and WOMAN--its source, that IS the problem!
M is often used for the MIC or obviously the Military. But we are not all astrologists.
The term is astrologer. I guess your focus on pharmacists confuses you.
Since 90% of my commentary went over your head, you chose to focus on something petty.
Google it. The words are pretty interchangeable.
How can anyone possibly know what goes over anyone else's head from words they don't type?
I actually like a lot of what you write. So I wrote a could-have-been helpful comment on how you come across and you come back with sarcasm.
Cutting weapons/military spending is an essential component in this discussion, and you are correct, Siouxrose, to point this out.
Dr. King's counsel from April 4, 1967, is powerful and sets the agenda for justice and peace. In the middle of his lengthy speech, "Declaration of Independence from the War in Vietnam," Dr. King cites the "giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism" to conquer.
Given his acclaim, it's surprising that Pope Francis doesn't tackle the weighty problem of militarism in his encyclical, Laudato Si. At best he dances around a dictum to cut military spending, in paragraph 57, "War always does grave harm to the environment," and paragraph 105, "the blind forces of ... violence." That's all I can find in my reading of it.
Nothing along the lines of "War is not the answer," and "Somehow this madness must cease."
Your comment is a thorough explanation of this essential point that war and weapons are poor investments.
Best wishes, and peace.
Thank you. Some people get annoyed when I analyze articles, essays, and others' comments; but I have a keen eye (and ear) for what is NOT stated. Militarism is such a significant component of the poverty-ecocide debacle that it's lack of mention is very troubling.
On the other side of the spectrum, C.D. posted a brilliant article by an individual who made the military component of moral and political debacles front and center. It's the article by Matthew Behrens.
Thank you for the head's up.
They are not interchangeable to those of us who ARE professionals in this field. You want to argue B.S. because you don't have the wit to follow the salient portions of this article and are looking for a means of diversion for yourself and any readers foolish enough to follow you into the intellectually barren wilderness.
Yet more sarcasm.
I believe that Astrology, being a pseudo-science, qualifies as intellectually barren wilderness.