Marching for Science (and against Empire):
I Marched 'for' Science in Portland Maine, with my "Political Revolution against EMPIRE" sign because Science can't survive under an EMPIRE --- just ask Galileo.
Dump the Trump Empire and Emperor Trump's War on Science.
BTW, I just bought Shawn Otto's fabulous new book, "The War on Science", in which he excoriates Empires for being the Enemy of Science and points out how Empires always try to dominate honest Science into building advanced weapons systems for the "Merchants of Death", and using AI systems for immoral and inhuman purposes (like the NSA's use of IBM Watson in Utah to analyze meta-data on billions of illegally tapped phone and internet communications of Americans).
BTW2, Empire is the meta-cause behind all 'identity issues', larger 'symptom problems' (like never-ending wars and Wall Street looting), and our entire "ailing social order" [Zygmunt Bauman], including the Empire's attempt to deny, censor, and bury Scientific truth!
All well and good but likely a non-event for effecting change. As I've said numerous times, you can stomp your political protest feet till your legs fall off and realize little. Fascism runs on money and money alone. To stop it we must eliminate its energizing source. The most effective and immediate method to do that is the economic boycott of fascist originated products and services. The elites are terrified by this prospect. For evidence of its impact, look at what has happened to United Airlines in light of its abuse of passengers. Boycott. Now. There is no other way.
Like every other article that calls poeple to actually "do something" I am not surprised that this article only has two comments - one off-topic an the other outright attacking the call for action.
My first response when I saw the headline to this article was to roll my eyes and think, "Oh, jeez. Another useless march.". Absolutely agree with your assessment, but not neccessarily with your remedy. In theory, you are right, but, given the complexities of the global economic system and the fact that those people who would support a boycott not are way too few in number to matter, it's not going to happen.
Even if the numbers would be there, the fact is that those of us with the inclination, the foresight, and the empathy have nowhere close to the amount of discretionary spending power that would be required, let alone the will to inconvernience ourselves to the degree needed. (The United Airlines situation is most likely a ploy by those at the top of the top to eliminate one of the major carriers so that prices could be raised across the board. Collusion on that level should be self-evident, and they have the courts in their pockets to back up whatever is it that they choose to do.)
What companies would you boycott? Should we start with Walmart as well as big banks?
When it comes to climate, we have one home Earth, and this we belong to this planet not the opposite way around. You are welcome to sit on the sidelines and moan.
Wow. Yes. Mom Earth Rocks! Water is Life. Life is sacred, to me, too. Energy is everything. Consciousness means Home. Home is where Mom is. To the streets this April 29, 2017! Mom is in need.
Not moaning in the least. (Nor am I sitting on the sidelines.) Merely pointing out that mass protests have no bearing one way or the other on the outcome of a situation, and that--in my opinion--there are more effective ways to be spending our time and energy.
They do work to reduce the level of anger and frustration on the part of people who take part in them, though. (I'm not minimizing this or being at all cynical; there's a lot to be said for doing whatever it takes to increase one's level of mental health.)
Marching and political activism are certainly very important things for people to do in order to make the powers that be aware of what the people want. Having said that, I agree that people must use their every penny and action to fight climate change and environmental destruction if that is what they truly believe in. This could mean stopping eating beef or going vegetarian, buying or leasing an electric car, putting a solar hot water heater on your roof, biking to work or school, camping for vacation rather than staying in fancy hotels, having a bank account with a credit union rather than a Wall Street bank, and on and on. I'm sure other posters here can think of a million other things that people could do to fight climate change.
The most important thing you said was to stop eating beef. Actually, the biggest impact on climate change all of us can make is to stop eating meat and dairy, in other words veganism. Unfortunately, people, especially Americans, love their meat.
Did she fly down for the march?
I don't say this very often, or about many people, but Thank God for Naomi Klein, and for the clear vision she has trail blazed through this last decade of social and spiritual growth for all of us. I for one will join the march this Saturday. Because of visionaries like Naomi I can feel it is a 'sacred duty'; I feeel it in my heart. It's a more powerful place to play from, and one all of us could probably use more of.
There's really only a few (but large) things modern industrial societies can do to reduce dependence upon fossil fuels - drive less, fly less, truck and ship goods around the world less. Alongside those basic steps toward sustainable levels of travel and transport, we need to first understand how the global economy disempowers the lesser, though no less fundamental economies - local, regional 'consists' of local economies, State and National economies dedicated to supporting the lesser economies instead of the global economy.
It's possible to compare the global economy to automobile dependency. Automobiles likewise present a severe impediment to the lesser though no less fundamental urban/suburban travel modes - walking, mass transit, bicycling. Moreover, unless all modes of urban travel function adequately, even driving cannot achieve an optimal function due to limitations of traffic. Self-driving car tech will only make traffic worse; nevermind the supposedly liberal media hype promising a motorist nirvana.
I'm with you, but would take it several steps further.
Things are so dire that we need to not only to cut down on driving and flying and shipping (mostly useless) goods around the world, we need to do so not at all. We've gone so far down the rabbit hole that the only sustainable modes of transportation are walking and biking (probably as long as we don't produce many more bikes) and sailing.
We've had our fun times. We've acted like children and irresponsible adolescents. "Sustainable" now means reversing what we've done, and not merely continuing on the path we're on but at a slower rate. It's time for us to grow up and do what needs to be done, as uncomfortable and inconvernient as that will be for almost everyone.
Riz, it's too late to imagine our economies completely falling apart without dire consequences. I use the word 'fundamental' especially to describe mass transit. Automobiles too can be called a fundamental travel mode which cannot function ideally without impeding other travel modes. Passenger-rail travel has an effect on station area economies that air travel cannot match. Amtrak could come closer to recovering operating expenses if it ran two trains daily instead of one which makes overnight travel unavoidable as well as miserably uncomfortable. A 2nd train daily would offer overnight stays at local hotels and catch the next train 12 hours later; tickets for overnight trips could rightly be less expensive. I'm no radical, Riz.
I do not know how old you are- but please consider women's suffrage, civil rights, and anti war rallie et al. Yes, indeed they do make a difference, and are also powerful unifiers. Please continue to sit on the couch and laugh about climate change.
As powerful unifiers--yes, undoubtedly. As effective modes of change--not so much.
Women gained the right to vote a long time ago, when the technology was very different. (The main reason they were finally accorded the vote nationally was because McKinley and the Democrats owed women a faor for being the force that got them elected in 1916). Anti-war rallies did not end the Vietnam War (television news, body counts, and especially the publication of the Pentagon Papers were responsible for that) and they sure as hell did nothing to prevent the Gulf or Iraq/Afghanistan Wars. Civil rights and women's rights? Marches were marginally important during the early '60s to early '70s, but I would argue that televised acts of civil disobedience (boycotts, sit-ins, prohibited marches in which violence was perpetrated against the marchers) did much more. (For example, the nation's reaction to the bombing murders of the four girls in Birmingham--three weeks after the famous March on Washington in 1963--propelled the situation forward in ways that the march alone would not have. Had it not been for television, the national impact would have miminal.) The only area in which protests may have been truly useful was nuclear power, but even there, had they not been the result of Three Mile Island (and reinforced by Chernobyl seven years later) I question how effective the protests alone would have been.
Since then, the powers that run things have gained control of the media (which, in its literal sense, mediates between an unseen event and the people's experience of it); have used increasingly sophisticated means of using the schools as tools of brainwashing children from the time when they are very young; have militarized the police forces to the point that people are afraid of what might happen to them if they do get out of line; and have manipulated the economy to where most people cannot afford to protest because they are living paycheck-to-paycheck and must continue to struggle--or not eat or have a place to live.
(As for global warming, I have been acutely aware of the issue since 1981. I wasn't laughing then, and I sure as hell am not laughing now.)
I understand your arguement, and, it makes sense, to a degree.
In these here times, however, we have to be radicals, in the literal sense of the word--that is, we have to look at situations from their roots, and address them at that level.
In thinking more closely about it, it occured to me that, with regards to nuclear power, the industry was already on the way out domestically, even before Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. The protests just gave it a little push forward (and provided the opportunity for some great concerts).
The only areas in which protests were definitive in helping subgroups to gain some rights were in the LBGT and women's movements that started in 1969 and in the 1970s. They were only effective, however, in my opinion, because the effects of both were as much personal empowerment and esteem-raising as in attempting to change the decisions made by those entities which held/hold political and economic power. People who formerly not only held no power but either didn't realize that this was the case (women) or felt completely politcally impotent (gays and lesbians) saw people like them come out (so to speak) and thus felt like they could do the same.
The situation today is very different. Most people feel either relatively content in their bubbles of materialism or are either too aftaid or too busy to actually to do more than occasionally march for a couple of hours on a few designated Saturdays or Sundays. That ain't gonna change things, because those in power know that they have nothing to be concerned about. The worst that might happen is that one person might be voted out and another from the other corporate party will be voted in--but the system itself will in no way be fundamentally changed. At all.