Tag Archives | Environmentalism
Michael Dewar, former Canadian Green Party youth leader and candidate, says that he has given up caring about the environment, and taken a lucrative position working in the tar sands of northern Alberta.
In an interview on the Srsly Wrong podcast back in August 2014, Dewar spoke about his conversion to Libertarian Capitalism, and a thoroughly self-interested ideology, saying that “You might think you are helping out by putting your energy to the cause of helping other people, but in fact you are just wasting your time.”
Dewar became exhausted as his political efforts seemed to yield no effect, and expressed his belief that catastrophic climate change was now unavoidable. He said he has adopted a lifestyle dubbed ‘Partyboat Nihilism,’ which holds that human beings face inevitable extinction, and we must adopt a hedonistic, selfish lifestyle to make the best of it.
The drilling and spilling off both coasts weren’t enough. Now, according to Obama and friends, it’s time to take advantage of receding ice and drill, baby, drill in the Arctic – home to 15 billion barrels of oil, and oh you know animals, pristine water, clean air and negligible things like that. Eleanor highlights the efforts of those standing (and sitting) up to the cronies ready to destroy one of the few pure places on this planet, speaking with Bill Moyer of Backbone Campaign and George Edwardson, a leader of the native Inupiat tribe. Wherever you are, join in and say #ShellNO to Arctic drilling!
Click here to see the full episode of Act Out!
Jim Shultz writes at YES! Magazine:
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My English friend Paul Kingsnorth was the subject of a long article two weeks ago in The New York Times magazine, “It’s the End of the World as We Know It … and He Feels Fine.”
A former editor of The Ecologist, Paul has gained new attention of late for his passionate and public despair over “an age of ecocide” and his proclamations that we are now powerless to do anything about it. That expression of despair coincides with an equally public withdrawal from the battlefield of big-scale climate and environmental activism. He warns, “What all these movements are doing is selling a false premise. They’re saying, ‘If we take these actions, we will be able to achieve this goal.’ And if you can’t and you know that you are lying to people.”
The article and his previous writings in the same vein have struck a resonant chord as the hard reality of what we face reveals itself, not in theories about the future but in the current realities of fierce storms, unprecedented droughts, mutating weather patterns, and a lack of political will to take strong action.
From Orion Magazine, a classic essay from Derrick Jensen on the limits of living simply:
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Why now do so many people retreat into these entirely personal “solutions”?
Part of the problem is that we’ve been victims of a campaign of systematic misdirection. Consumer culture and the capitalist mindset have taught us to substitute acts of personal consumption (or enlightenment) for organized political resistance. An Inconvenient Truth helped raise consciousness about global warming. But all of the solutions presented had to do with personal consumption—changing light bulbs, inflating tires, driving half as much—and had nothing to do with shifting power away from corporations, or stopping the growth economy that is destroying the planet.
We so often hear that the world is running out of water. Because of this we need to take shorter showers. But more than 90 percent of the water used by humans is used by agriculture and industry.
Lauren McCauley writes at Common Dreams:
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Leading environmentalists are threatening mass voter retribution if President Barack Obama decides to go forward with the construction of the northern leg of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
Days following the release of the State Department’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), The Hill reports Tuesday that, based on conversations with leading campaigners, approval of the project will likely “sow liberal discontent” among a new, mobilized force of environmentalists with serious consequences for Democratic lawmakers in the 2014 midterm elections.
“It is very likely that there will be negative consequences for Democrats if Keystone were approved,” said Kate Colarulli, associate director for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Oil campaign, told The Hill.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to protect the climate and build the Democratic base if Obama rejects Keystone XL,” Colarulli added.
The Hill continues:
Jamie Henn of the green group 350.org called the dispute over Keystone “the most iconic fight of a generation” and said the youth vote, which played an important part in Obama’s rise, could hang in the balance.
I wrote a personal retrospective on Bruce Sterling’s Viridian Design movements, along with the Bright Green tech and socially responsible business movements, for the five year anniversary of the end of the Viridian Design mailing list.
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Today we have garbage continents and ocean acidification. The latest ICC report tells us that even if we do manage to gouge our emissions, we’re still in for some rough climate change. And cutting emissions still looks as unlikely as it did to me in 2003 and as it did to Sterling in 1998.
Any sane person would look at the evidence and say the Virdian/Bright Green movement failed miserably. But here’s the thing: The Viridian Design movement may have failed in its goals, but accomplished its objectives.
Green is hip. Green is sexy. And the more affluent you are the greener — and therefore hipper — you can afford to be.
Activist and filmmaker Craig Rosebraugh produced, directed and co-wrote GREEDY LYING BASTARDS, a documentary that investigates the reason behind stalled efforts to tackle climate change despite consensus in the scientific community that it is not only a reality but also a growing problem that is placing us on the brink of disaster.
Christian Parenti writes at Dissent:
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Several strands of green thinking maintain that capitalism is incapable of a sustainable relationship with non-human nature because, as an economic system, capitalism has a growth imperative while the earth is finite. One finds versions of this argument in the literature of eco-socialism, deep ecology, eco-anarchism, and even among many mainstream greens who, though typically declining to actually name the economic system, are fixated on the dangers of “growth.”
All this may be true. Capitalism, a system in which privately owned firms must continuously out-produce and out-sell their competitors, may be incapable of accommodating itself to the limits of the natural world. However, that is not the same question as whether capitalism can solve the more immediate climate crisis.
Because of its magnitude, the climate crisis can appear as the sum total of all environmental problems—deforestation, over-fishing, freshwater depletion, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, chemical contamination.
Via New Scientist
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In Arming Mother Nature, Jacob Darwin Hamblin argues that environmentalism is rooted in cold war plans to abuse nature for military ends
I have often wondered why NATO holds environment conferences. Now I know the answer. Back in the 1960s, the Western military alliance coined the term “environmental warfare” and for years actively considered how to wage such wars. More than that, argues Jacob Darwin Hamblin in this startling account, much of modern environmental thinking originated with the scientists and military strategists during the dark days of the cold war.
And you thought the first environmentalists were muesli-eating, sandal-wearing hippies? Far from it, Hamblin says. Before them was a generation of scary Dr Strangelove types, “scientists, military leaders and politicians who believed they would have to manipulate and exploit nature” in a war against the Soviet Union. The original doom-mongers were not sounding the alarm; they were riding into battle.