MAY 15th, 15M, LOS INDIGNADOS, news.

12 months ago on 15th May Los Indignados made Spain and Europe aware in fundamental terms of the complete inequality of society. October 15th saw the “official” Occupy movement erupt globally. It has had a profound effect on millions worldwide and had gained the support of world renowned thinkers. An article in today’s Gaurdian by Katherine Ainger “Indignados make change contagious” provides an update from Barcelona of the evolution in train. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/08/indignados-make-change-contagious

………………..

…………………

It is also worth looking back, (very well worth looking back) at Eduardo Galeano’s impromptue “discussion” at Placa Catalunya. A man very much “in tune” with Los Indignados, it is worth hearing his comments on what to “expect” from the Acampada.

Advertisements

VIEWS FROM THE FRONTLINE.

PAUL KINGSNORTH is a longstanding environmental activist who recently published an article ; “Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist” ; http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/6599 , in which he is critical of  current environmental activism as it has become centred around a beaurocratic    “SUSTAINABILITY INDUSTRY” which has a fixation on numbers of parts per million (ppm) rather than the ACTUAL biodiversity it is apparently trying to preserve. Paul Kingsnorth, Liarre Keith and David Abrams make a very interesting debate about the future of “environmentalism” and what part social justice, OCCUPY have had in progressing or inhibiting the battle for biodiversity.

…………………………………………

PEAK OIL REALITY, FILMED DEBATE BETWEEN John Hofmeister (Shell) and Ted Patzek (University of Texas and ASPO-USA). The debate highlights that declining output from most oil-exporting nations over the past decade, in the face of rising global demand, is likely to create a lasting drop-off in global availability of oil-spelling serious consequences for all oil-importing nations, including the United States. This underscores the report below (AUSTRALIA SLEEPWALKING INTO PEAK OIL) the 2015 maximum supply availability, then it’s all downhill. Some amazing statistics incorporating the growth of China and India !

……………….

……………….

INTELLIGENCE, WISDOM.

AND NOW THE CLOCK POINTS HISTRIONICALLY TO NOON,                                      SOME NEW KIND OF NORTH,                                                                                   AND WHICH WAY DO WE GO ?                                                                                     WHAT ARE DAYS FOR ?                                                                                                   TO WAKE US UP,                                                                                                           TO PUT BETWEEN THE ENDLESS NIGHTS.                                                                  Laurie Anderson, “Another day in America”.

……………………………………………………………………………………………

In a year when “Time” magazine awarded the “Person of the Year” to “The Protester” we are bound to examine the society that gave rise to the nomination. If we are unable, in truth, to question the viability of the society that gives the protester this status, then that society is not free. It is captive to a mindset that is totally subjective.

When a burning man sparks a global movement  in the middle east, against the intellectual conspiracy that maintains brutal dictatorships with oppressive regimes, it is no wonder that the virus of protest spreads to those places where the myth originate, to the west.

The year 2011 has been a defining year, and as another defining year approaches, each successive year will herald a yet more defining year. There is a choice we have to make NOW.

To accept the “neutrality” of progress and all that technology offers as we sleepwalk towards a future made baron for generations to come, or to progressively rid ourselves of the shackles of amnesia and be the advocate of change rather than the victim.

Highlights from Stewart Brand and Winona LaDuke Debate.  A Spirited Exchange on Technology and the Environment.  (Eart Island Journal)

An audience question from Actor/activist Peter Coyote presents the “debate” as one between “Intelligence and Wisdom”.

Winona Laduke, anti-tar sands activist, reminds us what role amnesia plays in the acceptance of lifestyle and the intellectual hubris it promotes. The argument from Stewart Brand to accept the “neutrality” of consumerism and marketing  is totally rejected by La Duke.

……………………

……………………

Post war hardships subsided to the illusion of a vision of “You’ve never had it so good” and that was before the credit boom. The 30’s depression mantra that, “my kids will be better off than I was”, will in a very short time, not only be unrealizable, but a fool’s paradise. The next “new bubble” emerges marketing “choice” based on amnesia, but the big economic bubble is now bursting. The “lifestyle” experiment is coming to an end.

When we look to the west, we observe a social form that has tried to engineer world domination with a century of world wars, until it was taken to its science fiction conclusion with star wars.         So the west opted for a more subtle method of ideological domination, “Lifestyle”, free market capitalism, another vote winning  “no brainer.”

The global ”Occupy” virus has exposed amnesia by revealing the extent of the “inequality” that has evolved, both within western society, and between developed and developing. When the attempt is made to share the “pie” with “other than” western society, the magnanimous gesture is based on the unsustainable demand that the “American lifestyle is non-negotiable”.

……………………………………………………………

 29 experts, including Herman Daly, were asked,  “What do you think should be the two or three highest priority political outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), scheduled for Rio de Janeiro in June 2012?”

His answer succinctly sums up the Steady-State perspective.

“The conclusion of the 1972 Limits to Growth study by the Club of Rome still stands 40 years later. Even though economies are still growing, and still put growth in first place, it is no longer economic growth, at least in wealthy countries, but has become uneconomic growth. In other words, the environmental and social costs of increased production are growing faster than the benefits, increasing “illth” faster than wealth, thereby making us poorer, not richer.

We hide the uneconomic nature of growth from ourselves by faulty national accounting because growth is our panacea, indeed our idol, and we are very afraid of the idea of a steady-state economy. The increasing “illth” is evident in exploding financial debt, in biodiversity loss, and in destruction of natural services, most notably climate regulation.

The major job of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development is to help us overcome this denial and shift the path of progress from quantitative growth to qualitative development, from bigger to better. Specifically this will mean working toward a steady-state economy at a sustainable (smaller than present) scale relative to the containing ecosystem that is finite and already overstressed.

Since growth now makes us poorer, not richer, poverty reduction will require sharing in the present, not the empty promise of growth in the future”

……………………………….

Naomi Klein on Occupy and Climate Change.

OCCUPY VANCOUVER interviews NAOMI KLEIN

In this interview with Occupy Vancouver, Naomi Klein gives an appraisal of the Occupy movement and it’s value in redetermining values, communicating and ethics. She offers the opinion that solutions to the economic crisis are the same solutions that are needed for the ecological crisis of climate change, and the political crisis which is advocated by the Tar Sands.

………………………

………………………………………………………………………………..

Naomi Klein’s advocacy is gaining important discussion space as the following post from New York Times columnist Andrew Revkin shows. The discussion centres around her article “Capitalism v Climate” (see below) and her call for a realistic approach to climate change and the massive change that must occur to return to a safe climate.

Andrew Rivkin and the New York Times have acknowledging global warming but staying very close to the “American Way.”

Revkin, although disagreeing with some key aspects of Naomi Kleins essay, welcomes the discussion ;

She challenges the environmental left to embrace this reality instead of implying that modest changes in lifestyle and shopping habits and the like can decarbonize human endeavors on a crowding planet.

Andrew Rivkin. (AR)

First, I was happy to see you dive into the belly of the many-headed beast challenging the need for greenhouse-gas cuts (as was clear from your piece, you recognize that there’s no single species called “deniers”). There are lots of slings and arrows awaiting anyone exploring this terrain, as was the case with the Heartland meeting in 2008. What prompted you to do an in-depth look at global warming stances and the issues underlying this “crisis”?

Naomi Klein (NK)

I got interested after attending the UN climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009. Like a lot of people who watched that train wreck up close, I came away wanting to understand the massive gap between the euphoric expectations of the environmental movement and the real political outcomes. When I got home, I was stunned by a new Harris poll that showed that the percentage of Americans who believed in anthropogenic climate change had plummeted from 71 per cent to 51 per cent in just two years. So here we were thinking that the world was on the verge of some kind of climate breakthrough while a large segment of the U.S. population was rejecting the science altogether. I wanted to understand how that could have happened.

I had a bit of an “a-ha” moment reading a paper by the excellent Australian political scientist Clive Hamilton, in which he argues that a great many American conservatives have come to see climate science as a threat to their core ideological identity. Then I read Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, which explains that many of the key scientists behind the denier movement hold a similar point of view – they are old-school Cold Warriors who came to see fighting environmentalism as a battle to protect “freedom” and the American way of life.

But as I read all this, I found myself thinking that from within the hard-right worldview, these responses were entirely rational. If you really do believe that freedom means governments getting out of the way of corporations and that any regulation leads us down Hayek’s road to serfdom, then climate science is going to be kryptonite to you. After all, the reality that humans are causing the climate to warm, with potentially catastrophic results, really does demand radical government intervention in the market, as well as collective action on an unprecedented scale. So you can understand why many conservatives see climate change as a threat to their identity. Too often the liberal climate movement runs away from the deep political and economic implications of climate science, which is why I wrote the piece. I think we need to admit that climate change really does demand a profound interrogation of the ideology that currently governs our economy. And that’s not bad news, since our current economic model is failing millions of people on multiple fronts.

Continue reading