Beyond Revolt

November 18, 2013 glenn Uncategorized

Author and activist Naomi Klein has been on an environmental tear in recent years, and more recently has used terminology such as waging war and revolt. Her October 29 article “Why Science is Telling All of Us to Revolt and Change Our Lives Before We Destroy the Planet“, takes it’s launching point as Brad Werner’s session in this fall’s American Geophysical Union meeting. His title says it well — “Is Earth F**ked? Dynamical Futility of Global Environmental Management and Possibilities for Sustainability via Direct Action Activism.” Werner was pressed to answer his own question, replying “More or less.” And that, as will be shown, is our choice.

Klein want’s less, and so does Werner, who speaks of large scale resistance, “protests, blockades and sabotage by indigenous peoples, workers, anarchists and other activist groups”. The evidence is clear that current, politically motivates, emission targets have slim chance of preventing a 2 degree C rise in the earth’s temperature. Faced with this evidence, Klein and Werner, logically, promote pulling out the stops, doing whatever it takes to scale back emissions.

The article provoked considerable attention, a fair amount of it positive. But Kline came on too strong for some, like Joanne Poyoureaw. Her article “Revolt and Change our Lives,” which also appeared in Resilience, agrees that the warnings were dire and reductions were needed.  Yet, ”The part that keeps itching at me, days after I read Klein’s article, is the presumption that ‘mass uprisings’ are the only way out of this mess.”  Stopping destruction is important, but so is “Creating New Structures”, “to replace the old.”  Likewise the need for “Change in Consciousness.”  Both are happening.  And protests are happening.

And some of us still have an itch.

Emissions are still on the rise globally.  The atmosphere broke 400 ppm CO2.  It’s business as usual, more or less.  Some of us want less.

But there is a much bigger itch.  Klein gets close with her exclamation, “But climate change is a cumulative issue!”  CO2 has accumulated.  And that’s why we are experiencing what we are experiencing.  Severe and erratic weather, massive melting of sea and land ice, damage in the trillions of dollars annually, human deaths in the hundreds of thousands.  There is too much CO2 in the atmosphere already.  And you can’t get rid of it by reducing emissions.

The current climate strategy is one of avoiding runaway climate change.  We might not even be able to do that by reducing emissions, if we reduce them much at all.  If excess carbon causes melting, how can you stop it by merely stopping emissions?  You can’t   The atmospheric carbon needs to be reduced.

How can that be made to happen?

Uh… check the resource page —


Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress and HQ Premium Themes.