It’s Capitalism that has fueled the Disasters of Global Warming, Pollution, Over-harvesting of Resources, Whacked-out Water Cycle, War (THE elephant in the room)
Oh, Oregon is holding hearings on HB 2020, a baby step around putting feet to fire of those so-called polluters. I will list it below. I have been asked to attend a skyped hearing, one that tells me to go for no more than 3 minutes.
This is Kabuki Theater. The bill is about green as the new black. It’s always about Democrats and 350.org looking to capitalism to solve a problem — an entire set of problems — created by capitalism. Instead of socialism — working for the environment, for the people, for communities and for a healthy truth-telling of how bad the climate disruption and changes are and will be — we have the Green New Deal/Plan that leaves out the 52 percent of the USA’s national budget — war, military, and all the tens of thousands of companies and corporations that make money off of prisons, surveillance, armaments, bombs, DARPA-inspired killing.
Forget the fact that the US military is the largest polluter in the USA, in the world. We are using valuable resources, funding, minds to perpetuate a dying project of star wars, Mother of All Bombs, perpetual war.
So, what do I say, then, or do, when friends want me to go to a hearing and speak talking points? I have a letter below I tweaked to tell the truth to my two reps — David Gomberg, Democrat, District 10; and Arnie Roblan, Democrat, 5th District. It’s milquetoast, still. Decorum and being respectful override being truthful and impassioned.
I’m writing to urge you to make the Clean Energy Jobs bill a priority in the upcoming year. And that’s just a start.
I’ve been an educator and journalist for more than 40 years, 80 combined years. I am 62, and have worked in public schools, community colleges, four-year land grant colleges, private universities and myriad of alternative and non-traditional learning places.
I have spent my time learning about the built environment many ways (master’s in urban planning) and sustainability tied to community participation (master’s in Communications/English).
The bottom line is we need to do more than what HB 2020 asks for. This is only the tip of the iceberg, to use a prophetic way of telling you that we need more than a Marshall Plan to mitigate the negative effects of global warming.
The scientists I communicate with and study are way ahead of any panel impaneled by the US government or corporations to look into global climate change. We are in dire straits, tied to crop failures, record temperatures, desertification of ecosystems, lowering of oxygen in our atmosphere, species collapse, and a shift in the water cycle, to name just a few.
We need to move quickly to an eco-socialist mindset. If you can’t see HB 2020 as a small first step, yes, necessary, then your own myopia certainly would speak to an uninitiated mind.
Hold all major polluters accountable with a price on greenhouse gases. Don’t allow for exemptions for any polluting industries. Everyone under the cap!
Make sure we’re reinvesting in Oregon to make our people resilient, to have food security, to plan sensibly, and to make sure our citizens are prepared for some tough times ahead. This is not a time to believe green is the new black (economically speaking). The idea of green-washing vital human-ecosystems-cultural safety nets for the price of predatory capitalism as we have it in Oregon and in the USA, is worse than and doing nothing at all.
We need steady-state economic thinking, and to act and work locally and connect globally.
From better transit in cities to modern irrigation on farms, from renewable energy for homes to managing wildfire risk, the Clean Energy Jobs bill will benefit all communities in Oregon.
I ask you to champion bold climate action with Clean Energy Jobs. I’ll stay in touch about the progress of the bill. I ask you to get informed as quickly as possible to understand the full impacts of global climate catastrophe, over-harvesting of resources, and the impacts of business as usual in a no holds barred attitude that puts economy over equity and environment. Environment and equity far outpaces any economic boondoggles and schemes the industrialists and capitalists have devised for their immediate profit theft.
Crazy, I sent in such a mellow letter. I didn’t want to upset the political apple cart, by telling these representatives what they should be doing to grow Oregon: stop infinite growth, or any growth, and do steady state economics and the economics of the poor, as in the proposals of the barefoot economist, Manfred Max-Neef. Out entire system is flawed with town-halls and Skyped hearings. We need ecosocialism now, and a billion trees planted now. A plant-based diet NOW. All transportation predicated on true 200-mile diets and consumption patterns NOW. Durable goods manufactured locally NOW.
My fellow writer, John Steppling, has a good piece out today over at Dissident Voice. Please read it. “Scurrying Fascist Cockroaches.”
Already, I am having arguments about Bernie. Those who support him will not allow for any criticism. Then, I have to defend Sanders when dyed in the wool culture wars Democrats ply one of their top ten (will it be 23 total vying for the nomination in one form or another?) as the real choice/champ/darling-to-beat-Pence/Trump and attack Bernie for being unrealistic, a spoiler, a socialist! Bernie or the rest of the shills are not for socialism. Period. They are for war, no taxes, endless confusion and chaos, which are the by-products of vulture-predatory-zombie Capitalism.
Now, Ocasio Cortez is floating something she calls the Green New Deal (which, in another form, was already promoted by Green Party candidate Jill Stein) and which is a nakedly pro capitalist bit of three card Monte that will provide a boost to the nuclear power industry and line various corporate pockets. It’s capitalism. Omar and Ocasio Cortez also signed the odious Code Pink letter condemning US involvement in coups while at the same time slandering and fabricating stories about Maduro. The logic of the letter was that US proxy forces and covert activities had a counter productive effect and only helped to shore up the credibility of the Maduro government. In other words, fascism is OK, is just fine, only please do it in ways that will not bruise my delicate sensitivities.
Only socialism can tackle what is happening in the world now, not just tied to climate change, but also tied to the global economic inequities and the murder and plunder and sexism, ageism, racism, ableism which Capitalism not only creates, but breeds incessantly. Think hard who cares about animals, the aged, the young, the land, air, water, soil, the whales, the bees, ending prisons, developing safety nets for we the people. Think who cares hard about First Nations and Civil Society and peasant movements and self-determination for people of the land. It’s not going to be the elephant at the end of the feast, i.e. Republicans.
The right-wing does not care about any of these groups or concerns. Right wingers do not care about us, the 80 percent, or the Romney 41 Percent, or the 99 Percent when looking at billionaires running for the Democratic presidential nomination — Bloomberg and Starbucks Howdy Doody. The right-wingers do not care about teachers, about public institutions, about science (real science, not bought and sold science for the industries of Capitalism, the polluters, financiers, lords of war, and the infinite consumption/retailers products of obsolescence, planned lack of durability, etc.) And, well, the democrats, too, from Clinton to Pelosi, and all the usual suspects this election cycle — all war mongers, genuflecting to Israel and $ — they think of us as super predators, super naive, super Utopian..
To fix or at least manage, to some degree, the worst environmental problems will actually require drastic socialist programs. Not fascism as Noam Chomsky** suggests…or as Bernie Sanders or AOC or any of the rest of these capitalist sock puppets … but socialist. And nothing, NOTHING of any good is ever going come out of the Democratic Party. And nothing of any significance can happen via the US electoral theater. The amount of energy wasted in endless debate about the virtues or ‘electability’ (sic) of Elizabeth Warren vs Bernie Sanders or Kamala Harris vs Tulsi Gabbard etc is breathtaking. Imagine that time spent on something useful. Like, oh, how to prevent more war and carnage. And how to create a sustainable form of human development.
Socialism, in its most radical form, is about substantive equality, community solidarity, and ecological sustainability; it is aimed at the unification—not simply division—of labor. — John Steppling, “The Indispensable Radical Left”
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“Once sustainable human development, rooted not in exchange values, but in use values and genuine human needs, comes to define historical advance, the future, which now seems closed, will open up in a myriad ways, allowing for entirely new, more qualitative, and collective forms of development. This can be seen in the kinds of needed practical measures that could be taken up, but which are completely excluded under the present mode of production. It is not physical impossibility, or lack of economic surplus, most of which is currently squandered, that stands in the way of the democratic control of investment, or the satisfaction of basic needs—clean air and water, food, clothing, housing, education, health care, transportation, and useful work—for all. It is not the shortage of technological know-how or of material means that prevents the necessary ecological conversion to more sustainable forms of energy.103 It is not some inherent division of humanity that obstructs the construction of a New International of workers and peoples directed against capitalism, imperialism, and war. All of this is within our reach, but requires pursuing a logic that runs counter to that of capitalism.” — John Bellemy Foster, Monthly Review, February 2019
“Suppose it was discovered tomorrow that the greenhouse effects has been way underestimated, and that the catastrophic effects are actually going to set in 10 years from now, and not 100 years from now or something. Well, given the state of the popular movements we have today, we’d probably have a fascist takeover-with everybody agreeing to it, because that would be the only method for survival that anyone could think of. I’d even agree to it, because there’s just no other alternatives right now.” — Noam Chomsky, Understanding Power, 2002
The counterpoint to any of these baby steps, these capitalism-will-forever-rule-and-dictate-our-futures believers on all sides of the duopoly aisle, is real rebellion. Rebelling in a time of student loans, militarized police, informants, pigs ruling all media, and cult of celebrity sounds daunting, but do we have any other choice? Extinction Rebellion?
Drawing inspiration from the civil rights movement, Occupy Wall Street, and HIV/AIDS protest group ACT UP, Extinction Rebellion makes clear demands, among them that the government must “tell the truth about the climate” and “enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025.” But it also aims to acknowledge and draw on the intense emotions that come with the environmental calamity that’s upon us. “Even while resolving to limit the damage, we can mourn,” is how Gail Bradbrook, one the organization’s founders in England, puts it.
“Our intention is to provoke an uprising on a scale that’s never been seen before in the U.S., a national coordinated economic and government disruption that will be maintained until the government is forced to negotiate with us.”
Utilizing strictly nonviolent tactics and operating within a largely decentralized structure, the Extinction Rebellion has three ambitious demands: to push governments to communicate the truth of the ecological crisis to the public, to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and to allow the formation of a democratic “citizens assembly” to oversee the massive changes this would necessitate. The New York City chapter of XR also includes a demand for climate justice, or “a just transition that prioritizes the most vulnerable people and indigenous sovereignty.”
Or, do we really confront all systems and break away from all structures of power, including government, government controlled by the elites, government in the hands of despotic thinkers, corporations riding roughshod over all our lives?
Ceasefire: How would you describe the general impact of liberal foundations on the evolution of research within universities and on intellectuals more generally?
Cory: It is my belief that the impact has been debilitating beyond measure. Worse, it is not only underestimated by society, but I would go so far as to say that the co-optation of growth and intellect is not even recognized by society. We like to believe that Euro-Americans are the brilliant ones (after all, we’ve been battling Nature for eons and winning): yet collectively we (the supposedly educated) are destroying our own habitat at an ever-accelerating speed. Those chosen for positions of power, which accelerate our demise via the industrialized capitalist system, are cherry-picked from the Ivy League.
Corporate control (via direct funding and foundation funding) has resulted in a cohesive silence on almost everything that flies in the face of common sense. Creativity has been grossly stifled. Critical thinking has been framed as confrontational while submission and obedience are deemed admirable.
I covered this topic more extensively in part 3 of my investigative report on methane hydrates (The Real Weapons of Mass Destruction: Methane, Propaganda & the Architects of Genocide) under the subsection Universities as Bedfellows| Moral Nihilism. [Excerpt: “Corporate funding effectively silences dissent and buys legitimacy where none is deserved. The corporate influence and domination, like a virus, crushes imagination, strangles creativity and kills individual thought. Education pursued for the collective good is dead. Transcendent values — dead. The nurturing of individual conscience — dead. Ethical and social equity issues are framed and accepted as “passé.” Political silence reigns. Moral independence within educational institutes is being effectively decimated. It is of little surprise that empathy has declined by 40% in college students since 2000.”]