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GLOBAL REVOLUTION June 26, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in Humankind/Planet Earth, Natural Environment.
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Climate change, I think, is the crucial ingredient in our current situation that has to be turned around.

Real alarmism is to believe that that the global atmosphere has now gone past the point of no return, that we have driven over the cliff and are now falling into the abyss. This would be the conclusion that the release of methane into the atmosphere from the permafrost is now as inevitable as the melting of the Arctic Ocean. At the least the forecast of extreme weather events seems to be happening, so that food and water security are of increasing concern for more people. There are, it may be supposed, real tipping points within the climate system.

There are two common responses of critics of the status quo. Firstly, there is criticism of corporations and those who run them seeing them as an emergent ruling class separate from the broader cultural, social and economic context. It seems to me that they are behaving and doing exactly what the cultural and ideological systems requires of them. Their behavior is understandable even as it appears to be sociopathic. To engage in dehumanization is violence. It is not surprising that undemocratic organizations will subvert democracy. Would democratically organized enterprises have behaved differently? I suspect it is possible, but elected governments have played a role as well. I think the issue goes beyond good and bad guys to deep cultural assumptions framed in historical experience and therefore difficult to address. Rather than a function of “the optical delusion of consciousness” this result may simply be ideological, and then it simply a matter of convincing the majority to change their opinions but not their minds.

The second response is that as the global climate collapses everybody retreats to local solutions. The rich retreat to gated communities; the rest of us invest in market and backyard gardening subsistence and supplemental farming, much like in the Great Depression. In the Middle Ages it might have been believed that the monasteries preserved Classical Learning, although the more significant and vital contribution flowed in Western Europe from Islamic Civilization. Still I don’t think – and I may be wrong – that localism is a practical program in the face of global climate catastrophe.

Chris Hedges makes the case in the following video with reading of his words and produced in British Columbia:

What I think is needed is a vision, blueprint that lay down a path for the survival of all people across the globe. And that is no easy task.

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