We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lapp√©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, March 4, 2016

Public ideas leadership on climate? The truth rarely sees the light of day.

Click here to access article by David Spratt from Climate Code Red (Australia). 

I think the headline of the article is more comprehensible to me if it read simply "Public leadership on climate destabilization? The truth rarely sees the light of day." In this piece he essentially argues that public leaders are either too timid or worried that frank discussion about the threats of climate destabilization would be too upsetting for people. 
So here is the great irony: people have got a fair, intuitive sense of what might be coming, but our ideas leaders can’t talk about it.
Here is a climate concerned and knowledgeable activist who shows clear signs that he simply does not understand how the capitalist system functions to suppress any knowledge about how the system is fundamentally at odds with climate stability (or equality, social justice, etc). Much like a fish in the sea, he is completely unaware of the sea of capitalism in which we all swim and how this capitalist sea promotes certain ideas over others and emphatically suppresses ideas which question capitalism. In today's societies, a tiny class of capitalist elites control every important institution and manage these institutions to see to it that they function in harmony with their class interests, the most important of which is the maintenance and support of the capitalist system, the goose that lays so many golden eggs for them. 

It's clear that the Australian activist Spratt along with many honest scientists and public leaders are unable to see this omnipresent sea around them to understand how it limits any real discussion of the threats existing today to our biosphere. This is because of the success of capitalist elites to control our ideological institutions (education and media) so that we never view this capitalist sea around us to pose any real questions that might threaten its legitimacy. 

Such brainwashing keeps many from the most profound insight of all: capitalism is completely incompatible with a sustainable biosphere, that to survive we must change the system from one which prioritizes profits and power for a few to one that serves the needs of all humans, and the most basic is survival. Those few who manage to overcome this brainwashing are effectively intimidated from pursuing such questions by their bosses, and if that doesn't work they are punished severely by withdrawing job opportunities. 

As an illustration of the fear that intimidates scientists, I will reproduce a comment to my posting of "Capitalism and the destruction of life on Earth: Six theses on saving the humans" on July 3, 2013:
Anonymous Jul 13, 2013, 6:21:00 PM
I have been teaching environmental biology for decades, and entirely concur with the points made by the author. Most of my colleagues are simply afraid to speak up, and for very good reasons. The perpetrators of this tragedy control the world, and they do have a license to defame, harass--and even kill. If you take this threat along with so many others, you must conclude that--short of a revolution and a SYSTEMIC change--it's game over for humanity. I'd give us 200 years, at the most.

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