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 Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cancun, and more Consequential C Words

by Michael M'Gonigle and Louise Takeda from The Tyee.

The authors look at the rather dismal prospects for progress at the upcoming UN sponsored meeting on climate change, and the resistance by major powers to any substantive change from the Copenhagen Accord. The latter's emphasis is to incorporate a climate change strategy in the form of carbon trading into markets like Wall Street that will only create the illusion of doing something about the problem, but in reality will allow capitalists to continue their plunder of the Earth. However, there is some hope as evidence keeps surfacing that more and more people are becoming aware of the basic contradiction between the capitalist system and Earth's ability to sustain human and other life forms.
Consider the constricted discourse that prevents any real discussion on the trap of (shhh... capitalist) dependence on growth and commodification. A few brave souls tip-toe around the word with more palatable terms like 'de-growth'. However expressed, the reality is that there is no hope of escape from our planetary momentum without a whole bunch of folks willing to confront the evidence, and the power of denial, and admit that the emperor has no clothes.