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

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rich nations 'give up' on new climate treaty until 2020

Click here to access article by Fiona Harvey from The Guardian. 
Postponing an operational agreement until 2020 would be fatal to hopes of avoiding catastrophic climate change, according to scientists, economists and green campaigners.
We are now witnessing the growth imperative of capitalism colliding with the ecological limits of our planet. Because capitalist ruling classes are so addicted to their profits, they are hopelessly unable to avert the disasters that are in the future for all of us. Because we share the same planet, we simply cannot idly stand by and let them have their way. Apparently the issues related to social-economic justice were not sufficient for people to rise up and demand changes in the past; but with the dire threats to our planetary home on the horizon, surely humanity will no longer tolerate such a destructive system.

The warnings of climate disaster are now occurring almost everywhere. Here in the Northwest of the United States we see oyster die-offs due to ocean acidification, in Texas severe droughts, earlier this year we saw flash flooding in eastern US, and this same pattern is occurring all over the Earth. 

Meanwhile, ruling capitalist classes do their best to keep their citizens ignorant of the evidence which makes the necessary connections between extreme weather, accelerated climate change, and fossil fuel consumption. For example, the latest refusal of TV broadcasters in Britain, US and other countries to televise a final segment of a series of programs apparently because the program made those connections. 

Witness now how the ruling elites are once again "stonewalling" the issue in the UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa.
The reality is that to stave off the Venus Syndrome – indeed, to maintain temperature rise to 2°C – the better part of known reserves of fossil fuels must remain untouched in the ground. But to the contrary, while the UN stalls and governments stonewall, corporations and the World Bank continue to invest wildly in expanding the fossil-fuel frontier through deep-sea drilling and exploitation of shale gas and tar sands, scraping the bottom of the oil barrel and locking us into a path of high emissions and a toxic future. Venus, here we come.