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, December 10, 2013

Climate politics must be as radical as the climate crisis

Click here to access article by Simon Butler from Climate & Capitalism.

This article is not recommended for any faint of heart environmental activists who are concerned about the prospects of climate disasters that lie in our future. To be bluntly honest, I think that the evidence is mounting that leads to an inescapable conclusion that we are now in a runaway climate catastrophe. It looks to me like the monster system of capitalism created by humans is now on an irreversible course to destroy a habitat that can sustain human life. 
From the standpoint of humanity having a safe future on this planet, this race to wreck and poison the Earth for profit is insane, even suicidal. Yet for the powerful companies that stand to profit, and from the standpoint of the capitalist system as a whole, it’s an entirely predictable response. The methodical destruction of the life-giving properties of our planet is the visible product of “the invisible hand.”
This is an inescapable reality precisely because the system provides the ruling One Percent with enormous amounts of the short-term benefits of wealth and power, while knowledgeable liberals compromise their criticisms of the system because they fear the loss of their comforts by attacking the system too much, and the vast majority of humans are mired in ignorance and disinformation about the future because they spend all their time and efforts merely trying to survive.