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

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Climate change and the summit smokescreen

Click here to access an interview with Ian Angus, a Canadian activist and editor of Climate and Capitalism, posted on Socialist Worker

WHY IS it so difficult for them to come up with a serious proposal that will actually make a difference to the climate situation?

FUNDAMENTALLY, GOVERNMENT negotiators say "we'll reduce emissions," but they don't say "we will reduce our use of fossil fuels," which is what they must do to reduce emissions seriously and long term.

Fossil fuels are so fundamental to the operation of capitalism and the world today that serious reductions, if they were even tried under capitalism, would lead to a period of extraordinary economic disruption. Entire industries would have to stop functioning while they retool, and other industries would just have to disappear.

The only time we've had significant reductions in emissions in a major country was after the break-up of the Soviet Union, when the economy of Russia collapsed.

Angus continues on with a controversial argument that advocates radical activists working with what he regards as serious, already established, non-revolutionary groups.