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

Friday, June 15, 2018

Recommended articles for Friday, 6/15/2018

The world events of the past days are significant far beyond the apparent divide within the G7 industrial nations. If we imagine the planet as a giant electric force field, the lines of flux are in dramatic reordering as the post-1945 global dollar-based system comes to its disordered end phase. Europe’s political elites are currently split between rationality and irrationality. The developments to the East however are drawing more and more force and we are seeing the early phases of what might be called a geopolitical polarity reversal within the EU from West to East. The latest developments across Eurasia including the Middle East, Iran and above all between Russia and China are gaining in importance as Washington offers only war, whether trade war, sanctions war, terror war or kinetic war.
Antarctica’s glaciers are massive enough to flood every coastal city on Earth. So it’s no exaggeration to say that what happens in Antarctica over the next few decades will determine the fate of not just Miami and Mumbai, but also the course of human history. If we’re lucky and quickly start cutting emissions, Antarctica’s glaciers might mostly remain in place. The alternative is unthinkable.

There’s still so much we don’t know about Antarctica. But a series of major breakthroughs in recent years have raised the urgency and scale of scientists’ efforts. This week’s papers put that information into context. The clear takeaway: There is no sign of a slowdown in Antarctica’s melt rate.

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