“Give me what I want, or I’ll burn it all down and bring incalculable misery on everyone” is the most infantile, selfish attitude imaginable, yet it’s routinely portrayed as enlightened and caring. And this attitude is, unfortunately, no longer the sole property of the left.And yet, well, Jacobins gotta Jacobin.
We do not simply seek to change the boundaries between the public and private sector; as socialists it is our position that profit extracted by capitalists should not exist. Abandoning the goal of socializing residual sectors because they are not destroying the planet or posing an existential threat to our project would be a historic mistake.Chris Hedges is perpetually cranky.
We have to let go of our relentless positivism, our absurd mania for hope, our naive belief that with grit and determination we can solve all problems. We have to face the bleakness before us. We live in a world already heavily damaged by global warming, which will inevitably get worse. Refusal to participate in the further destruction of the planet means a rupture with traditional politics. It means noncooperation with authority. It means defying in every nonviolent way possible consumer capitalism, militarism and imperialism. It means adjusting our lifestyle, including becoming vegans, to thwart the forces bent upon our annihilation. And it means waves of sustained civil disobedience until the machine is broken.These people must be real fun at parties, although perhaps having fun is participating in the further destruction of the planet.
Jessica Garraway wants the existing tantrums to get louder.
“We demand a just transition that prioritizes the most vulnerable people and indigenous sovereignty; establishes reparations and remediation led by and for Black people, Indigenous people, people of color and poor communities for years of environmental injustice, establishes legal rights for ecosystems to thrive and regenerate in perpetuity, and repairs the effects of ongoing ecocide to prevent extinction of human and all species, in order to maintain a livable, just planet for all.”Show me something constructive, first. An end to the tribal warfare in Chicago, for instance.
There has been controversy that such a stand could alienate people, white people specifically. To that I say this: Our goal is to get 3.5% of the population mobilized. It’s time to stop thinking about our target audience as middle class white people. Those who are already fighting are the most likely to join us in mass. Whether it be social pollutions such as police terrorism, or environmental threats such as tar sands and pipelines, the truth remains the same: poor Black and indiginous [c.q.] people who are on the frontlines of the struggle are the most likely to throw down.
People should support the strategy of Extinction Rebellion to coordinate nationwide disruption of business as usual. Fighting individual infrastructure fights can only take us so far. It will take US cities nationally coming to a standstill in order to make pivotal changes around climate justice. Given our dire situation nothing short of mass scale rebellion is necessary to meet this crisis head on. Still, the movement also would do well to fund and materially support these frontline groups doing direct action. Far too often frontline defenders are running on shoestring budgets while white dominated liberal nonprofits rake in millions. People with resources serious about the climate crisis should also consider sponsoring frontline land and water defenders. Too often I have seen those risking the most for the earth and their communities struggle to pay their rent and take care of their children. The money and resources are there but its not reaching the frontline.
And stop frightening the kids.
Throughout all modern history, when we humans see a problem coming from far away, we have a 100% success rate in solving it. Climate change is no different. All the right people are working hard at a wide variety of solutions and already know how to get there, meaning more nuclear power plus CO2 scrubbers, plus lots of green power from solar, wind, and more.Perhaps what makes the Jacobin - Common Dreams crowd so shrill is not their conviction that trade-tested betterments are not up to the job. It is their fear that emergence will render their current list of scare topics as nugatory as it did their prior lists.
If you are worried about rising sea levels, don’t be. The smartest and richest people in the world are still buying property on the beach. They don’t see the problem. And if sea levels do rise, it will happen slowly enough for people to adjust.
Adults sometimes like to use children to carry their messages because it makes it hard for the other side to criticize them without seeming like monsters. If adults have encouraged you to panic about climate change without telling you what I am telling you here, they do not have your best interests at heart. They are using you.