It’s always good to see leftists, who are usually pro-taxes and have a negative view of secession, actually practicing forms of pan-secessionism with tax strikes, sanctuary cities, and local nullification of federal drug laws. Just like it is good to see conservatives, who typically champion law and order, defying the gun control laws or lockdown orders of blue state governments.
By Matthew Taylor, The Guardian
Extinction Rebellion is launching a campaign of financial civil disobedience aimed at exposing the “political economy’s complicity” in the unfolding ecological crisis.
The group – which has staged some of the UK’s biggest civil disobedience protests over the past two years – is turning its attention to what it says will be a sustained campaign of debt and tax strikes. It is also asking people to “redirect” loans from banks that finance fossil fuel projects to frontline organisations fighting for climate justice.
Gail Bradbrook, a co-founder of XR, which was set up two years ago, said: “It’s time to tell the politicians who prop up this way of living: no more. We want an economy that grows health and wellbeing, not debt and carbon emissions. An economy that prepares and protects us from shocks to come, rather than making them worse. An economy that shares resources to meet all our needs, regardless of background. An economy that lets us live.”
Center for a Stateless Society
In the first year of constant quarantine, rocked by worldwide social unrest, extreme tropical weather, and widespread government ineptitude, the complete inability and unwillingness of the ruling classes to make any substantive changes is clear. There will not be any relief and there is no reckoning. Commoditizing living animals has created the perfect conditions for zoonotic diseases to mutate and spread, but harm reduction measures to deal with the pandemic have obfuscated this risk, instead touting the animal agriculture industry as a “vital industry” necessary to the economic interests of the capitalist class. Forget sacrificing your ethics, the time has come to put yourself on the altar and pray you make the perfect gift to the market — or at least that shell of a market reflected in financial exchanges.
By Jeff Shantz
As capitalist societies in the twenty-first century move from crisis to crisis, oppositional movements in the global North (which have been somewhat stymied (despite ephemeral manifestations like Occupy) are confronted with the pressing need to develop organizational infrastructures that might prepare the ground for a real, and durable, alternative. More and more, the need to develop shared infrastructural resources—what I have termed infra-structures of resistance (Shantz 2009)—becomes apparent. Ecological disasters (through crises of capital), economic crises, political austerity, and mass-produced fear and phobia all require organizational preparation—the common building of real-world alternatives. Confronted with these challenges, in the period of crisis and opportunity, movements of the global North have been largely perplexed by questions of how to advance, to build strength on a sustainable basis in a way that might pose real challenges to states and capital. Caught in cycles of repeatedly chasing after the next big momentary thing (Occupy, Idle No More protests in Canada, anti-pipelines demonstrations), they spin out largely symbolic manifestations or mobilizations that gain some attention but make few advances against states or capital. There are no guarantees that crisis will lead to success for movements seeking positive social change. At the same time, fascists, fundamentalists, and corporatists of various sorts find openings and opportunities, often supported by promotional capital (such as the Koch brothers) or governments seeking a social barrier against constructive resistance. Movements of the Left, of various tendencies, have been searching for the momentum that was lost after September 11, 2001 shifted the terrain of opposition and contestation in much of the world. Energies have been turned toward media critique, civil liberties defense, anti-war opposition, and confronting the racist abuses of the war on terror. These are, of course, all-important pursuits, but they are defensive rather than constructive.
This is a pretty good overview of the problems with the eco-cultists and their opponents. The only viable alternative to fossil fuels is either a reduction in the use of technology, and a return to early 19th century levels of technological development (and the resulting consequences for living standards, health, and life expectancy) or a switch to nuclear power (and the related risks). There is no evidence that it is possible to maintain modern industrial civilization with wind, solar, water, and biomass energy. Some evidence exists that geothermal power might be viable at some point in the future but that’s still a ways off.
By Max Paschall
In this episode, I speak with writer, arborist, and professional horticulturist Max Paschall. We discuss his essay ‘The Lost Forest Gardens of Europe,’ published at the Shelterwood Forest Farm website.
In addressing the ever-increasing, ongoing impacts anthropogenic climate change is having on food production and land management, for those of us that descend from European colonizers in North America, what can we learn from the past? What relationship did our ancestors have with the lands they were indigenous to, and how did they adapt to rapid climatological and ecological shifts throughout the millennia? In Max’s fascinating and illuminating essay ‘The Lost Forest Gardens of Europe,’ the answers to these questions come more into focus.
By Ria Montana
“To be wild is to be ungovernable, which means uncivilized.” p. 5 Rogue Primate
An avid Deep Green Resistance (DGR) member highly recommended a read on ecology by Murray Bookchin, a self-labeled eco-anarchist. Bookchin is liberally mentioned in critiques on his overarching plan for restoring nature and humans’ place with it. With myself being an anarcho-primitivist restoration ecologist, I’d finally let my thinking brain chomp on his conception of social ecology as elucidated in The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy.
Ten years ago, I identified what I considered to be the “ten core demographics” that proponents of the ideas we discuss here at ATS will have to reach in order to eventually find the Holy Grail. The original piece is available here. It is interesting to evaluate the status of each of these ten demographics (which are really collections of sub-demographics) a decade later in light of the current uprising. Here is where things seem to stand. The parts in italics are from the original piece.
A little bit of heresy for the day.
The only viable alternative to fossil fuels is either nuclear power or simply regressing to a pre-industrial level of technological development.
Environmental Activist, Michael Shellenberger, discusses his book, ‘Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All,’ and explains why he believes the people who are the most alarmist about the problems also oppose obvious solutions.
Last Real Indians
Kinder-Morgan’s application for approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion (TMX) has been bouncing around in Canada’s federal courts like a pinball since 2013. First Nations tribes and environmental groups have valiantly worked the flippers of the judicial pinball machine for years, filing lawsuits and appeals, to keep that shiny ball from rolling down the drain of approval. But on July 2, down it went when the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) denied three First Nations leave to appeal the decision of a lower court.
The fight lasted so long and cost so much that Kinder-Morgan, the pipeline’s original owner, wound up selling the whole thing to Canada in 2018. As a result, the Canadian government was in the dubious position of reviewing an application for a pipeline that they themselves owned. Not surprisingly, the pipeline expansion was approved and now that approval cannot be appealed. Imagine that.
So in an era in which Canada has supposedly made a commitment to reconciliation with First Nations people, how has this decision rendered the government’s policy of consultation and accommodation with them?
Pete invited Bellamy Fitzpatrick to come on the show. Bellamy is a self-described “Green Anarchist” who joins Pete to have a conversation that includes an explanation of what G.A. means to him and to find some common ground among people who realize that, first and foremost, the State is the problem.
By Valeria Bauerlein
Wall Street Journal
LAKE WYLIE, S.C.—This lakefront suburb of Charlotte, N.C., is among the Sunbelt’s strongest magnets for young families.
Since 2000, Lake Wylie has tripled in population to 12,000 on the strength of its good schools, low taxes and proximity to Charlotte’s jobs in the financial and technology sectors. But those schools are filling up, the water system frequently fails under increased demand and 20-mile commutes are stretching to 90 minutes.
Now, the town that grew too fast wants to stop growth.
In December, the York County Council, which is led by Republicans, put a 16-month moratorium on commercial and residential rezoning requests and consideration of any new apartment complexes or subdivisions. It is the most comprehensive ban so far in a state where fast-growing cities are temporarily blocking everything from dollar stores to student housing, the Municipal Association of South Carolina said.
You can’t make this shit up.
Krystal and Saagar discuss Amazon’s decision to buy naming rights to KeyArena in Seattle and call it Climate pledge arena.
Kirk Sale’s classic.
Sometimes ATS contributor Rick Moore once said that any country larger than Liechtenstein is likely to be a tyranny. If we compare different countries, we see that the larger ones tend to be the most imperialistic and the most internally tyrannical. Nicky Reid once pointed out that while communist Cuba, fascist Singapore, and social democratic Iceland each have much different systems, the fact that they are all island micronations keeps them from becoming expansionist empires. Scale is everything.
Krystal and Saagar discuss breaking news from the weekend that show temperatures at 100.4 degrees in Siberia which would be the highest temperature on record in the Arctic.
By Rachel Truman
Humans have long been fascinated and frightened by the beauty and power of the ocean. Some communities feel its sheer force more than others. Here we take a look at historic villages that have fallen prey to the waves, today’s coastal communities that have been abandoned to the sea, plus natural and man-made landmarks at risk of rising sea levels.
A German teenager runs afoul of the new blasphemy laws. I consider the tribal civil war between the Red Tribe and Blue Tribe to a low-intensity variation of the traditional Catholic/Protestant conflicts in Europe during the early modern period or the Sunni/Shia conflict in the Middle East today. Each side has its own preferred version of religious or sumptuary law, (for example, laws against flag-burning for the Red Tribe or hate speech for the Blue Tribe).
The EU/NATO countries are essentially colonies of the US empire (with Western Europe being a collection of additional Blue colonies, and Eastern Europe largely being a collection of Red colonies). Just as China (an outlying province in the US-controlled global capitalist empire) is a test market for the police/surveillance state, so is Western Europe (particularly the Anglo-Celtic-Germanic-Scandinavian countries) a test market in totalitarian humanism. Naomi Seibt is the modern equivalent of a heretic who has denied a primary article of Blue Tribe orthodoxy (like denying the Trinity in a pre-modern theocratic state).
By Paul Homewood
While our attentions have been focussed on the coronavirus, something alarming and rather shocking has been going on in Germany.
You will probably be aware of Naomi Seibt, the 19 year old from Germany who has been making a name as the anti-Greta lately. Her common sense messages about global warming have not gone down well with the climate establishment, who prefer the hysterical outpourings of Greta.
This interview with Chomsky is generally pretty good. He calls out the use of the pandemic as a pretext for expanding the surveillance state and the role of “big tech” in facilitating it. But there is one glaring contradiction. He criticizes the US inadequate response to the pandemic by blaming it on the lack of a strong federal government and then points out that Europe’s response has been even worse, and blames that on the transfer of power from individual countries to the EU. Is a strong central government only good in America but not good in Europe? Many of the US states are larger than many European countries. The EU is the US of Europe. Make up your mind, Noam.
The United States is on a chaotic path with no federal plan against the coronavirus pandemic as it reduces public health funding and ignores the advances of climate change, according to activist scholar Noam Chomsky, considered the founder of modern linguistics.
What follows are extracts, edited for clarity, from an AFP interview with the 91-year-old leftist intellectual, who has authored more than 100 books and is currently a professor at the University of Arizona.
For two months he’s been confined in Tucson with his Brazilian wife Valeria, his dog, and a parrot who can say “sovereignty” in Portuguese.
By Don Fitz
When Stan Cox was writing his book, The Green New Deal and Beyond: Ending the Climate Emergency While We Still Can, he scripted these prophetic words: “The oft-predicted national decline in use of fossil fuels is nowhere to be seen, and it is unlikely to occur on its own, at least until the next economic meltdown.” He became one of those few people who dare predict the future; but it was unfortunate for humanity that his prediction came true. Between the time that Cox foresaw the conditions under which fossil fuel usage would go down and his book appeared in print, the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, production crashed in country after country, and CO2 emissions dropped even more than they did during the 2008 financial crisis.
A leader of an organized atheist group (the far left of organized religion) interviews a member of the liberal media class (the new clerisy) on the role of the religious right (clerical oligarchs manipulating naive peasants on behalf of the right-wing of the ruling class/dying WASP elite/Likudniks/war profiteers).
Journalist Katherine Stewart, whom the Boston Globe has called “the Paul Revere of American civic life,” is a leading authority on the politics of the Religious Right. Her first book, “The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children,” came out in 2012, and this spring her new book, titled “The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism,” has been released. Stewart has written for the New York Times, the New Republic and the Washington Post.
“The role of the right-wing propaganda sphere in fostering distrust of fact-based media and scientific expertise really can’t be overstated here,” she explains in the interview, done remotely, about why a section of society is exhibiting such an irrational response to the pandemic. “The rank of the movement have been told over and over to dismiss the real news as fake news even before Trump.”