In this episode of teleSUR’s The Empire Files, Abby Martin interviews world-renowned philosopher and linguist Professor Noam Chomsky. Prof. Chomsky comments on the presidential primary “extravaganza,” the movement for Bernie Sanders, the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal, the bombing of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, modern-day libertarianism and the reality of “democracy” under capitalism.
By William T. Hathaway
This year marks the 20th anniversary of wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone National Park. From 66 released originally they’ve increased to over 300 and are no longer endangered. That they thrive here is not surprising, for they are creatures of this raw land in a way that we aren’t. Wolves are fitted to this environment, and so to understand them, we have to know the country that nurtures them.
The area from Yellowstone to central Idaho has one of the lowest densities of human population in the United States. Those who do live here are held in thrall by land and weather, too harsh for most of our species. The elements keep us ever on the defensive without even noticing us.
People claim to own this country, but she owns us. Daily she teaches us how small our power is: we are like children clinging to a shaggy bison, helpless riders on a massive beast. We had enough power to exile the wolves, but then the wilderness was no longer whole, the grazing herds became unhealthy, and we had to bring back these culling predators. The banishment was short from their time frame.
The mountains they lope around are the eruption of a force that begins to rise in the Dakotas, gathers momentum as it buckles the prairie into ridges and ravines, then thrusts the earth’s crust into peaks. Humans read time on the land, and it dwarfs us: Rivers cut the earth for millennia, then vanished into the bottoms of their canyons, leaving them lime dry. Glaciers sheared off mountains, scraping them down to flat mesas. Epochs of wind are still gnawing the buttes into knobs of pocked rock. Now it’s time for wolves again. A missing totem, Sunmánituthaka of the Sioux, has been restored, an ancient spirit returned to us. More…
By Deep Green Philly
“Sometime during the middle of the rondy a rupture took place that led to much discussion as well as many emotional outbursts. It also led to a general malaise which in turn led to a mass exodus of about half the camp. It was sparked off by the usual suspects: identity politics, issues of cultural appropriation, and general feelings of discontent with demographics. I’m not going to go into detail about that situation because I’m sure others will be chiming in with their own perspectives on this situation. All I will say about it is that I’ve encountered this sort of thing before at other non-EF! gatherings. There has definitely emerged a certain group of people who take it upon themselves to disrupt what they see as white supremacist organizations. While I wish that they would take that shit to a Hillary Clinton rally or something, I can respect the spirit of it if not the specific tactics and general anti-social, juvenile and trollish behaviors of some of these people (one of whom almost got a fist to the face for trying to get up in mine). Radical communities are struggling enough as it is and don’t really need that sort of social justice warrior adventurism malarkey, but hey, this is the landscape we currently inhabit and what we must endure by having spaces that are open to everyone.”
In the days and weeks leading up to this year’s Earth First! rondy my thoughts were often preoccupied with the state of this world that is lurching from crisis to crisis and slipping deeper into chaos. In a time when our victories seem increasingly few and strictly symbolic, and as the machinery of industrial capitalism continues its assault on the earth and those who depend on it for survival, I was very much hoping for the rondy to be a place of reflection, strategizing, commiseration with like minds, and yes, escape from the mental stress of the city. To a certain degree I was not disappointed; there were a lot of great conversations, interesting workshops and time for reconnecting with nature. Yet, as is often the case, there’s no real escape from the intellectual and emotional quagmire of civilized life.
“Are you now or have you ever been a climate contrarian?”
How long before this McCarthyite question is asked of everyone who enters into academia, in order to weed out those who refuse to bow and scrape before green orthodoxy?
If you think this sounds like a far-fetched proposition, consider a recent scandalous act of academic censorship at the University of Western Australia (UWA). And consider, more importantly, the lack of outrage it caused in the West’s professorial circles.
It involves Bjorn Lomborg, the blonde-haired, Danish annoyer of environmentalists everywhere.
The Skeptical Environmentalist—in which he argued that, yes, climate change is real, but, no, cutting back on economic growth won’t help—Lomborg has been a brilliant piece of grit in one-eyed green thinking for more than a decade.Famous for his book
The Australian government, headed by the semi-skeptical Prime Minister Tony Abbott, decided to offer a base to Lomborg for his greenish but pro-growth analysis and agitation.
It asked him to bring his Copenhagen Consensus Center, the U.S.-based, Danish-funded not-for-profit think-tank he’s been running since 2006, Down Under. It would now be based at UWA, would be renamed the Australia Consensus Center, would be funded to the tune of 4 million Australian dollars, and would continue to stoke heated debate about whether mankind really is on the precipice of eco-doom (no) and whether more growth, not less, is the most sensible solution to the problems we face (yes).
Well, that was the plan. But it was scuppered by what can only be described as a ramshackle modern-day Inquisition, which found Lomborg guilty of the crime of denial—not of God, but of climate-change alarmism—and had him cast out of UWA.
An interesting take on the climate change issue from Kevin Carson.
Center for a Stateless Society
It’s been a pretty bad couple of weeks on the climate front. Two separate teams of climate scientists warn that the collapse of the western Antarctic ice sheet has already begun and is now too late to stop. The six glaciers already in retreat are enough, by themselves to add four feet to global sea levels. Although total collapse will probably take 200 years or more, the loss of the whole sheet could bring the total sea rise to between 14 and 17 feet — over and above previous predictions, which assumed the western sheet would remain intact. In California alone, this would put LAX, the San Francisco airport and the San Onofre nuclear plant underwater, according to governor Jerry Brown. North America is entering its third summer in a row of extreme drought — the worst in centuries in the southwest US.
Meanwhile, Harvard Ph.D. student Vanessa Williamson suggests Tea Partiers are skeptical of anthropogenic climate change because of two beliefs: “First, the coastal elite looks down on people in Middle America; second, the government wants to exert ever-more control, and will use any pretext to do it.” The goal of the “global warming hoax,” Tea Partiers believe, is “to undo the American way of life — big cars, big homes, suburban sprawl — and make the heartland look more like the coasts” (Christopher Flavelle, “Climate Change is Stuck in the Culture War,” BloombergView, May 9). More…
Caity and Dan finally acknowledge that there is a general election looming in the UK and start to attempt some political analysis (which inevitably goes off on strange tangents).
Caity starts by explaining why she feels like a voyeur when she looks at sociopathic politicians screwing the people and each other. We bash the Green Party heavily, largely because of their crazy policies and the fact that they are a fast-growing party but no-one within the party seems to have cracked open a serious book on economics.
We also wonder why so much effort is made to demonize UKIP (who we don’t support) but not the Green Party despite their larger membership and more ‘radical’ policies. We get into Natalie Bennett’s terrible interviews, the decline of the Scottish Labour Party, how many ‘shat it’ at the Scottish independence referendum and the unpopularity of being someone with a basic understanding of economics. We also express our alarm at so many so-called ‘Scottish secessionists’ drifting towards the Greens, the Scottish National Party and the Scottish Socialist party.
It is not unreasonable to suggest that the decades ahead will witness the unfolding of a golden age of anarchism. What is the evidence for this?
-The most powerful state in the world, the United States, the mother country of the empire, is slowly losing its internal legitimacy and serious political discontent is beginning to rise.
-Antiwar sentiment in the United States is at an all time high. War fever could rise again in the event of a war with ISIS or Iran, an intervention in Syria, or a confrontation with Russia. But none of these scenarios would turn out well for the United States in the long run. Instead, the state would continue to lose its legitimacy and antiwar and anti-imperialist feeling would come back on an even stronger level.
-Class divisions are the widest they have been in a century in the United States. This all but guarantees the re-emergence of class-based politics at some point in the future. Proponents of alternative forms of decentralist economics will then begin to find a ripe audience for their ideas.
-Public opinion is slowly turning against the police state, prison-industrial complex, and the war on drugs. Sentiment of this kind will likely begin to grow exponentially in the future. It is likely that resistance to domestic American fascism will be the civil rights movement of the 21st century.
-One in four Americans are now sympathetic to secession by their region or community, and these sympathies will probably increase as the system begins to deteriorate.
-One in four American adults now has a criminal record due to overcriminalization. This can only have the effect of undermining respect for the state and its legal decrees.
-The idea of the state as the savior of humanity is an idea that is coming under increasing disrepute. The fiscal debts alone of modern welfare states likely guarantee their ultimate demise.
By Keith Preston
When the future history of the former United States of America is written, the pivotal turning point that likely marked the downfall of the USA will be the events of September 11, 2001.
The United States emerged from World War Two as the most powerful nation-state in the world, rivaled only by the second-rate Soviet Union. American hegemony and dominance spread throughout the world as Western Europe became protectorates of the USA, and the colonies of the former European colonial empires in Asia, Africa, and Latin America became U.S. client states. However the postwar era and the late 20th century were also a time of anti-colonial insurgency, leading the U.S. to get bogged down in the anti-colonial war in Indochina and eventually experience defeat. This had the effect of de-legitimizing U.S. militarism to a great degree. More…
The awareness that humans could alter the climate of Earth has dawned slowly on our consciousness. In 1896, Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius deflected his anguish over a failed marriage into remarkably tedious and, as it turned out, accurate calculations about the effect of CO2 emissions on climate. It was an oddly therapeutic thing to do, but it had no more effect on public attention than the smallest cloud on a distant horizon.
Another 69 years would pass before scientists warned a U.S. president of the potential for serious climate disruption, and still another 30 years before the first report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Now, facing climate destabilization, our choices for action are said to be adapting to a warmer world or mitigating the severity of climate change by sharply reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, neither adaptation nor mitigation alone will be sufficient, and sometimes they may overlap. But in a world of limited resources, money, and time we will be forced often to choose between the two. In making such choices, the major issues in dispute have to do with estimates of the pace, scale, and duration of climatic disruption. And here the scientific evidence tilts the balance strongly toward mitigation.
Decolonial monarchism! This jives well with Bioregionalism and indigenous clan/band/village level sovereignty. A fellow member of my tribe commented that “sovereignty should not be defined at the whim of U.S. congressional mood swings.” I agree entirely but would add that the US would never allow for any genuine, self defined sovereignty for indigenous nations within it’s borders. I theorize that the only conditions under which that might happen are when the US is weak and badly in need of winning the support of indigenous peoples, Native Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and First Nations to maintain its legitimacy. But at that point why would we need such a weak ally? Until then, the only acceptable level of “sovereignty” will be that of a client state at best, but more likely we’ll remain as just another colonial administrative unit of the bureaucratic empire.
Kanaka Maoli to Feds: ‘Get Out of Our House! Go Home!’
by Chad Blair
To help the U.S. Department of the Interior understand how some Native Hawaiians view federal recognition, DeMont R. D. Conner offered this analogy:
Your car is stolen. The person who stole the car later apologizes and offers you a bicycle.
The only proper response to such an offer, said Connor, is to insist that the stolen property be returned to its rightful owner.
“Go back and tell your boss, ‘Give ’em back da car!’” he told a panel of Interior officials as the audience that packed the Hawaii State Capitol Monday morning erupted into laughter and hearty applause.
Connor’s point was that the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893 was a theft.
For federal officials to offer recognition, a 121 years later, to Kanaka Maoli as an indigenous people entitled to government-to-government status with the United States is like giving them a bike. Not just any bike, either, said Conner: a Schwinn.
He was one of 143 people who testified — and shouted, cried, pleaded, prayed, chanted and sang — for more than three hours Monday before Interior officials. It was the first of 15 public meetings in the islands scheduled over the next two weeks.
The hearings are part of a “listening tour” being conducted by Interior to solicit comments and feedback on “whether and how” the process of reestablishing a government-to-government relationship should proceed.
The answer from nearly everyone who testified Monday was that it should not. In their view, Hawaii is still a nation and the Americans are occupiers — like the U.S. military — who should leave.
The fact is, Somali ‘pirates’ are ordinary Somalian fishermen who at first took speedboats to try to dissuade European vessels from illegally fishing and dumping into their waters. With the absence of the government’s navy, the fishermen joined together and formed the National Volunteer Coast Guard of Somalia.
He sure sounds like it. Hedges is an example of what a serious Left would look like, although he’s still obviously not as radical as ARV-ATS.
The issues that motivate those on the margins-radical environmentalism, gun rights absolutism, racial nationalism, socialism, radical feminism, queer power, religious fundamentalism-mean nothing to most people. The ordinary citizen is concerned only with his own day to day business. His issues are unemployment, housing, taxes, health care, provisions for old age and education.(95) Some people may also have one or two social issues, like abortion or the environment, that they are interested in or have strong opinions about. Most Americans have received something of a libertarian education from the Jeffersonian strand of traditional American politics. For this reason, populist rhetoric denouncing “big government” resonates well with the commoner. A populist movement that combined both libertarian and socialist themes, without explicitly describing itself as such, would likely go over well with the broad American working class.
According to Gallup, the only thing that Americans worry about less than climate change is race relations. Nice priorities, America.
“We’ve outsourced our manufacturing and much of our pollution, but some of it is blowing back across the Pacific to haunt us.”
So says University of California scientist Steve Davis.
Smog from Chinese factories has already saturated cities like Beijing, where residents go about in surgical masks, and crossed the East China Sea to foul the air of Korea and Japan.
Now China’s smog is coming to America’s West.
For the new year, I have a dream….
A.D. 2014, and it seems obvious that the highfaluting notion of “progress” remains almost purely a technological phenomenon. Whilst the denizens of Slave Britannia cow under the yoke of political correctness and media censorship, those further south of the sphere make a sport of killing and jailing those of differing creeds and copulatory tastes. Universally, nation-states continue their eternal pursuit of bleeding the citizenry in the name of their pet schemes and shibboleths.
Still, some voices, though far from heroic, merit a mention for seeking to turn the turgid tide.
Scientists who are fine-tuning a landmark U.N. report on climate change are struggling to explain why global warming appears to have slowed down in the past 15 years even as greenhouse gas emissions keep rising. (AP Photo/John McConnico)
Censorship of skeptic global warming views by the press has been going on for many years. This week, Paul Thornton, letters editor for the Los Angeles Times announced the paper will “no longer publish letters from climate change deniers,” as reported by Poynter.org.
Police raid on New Brunswick fracking blockade (Photo: APTN reporter Ossie Michelin, via Twitter)Protests are sweeping Canada following Thursday’s assault by paramilitary-style police on members of indigenous Elsipogtog Mi’kmaq First Nation and local residents as they blockaded a New Brunswick fracking exploration site.
Living through a collapse is a curious experience. Perhaps the most curious part is that nobody wants to admit it’s a collapse. The results of half a century of debt-fuelled “growth” are becoming impossible to convincingly deny, but even as economies and certainties crumble, our appointed leaders bravely hold the line. No one wants to be the first to say the dam is cracked beyond repair.
Fireweed Universe-City is a grassroots, not-for-profit movement to transform a devastated, burned-out Detroit city neighborhood into a sustainable, eco-friendly, intentional community that will be the grounds for urban farming, residential and creative space for artists, healers, musicians, and like-minded, forward-thinking, progressive individuals, families, small businesses, and the surrounding community already in place.
It is a community of self-actualization where individuals are expected to contribute and live honestly, and those who don’t are eventually shunned. They live off the grid for the most part, with only minimal services. They homestead abandoned buildings, applying their love and labor to make the structures functional and livable. They do accept donations to help them rebuild the abandoned structures. They also run a neighborhood bicycle collective and use vacant lots for urban farming.
On Tuesday the President laid out his plan to end-run the Congress and allow the EPA to regulate carbon emissions from existing coal plants. The plan didn’t get much attention in the press because the Supremes were very busy this week eviscerating the Voting Rights act and letting gays get married in California.
You can find an informed discussion of the plan at the Wonkblog, from which I took this chart.
An anarchist group suspected in the bombings of research labs in Mexico has now taken credit for a murder. Photo: Cosmopolita/Flickr
Over the past two years, Mexican scientists involved in bio- and nanotechnology have become targets. They’re not threatened by the nation’s drug cartels. They’re marked for death by a group of bomb-building eco-terrorists with the professed goal of destroying human civilization. More…
A march of environmentalists, eco-radicals & Cascadians took place on March 3, 2013 following the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference in Eugene, Oregon. I participated in one of the conferences’s many panels along with Cascadian activists: Cascadian Bioregionalism and the Indigenous Future. I also attended a packed and very lively panel by Deep Green Resistance. The Cascadian Revolution is nigh.