The Long Ecological Revolution

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Re: The Long Ecological Revolution

Post by blindpig » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:49 pm

Wrong Kind of Green Sep 18, 2019 / 1Sky, Amnesty International, Avaaz, B Team [Managed by Purpose - the PR Arm of Avaaz], Carbon Markets | REDD, Foundations, Neo-Liberalism and the Defanging of Feminism, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Rockefeller Foundation, Social Engineering, TckTckTck, United Nations, Whiteness & Aversive Racism, World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
September 18, 2019

By Cory Morningstar

“All experts serve the state and the media and only in that way do they achieve their status. Every expert follows his master, for all former possibilities for independence have been gradually reduced to nil by present society’s mode of organization.”

— Guy Debord, Paris, February-April 1988, Comments on the Society of the Spectacle

The Climate Group Launches We Mean Business & Climate Optimist

“With respect to environmental governance, the effect of this is to sustain ‘the paradoxical idea that capitalist markets are the answer to their own ecological contradictions’. In service to this fantasy, celebrity promotion helps to mobilize affect and desire in support of environmental causes, focusing attention on splashy, sensation-filled spectacle supporting the win-win narrative and thereby conjuring an aura of environmentalism ‘as exciting, exotic, erotic, and glamorous—as ‘sexy'”.

— Blinded by the Stars? Celebrity, Fantasy, and Desire in Neoliberal Environmental Governance, Robert Fletcher

On September 5, 2014, The Climate Group announced that the launch of We Mean Business [Volume II, Act IV] would take place later that month on September 22, the eve of the UN Climate Summit, in order to “catalyze action around climate change and bring it back to the top of the global agenda”. The founding partners of We Mean Business are Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), the B Team, Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), Ceres, The Climate Group, the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Together, these entities represent the world’s most powerful corporations and investors.

Ahead of the launch (on September 9, 2014) a press conference was held by Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres; and Nigel Topping, executive director of CDP. The conference focused on the role of corporations and investors at the UN Climate Summit and during climate negotiations, as well as the UN climate chief expectations from CEOs leading up to Paris 2015.

The media contact provided for both the press conference led by Figueres and the We Mean Business launch was that of Callum Grieve of We Mean Business. Grieve, who created and led the first Climate Week NYC in 2009 is identified by WWF as co-founder of We Mean Business. As disclosed in Volume II, Act IV Grieve shared the tweet of the *”lonely” girl on a sidewalk, Greta Thunberg, on the very first day of her strike. August 20, 2019. [Ingmar Rentzhog, founder and CEO of We Don’t Have Time, Volume I, Act I]

As touched upon in Volume II, Act II, Grieve is the communications specialist for Christiana Figueres “Every Breath Matters” campaign. He is the former communications director for We Mean Business, The Climate Group (co-founder of We Mean Business), and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL). Grieve has coordinated high-level climate change communications campaigns and interventions for the United Nations, the World Bank Group, and several Fortune 500 companies.

Today, Callum is the co-founder and director of Counter Culture, a brand development firm specializing in behavioural change campaigns and storytelling, still in its initial stages.

WWF website, May 11, 2015: “We Mean Business – changing the climate challenge narrative… One area We Mean Business is focusing on is carbon pricing. “It seemed that businesses were becoming confused with all the things that they were being asked to sign on to. So we helped create something called the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, which the World Bank is now driving with the UN Global Compact and many of our partners.” [Source]


August 20, 2018: Callum Grieve Twitter post on the first day of Thunberg’s climate strike. Hashtag: #WeDontHaveTime

The Climate Group’s initiatives are brought forward as part of the We Mean Business Coalition. Such initiatives include RE100 (renewable power), EP100 (energy productivity), and EV100 (electric vehicles). [Source] [Further reading on The Climate Group: ACT IV]

By far the most popular initiative of The Climate Group is the annual event created by Grieve: Climate Week NYC.

On September 19, 2017, The Climate Group launched Climate Week NYC 2017 with a high-profile opening ceremony attended by B Team leader billionaire Richard Branson, UN representatives, governors, NGOs and corporate entities such as PepsiCo, Bank of America, and Walmart. Showcasing “the unstoppable force for action on climate change”, the ceremony highlighted the launch of the Climate Optimist campaign created “to change the dominant narrative on climate change.”

“We also launched the Climate Optimist campaign, in partnership with Futerra, which aims to spread the word about climate action and focus on what is happening, rather than the doom and gloom.”

— Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group, former head of Forum for the Future and Médecins Sans Frontières

“In the last eight weeks Mars and VF Corporation and Interface and Ashden and DivestInvest and EcoMedia came on board to help us launch this campaign.”

— Solitaire Townsend, Co-Founder, Futerra, [Source] ... -ii-act-v/

Much more at link.
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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Re: The Long Ecological Revolution

Post by blindpig » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:03 pm

Wrong Kind of Green Sep 27, 2019 Non-Profit Industrial Complex

September 20, 2019

MAS: Could you start by telling us a little bit about you?

AD: Ouuuhhh… I am a dirty skateboarder turned academic who now has a post-doctoral position at the Centre for Development and the Envrionment, University of Oslo. I am proudly a part of the Rural Transformations group, which you lead.

MAS: I found something you wrote in the book I would like you to explain. It is this adaptation of Michel Foucault, where you say: “How do you expect over a thousand wind turbines-operating, planned and placed in the lands of Mexico-to have survived, and to have established and actually maintained permanent power generation in the coastal Istmo? (p. 21).” How does this tie into what the book’s about?

AD: So, yes, this is a play on Foucault’s words when he was giving a lecture on colonial conquest, meanwhile really raising the question: How does a lesser number of people — a minority invader population — take over, settle and control another land and people? And this book really is asking the same question: How do a bunch of certain elite or business actors move into a territory, build this infrastructure and begin accumulating energy when there is a well-known and strong opposition towards these projects — at least near the Lagoon. This book really examines how the projects come to exist, how they continue to exist and generate power in a context where they are popularly opposed. It is really trying to look at the way how development projects — even if they are unpopular — can enter a region and begin to control the territory, make the population acquiesce to the project and start controlling land, but also harnessing the vitality of wind resources in that area. So, it is really looking at how megaprojects enter a region, but also the dynamics that begin to form. This includes the divisive tactics employed by companies that makes it more difficult for people to organize themselves to resist these projects adequately.

“My fieldwork would have been considered risky if I proposed what happened with an ethical review.”

MAS: It is also interesting that you start your book with a critique of anthropology and that you mention ethics in relationship to anthropological research. Can you explain what you mean by this?

AD: Yeah… I guess the short answer is that in many ways I am embarrassed to be an anthropologist. The legacy and history of anthropological research is extremely negative by my account. Despite all the “nuance” and “reflexivity” in the discipline, structurally speaking I do not think much has changed in terms of the purposes of knowledge generation, the institutional control and privatization of that knowledge and the subjectivities-or the implicit socially accepted types of biases-that underline research design. Of course, there are exceptions, but radical critique regarding the statist forms of organization and the development of industrial infrastructures are not questioned to the degree that they should be. Modernist infrastructure and computational technologies still condition and dominate our academic lives, which is increasingly normalized and integrated into universities with little opposition. But also, a lot of the knowledge being generated — while there might be liberatory intentions for a lot of the researchers — I think a lot of the banal knowledge being collected and organized can benefit many different extractive companies, marketing agencies and repressive forces. Not to forget turning villagers into poster children in power point presentations. In the book, there is a subsection, responding to discussions in anthropological ethics, called “For Anthropologists Against Anthropology.” The purpose is to really stress that, as anthropologists, we should be extremely critical of our discipline, but also ask ourselves why we are even researchers in the first place and what type of knowledge we want to generate. Because, as it says in the book, knowledge is a double-edged sword and it will often cut both ways. It is important to think critically in how one organizes their research.

A lot of this is a response to the norms in anthropology, because I ended up embedding in a policia comunitaria (Communitarian Police) who were more-or-less a lightly armed group of fishermen and farmers with slingshots, machetes and their hunting rifles. They organized themselves to keep out the wind companies and the politicians that they saw as grabbing their land and destroying their livelihoods and culture. My fieldwork would have been considered risky if I proposed what happened with an ethical review committee at most institutions, but I did not know I was going to fall into the situation this way, even if it makes sense given how the research started, which is narrated in the beginning of the book. At the end of the day, it is all fun and games for anthropologists to go work for the military and police; it’s okay for anthropologists to go work for marketing agencies; it’s okay for anthropologists to go work for resource extraction companies, which is surprisingly more common than I expected as the research presented in the book shows. But when it comes to anthropologists actually embedding and conducting observant participation in environmental struggles to try and get a better idea of what is going on at the frontiers of the green economy, where people are trying to protect their land and sea, then these things are often frowned upon.

MAS: I believe that goes beyond anthropology and anthropologists. As you present in your book, you mention the case where some geographers organized mapping indigenous communities to provide information to the Mexican state and paid by the US military, so perhaps it is an interesting reflection that goes beyond anthropology?

AD: Yeah, most certainly. It raises the wider question that we have to ask: What is the purpose of the university? What is the purpose of research? A lot of people might think it is to make the world a better and happier place, but these broad words have different meanings that can be used in different ways. For me this means that the soil quality is being enriched, there are higher qualities of food, higher qualities of water, air and social relationships. In actuality, this “better,” or worse “improvement” is usually designed around spreading market-oriented perspectives and values systems or affirming institutions that prioritize their own existence over the issues they claim to be concerned with or working to fix. The support offered by state institutions and corporations for example are often token and serve branding or the purpose of market expansion. I think it is imperative that research is organized to address — in very honest ways — how “we,” industrial humans, can have better relationships with our environments. How we can create environments that nurture and support life: the trees, the cats, the animals, the water, the air and everything around us. Governments, universities and people need to really start reconciling… I guess we can say, “climate debt.” I do not really like that terminology, but the widespread ecological catastrophe that has been spread by industrial development and capitalism. We really have to switch our priorities: our research priorities, our institutional priorities and our own lives in how we can make them better, but also address socio-ecological crises.

Photo by John Cameron
“You need special types of coal to even smelt the metal for wind turbines.”

MAS: Your book reads as a critique of the green economy, and you put forward this notion of “Fossil Fuel+” . In my head I started associating it with REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), REDD+ and then REDD++, which is an indication of REDD saving the forest with money which was renegotiated, and then renegotiated and renegotiated…. Is something similar happening with wind energy or “green” energy?

AD: Well, yeah. There are two topics there. First, I think it is an understatement to say that this book is a critique against the green economy — it most certainly is. Maybe it is even hostile towards it, instead of offering the care necessary for critique. Second, this comparison with REDD+ and Fossil Fuel+ are very different, even if they are both trying to communicate something regarding the environment. REDD+ is trying to implement a program that can control land and (indigenous) populations in each context slightly differently, but for the most part it is a land control and market based strategy designed to commodify the environment and prepare habitats for carbon banks and things like this. Fossil Fuel+, on the other hand, was a term designed for my climate justice friends and other people involved in mainstream environmental activism who believe in this dichotomy between fossil fuels and renewable energy. That dichotomy is false. It is a marketed one. It is one that is very surreptitious and manipulative. Because the fact is, every single aspect of renewable energy development, whether wind or other programs — and of course I am referring to industrial and utility-scale — is based on hydrocarbon extraction and various industrial technologies.

You need special types of coal to even smelt the metal for wind turbine towers or other steel infrastructures. You need to make the machines, that run on gasoline, that then do the mining. You need the factory to make those machines that do the mining, you need the transportation of these infrastructures, the processing facilities — every single aspect, I cannot stress enough — requires large-scale hydrocarbon and mineral extraction and processing. This distinction is misleading and it is a huge and undeniable weakness of environmental movements. It is paving the way for the new trap of “climate infrastructure” and other green economic schemes related to the inaccurate and reductive quantifications of carbon accounting that REDD+ and Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) are dependent on and are metrics responsible for spreading conflict and ecological degradation, of which my book is another resource documenting this in detail. So, the term Fossil Fuel+ is a way to say: “Hey, we really need to break this dichotomy if we are going to be honest about the situation facing the planet,” because we are just drinking a repugnant old wine re-marketed in new bottles with green labels.

Photo by Vitor Pinto
MAS: Don’t you think there is some type of disconnect between the laywoman and all this knowledge you are talking about? I see a lot of people with the best intentions — even climate engaged academics — buying their Tesla, putting solar panels on their houses or moving towards other “greener” and “cleaner” energies. Do you think your book could contribute to raising awareness as to how everything is interconnected?

AD: Yeah, the book is very specific case study that gets into three different phases of wind energy development revealing the different types of hopes people had and its impacts. I think the way large wind energy projects even gain some type of legitimacy in Oaxaca was through this kind of marketing of “green,” that it is sustainable and you will be “doing good.” This really opened people up to the idea. Second, people thought that not only it was good, but that they would be able to make money in the northern part of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Therefore, this “green” marketing, state and elite support that organized and managed it — reflecting back on that Foucault adaption — allowed the companies to gain a foothold in the region.

This is precisely the issue when we talk about Tesla in Norway as well, where they cannot stop subsidizing and importing them from California. And people buy what is sold, what is marketed. We live in a situation where consumer consent is structured and manufactured. The subjectivities of people — their dispositions and desires — are already accounted for and manipulated in a certain way, maybe with the help of marketing anthropologists and sociologists. Tesla are great for the consumer to minimize their paying money at the gas pump, but from an ethnographically grounded supply chain and life-cycle perspective they are a nightmare. How are they getting the energy to charge the car; the minerals for the batteries, the mineral processing and manufacturing facilities, the various transportation of components and so on. People are not thinking — or feeling for that matter — they are buying what they are sold. It is disconcerting because, other than an ambiguous rhetoric, there is not a single thing about the green economy that actually suggests it wants to repair and restore the ecological degradation and serious ecocidal harm that has been created by industrial society. People in Oslo still love McDonalds, Starbucks’ are popping up like mushrooms and I did not expect that before I moved here. People buy what they are sold and what is available, thus bearing serious responsibility on these businesses and the state institutions that structured human habitation this way.

So, instead of doing the right thing in the face of ecological and climate catastrophe, the state and its business associates are just intensifying and doubling down on this capitalist path of mass blind production and consumption. At face value it is making it less destructive, but if you look past the veil down the supply chain you will find extractive violence is just being exported to rural areas where black, brown and, most of all, materially poor communities face natural resource extraction and have less protections and opportunities than countries like Norway. Political and extractive violence are spreading at increasing rates in general and green technologies. If they are not already central players, they will be in a matter of years.

MAS: I think you do a very good job in your book of not only presenting all the “shades of grey” in terms of resistance, but also recognizing the people who want these projects to happen. Can you explain a bit more about that?

AD: Yeah, yeah. I do not think there is a more interesting topic — I guess I have thought this for a long time — than the idea of manufacturing desire. I guess you can link it to earlier stuff with Thorstein Veblen’s “emulation,” Edward Bernays’s “engineering consent,” Gills Deleuze, and Félix Guattari’s “desiring-machines” or Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky’s “manufacturing consent.” Ultimately, a lot of people want to emulate and become what they are seeing on television. They want to be rich, they want to have the American Dream. Thinking of Arturo Escobar, the dream of development or, at the very least, surviving any way they can in a capitalist system. People want to believe that the green economy is going to work, people want to believe that wind turbines (and their supply chains) are not that “bad,” but the fact is that on so many levels: resource extraction and processing; land contracting: environmental impacts: energy use; and decommissioning these infrastructures are causing immense social dissatisfaction and ecological degradation. So yeah, there are definitely politicians and elites who are benefiting from this, and people allured by the marketed benefits. Even people who have collaborated with these wind projects have seen what they have done to the area. I remember speaking with a landowner who cared deeply for the mountain lions that would come onto his ranch. He observed the way the wind turbines have affected their relationship with the mountain lions, with their habitats and travel patterns were completely altered and the area became inhospitable for them. While this person had benefited from the projects, putting two of his sons through college, he also saw how nonhuman populations were affected and at least on some level regretted this to a point of tears in an intense conversation. This is a specific instance that is not mentioned in the book, but it was a very meaningful conversation. There are various shades of grey. There are plenty of people, however, that just want money and take what is offered, even if it disadvantages entire areas in the mid-to-long run. That said, in places like Oaxaca there are a lot more people who still have a connection with the land, sea and do not want to have this level of economic integration and dependence, but it is imposed on them in various ways.

“Wind turbines are just the latest structure to slowly try to break indigenous cultures to the imperatives of the state and capitalist development.”

MAS: You also draw a line from colonialism. From colonialism to wind energy development or “green” colonialism. Can you explain how you conceptualize this idea?

AD: I guess this leads into one of the more inflammatory aspects of the book. I knew the situation was not ideal before I went there, but I found myself in far more violent and conflictual situations than I expected. Talking with research participants, words and phrases like “genocide”, “they are killing all of us”, “this is ethnocide” and “this is ecocide” kept coming up. By the end of the project the words kept coming up in interview transcripts and I said: “Wow… What am I going to do with this?”

I really tried to honor this contention and embarked on a review of genocide studies to see how this was represented in the academic literature. It turns out that there is a long history of this in the “post-liberal” reading of genocide, which is closer to Ralph Lemkin’s definition of the term. Preventing semi-subsistence groups with distinct land-based cultures the means of subsistence-preventing them from accessing the land or sea-very much falls in line with the long-term and slower forms that hollows out the feelings and traditions of indigenous populations, all the while forcing them by various means into different types of jobs or ways of living. So yes, there is a lot to say that what is going on in the Isthmus and elsewhere in Latin America is a continuation of the colonial project, and that wind turbines are the latest intervention that are slowly hollowing out and pushing towards cultural extinction of Ikoot and Zapotec populations. Obviously, people are resisting in whatever ways they can, slowing down and subverting this trajectory mapped out for them, but this is a long struggle that indigenous people have been engaged in, since Spanish colonialism. Then it is more complicated than this, the Zapotecs were a colonizing imperial force in the Isthmus before the Spaniards. The point is, wind turbines are just the latest structure — among others — that are slowly trying to break indigenous cultures to the imperatives of the state and capitalist development.

MAS: From what you write in the book and many chapters, there are a lot of things that are familiar or well known about extractive industries, let’s say mining or oil companies — even palm oil. There are patterns that are recurring across all these different types of extractive industries. This has been discussed in different places all over Latin America, but what about other contexts? I am thinking specifically about violence, the way people are repressed and silenced. School kids on climate strike in France who were beaten by the police or the case of a Sámi reindeer herder who was forced to kill his animals. Of course, you cannot compare or say that the violence is the same, but there is some form of violence in forcing someone to kill half of their animals. Do you think there is a common thread in what we are seeing in all these different parts of the world?

AD: Yeah, yeah, of course. And what you asked before about global solidarity, it is a reaction to state control and further marketization of life. It is usually the exact same type of projects, but they are shaped by different cultural specificities and socio-historical processes that make the current political contexts. People across the world are dealing with the same impositions. Some acts of violence are more politically feasible than others in certain contexts. Whether it is wind energy development in the Isthmus with different “soft” and “hard” forms of coercion deployed to pacify the population or in the Hambach forest in Germany-which has a lower intensity of violence-but the same dynamic is in place with tons of surveillance, beatings and people being sprayed with water hoses in freezing temperatures.

Photo by Warren Sammut
Or as you mention here in Norway, there are also attacks on indigenous territories with wind energy development here, with land grabbing that is displacing reindeer migration and habitation patterns, which our colleague Susanne Norman is investigating. Now as you mention, the call for culling reindeer based on claims of a certain biological carrying capacity, which was imposed on the Sámi. A cull that is now being compared to the extermination of buffalo during the plain wars in the US, which exemplifies this idea of the genocide-ecocide nexus. It’s the same game of state control and divide and conquer in the name of economic development and market expansion, which recklessly disregards existing lifeways, other ways to live with ecosystems or, as they say in the post-development school, “alternatives to development”. Can the state support reindeer herding and culture as opposed to other forms of development? It’s the same game in different contexts. One is more bureaucratic and dispenses a type of epistemic violence like in Norway, another is a more overt political violence as in the Americas, yet there is a whole assemblage that makes this violence and the ecological catastrophe possible.

“People do not necessarily know what carbon accounting is being used to justify.”

MAS: Towards the end of the book, you quote Ivan Illich, referring to the crisis of imagination. I think this is an interesting point to consider, especially for environmental activists and all the people concerned about the climate catastrophe that we are experiencing. Do you have any thoughts about that?

AD: Yeah. I do not think there is a more important thing than to get creative with your political actions, or life for that matter. Get creative, do things differently — create new and different types of situations in which to stop these projects or to live a better way within your everyday life. We have to be more than this predictable civil disobedience movement that is organizing a data collection dream for authorities. As much as I appreciate it in some ways, a lot of it has been turned into corporate activism that is conditioning environmental movements. There is a lot of big money trying to “roll-out” these kinds of green economic structures that people are not prepared to understand what they imply in practice, because people do not necessarily know the flaws or reductionism of carbon accounting. People do not necessarily know what carbon accounting is being used to justify. Therefore, the flowery and fiery environmental rhetoric from “youth leaders” sounds good, but they are not questioning the market-based mechanism and private sector profiteering that is implied with the internationally agreed upon climate change mitigation strategy. People are not aware of payment for ecosystem services (PES) and the environmental relationship it promotes, not to mention the land grabs-fast and slow-that are being executed under the banners of these programs. And the PES product diversifies with increasing complications, which keeps academics busy and in a job. The green economy requires an immense amount of bureaucratic and financial knowledge, becoming an academic specialty on its own. Understanding what is being “rolled-out” as a “solution” to mitigating ecological catastrophe is a job in itself. Really, it is just the repackaging of the same capitalist program, but now it is “green” with new technologies and justifications.

Photo by Harrison Moore
So when you hear Greta Thunberg and others dispensing great words — and they are great — if you actually look at the people behind her or the different UN programs that are being “rolled out,” then it is clear we are witnessing nothing more than the renewal of capitalist expansion. Consequently, green capitalist trap doors are being constructed everywhere — “climate infrastructure” — for people who genuinely want to see the restoration of ecological destruction and climatic patterns. Hopefully, this book is clear in demonstrating that what is the so-called “solution” is really not the solution it is sold to be, at least in the area of wind energy development. This extends very well, as you know very well from your over a decade of work, to conservation. There have been ideas of convivial conservation and things like this reacting against these market-based programs. I guess now, as much as ever, it is important to imagine alternative futures-to do different things, to press the boundaries of how one thinks about subversion and resistance against destructive developments in the hopes to create spaces where people, animals, trees and everyone can co-exist without destroying each other and the planet. Supporting each other, instead of separated and alienated from each other. So maybe now we can start living better lives and not worry about rising water, erratic weather patterns, food shortages or the rapid spread of forest fires or our shitty jobs.

MAS: Thank you. What is your next project? What are you working on and how do you intend on using this idea of fossil fuel+ to expand your research?

AD: Right now, I am looking at the formation of transnational energy super-grid between North Africa and the EU. I am examining this specifically through a ZAD in southern France that is resisting the construction of a mega-transformer on farmland grabbed through bureaucratic means. This energy transformer locally will lead to the rapid increase of wind and solar projects that have been colonizing the Aveyron region-even if the region is near energy self-sufficient through hydrological resources. The people are trying to resist ecological destruction for mass consumption-the expansion of green capitalism. They do not want wind turbines in this area if it continues alongside the expansion of nuclear and hydrocarbon consumption and development. Therefore, they are saying the energy transition is a joke and they do not want to see their countryside colonized like the Isthmus in Oaxaca, even if it is already heading in that direction. The equally interesting part is that this transformer is part of a forming energy corridor bringing energy from North Africa to meet renewable energy benchmarks set by the Paris Agreement in 2015. There are other conflicts or land grabs taking place in other indigenous territories in North Africa and arising from environmental and climate change policy. So I will be examining what energy infrastructure and renewable energy systems are creating across continents. This is what I’ve got ahead of me, and it looks tough.

MAS: Okay, thanks for sharing and I look forward to seeing what comes next.

[Alexander Dunlap holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands. His PhD thesis examined the socio-ecological impact of wind energy development on Indigenous people in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region of Oaxaca, Mexico. Alexander’s work has critically examined police-military transformations, market-based conservation, wind energy development and extractive projects more generally with coal mining in Germany and copper mining in Peru. Current research investigates the formation of transnational-super grids and the connections between conventional and renewable extraction industries.] ... esistance/
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Re: The Long Ecological Revolution

Post by blindpig » Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:41 pm

No Class
by John Steppling / October 4th, 2019

In class society, everyone lives as a member of a particular class, and every kind of thinking, without exception, is stamped with the brand of a class.
— Mao, On Practice, 1937

That belief in Christ is to some a matter of life and death has been a stumbling block for readers who would prefer to think it a matter of no great consequence.
— Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood, March 6, 2007

I think that most of the confusion in this respect has been the product of a failure to develop a class analysis of these changes. From a class perspective, it is clear that what we are seeing is the growth of various movements in the fascist genre (whether prefascism, protofascism, classical fascism, postfascism, neofascism, neoliberal fascism, ur-fascism, peripheral fascism, white supremacism, or national populism—you can take your pick). Fascist-type movements share certain definite class-based characteristics or tendencies. Although it is common in liberal discourse to approach such movements at the level of appearance, in terms of their ideological characteristics, such an idealist methodology only throws a veil over the underlying reality.
— John Bellamy Foster, Interview, Monthly Review, September 2019

The purveyors of free-market global capitalism believe that they have a right to plunder the remaining natural resources of this planet as they choose. Anyone who challenges their agenda is to be subjected to whatever misrepresentation and calumny that serves the free market corporate agenda.
— Michael Parenti, Interview with Jason Miller, 2016

When environmentalism unfolds within a system of heightened inequality and inadequate democratization, it does so unequally and autocratically. The result is not a “saved” climate, but rather enhanced revenue streams for corporations.
— Maximillian Forte, Climate Propaganda for Corporate Profit: Bell Canada

John Bellamy Foster noted that it was a lack of class analysis that has stifled left discourse over the last twenty years. And I have noted that when one does engage in class analysis the first response, very often, is to be called a conspiracy theorist. Now, this is largely because any class dissection will tend to unearth connections that have been hidden, consciously, by Capital — that those hidden forces and histories are experienced by the liberal left and faux left as somehow impossible. Class analysis means that the non-marxist liberal left is going to be faced with the malevolence of the ruling class, and in the U.S. certainly, the ruling class tends to be adored, secretly or otherwise, by the bourgeoisie.

When the U.S.S.R. dissolved the West intensified its propaganda onslaught immediately. And a good part of this propaganda was focused on the denial of class. On the right, the FOX News right, “class warfare” became a term of derision and also humour. And among liberal and educated bourgeoisie the avoidance of class was the result of a focus on, and validations of, rights for marginalized groups — even if that meant inventing new groups on occasion. Class was conspicuously missing in most identity rights discourse.

And the climate discourse, which was suddenly visible in mainstream media early 2000s, there was almost never a mention of class. Hence the new appropriation of that discourse by open racist eugenicists like “Sir” David Attenborough, and billionaire investors and publishers. Even by royalty. By 2015 or so there was what Denis Rancourt called the institutionalisation of a climate ethos. I have even seen of late self-identified leftists suggesting the “Greta” phenomenon was the working class finding its voice. (No, I’m not making that up). I have also seen many leftists — many of whom I have known for years — simply hysterical around the subject of this teenager. Her greatest appeal is to middle aged white men. I have no real explanation for that. But then these same men quote, often, everyone from Guy McPherson (who I think needs a padded cell, frankly) to Bill McKibben — an apologist for militarism and wealth… here ….

Gosh kids, let’s rely on big Wall Street money. That’s a gall darn good idea. What an unctuous fuck he is.

The Attenborough and Greta (and Jane Goodall) video was absent content, really. Terms like *tipping points* were used several times but not identified. And they were not identified because they don’t have to be. This is the near religious end of the climate spectrum. I hear people angrily denounce someone as a “denier”. This is the tone reserved for all apostates. For heretics.

Now before continuing I find it very interesting that those predicting the most dire effects of climate change, those who say we’re dead in twenty years or thirty — they are still publishing books, still marketing those books. It’s still a business. I guess I might expect climate Sadhus to appear — naked mendicants, covered in dirt and dried mud, hair matted, living off alms. Or like preachers standing on the street corner, a sort of eco Asa Hawks, Bible in hand (or climate bible in hand) offering spiritual solace to the multitude. But instead we get TED talks and more rather expensive books.

I want to make clear, the planet is getting warmer. It’s already happening. To say otherwise is irrational. That does not mean there are not many questions left answered, and increasingly undiscussed. Nor that alarmism isn’t in full swing (fear and sex pretty much form the basis of all advertising). There is very little serious adult debate about what must be accounted the most serious subject, or one of two most serious subjects, in contemporary life. The other would be the global rise of fascism. And neither of these topics is given a serious public discussion. The entertainment apparatus is, at this point, ill-equipped to handle anything serious.

I do not consider the side show carnival of Greta and the Prince of Monaco, Arnold and Barack, and eugenicist scum like David Attenborough (as an Brit friend of mine referred to him, “that old racist tosspot”) as serious. The Green New Deal is western Capital laying claim to a new market. And Attenborough and Goodall both are members of the anti immigration (Malthusian) group Population Matters. This has been exhaustively catalogued by Cory Morningstar, but then she is now being smeared as a “conspiracy theorist”. And this is, again, because class figures rather prominently in her writings.

This reminds me of my Wall Street days, I mean all the new markets, the high yield markets, different convertible markets — this is how they all start.
— Mark Tercek, CEO, The Nature Conservancy, 2015.

Now, the bourgeoisie is perfectly happy to let the ruling class lead and be the decision makers. It is startling, really, how indigenous activists from the global south are so conspicuously missing in all this. So invisible in media. And to complain of this means one is met with just a myriad of apologetics about Greta and this carnival. And the paternalism that demands nobody ‘beat up’ on the teenager. There was never such outrage at criticism of Rachel Corrie. And amid all the young girl propaganda props (Nayirah al-Ṣabaḥ, Bana Alabed, Park Yeon-mi, et al) the only constant is that PR firms are doing a lot of business. But the new investment in Green technology (sic) will really only result in — as it always does — a further growth in unemployed labor and an uptick in low end minimum wage service work. This is straight out of Capital, the general law of capitalist accumulation.

But if a surplus labouring popUlation is a necessary product of accumulation or of the development of wealth on a capitalist basis, this surplus-population becomes, conversely, the lever of capitalistic accumulation, nay, a condition of existence of the capitalist mode of production. It forms a disposable industrial reserve army, that belongs to capital quite as absolutely as if the latter had bred it at its own cost.
— Karl Marx, Capital. Volume I: The Process of Production of Capital, September 14, 1867

And it is not even that, really. The ruling class set in motion an environmental program sometime around the year 2000. But the Rockefeller group, remember, founded the Club of Rome in 1968. The aim was to plan for resource depletion and limits to growth. It had a decided eugenicist bent. They issued a report in 1991, and formed a think tank in 2001. Among the members are Al Gore, Maurice Strong, The Dalai Lama, and Robert Muller of all people. And dozens more including Henry Kissinger, Bill Gates, George Soros, and Bill Clinton. You get the idea.

The point is that the current explosion of climate awareness is brought to you, at least partly, by the captains of western capital. And it is very white and very worried about birth rates in dark skinned countries. So the question becomes, in the midst of a real crises of pollution, and a warming planet, what and who is one to believe and where is one to turn? My first response is NOT to the people who helped create the problem in the first place.

In fact, class itself is something of a verboten word. In the mainstream media, in political life, and in academia, the use of the term “class” has long been frowned upon. You make your listeners uneasy (“Is the speaker a Marxist?”). If you talk about class exploitation and class inequity, you will likely not get far in your journalism career or in political life or in academia (especially in fields like political science and economics).

So instead of working class, we hear of “working families” or “blue collar” and “white collar employees”. Instead of lower class we hear of “inner city poor” and “low-income elderly.” Instead of the capitalist owning class, we hear of the “more affluent” or the “upper quintile’.
— Michael Parenti, “Class Warfare Indeed”, Common Dreams, 2011

There is a new religious tenor to climate discussions. And it reflects (among other things) a reductive world view. Global issues and forces and global relations on both a macro and micro level are being simplified. The template resembles a cartoon more than anything else. ‘Our demise is immanent’ is something I have read or heard at least a dozen times. People are enjoying the coming apocalypse. If they really believed that the end is nigh, they would be behaving very differently. But for many on the left the decades of marginalization has left them emotionally raw and psychologically battered. It’s so seductive to just give in to the coming apocalypse. And additionally there is a clear pleasure to be found in taking on the role of excommunicating climate Angel — come to smite the deniers with the sword of eco-piety.

Still, there are genuine and committed ecologists and activists working on preserving nature and protecting the wild. Many are from indigenous peoples in South America, Central America, Asia and Africa. They are all but invisible in mainstream media. And increasingly they are being murdered. (See Berta Caceres). One hundred and sixty four activists were murdered last year, with thirty in the Philippines alone. Twenty-six in Colombia. None of this is front page news. Why? Why is a blond teenager now nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (usually reserved for war criminals) meeting with Obama and the Pope while the defenders of Nature in poor countries remain nameless and anonymous? The answer is because white people care about white people. And because Western capital sees those poor countries as places to exploit, burden with debt, and de-populate. The ruling elite, including those backing the Extinction Rebellion and Green New Deal, are on the side of those who murdered Caceres. Look at big mining in the global south, enormously polluting, destructive of land and community and people. A just very cursory glance at who runs this mega mining concerns is illuminating. Who sits on the board of Newmont Goldcorp, for example. While based in Colorado, its primary mining operations are in Ghana, Suriname, and Peru. Well, one is Gregory H. Boyce, who also sits on the board of directors for Monsanto and Marathon Oil. Or Rene Meldori, former executive director for DeBeers. Or take the infamous Barrick Gold, on whose advisory board sits Newt Gingrich, former secretary of defense William Cohen, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg former German defense minister, and Brian Mulroney, former Prime Minister of Canada. But it’s better than that…here is a bit of background from Jeff St. Clair… and here is more.

Or what about Rio Tinto, where Jean-Sébastien Jacques holds an advisory position, after leaving Tata Steel (TISCO) in India. Just surf the web and read the bios. There is a deep connection with big oil, with coal, and with nearly every other massively polluting industrial enterprise around the world. Teck is another huge mining company. It is based in Canada. I suggest reading the first article on this page….

The concern over water scarcity does not breed environmental strategies for reduction, only new ways to extract and plunder during the coming scarcity. For that is the logic of all capitalism. There is an enormous land grab going on in Africa, for example.

When the fog that fascism creates in all countries clears away, behind it one sees an all-too-familiar figure. This character is, of course, neither marvellous nor mysterious, he brings no new religion and certainly no golden age. He comes neither from the ranks of the youth nor from the mass of the petty bourgeoisie, even if he is an expert at deceiving both these groups. He is the counter-revolutionary capitalist, the born enemy of all class-conscious workers. Fascism is nothing but a modern form of the bourgeois capitalist counter-revolution wearing a popular mask.
— Arthur Rosenberg, Fascism as Mass Movement, 1934

And here…

Those billionaire donors are not subsidizing Amazonian tribes fighting for their own survival and the survival of the rain forest. They are not subsidizing activists in the Philippines or in Africa. And they are never once mentioning the U.S. military and its role in despoiling the planet. (just look at AFRICOM, which saw an exponential growth in bases and troops under Obama). But here — two links for general perusal — and here.

(Hat tip to Jacob Levich for some of this).

The land grab is going to be enforced is the message here. These donors are investing. And alongside their investment runs the spectre of global fascism. Read these links and then consider if a state of emergency is not in the works. Of course, the bourgeoisie, the white bourgeoisie, are begging for such an emergency. The climate fear and its cultish response amid the liberal and leftish is resulting in a willingness, even a desire for, their own servitude. This is where someone is going to say, oh, conspiracy theory. But is it? Read those links. Consider the unthinking reflexive adoration of Greta and the kids. And then consider the history of capitalism, of neo-liberalism. Consider just the history over the last thirty years. Greta is not anti-capitalist. She has carefully never said capitalism is a system destroying the planet.

There is a critical pollution of land and water globally. Not just plastics, but Depleted Uranium and all the waste of military and digital technology. And from pesticides and various other industrial and agricultural chemicals. How many participants in any of the climate meetings were without brand new smart phones? I don’t believe in our extinction. I do believe life is going to change, and to mitigate the suffering that comes from that change one must reject the advice of billionaires and celebrities. Change must stop being spearheaded by WHITE privilege and the western white ruling class.

Pollution is the most urgent crises I believe. Pollution from mining of ores, and rare earth minerals (leaving pollutants such as chromium, asbestos, arsenic, and cadmium) is on a scale hard to even imagine. Or the recycling of lead-based batteries, an under the radar but massive industry that pollutes with lead oxide and sulphuric acid. Tanneries have always been an infernal and accursed industry, and pollute with chromium and soda ash, as well as large amounts of solid waste, all of which is usually contaminated with chromium. Lead smelting, which is centered in the poorest countries and which releases iron, limestone, pyrite and zinc. This is not even to touch on pesticides, or the dye industry. And then we come to the military. In particular the U.S. military. The levels of pollution are nearly Biblical in dimension and scale.

Producing more hazardous waste than the five largest U.S. chemical companies combined, the U.S. Department of Defense has left its toxic legacy throughout the world in the form of depleted uranium, oil, jet fuel, pesticides, defoliants like Agent Orange and lead, among others. In 2014, the former head of the Pentagon’s environmental program told Newsweek that her office has to contend with 39,000 contaminated areas spread across 19 million acres just in the U.S. alone. U.S. military bases, both domestic and foreign, consistently rank among some of the most polluted places in the world, as perchlorate and other components of jet and rocket fuel contaminate sources of drinking water, aquifers and soil. Hundreds of military bases can be found on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) list of Superfund sites, which qualify for clean-up grants from the government. Almost 900 of the nearly 1,200 Superfund sites in the U.S. are abandoned military facilities or sites that otherwise support military needs, not counting the military bases themselves.
— Whitney Webb, Eco Watch, May 2017

Contemporary capitalism is coercive at every level. The privilege of white westerners is stunningly absent from all critiques I see relating to climate change. David Attenborough has a far larger carbon footprint (to the power of ten) than a Somali sheep herder. And yet that herder is being subtly cast as a threat to global survival. The new focus on global warming (and the de-emphasizing of pollution) is the real threat to survival. For the new green capitalists the intention is to further plunder. The new corporate Green raiders want to privatize nature.

Across the world, ‘green grabbing’ – the appropriation of land and resources for environmental ends – is an emerging process of deep and growing significance. The vigorous debate on ‘land grabbing’ already highlights instances where ‘green’ credentials are called upon to justify appropriations of land for food or fuel – as where large tracts of land are acquired not just for ‘more efficient farming’ or ‘food security’, but also to ‘alleviate pressure on forests’. In other cases, however, environmental green agendas are the core drivers and goals of grabs – whether linked to biodiversity conservation, biocarbon sequestration, biofuels, ecosystem services, ecotourism or ‘offsets’ related to any and all of these. In some cases these involve the wholesale alienation of land, and in others the restructuring of rules and authority in the access, use and management of resources that may have profoundly alienating effects. Green grabbing builds on well-known histories of colonial and neo-colonial resource alienation in the name of the environment – whether for parks, forest reserves or to halt assumed destructive local practices.
— James Fairhead, Melissa Leach & Ian Scoones, “Green Grabbing: a new appropriation of nature?”, The Journal of Peasant Studies, 2012

When is a contract ‘voluntary’? The answer is, probably never.
— Jairus Banaji, Theory as History, March 22, 2010

There will never be environmentally friendly Capitalism. That is like creating de-hydrated water. The ruling class exists, it’s not a conspiracy theory. They operate as a class, too. They share the same values, the same sensibility and in Europe and North America they are white. They act in accordance with their interests, which are very largely identical. The failure to understand this is the single greatest problem and defect in left discourse today.

In terms of relevance to the indigenous nations often referred to as the Fourth World, the rollouts from the COP21 gathering of UN member states, Wall Street-funded NGOs, and the global financial elite resemble colonial initiatives undertaken as a result of similar 19th Century gatherings to carve up the world for capitalism. Then, as now, indigenous territories and resources were targeted for expropriation through coercion, with Africa being a prime target.
— Jay Taber, Heart of Darkness, SI2, 2017

The Global Witness report said much of the persecution of land and environmental defenders is being driven by demand for the land and raw materials needed for products that consumers utilise every day, from food to mobile phones and jewelry. Also recording a high number of environment and land-related fatalities were Colombia with 24 deaths, India with 23, and Brazil at 20. Meanwhile, in Guatemala, a boom in private and foreign investment has seen large swaths of land handed out to plantation, mining and hydropower companies, ushering in a wave of forced and violent evictions, particularly in indigenous areas, the report said. This has stirred fears of a return to the large-scale violence the country suffered 30 years ago. The report said Guatemala saw the sharpest increase in the percentage of murders with a five-fold rise. At least 16 people defending their land and the environment were killed there in 2018.
— Al Jazeera, 2019

In the Philippines nine farmers were murdered, likely ordered by the landowners of the sugar cane plantations. Not much has changed since colonialism. Global Witness notes that mining is the industry which has caused or ordered the most killings of indigenous activists. In Africa, in particular, mining corporations hire expensive private security firms (American, Israeli, or British) to keep the local population outside of not just the mine, but the area *around* the outside of the mine. Acacia Mining (a subsidiary of Barrick Gold) is notorious for beatings and rape, and for contamination from the massive mine at North Mara, Tanzania.

Here is a report from The Guardian‘s Jonathan Watts from this year…

The nearest general hospital in Tarime was treating five to eight cases of gunshot wounds from the mine every week from around 2010 to 2014, according to Dr Mark Nega, a former district medical officer. “I saw so many people shot and killed. Some had gunshot wounds in the back. I think they were trying to run away but they were shot from behind.” Such killings were initially played down or denied. Journalists who tried to investigate found themselves harassed by police, or believed their stories had been spiked following pressure from state authorities.

After pressure from activists and lawyers, Acacia acknowledged 32 “trespasser-related” fatalities between 2014 and 2017. Of these, six died in confrontations with police at the mine.

International watchdog groups say at least 22 were killings by guards and police during the same period. Tanzanian opposition politicians have claimed 300 people have been killed since 1999.

For such a high number of violations to have occurred outside a conflict zone in a business context is shocking and exceptional,” said Anneke van Woudenberg, the executive director of Raid, a UK corporate watchdog.

Class analysis is not conspiracy theory. Full stop. Class exists and is part of the hierarchical system of global capitalism. The so labeled *Climate Change* crisis — as it exists on the level of Green New Deal or Extinction Rebellion — has very little to do with protecting Nature. Global warming is a fact that humanity will have to adjust to and learn to live with. So much of the rhetoric and identifications that exist in the Greta narrative are driven by a subterranean belief in technology to fix any problem. Global warming can’t be fixed. Nature and planetary life move slowly. It is western narcissism that demands things happen NOW. The planet is warming and the consequences will require change. Critical changes that must take place, especially regards pesticides and contaminated land. Of that I am sure. And changes in packaging, which means in many respect, changes in how we eat. The incursion of technology into nearly every waking moment of the daily life of the Westerner has conditioned a populace, one that doesn’t read, to see the acceleration of everything as natural. But it’s not. Nature is slow. It is patient. Nature doesn’t care about us. But humanity will have to care about Nature. And capitalism is not compatible with the direction those changes and care must take. War is always partly a war on Nature. But as I have said before, equality is the real green. The United States has erased the voice of the working class and the poor. But it is exactly those voices that have to be heard. The techno/scientific clergy are of a class, too. The bourgeois academic and researcher are stamped by their class just as much as everyone else. I think that should be remembered.

Class analysis!
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Re: The Long Ecological Revolution

Post by blindpig » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:52 pm

Wrong Kind of Green Oct 06, 2019 / 1Sky, Avaaz, B Team [Managed by Purpose - the PR Arm of Avaaz], Ceres, Greenpeace, Purpose [Public Relations Arm of Avaaz]
October 6, 2019

By Cory Morningstar

“To even embark on a strategy of rebuilding and realization-to renew a liberating vision of justice and human rights – we must be clear about the strengths of state power and be prepared to defend ourselves against that power. The repressive apparatus is powerful, with its fingers stretched into every crevice or crack in the state’s hegemony it can find.”

— Marilyn Buck

“They put your mind right in a bag, and take it wherever they want.”

— Malcolm X

We Mean Business, April 2019 Newsletter

We must learn how the unprecedented wealth accumulation among the very few ends up protected by layers and layers of moneyed social institutions co-ordinating to perpetuate the system, while progressively oppressive financial pressure and state violence against the already oppressed keep herding people into the capitalist framework. When we face the sad reality of the public embracing policies that allow the powerful minorities to exploit and subjugate them over and over, what we need is not a popular mobilization guided by vague slogans easily subsumed by the imperial framework. Such a method would lead to draconian enforcement of corporate “solutions” according to their definition of “problems”. It is a recipe for bringing about a fascist order. What we need is openness and willingness to learn how we are domesticated by the authoritarian framework so that the actions are guided by the interests of the people in forming a society that allows our true liberation in a mutually respectful and harmonious manner.”

— Hiroyuki Hamada, artist

On August 20, 2018, Ingmar Rentzhog, the founder and CEO of We Don’t Have Time posted the “lonely girl” tweet. The tweet featured Greta Thunberg. This was the first day of her climate strike. She sat on a sidewalk and said nothing beside a sign. Just two months prior, social media accounts had been created in her name. Rentzhog, whose tech corporation is partnered with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, tagged five Twitter accounts: Greta Thunberg, Zero Hour (youth movement), Jamie Margolin (the teenage founder of Zero Hour), Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, and the People’s Climate Strike Twitter account.

The third person to respond to Rentzhog’s tweet was We Mean Business co-founder Callum Grieve. Grieve responded to Greta with a personal message adding the hashtag #WeDontHaveTime. We Mean Business represents 477 investors with 34 trillion USD in assets. [July 4, 2019] The founding partners of We Mean Business are BSR, CDP, Ceres, The B Team, The Climate Group, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG), and the WBCSD. Together, these organizations represent the most powerful – and ruthless – corporations on the planet, groups salivating to unleash 100 trillion dollars to fuel the fourth industrial revolution. To save a global economic system teetering on collapse.

September 22, 2019: “Rebooting the entire world and creating a new economy”, We Mean Business Twitter account

Grieve is the co-founder and director of Counter Culture, a brand development firm specializing in behavioural change campaigns and storytelling. He created Climate Week NYC for The Climate Group which launched in 2009. He has also coordinated high-level climate change communications campaigns and interventions for the United Nations, the World Bank Group, and several Fortune 500 companies. He also manages the Every Breath Matters campaign founded by Christiana Figueres, the former UNFCCC executive secretary credited with the Paris Agreement.

In response to the Thunberg tweet, Grieve added the following accounts to Rentzhog’s original tweet: The Climate Museum, Youth Climate March LA, This is Zero Hour Ft. Lauderdale, Greenpeace International, and the UNFCCC, the “official Twitter account of UN Climate Change”.

[Further reading: ACT IV: They Mean Business]

Suffice to say that tweet was code for “it’s started”. Covered by media on day one, within 12 days Thunberg would be featured in The Guardian. The rest is history.

The NGOs and foundations learned how to “herd cats” successfully for the People’s Climate March in September 2014, but never in their wildest dreams could they have imagined that in September 2019 they would so easily herd millions.

September 30, 2019: We Mean Business Post-Climate Week Newsletter

On September 25, 2019, the United Nations answered the global strikes with the call for a Global Green New Deal. It is quite fascinating that none of the groups and leading proponents who have mobilized the populace to demand a “Green New Deal” are sharing the UN announcement with the corresponding 201-page report. Perhaps it is because with this report, in which the word “growth” appears 392 times, it will be difficult to convince a populace that this is anything but what it actually is – a desperate attempt to save the global capitalist economic system destroying our planet.

UN calls for ‘Global Green New Deal’ to boost world economy:

“In a fresh report, the UN trade, investment and development agency (UNCTAD) called for countries to join forces and enable trillions of dollars in public sector investments to help reboot the global economy… What is needed, he told journalists, is to apply the same ambitious model used in the United States to overcome the Great Depression in the 1930s and apply it “at a global scale”… Looming global recession… UNCTAD’s flagship Trade and Development report painted a bleak picture of the global economic outlook, warning that the world risks slumping into recession next year… Even ignoring the worst downside risks, the report projected that global growth would fall to 2.3 percent this year from 3.0 percent in 2018, cautioning that global recession in 2020 was now “a clear and present danger“. [Emphasis added]

Even the reference to “climate” within the report is recognized as both a means and justification for global growth. (“A climate for change: The case for a global green expansion”)

One must wonder when the marchers and strikers will be notified.

“It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck. Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now it’s more like a vulture. It used to be strong enough to go and suck anybody’s blood whether they were strong or not. But now it has become more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of the helpless. As the nations of the world free themselves, the capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It’s only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.”

— Malcolm X

Volume I:

ACT I: The Political Economy of the Non-Profit Industrial Complex []

ACT II: The Inconvenient Truth Behind Youth Co-optation []

ACT III: The Most Inconvenient Truth: “Capitalism is in Danger of Falling Apart” []

ACT IV: The House is On Fire! & the 100 Trillion Dollar Rescue []

ACT V: The Green New Deal is the Trojan Horse for the Financialization of Nature []

ACT VI: A Decade of Social Manipulation for the Corporate Capture of Nature [Crescendo] []

Addenda I: The Branding of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — By Any Means Necessary []

Volume I in book form:

Volume II:

An Object Lesson In Spectacle [An introduction to Volume II] []

ACT I: A Design to Win — A Multi-Billion Dollar Investment []

ACT II: Controlling the Narrative []

ACT III: To Plunder What Little Remains: It’s Going To Be Tremendous []

ACT IV: They Mean Business []

ACT V: The Behavioural Change Project “To Change Everything” []

ACT VI: Natural Climate Manipulations []

[ACT VII forthcoming] ... -campaign/
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Re: The Long Ecological Revolution

Post by blindpig » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:51 pm

Posted by MLToday | Oct 7, 2019 | Other Featured Posts

Capitalism’s Green Makeup Doesn’t Alter Its Predatory Essence
By Cecelia Zamudio

September 26, 2019

Translated by W.T. Whitney Jr

The true environmentalists of this world are people who struggle against plunder on the part of multinationals. They give their lives for their communities, for the mountains and rivers. Every month dozens of these true environmentalists are murdered. Transnational capitalism relies on the bullets of hit men to remove lives of honesty and struggle. The victims, whose hands were clean, would never have taken the hand of someone from the infamous International Monetary Fund (IMF) or of other vampires of the planet. The exploiting class and its capitalist system are perpetuated on the basis of alienation, violence, and extermination – and of lies imposed through their massive media system.

In a flurry of photos, Greta Thunberg is exalted as the new hyped-up media personality created by capitalism’s cultural apparatus. There she is next to IMF director and would-be president of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde. (The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is that institution of transnational capitalism that steals from nature and starves whole peoples). It’s a handshake that illustrates very well the gratification of the bosses of the world as they greet those who serve them in the important task of insinuating Trojan horses into every conflict.

Such devices channel energies down dead-end roads and trick the many into joining fake struggles that don’t get at the roots of our problems and therefore don’t solve them. The Greta fable raises no questions about the capitalism that is destroying nature. The planet is dying while bread and circuses continue. Absolute cynicism!

Under capitalism, television, the press, and the cultural industry are in the hands of private monopolies. Those monopolies characteristically invest capital in the military-industrial complex, agro-business, the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, etc. That’s why the mass media don’t televise anyone who really raises questions about capitalism or continuation of the system.

The plundering of nature results inevitably from the capitalist mode of production. Industrial agriculture poisons the soil. Giant mining projects devastate mountains and rivers. Overconsumption is a remote-controlled phenomenon mediated through the cultural apparatus of capitalism, mainly bombardment with advertisements. Programmed obsolescence represents a perverse mechanism by which things age prematurely. It stems directly and intentionally from capitalism’s particular style of production. It also reassures the bourgeoisie that the masses will consume too much. That’s the way the bourgeoisie fill their coffers; they exploit the workers and destroy nature.

No solution for the devastation of nature exists within capitalism. We know about the palpable tragedy of continents of plastic floating in the oceans, of dizzying deforestation -thousand year-old forests disappear – of glaciers shrinking, of groundwater and rivers contaminated and drying up, of mountain ranges sliced up by mega mining, of entire regions bombarded with depleted uranium employed by the military-industrial complex, and of CO2 levels that are definitely rising. The cynicism of the rulers of the world is colossal. It’s as if they propose the following:

“You can’t cover the sun with your finger. In other worlds, the devastation of the planet that we big capitalists are carrying out can no longer be hidden. Therefore, what surely can be done to continue pillaging and accumulating wealth is to lie about the deep, systematic causes of the problem. What’s important is that we don’t identify ourselves as the ones responsible, that we don’t let the owners of the means of production know that we are the ones who decide what they produce and under what conditions and at what rate, that we enrich ourselves by means of plundering nature and taking surplus value from workers, that we decide how the population must behave. We are the ones who steer them to overconsumption that enriches us and who induce them not to question this system that suites us so well. We are the minority that controls everything. To pretend we are concerned about the planet will yield good results. An effective, worldwide propaganda operation in which we are seen as paying attention to some symbol we’ve created earlier would suffice as long as it raises no questions about us as the dominant, exploiting class and ultimately about this system.”

But band aides can’t cure gangrene. And obviously placebos offered by the system itself to channel social discontent down blind alleys won’t end pillaging of the planet.

Greta and her group appeal to the supposed “moral qualities” and supposed “good will” of the bosses of the world. Once more we are swallowed up in the anesthetizing fable that says nothing about capitalism and the accumulation of wealth, which in fact comes about through the exploitation of workers and the plunder of nature. In this fable of “green washing” (lavado verde) they falsely suggest the existence of a supposed “green capitalism,” something totally impossible according to the logic of the system itself. ”Green capitalism” isn’t possible, just as “capitalism with a human face” is not possible, just as a vegetarian lion is not possible. That’s simply because when we speak of the economic, social, political, and cultural system that is capitalism, we are speaking of mechanisms inherent to its logic, which is to accumulate.

There are those who say,”The Nordic countries are great examples of a capitalism that is good and green.” It’s a fraud. Better, we say, to ask one of the women victimized by huge massacres that the wonderful Nordic companies fomented in the Congo in order to loot all the Coltran and other resources they could find. What do the names Ericsson, Saab, Volvo, Bofors (arms), Nammo (arms), Kongsberg (arms), Ikea, H&M, etc sound like to such a woman? Everything about them actually has to do with exploitation of workers and devastation of nature; they are neither “green” nor “humane.”

But maybe the Nordics can go outside their countries and succeed in externalizing the entire cesspool of practices used by multinationals to get rich. Then the cesspool would no longer bother you. And what about the fabulous quantity of arms sales those Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish companies are responsible for? What about their lucrative participation in every new NATO invasion? None of this shows up in the fable.

A “green capitalism” is not possible, just as “capitalism with a human face” is not possible and a vegetarian lion is not possible. That’s because exploitation and plunder are inherent to capitalism. But it’s very possible with tons of makeup to put a mask over that inhumane and by no means green face of capitalism so that it looks like what it isn’t.

But a lion with a zebra mask will never be vegetarian despite what the mask suggests. Likewise, a system like capitalism never be “green” despite the masks created for it. Enormous multinational energy corporations – robbers of nature par excellence – display logos like a humming bird or marine wildlife. BMW and a Swiss bank finance the boat with which Greta sails the seas. Does association with BMW or a Swiss bank make a boat any less polluting or less wicked?

Nevertheless, green-washing rhetoric assigns blame equally. They seem to be saying: “if we are all blamable then no one bears specific blame.” A way is thus found for diluting responsibilities, for not identifying the principal parties responsible for the barbarism: the big capitalists and the transnational bourgeoisie.

Over-consumption, it’s true, isn’t limited to the bourgeoisie. They are quite ready to consume a huge amount and to squander things with abandon. But the exploited class has been alienated through advertising pressure, and its members are pushed into overconsumption, even at the cost of indebtedness. Once more, however, there’s the question of class. The exploiting class, owners of the means of production and propaganda, can impose ideological and cultural hegemony throughout the planet.

Through their alienating mass media and a flood of advertising, the exploiters push overconsumption and paradigms aimed at imposing the cultural apparatus of capitalism. The latter involves individualism, consumption presented as “compensatory,” and success portrayed as possessing rather than as being. Programmed obsolescence, or the premature aging of things, serves as a guarantee for the big capitalists that the masses will consume too much. That way the capitalists fill their bank accounts while they devastate the planet.

In 2019 the 26 richest persons in the world had the same wealth as did the 3.8 billion poorest people. That’s half the world’s population (Oxfam). They struggle to get by. A handful of multimillionaires own the principal means of production and the means of propagandizing. One percent of the world’s population owns 82 percent of the world’s wealth. The data base on electric energy consumption per capita reveals that Europe, the United States, Canada, and a few more capitalist countries by far consume the great bulk of all energy consumed in the world.

Talk from behind the “green mask” equates big capitalists and gigantic corporations – those plunderers and hijackers of whole rivers for mega-mining – with peoples who are their victims. In that abject verbiage of “we are all guilty,” victims are likened to victimizers. No distinctions are made as to social class or in usage of the resources of the planet. The United States Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia, and a few other capitalist countries consume 80 percent of the latter. The remaining 20 percent is left for the world’s other countries.

With the “green mask,” there’s no differentiation between over-consuming capitalist countries and the many countries in peripheral regions viewed by transnational capitalists as mere “warehouses for resources.” In fact, the peripheries are pillaged through and through; the ecological and social impacts are devastation and impoverishment, respectively. There’s no mention of plunder being accompanied by the assassinations of persons or communities who protest.

So multinational predators present themselves as kindred spirits with the peoples they exterminate. But they aren’t, as evidenced by what happened when the Anglo-American, BHP Billiton, and Glencore corporations diverted the course of an entire river to obtain water for their mine, the world’s largest coal mine, the Cerrejón mine in Colombia. In doing so, they caused drought, death of the surrounding environment, starvation, and genocide against one of the principle indigenous peoples in Colombia, the Wayuu. More than 14,000 Wayuu children have died of hunger and thirst because of capitalist plunder carried out by these three multinationals. The tons of extracted coal are routed to the United States and mainly to Europe.

That’s why we say, “No, we are not all equally guilty.” A working class family is not the same as a capitalist. The Wayuu people subjected to extermination are not equal in guilt to the multinational Glencore Corporation. Social leaders in struggle and true ecologists die every day from bullets of the thugs of transnational capitalism. They are not guilty and they die by the thousands. The guilty ones are those who plunder the planet and who pay off thugs to exterminate all opposition to transnational capitalism.

For the sake of the victims, there shall not be a moment of silence in the face of barbarism and the pantomime used as cover-up. In Colombia over the course of five years, assassins have killed more than 1500 small farmers, indigenous people, African descendents, environmentalists, and political and social activists. Transnational capitalism is responsible. Thousands have been killed in Mexico and in other African, Asians and Latin American countries.

Yet they come at us with their fable of the girl with braids that NEVER questions the capitalist system. It’s media hype smelling of Eurocentric paternalism with a décor smelling of cynicism. The theatrics smell of the pretense that any and all share responsibility equally.

They are experimenting to see how long we, with a foolish smile, will go on swallowing all their pretenses, while they, members of the exploiting class, continue to pillage mountains and rivers, oceans and forest; keep on perpetrating ecocide and genocide; continue to push millions of dispossessed peoples into leaving; work at converting the planet into a trash heap and human beings into lost souls. (And for those who don’t allow themselves be alienated and who seek to struggle outside of the usual set-up, there are paramilitary or army bullets, political persecution and jail.)

“As long as we have capitalism, this planet won’t be saved. That’s because capitalism is contrary to life, ecology, the human being, and women.” These are the words of Berta Cáceres, an authentic environmentalist and fighter for social causes in Honduras. She opposed capitalist plunder and was murdered [in 2016].

Chico Méndes, another authentic environmentalist, social and political fighter, and a defender of the Amazon region was assassinated [in 1988] to silence his voice of class consciousness. They wanted to block any political organizing of the dispossessed. Before being killed he was already pointing to the fakery of “green washing.” (It wasn’t called that at the time, but it did already exist.)

Macarena Valdés also rose up in struggle against capitalism and its “green makeup.” She was the Mapuche [indigenous] ecologist assassinated [in Chile in 2016] for defending nature and her community, for confronting the multinational RP Global, capitalized in Austria. After participating in ecocide and in genocide of the Mapuche people, that company advertised the energy it was selling as “renewable and sustainable.” Fighters against the looting of nature number in the thousands. Their voices aren’t heard in the media. There lives are short, truncated as they are by repressive tools in the service of trans-national capitalism.

And if any country sets out to nationalize natural resources and no longer allow multinationals to steal them, they – the capitalist powers – bomb that country in their imperialist wars, invade it, let loose fanatically religious mercenaries nurtured inside the empire, impose torture, install bloodthirsty regimes – and in the process create martyrs. Where are the false “ecologists” of that system to be found when U.S. and European imperialism destroys nature and massacres peoples in Iraq, Colombia, Afghanistan, Yemen, etc? Even pseudo protests are lacking.

Of course, in the midst of all the cacophony, the hyped-up publicity, and fiction, the marionette theater fools the unwary. Even now they are silent in response to the thousands of persons assassinated by transnational capitalism, often on a daily basis. Those victims had been providing reliable first line defense of the planet. But the struggle against capitalism and its barbarism continues, mainly because many of us can’t stomach the cosmetics they use to try to cover up the smell.

Colombian writer, poet, journalist, and artist Cecelia Zamudio has a blog ( dedicated to the “battle of ideas” and to “critical thinking.”

Source: ... y-essence/
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Re: The Long Ecological Revolution

Post by blindpig » Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:15 pm

Unpacking Extinction Rebellion — Part III: The Fourth Industrial Revolution
Kim Hill

Sep 26 · 13 min read

Part I of this series investigated the corporate interests and fossil fuel companies behind the rebellion’s goal for net-zero emissions. In Part II we looked at XR’s goals, tactics and proposed solutions to the climate crisis, which are all serving capital at the expense of the natural world. In Part III, we dive in to the history of the climate movement, the tactics being used by the elites to co-opt activist movements into supporting corporate agendas, and what those agendas entail.
This article is largely a synthesis of the extensive research of Cory Morningstar into the manipulations of the climate movement by corporations and nonprofits, which is well worth reading, at Wrong Kind of Green, to get a deeper understanding of the actors involved and their elaborate marketing strategies.
Manufacturing Consent
The corporate sector, with its network of think-tanks, lobby groups, business associations, philanthropic foundations, global forums and summits, and co-opted environment groups, has been directing the climate movement towards its own goals for more than ten years. As this video puts it, “idealistic youth are simply being herded into pre-approved movements to create the illusion of a popular mandate for what the ruling classes have already determined to be the best course of action for preserving their dominance and control.”
Corporate power manufactures consent for its neoliberal agenda with a range of tactics:
· Advertising products as ‘green’ to appeal to concerned citizens, directing their energy into lifestyle actions and consumer choices rather than organising collectively to dismantle the global economy.
· Advocating market-based solutions to problems caused by the market itself, such as fossil fuel divestment schemes, that make no difference to the underlying economic system, as it is entirely powered by fossil fuels.
· Promoting over-hyped books and documentaries that offer lifestyle changes, new technologies and neoliberal reforms as solutions, and don’t mention the possibility of direct action or systemic political change. Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything and the recent Ice on Fire are the lead culprits, but there are dozens of these.
· Providing training to activists, to direct them to campaign in ways that are beneficial to corporate interests. Al Gore, who sees the climate crisis as “the biggest investor opportunity ever writ in history” has been doing this for years with the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.
· Installing their own leaders into environmental movements, especially young people who have had no experience in grassroots organising. Climate Reality again, and Sunrise Movement, 350, the Youth Climate Coalitions, Zero Hour and others, through youth leadership training programs that offer careers and in some cases opportunities to meet world leaders at global summits.
· Inviting prominent activists to attend and speak at corporate events, to make it look like they really care. The celebrity status of Greta Thunberg is a recent example of this approach. I’m definitely not making a judgement of her choice to accept the invitations, as I probably would have done the same if I was in her position. The point here is that the motives for inviting her are to detract attention away from their underlying agenda of promoting economic growth.
· Providing favourable media coverage to symbolic actions and non-confrontational movements. The BBC and The Guardian have been consistently enthusiastic in their reporting of the XR protests.
· Offering jobs in their foundations and NGOs to effective activists, to direct their energy away from radical change and into reform. Even Big Oil is recruiting, wanting to “harness the power” of young activists, and bring the fossil fuel industry into the movement.
· Recruiting concerned citizens into supporting corporate-endorsed Big Green NGOs, such as Greenpeace, Avaaz, WWF and 350, and soliciting donations for these organisations, while starving legitimate grassroots groups of support, media and funding.
· Isolating people working towards systemic change from the movement, so they can’t be effective. Extinction Rebellion training specifically includes strategies on how to do this.
· Directing activists into electoral politics, to work within the current system. The UK Labour Party supports the rebellion, and in the US the Democrats are supporting climate activist groups. Rebels are then distracted from their goals by party politics, and drawn into compromises for the sake of the party.
· Offering grants and sponsorship, on the condition that the recipients align their goals with those of the sponsor. The Guardian reported on July 12: “A group of wealthy US philanthropists and investors have donated almost half a million pounds to support the grassroots movement Extinction Rebellion and school strike groups — with the promise of tens of millions more in the months ahead.” All on the condition of non-confrontational and corporate-friendly campaigning methods, of course. And among those wealthy philanthropists are oil tycoons.
· Offering support for the movement, and conceding to demands, but using this tactic for self-promotion, to market themselves as sustainable and green without making any real change to their business or governance practices. This brings activists over to their side, and activism becomes an advertising campaign for business.
· Dividing movements into those who accept the promises of green business, and those who see through the greenwash. In this way the movement is undermined by directing energy into infighting, rather than working together towards a clear goal of ending corporate power and control. It leads those who buy in to the promises of green growth to directly campaign against the activists who are defending the natural world.
The goal of the climate movement has become to sustain and expand the system of corporate dominance, in direct opposition to the environmental movement’s goals of dismantling this economic system, to protect and regenerate wild nature. Rebels have become unpaid corporate lobbyists. Big business has seized on popular anger at their abusive practices, and redirected it to prop up the very system that needs to be torn down.
Corporate leadership
In XR’s core leadership team are long-time corporate lobbyists Gail Bradbrook and Farhana Yamin.
Bradbrook works for Citizens Online, a telecommunications industry lobby group that campaigns for ‘digital inclusion’ to get as many people as possible to use their products, and to compel councils to accept the rollout of 5G networks. She has used her leadership position in XR to launch XR Business, a network of corporations who see the climate crisis as — you guessed it — a great business opportunity. The Astroturfing the way for the Fourth Industrial Revolution series of articles explores Bradbrook’s corporate connections and their influence on the rebellion.
Yamin is the CEO of Track 0, a non-profit that supports the goals of the Paris Agreement (a plan for continued economic growth that is completely out of touch with reality) and declares “Getting on track to net zero is an economic imperative as much as a scientific one. The prize is innovation opportunities, and an abundance of technologies and ideas that fuel economic growth, create jobs and fuel the track to a bright economic future”. According to her bio “She is widely credited with getting the goal of net-zero emissions by mid-century into the Paris Agreement.” She is also a member of the Global Agenda Council on Climate Change at the World Economic Forum, and an Associate Fellow at Chatham House, a think tank on international affairs.

In case you were wondering who stands to gain from meeting the targets of the Paris Agreement ... 405cd32475

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Re: The Long Ecological Revolution

Post by blindpig » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:41 pm

A further, less openly advertised aspect of XR’s embrace of the “beyond politics” principle is that it bans the creation of community groups organized explicitly around political identity. Community groups—small gatherings of “rebels” who meet regularly—are a key part of XR organizing, especially in the protest off-season. Many are based on geography, but others are based on affinities: There’s a group for Quakers, a group for Baroque musicians, and a group for people who want to make skeletons out of newspaper. Not long ago, a friend of mine affiliated with the London-based group Left Culture Club attempted to start an XR socialist subgroup and quickly incurred the ire of the central XR media team. In a phone call, he was told that such a move would contravene XR’s stated “beyond politics” stance but also make it more difficult to accomplish their strategic goals, which, the spokesperson argued, require the cooperation of big business. Yet in an official email encouraging people to join affinity groups, XR’s list of approved spin-offs included XR Police and XR Landlords. The fact that the group fails to see that these two positions are themselves inherently and inextricably political bespeaks the degree to which theoretical attempts at apolitical stances will invariably, in practice, favor those already in power.

Another reason why this supposedly apolitical position is deeply worrying is because of the increasing prominence of ecofascism, whose adherents embrace both aspects of the green movement and militant xenophobia. Since Extinction Rebellion’s founding, the perpetrators of two major mass shootings—one at a WalMart in El Paso, the other at a mosque in Christchurch—have left behind manifestos that root their xenophobia in ecological concerns. Whether they frame nature conservation in explicitly nationalistic terms, or latch onto overpopulation as an excuse for curbing nonwhite populations, or argue that climate change needs to be halted because of the waves of migration from the global south that will inevitably result, ecofascists are a growing presence within white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups in the United States and elsewhere. To be clear, XR has in no way endorsed these kinds of far-right beliefs. But in the absence of taking any strong stance in the opposite direction, the movement leaves room for these kinds of reactionary forces to gather strength from the mass appeal of XR’s galvanizing pro-green message, its media attention, and its organizing systems. If Extinction Rebellion is truly committed to the principle of ecological justice, it cannot accept a future—or a present—in which environmental refugees from the global south are violently refused entry from the former colonial power whose unchecked CO2 production has birthed the very disasters driving these people from their homes in the first place (something that’s already happening along the southern border of the United States as Central American migrants fleeing drought-induced famine come up against the American border machine). Creating an ecologically just future requires vocal opposition to and rectification of the environmental injustices of the past and present. ... cs-problem
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Re: The Long Ecological Revolution

Post by blindpig » Sat Oct 26, 2019 2:02 pm

The Global Climate Strikes: No, this was not co-optation. This was and is PR. A brief timeline

Addendum to The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent series, Volume II

Financial Times, September 16, 2019

No, this was not co-optation. This was and is PR. A brief timeline:

2009: G20 gathering in London: The world’s major economies come together to stem the global financial panic triggered by the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market in the US (and subsequent unprecedented bailouts for corporations and banks). They assure society that they will establish a more stable growth path going forward.

2009: UN works on the prospect of a Global Green New Deal to reboot the global economic system. It simultaneously works on tools to assign monetary value to all nature, global in scale, with the goal of creating new markets (TEEB – later to be absorbed by the Natural Capital Coalition).

2009-2019: In the years that followed the 2009 assurances to contain panic in markets and salvage a battered financial system, growth – crucial to keeping the capitalist economic system afloat – failed to find a firm footing.

2011: IMF: “We have entered what I have called a dangerous new phase… today, we risk losing the battle for growth. With dark clouds over Europe, and huge uncertainty in the United States, we risk a collapse in global demand. This challenge could not be more urgent. In our interconnected world, we are all on one boat. Any thought of decoupling is a mirage.” — The Path Forward—Act Now and Act Together, opening address to the 2011 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, managing director, International Monetary Fund

2014: Global economy continues to spiral downward. “Capitalism is in danger of falling apart”, Al Gore, Generation Investment, The Climate Reality Project

2014: Purpose (PR arm of Avaaz): Language of “green economy” is killed in order to save “green economy”. They will build it, but they won’t say they are building it.

2014: People’s Climate March. The march was organized by GCCA/TckTckTck (co-founded by 20 NGOs including, Avaaz, Greenpeace), the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Climate Nexus (a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors), (incubated by the Rockefeller Foundation), the Rasmussen Foundation and USCAN.

2014: We Mean Business is launched. Created with the assistance of many including then UNFCCC executive secretary Christina Figueres, Purpose (PR arm of Avaaz), and Greenpeace.

2015: Global Youth Summit takes place (Keynotes: UN Figueres, Kumi Naidoo Greenpeace, McKibben), Climate Strike website is created.

2015: The Paris Agreement largely attributed to Christina Figueres comes into fruition. [Further reading: This Changes Nothing – Clive L. Spash]

2015: Mission Innovation (Breakthrough Energy, Bill Gates, Richard Branson et al.) partners with 23 states and the EU. Similar coalitions and partnerships follow (Under 2C, The Climate Group, etc.).

2017: World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab: “Capitalism is in crisis”

2018: A teleconference led by a Free representative with Climate Reality Project (Al Gore’s NGO) proposes a large climate march. Greta Thunberg partakes in this call as well as others that transpire. The idea of a strike is presented. Thunberg is receptive

May 2018: Ingmar Rentzhog, founder and CEO of We Don’t Have Time, is featured at a climate event with Greta’s mother Malena Ernman.

June 2018: Greta Thunberg social media accounts are created.

Summer/Fall 2018: The Green New Deal (promoted by UN in 2009) is resurrected.

July 2018: The Climate Group, co-founder of We Mean Business, promotes This Is Zero Hour climate strikes in the US utilizing the hashtag #WeDontHave Time [“Join the youth revolution!”]

August 20 2018: Greta sits on a sidewalk with a sign. Rentzhog discovers “the lonely girl”. We Don’t Have Time, partner of The Climate Reality Project, and Global Utmaning (Global Challenge) are interconnected by board relationships.

August 20 2018: On the first day of strike, the third person to respond to the “lonely girl” plight on Twitter is We Mean Business co-founder Callum Grieve. He adds the hashtag #WeDontHaveTime and tags five additional accounts: The Climate Museum, Youth Climate March LA, This is Zero Hour Ft. Lauderdale, Greenpeace International, and the UNFCCC, the “official Twitter account of UN Climate Change”.

We Mean Business

♦We Mean Business represents 477 investors with 34 trillion USD in assets. [July 4, 2019]

We Mean Business Founding Partners

♦The founding partners of We Mean Business are BSR, CDP, Ceres, The B Team, The Climate Group, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG), and the WBCSD. Together, these organizations represent the most powerful – and ruthless – corporations on the planet, groups salivating to unleash 100 trillion dollars to fuel the fourth industrial revolution – pushed by the World Economic Forum.

We Mean Business Co-founder Callum Grieve

♦Grieve is the co-founder and director of Counter Culture, a brand development firm specializing in behavioural change campaigns and storytelling. He also created Climate Week NYC for The Climate Group. Grieve has coordinated high-level climate change communications campaigns and interventions for the United Nations, the World Bank Group, and several Fortune 500 companies.[/icon_box]

Behavioural Change Campaigns and Storytelling

♦Grieve also manages the Every Breath Matters campaign founded by Christiana Figueres, the former UNFCCC Executive Secretary credited with the Paris Agreement. Every Breath Matters “champions” include Leonardo DiCaprio and Greta Thunberg.

World Economic Forum UN Partnership Effective June 13, 2019

♦The co-founder of Counter Culture is head of climate initiatives at the World Economic Forum, and former campaign director of the We Mean Business RE100 initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP.

August 20 2018: Also on the first day of the strike – the “lonely girl” plight is shared Sasja Beslik, international financial expert (WEF), head of Sustainable Finance, Nordea Bank.

Fall 2018: New Deal for Nature and Voice For The Planet campaigns commence. Exploiting an increasingly anxious citizenry, utilizing emotive images and language, these campaigns are in fact, not to “save nature”, rather, they are to monetize nature, global in scale.

September 1 2018: Only 12 days after her first day sitting on a sidewalk, Greta is featured in The Guardian.

September 2018: The largest-ever philanthropic investment to combat climate change is announced by ClimateWorks, largest recipient of climate philanthropy in the world.

September 26 2018: Thunberg appears at a seminar organized by The Climate Reality Project and Global Utmaning (Thunberg’s father denies any relationship or affiliation with Global Unmanning).

September 26 2018: The Climate Finance Partnership – a vehicle for blended finance – is unveiled at the One Planet Summit.

October 31 2018: Launch of XR global expansion is highlighted by The Guardian and endorsed by an array of liberal celebrity signatories.

XR global expansion takes place in partnership with The Climate Mobilization Project.

January 3 2019: “Global economic growth ‘now in free fall'”

January 2019: Christiana Figueres brings Greta Thunberg to Davos where they share accommodations.

January 2019: International media amplifies “The House is on Fire” Thunberg speech delivered at WEF. The message and delivery mirror the stratagem laid out in The Climate Mobilization (XR partner) paper “Leading the Public into Emergency Mode: A New Strategy for the Climate Movement.” (“Imagine there is a fire in your house.”)

January 2019: Davos, Switzerland – “Standing outside in the pitch-black cold at the World Economic Forum on January 23, 2019, a panel including Future Earth and partners announced to a live audience their intent to launch an Earth Commission.”

February 2019: Joint event with European Commission president and Thunberg where it is announced that 25% of the EU budget will go to climate change initiatives. Unbeknownst to the public, this decision was made in 2018.

July 2019: Business For Nature is launched. The coalition founders are We Mean Business, the World Economic Forum, The Nature Conservancy, WWF, the Natural Capital Coalition, the World Resources Institute, the IUCN, The Food and Land Use Coalition, Confederation of Indian Industry, Entreprises pour l’Environnement (EpE), Tropical Forest Alliance, and the International Chamber of Commerce.

August 2018 to Summer 2019: An international media assault on the populace featuring Greta Thunberg, adored and promoted by the ruling classes, corporations, institutions, World Bank and finance – this is coupled with apocalyptic media saturation. In effect – the multiple ecological crises which have been increasing over decades, is now being fully exploited as a means to manufacture consent. Corporations and institutions seek 100 trillion dollars for “climate solutions”. The unlocking of pensions is identified as a prime target.

August 2018 to Summer 2019: The emergence of a green fascism. Those criticizing the said solutions or “movements” designed by the ruling class for our collective consumption are ridiculed and subjected to hate.

August 2018 to Summer 2019: Western “environmentalism” creates demand for the further plundering of the planet in order to “save” the climate – in essence, a globally mobilized de facto green lobby group. The planned “climate” infrastructure eyes the Global South. The scale is massive: equates to the building of a New York City – every single month for the next forty years. Despite the fact that this cannot be squared with protection of biodiversity or the climate, the populace clamours for those in power (who are responsible for the crisis) to “do something” and align with the suicidal Paris Agreement.

February 20 2019: We Mean Business and Global Optimist (founded by Christiana Figueres, funded by We Mean Business), highlight the reaction to the climate campaign now well underway: “People are desperate for something to happen”.

April 2019: The Rockefeller Foundation closes its 100 Resilient Cities initiative, joins the Atlantic Council to launch a new center. [Explored in Volume II, Act VII]

June 13 2019: The World Economic Forum – representing the richest and most powerful people on the planet – forms a partnership with United Nations.

July 2019: “US philanthropists vow to raise millions for climate activists” – The Climate Emergency Fund is launched. Serving on the board is founder Bill McKibben and Margaret Klein Salamon founder and executive director of The Climate Mobilization (partner to Extinction Rebellion) and author of the paper “Leading the Public into Emergency Mode: A New Strategy for the Climate Movement.”

September 2019: Greta Thunberg sails across the ocean in a yacht to attend the United Nations Climate Action Summit organized and led by We Mean Business and the World Economic Forum (now partnered with the United Nations).

September 16 2019: The Financial Times unveils its largest campaign since 2009: The New Agenda – a re-booting of the capitalist system

September 18 2019: Conservation International and the *Food and Land Use Coalition finance the “Natural Climate Solutions” promotional video featuring Guardian’s Monbiot and Greta Thunberg. The video reaches more than 1 billion people in less than 24 hours. [*Member foundations include ClimateWorks, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, Good Energies, and Margaret Cargill.]

September 19 2019: WEF releases promotional video featuring Greta Thunberg for “Voices For The Planet”. This is the WEF-WWF campaign for the financialization of nature, global in scale (payments for ecosystem services) that accompanies the “New Deal For Nature” promoted by WWF, CI, The Natural Capital Coalition, TNC, etc.. Supported by Greenpeace,, etc. who are not yet publicly promoting it.

September 20 2019: Global Climate Strikes take place.

September 2019: Many smaller NGOs, including those from the Global South oppose the WEF-UN Partnership. Avaaz, Greenpeace, 350, etc. are conspicuously absent from the signatories.

September 26 2019: The UN calls for a Global Green New Deal (bailout).

September to October 2019: Arnold Schwarzenegger arranges a Tesla for Greta to tour Canada and visit Standing Rock reservation.

Take Away Points

We dance to the tune of our oppressors

“The ruling class exists, it’s not a conspiracy theory. They operate as a class, too. They share the same values, the same sensibility and in Europe and North America they are white. They act in accordance with their interests, which are very largely identical. The failure to understand this is the single greatest problem and defect in left discourse today.”

— John Steppling

Climate change is real – but capitalism is the crisis.
The structure of the system is working exactly as it is designed to. The NPIC exists to insulate the current power structures and capital itself.
Economic growth is sacrosanct – to those in power, and those it serves. Economic growth trumps all priorities including life itself.
The Thunberg campaign belongs to the ruling class, not to the people.
A decade of social engineering (“together”) has effectively erased class analysis, which is a massive blow, and even a betrayal, to the working class and peasantry.
The West is under the rule of a corporatocracy, therefore voting is a massive distraction and spectacle that will never solve or mitigate our ecological crisis.
The same system that created the crisis will not and cannot now rectify the crises. The same people that protected and defended this system will do anything and exploit anyone to keep it intact.
The NGOs comprising the NPIC must be isolated, shamed and abandoned. The exact methods they use against radical activists and radical grassroots groups. Without the support of the people, they lose all power and influence (and then funding).
A litmus test must be placed on all organizations that claim to fight for ecological and social justice: They must be united in opposition to imperialism/colonialism, militarism, white supremacy and patriarchy – all leading drivers of climate change and ecological devastation.
Capitalism will destroy everything in its path. Either we kill capitalism, or capitalism will kill us. ... -timeline/
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Re: The Long Ecological Revolution

Post by blindpig » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:45 pm

No Comemos Baterías: Solidarity Science Against False Climate Change Solutions
By Center for Interdisciplinary Environmental Justice: M. Brito-Millán, A. Cheng, E. Harrison, M. Mendoza Martinez, R. Sugla, M. Belmonte, A. Salomón, L. Quintanilla, J. Guzman-Morales, A. Martinez
Volume 22, number 1, The Return of Radical Science

It’s rush hour in San Diego, California. A continuous flood of headlights flows over Highway 8, an interstate freeway running east-west over what used to be the largest freshwater river system in San Diego County.1 Members of CIEJ, the San Diego-based Center for Interdisciplinary Environmental Justice, have just picked up a contingent of Indigenous water protectors from the Andean Altiplano at the airport.
Our guests look out the car window in disbelief. They have never touched US soil nor seen such traffic. They’re used to reading the stars reflected off the glassy surface of desert lagoons. Here, the city lights and police helicopter patrols obscure the night sky.

“They all drive alone?” one of them asks us, amazed and appalled.

“A lot of them do,” we reply.

They’ve come to San Diego to gain allies in protecting their ancestral waters from lithium mining, which is destroying their homelands in South America so the traffic lanes of Highway 8 can keep flowing with “environmentally-friendly” electric vehicles and so we can distract ourselves with fast-charging cell phones. As the descendants of generations of Andean Altiplano peoples, they are the legitimate keepers of the lands that transnational corporations now call the “Lithium Triangle.”2 This region spans the highlands of Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile and houses the largest and most accessible reserves of lithium, a key component for the batteries of “green” electric vehicles.3

Current efforts to use electric vehicles to transition to a “zero-emission” world reduce climate change to an emissions issue, without stopping the extraction and oppression that are the causes of climate change. As CIEJ, we have chosen to align ourselves with Indigenous land and water protectors to develop a science practice for decolonization grounded in anti-racism and feminism and, ultimately, to identify alternatives to green-washed capitalism that can truly confront climate change. Unlike the isolating high speeds of consumption promoted by the tech industry, our process as a community organization is slow, complex, collective, and relationship-driven. We seek not just to prevent further climate and environmental catastrophe, but ultimately to break away and heal from over 500 years of colonial, capitalist, racist, and heteropatriarchal violence. And we humbly propose that, from a scientific standpoint, decolonial feminist science can have a critical role in that process.

CIEJ: An Encounter and a Case for Decolonial Feminist Science
Our collective is united by a shared understanding that science is political—that it is intrinsically embedded in capitalism, colonialism, and every other system of power. We connect to each other as variously racialized, gendered, classed, and sexualized people, and our identities as cis people of color—Indigenous, white, Caribbean, Latinx, and Asian—are important guides that drive the ways we do our political work. Those of us in CIEJ who inhabit the neoliberal structures of the university do so from within the undercommons, contemplating and planning for our collective fugitivity while we redirect the resources of our labs and offices to support resistance and resurgence outside academia.4 Within the university we are environmental scientists, engineers, and ethnic and critical gender studies scholars; we are also artists, poets, community organizers, and policy experts who, at the core, are friends.

We see the academic sciences as tools that may be strategic in supporting decolonial and anti-colonial Indigenous struggles to defend and regenerate land and life. We recognize that our tools have limitations, and that they can better accomplish the task at hand when they are working alongside the tools of communities in struggle, such as cultural resilience, intergenerational knowledge, lived experiences, and collective resistance. Our task is to dismantle co-constitutive systems of oppression: white supremacy, settler-colonialism, heteropatriarchy, capitalism, the nation-state, and land and water dispossession.

Building on decades of community-based organizing, grassroots activism, and slow intimate relationship-building practices, we leverage Western science and laboratories in support of Indigenous knowledge as science in its own historical and cosmological right. We call this emergent practice decolonial feminist science: a science for land, life, and radical liberation.

When we say “decolonial” we mean that our work is in service of Indigenous communities working to keep or regain agency over their land and livelihood.5 When we say “feminist” we take as a starting point the argument that feminist science must “aim to eliminate research that leads to the exploitation and destruction of nature, the destruction of the human race and other species, and that justifies the oppression of people on the basis of race, gender, class, sexuality, or nationality”.6 Our scientific research and technological interventions aim to be in solidarity with, not undermine, Indigenous epistemological practices and forms of knowledge production. We respect the profound role that affective, embodied, and spiritual knowledge has in Indigenous worldviews despite having been demoted by the logic of positivism—as with felt experiences of the racialized, gendered, and sexual nature of colonization.7 Our methodology centers committed, sustained relationships as a feminist practice, and we build on that practice in intersection with decolonizing methodologies and research justice.8 These frameworks require us to critically consider the dynamics of the interpersonal relationships we develop through research. Academic and institutional research relationships, historically, have been extractive, exploitative, and violent towards Indigenous peoples and people of color.9 We structure our research relationships to be accountable for these legacies, to evaluate the potential for problematic dynamics, and to form more equitable and healthy alternatives, motivated by a robust praxis of transformative decolonial love. CIEJ is a space of local and transnational solidarity with Indigenous protectors of land and water as life.10 We stand in joint struggle with those fighting from the Americas to Palestine to Aotearoa—and of course the Andean Altiplano, the home and site of struggle of our guests visiting Kumeyaay territory also known as San Diego.

A People and Place in Resistance
The Andean Altiplano is the widest part of the Andes stretching across Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru. An average of 3,750 meters above sea level, this landscape features extensive deserts, snow-capped mountains, active geysers, and lagoonal salt flats, or salares. It’s cool and severely arid, overlapping with the driest non-polar desert in the world, the Atacama.

The geography of this region is characterized by internally draining basins that accumulate water in large underground reservoirs rather than allowing it to drain into the ocean. Due to the extremely arid environment, more water evaporates from the basins than enters them each year, causing the salts that flow in with the rivers to concentrate over time.11 Decades of scientific investigations suggest that the underground reservoirs were filled during epochs with wetter climatic conditions.12 Nowadays, there is net water loss even without industrial extraction.13 These ancient aquifers are nonrenewable.

The groundwater in these basins contains zones of fresh and saline waters, the former of which have sustained Indigenous Andean communities since time immemorial. The latter is rich in lithium, potassium, and other minerals dissolved from the local volcanic bedrock by water flowing through the subsurface and concentrated into a “brine” that in some places is many times saltier than seawater.14 This water accumulates in reservoirs beneath the basins. In these basins live the Lickan Antay in Chile, the Kolla in Argentina, and the Aymara and Quechua in Bolivia, sustained by the same groundwater systems that have generated the world’s largest lithium reserves.15

Oral histories from Indigenous peoples throughout the Andean Altiplano tell us that they have adapted to and thrived within these extreme environments in spite of the violent encroachment of colonial regimes, from the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500s to the brutal US-backed dictatorships of the twentieth century. Under the ongoing neocolonial period in which Western-styled nation-states, including Chile and Argentina, have occupied Indigenous lands, national economies have sustained themselves by continuing the unrestrained resource extraction initiated by Spanish colonists. Mining industries in Chile, nationalized under the socialist Allende government and largely privatized under the Pinochet dictatorship, seized parcels of Lickan Antay land to extract copper, nitrate, and lithium in overlapping succession.16

In Argentina, too, and across the Americas, mining on Indigenous lands and the exploitation of Indigenous bodies as extractive labor has proliferated, contaminating the land and poisoning both mine workers and neighboring Indigenous communities.17

A new wave of eco-exploitation threatens the Lickan Antay and the Kolla. This time the familiar mining industry is cloaked in the facade of sustainability, promoting the large-scale extraction of one finite natural resource to replace another. In today’s bustling green economy, the exploitation of Indigenous territories in the Altiplano is driven by the lust for lithium: the new “sustainable” fuel.

New “Gold Rush,” Same Genocide
Lithium is referred to by speculators as “white gold” and the fever around its extraction as a new “gold rush,” with a Deutsche Bank investment report predicting huge increases in demand and promoting what analysts refer to as a “wild west” style free-for-all of mining speculation and investment.18 Economists and corporations view the potential of a new lithium economy as a boon for the wealthy who are poised to take advantage of the market. But if the extraction of lithium follows the trajectory of gold mining in California during the 1800s, it will likely bring apocalyptic changes to ecosystems and either displacement or death to Indigenous communities in South America.19

Prior to dependence on fossil fuels, energy markets used other finite resources such as whale oil. The over-hunting of whales for fuel led to the near extinction of these animals, whose populations have still not recovered, and threatened the Indigenous peoples who depend on them.20 Shifting the energy economy from whale oil to fossil fuels meant creating an economy based on the burning and consumption of ancestral materials—the fossils of previous living organisms. To many Indigenous cultures, fossil fuels such as oil are understood as the blood of the earth or ancestral material, and their desecration has spiritual as well as physical consequences.21 Climate change linked to carbon emissions is a further material consequence of fossil fuel consumption, rooted in extractivist policies within the context of colonial systems of oppression and clear ties to white supremacist worldviews.22

Where Western science and mining companies have commodified land and water to produce items for sale in the global economy23, land and water are not commodifiable products within indigenous onto-epistemologies.24

Colonial capitalism extracts from material sites using epistemic formations that produce death, viewing plants and minerals as resources to be removed and exploited, for example, rather than as living relatives who require protection and reciprocity.25 These logics are antithetical to epistemologies, ontologies, and cosmologies—ways of knowing and being—based on relation-building and life-regeneration.

The consumer-based economy for green technologies like lithium batteries merely shifts who and where is exploited; it does not end exploitation of people or the environment.26 Behind the green-washing of capitalism is the same war on nature and subsistence-based peoples’ sustainable ways of life that has been ongoing for the last 500 years.

The Toll of the Lithium Economy
Lithium brine mining is groundwater mining. Lithium exists naturally as a dissolved mineral in the saline brines of the Altiplano basins; to extract it, mining companies pump the brine into vast shallow pools at the surface, where evaporation from eight months to three years concentrates the highly-valued lithium salts.

Lithium is used in some metal, glass, and ceramic materials, mood stabilizing pharmaceuticals, and lithium-ion batteries, which have largely overtaken alkaline and nickel-metal hydride batteries because they are lighter, charge faster, and hold a longer charge. The global lithium demand is projected to triple from 2015 to 2025, almost entirely driven by an eight-fold increase in the lithium demand for electric vehicles.27 A single electric vehicle battery takes sixty-three kilograms of lithium carbonate equivalent. Each ton of lithium carbonate, or fourteen electric vehicles, requires 2 million liters of water to be evaporated—the equivalent of an Olympic size swimming pool.28

Governments, mining companies, and environmentalists alike, emboldened by the promise of economic expansion, proceed in the face of, and without due regard for, the evident consequences of lithium extraction. In the Salar de Atacama, the mining companies SQM and Rockwood Lithium claim that the effects of groundwater extraction are localized to the mining areas.29 These companies have funded modeling studies contending that the groundwater in the parts of the basin where the Indigenous communities live is separated from the mined waters by either an impermeable layer in the soil or the density contrast between freshwater and brine.30 But research grounded in geochemical and hydrogeological data has come to contradictory conclusions, demonstrating that the groundwater system is connected throughout the basin.31 The Indigenous communities’ observations are consistent with this determination.

The groundwater in question forms the basis of the salar ecosystem, a complex web including flamingos, grasses, aquatic microbes, and people. The Indigenous communities understand themselves as integral to this system rather than separate from it, and the threat to groundwater as a threat to all the interconnected life that depends on it, including themselves.32 In the Salar de Atacama, the communities’ entire cosmovision rests within the basin; the alignment of the sun with mountains to the east and west determines the timing of crop cultivation; and they trace their ancestral lineage to stromatolites in the shallow lakes analogous to early life forms.33 If the salars dry out, they will feel it in their bodies.

The rate of groundwater pumping continues to increase, and lithium mining companies may already be pumping and evaporating more water than they’re supposed to.34 Plans to massively upscale lithium battery production threaten to deplete the driest region in the world of its ancient water reserves, irrevocably destroy the unique desert environment home to keystone microbiolite communities,35 and complete the colonial task of cultural genocide against the Indigenous peoples of the South American Altiplano.36

The False Promise of Electric Vehicles
CIEJ is based in southern California, a region that touts itself as a beacon in the fight against climate change because it is a leader in sales of electric vehicles.37 Such attempts to address climate change often ignore the fact that climate change emerged as a byproduct of destructive, extractivist policies built upon the oppression of Indigenous peoples and ecological systems.38

The rush towards a battery powered economy is fueled by the global north’s desire to transition to a “zero-emission” world. Electric vehicles are a key part of the sustainability movement in the US and Europe, lauded as a major solution to combating climate change and reducing carbon emissions with renewable technology. For example, the COP23 climate meeting used electric shuttles to move delegates around and featured itself as running on 100 percent renewable energy.39 More recently, Scotland pledged to completely phase out new production of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032 to make way for electric vehicles.40 But electric vehicles are dependent upon a non-renewable resource: lithium stored in prehistoric water on Indigenous lands.

Not only do the lithium batteries draw groundwater from water-scarce regions, the impacts of electric vehicles on carbon emissions are highly varied. No electric vehicles (nor any “renewable” energy technologies) are truly zero-emission. The production of a lithium-ion battery has twice the global warming potential as a fossil-fuel car.41 Much higher emissions are generated by mining lithium, graphite, nickel, cobalt, and aluminium and subsequent battery production than are created by manufacturing fossil fuel engines. Reducing emissions also depends on how electric vehicles are used post-production because charging electric vehicles depends on local electrical grids. For example, where electric grids run on coal, electric vehicles may increase carbon dioxide emissions by up to a factor of four compared to non-electric vehicles.42Recent estimates suggest it takes a mid-size electric vehicle on Germany’s electric grid an average of nine years of use to break even with carbon dioxide emissions from a diesel vehicle.43 The irreversible costs of even these modest emission reductions will fall upon Indigenous Andean people.

It is dangerous to reduce climate change to an “emissions” issue and to leave intact the extractive and oppressive processes that caused climate change in the first place. Vehicles marketed as “zero-emissions” and “green,” including the emerging wave of hydrogen fuel cell cars, perpetuate the cycle of technological fixes that are impermanent solutions.44 Technological fixes often create different contamination problems and, as in the case of lithium, drive additional extractive production that destroys the environment and subsistence livelihoods.45 The flawed marketing scheme of “voting with your dollar” shifts the burden of global climate change and environmental pollution from governments and corporations onto marginalized communities and individuals.

As with electric cars, the Green New Deal introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey rests on the belief that “green” technologies can save us from climate change. The Green New Deal is an economic policy initiative to restructure the US economy away from fossil fuel dependence with the specific goal of dramatically lowering greenhouse gas emissions. However, the Green New Deal is not a rebuke of capitalism or extraction, but is a reform attempt to tamper the most egregious tendencies of a market designed by and for the profit of the corporate elite. The belief that we can buy our way out of climate change without having to restructure our way of life (as individuals, institutions, and societies) or give up on single-occupancy cars is rooted in colonial capitalism and imperialism.46 The luxury and convenience of the global north and former colonial powers is prioritized above the survival of Indigenous communities like the Lickan Antay and Kolla.

Strengthening Transnational Indigenous Solidarity
Indigenous Altiplano communities have sought to defend their ancestral lands and their rights as Indigenous peoples against the looming threat of extraction via national and international legal routes. The rural communities of the basin of Salinas Grandes and the Lagoon of Guayatoyoc spent a decade claiming their right to “free, prior, and informed consent” in accordance with Federal and United Nations laws.47 They published “Kachi Yupi,” explicit protocols of what this process would look like for their communities.48 But they tell us that the result has been the repeated siding of provincial and federal courts with corporations and government financial interests and recent intrusions onto their territory by geoprospectors, despite there being an existing case in the Inter-American Court system.49 These communities say that because their protocols have been ignored by both local and federal government institutions, they now stand together in reaffirming their sovereignty and economic autonomy by saying “NO!” to lithium mining on their ancestral lands. “No comemos baterías,” they declare as one of their rallying cries, “we don’t eat batteries.” Their commitment as water and land protectors has led these Indigenous communities to diversify their strategies of resistance beyond legal tactics, part of what led them to connect with us: CIEJ, in San Diego, California.

The movement to protect planet Earth from the environmental and human costs of lithium batteries has the potential to unite marginalized people of color and Indigenous peoples across the world. Lithium batteries require other materials such as graphite mined in China, which has significantly polluted cities and diminished air quality.50 In the Democratic Republic of Congo, cobalt, another key material in battery products, is extracted using child labor with dire health impacts.51 In Nevada’s Clayton Valley, which is traditional territory of the Timbisha Shoshone, settler encroachment and mining brought mass death, continual displacement, and destruction of sacred sites during the gold rush. Now, as the only site of lithium production in the US, the Timbisha Shoshone and their traditional territories continue to bear the brunt of extractivist “solutions”—a situation about to worsen given current plans for expansion of lithium production into Death Valley National Park.52 Although the resilient Timbisha Shoshone nation continues to revitalize their culture and regenerate their communities despite the havoc wreaked by mining, theirs is a future that Indigenous peoples of the Andean Altiplano wish to avoid.

In San Diego, a region wounded by the US-Mexico border and occupied by numerous bases of the military industrial complex, CIEJ is redefining what science and innovation could look like in a world that doesn’t consume its ancestors nor limit the environmental possibilities of its future generations. At a local level, this interrogation brings us to consider the San Diego River, which is now Highway 8 that stretches from the Pacific coast to Arizona. Early on, the water of the San Diego River was drained to facilitate the expansion of cities, farms, and paved roads that were built with the mined sand and minerals of the exposed riverbed itself. Today, the last undeveloped section of the riverbed located in El Monte Valley, a sacred and historical site for Kumeyaay people, is threatened by a sand mine development project.

When Lickan Antay and Kolla community members visited San Diego to share the impacts of lithium mining on the peoples of the Andean Altiplano, we took them to meet Kumeyaay water protectors and other residents who are resisting the proposed sand mine. The encounter connected the struggle against lithium extraction for powering electric vehicles with the struggle against sand extraction for building the highways on which those vehicles would run. It brought together Indigenous communities of the Global North and South committed to protecting water, or puri in the Indigenous Lickan Antay language of Kunza, and the human and non-human lives that depend on it.

On the way from the airport back to the city, one of the Lickan Antay representatives contemplated the shallow river whose resilient spirit continues to resist erasure underneath the six-lane-wide freeway above it, with its endless single-occupancy vehicles inching along in rush hour traffic. He turned to us and said, “I came here looking for help from you. But now I can see it’s you who needs help from us.”

A Call to Action
The issue of lithium extraction is urgent and requires action by all those who see themselves in solidarity with Indigenous peoples like the Lickan Antay and Kolla, as well as with the planet itself. In conversation with the communities impacted by lithium mining we have gathered a set of considerations for scientists, shifting their gaze from extraction-based “green” solutions towards initial alternative possibilities for addressing climate change. We also include summary points on decolonial feminist science approaches and the ways that technological innovations can be used towards new ways of living and networks of conviviality.

Radical ways to address global climate change: from a transportation standpoint, soft narratives to address climate change include investing in public transportation systems, increased bicycle usage, and the ability to work flexibly or remotely. Radical ways of addressing climate change include drastically divesting from capitalist, colonialist life. We need to imagine and create a new world that may not have highways or cars in it, but instead has quality education, work, food that’s hyperlocal, strong medicine and healing networks in high proximity to our homes–material, socioeconomic, political, social, and land-based reconfigurations. Our day-to-day existence must be rethought and reshaped in terms of time, place, and purpose, while foregrounding current ways of decolonial and non-colonial living that already materially exist outside of green cosmopolitan desires and that can serve as models.
Critique the green-washing of capitalist extraction, even when it masquerades as politically progressive. Critique green capitalism and organize for solutions beyond tokenization, including changing local and global social, economic, and political structures, and the nature of our relationships with the environment.
A call to research action: scientists seeking to practice decolonial feminist research methods must begin to disengage from the limitations of capitalist research funding models, and, where disengagement from capitalism is not yet possible, find ways of doing scientific work in solidarity with decolonization and liberation despite the strings attached to research funding sources.53 One of our goals with this account has been to provide such an example, hoping that it will move forward a conversation about meaningful alternatives to extraction.
Create tools for conviviality: technological innovation should be driven by problem solving for liberation, and for mending the tears in our social fabric created by capitalism and systems of oppression. We envision a field of innovation that makes tools and technology more convivial and less extractive, following the concept of Tools for Conviviality, where technology is limited to that which supports an enriching balance of individual autonomy and social connection between people as well as a harmonious relationship with the environment.54 These relations to technology are not to replicate current racialized, gendered, sexualized, or classed power dynamics, but must imagine the possibility of a new social fabric beyond current structures of oppression.
Respect for Indigenous knowledges: we wish to see a more widespread practice within the scientific community to critically engage with and respect the epistemological roots of Indigenous science and worldviews, while recognizing the fraught history between Indigenous peoples and colonial science. We encourage the scientists and researchers reading this article to listen to and build equitable reciprocal relationships with communities directly impacted by oppressive structures and processes.

https://magazine.scienceforthepeople.or ... solutions/
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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Re: The Long Ecological Revolution

Post by blindpig » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:18 pm


Green-Smearing- from Nicaragua to Bolivia
September 6, 2019
By Stephen Sefton

On one level the intensifying deceit of Western media foreign affairs coverage corresponds to the increasing desperation of Western elites confronting their failing global power and influence. But it also signals yet another crisis of capitalist economic growth. After 1945, North America and Western Europe based their genocidal imperialism on a social compact promising prosperity to their peoples at home in exchange for their collusion in imperialist military aggression and neocolonial crimes overseas. That system operated successfully based on the fundamental neocolonial fiction that Western governments and societies promote freedom, justice and democracy around the world, while doing the very opposite.

Now, stagnation and recession in the US and its allied countries demand new dimensions to the endless psychological warfare necessary to sustain the basic neocolonial fiction. Psychological warfare in North America and Europe works to create enduring false beliefs generating, over time, permanent false memories, all serving the purposes of Western elite perception management. That is why the authorities in Sweden, Britain and the US elites have been so vengeful and vindictive towards Julian Assange, among innumerable other less high profile victims. Anyone who effectively exposes the big neocolonial lie is met with the sadistic vindictive revenge of the elites they defied.

A fundamental dimension of contemporary psychological warfare has been dual-purpose corporate co-option of non-governmental organizations. In that psy-warfare dimension, NGOs serve both as disinformation partners with Western news media and too as false interlocutors in international forums and institutions, where they attack governments challenging the US elites and their allies. They actively subvert governments inside countries challenging the West, for example, in Latin America, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia. But they also pervert due process in institutions like the UN, posing as civil society but in fact serving Western elite corporate imperatives, for example in international human rights and environmental mechanisms and forums.

Among these NGOs figure high profile human rights organizations like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Federation for Human Rights and Avaaz along with environmental organizations from and the World Resource Institute to Global Witness and Greenpeace. An increasing interrelationship has developed between corporate NGO funding and the exploitation of people’s general willingness to volunteer for and support apparently good causes. Symbolic of this is the way World Economic Forum attendees like Kumi Naidoo move readily between top management from one NGO to another, in Naidoo’s case from Greenpeace to Amnesty International. From Libya and Syria to Venezuela and Nicaragua, Amnesty International has played a key role using false reports to demonize governments resisting the US and its allies.

As Cory Morningstar has pointed out, Greenpeace is a key player in promoting the corporate driven New Deal for Nature aimed at financializing what remains of the natural world, especially its biodiversity, as a way of engineering a “Fourth Industrial Revolution”. Western corporate greed underlies the identical patterns of news media and NGO misrepresentation and outright deceit supporting regime change offensives against Libya and Syria, or Venezuela and Nicaragua. Right now, that very same pattern of media and NGO manipulation is clearly at work preparing for an intervention to prevent Evo Morales being re-elected as President of Bolivia.

Bruno Sgarzini and Wyatt Reed have noted how Western media and NGOs have falsely attacked Evo Morales blaming him for not controlling the fires in Bolivia’s Amazon. This is exactly what happened in Nicaragua immediately prior to the coup attempt in 2018 when the Nicaraguan authorities were fighting a fire in the Indio Maíz Biological Reserve. That episode softened up Nicaraguan public opinion and set in motion social media networks involving thousands of youth activists trained for that purpose beforehand over several years with US and also European government funding. In mid-April 2018, barely a week after the Indio Maiz fire was extinguished; those networks launched a social media blitzkrieg of lies and inventions marking the start of the actual coup attempt. A practically identical process is well under way now in Bolivia, which holds presidential elections next October 20th.

The timing of the fires in Bolivia’s Amazon is extremely propitious from the perspective of the US authorities and their allies. It takes almost two months for the effects to wear off of the initial psy-warfare bitzkrieg of the kind waged against Nicaragua in 2018 and against Brazil’s Worker’s Party as part of Jair Bolsonaro’s successful 2018 election campaign that same year. Bolivia will almost certainly experience the same kind of psy-warfare assault via social media prior to the October elections. The campaign will be timed to optimize the effect of mass false accusations of government wrongdoing and corruption along with false media and NGO claims of security force repression. Opposition activists are likely to exploit peaceful demonstrations on indigenous peoples and environmental issues so as to commit murderous provocations, just as they did in Nicaragua and Venezuela.

All of these tactics are likely be deployed against Bolivia so as to destroy the current prestige and high levels of support for President Evo Morales. In Bolivia, as in Nicaragua and Venezuela, the governing progressive political movement enjoys around 35-40% core electoral support, the right wing opposition have around 25-30% with 30-40% of voters uncommitted. The Western elites know they need to motivate something over half of those uncommitted voters against Evo Morales so as to get the right wing government they so desperately need in Bolivia to try and make good the unmitigated debacle of Mauricio Macri’s right wing government in Argentina.

The intensity of any Western media and NGO campaign against Morales is likely to reach similar levels as their cynical campaigns of lies and defamation against Venezuela and Nicaragua. Should that offensive go ahead, as seems probable, the difference will be that this time Evo Morales and his team are alert and unlikely to be taken by surprise as the Nicaraguan authorities were by the vicious, sudden attack against them in April 2018. A likely variation in Bolivia’s case will be a higher profile of environmentalist NGOs working in tandem with their human rights counterparts feeding misrepresentations and downright lies into Western news media. For the US and European Union elites the regional geopolitical stakes are high enough to make an attack on Bolivia imperative. ... to-bolivia

Close to prescient.
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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