I put this together very quickly from my photos and vids after coming back from Trafalgar Square. Love and respect for the occupiers. We need to explore ways in which we can take political, individual and community responsility for tackling the climate crisis and the skewed political and corporate cultures that are destroying the planet and the human solidarity of the people on it.
Wednesday 24th April. I joined the Extinction Rebellion at the Marble Arch corner of Hyde Park. They have been there since 15th April. The atmosphere was very good and the protest has been peaceful. I joined Drum Master Tom Morley who with his customary style led a group in exuberant drumming at the corners of the ER encampment. And I after joined those supporting the ‘arrestables’ – those taking the protest further by disobeying police instructions to vacate the road where they had set up tents. Though arrested no one appeared to be harmed. I’m happy and grateful for all the people who are doing this as it’s clear that most of us don’t really understand the gravity of the situation. If we did we would, as Greta Thunberg says, panic .. and transform our societies, systems and ourselves.
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This is an extremely important contribution to the most extremely important and urgent conversation we need to have now.
The video is 40 minutes long. It is urgent that we listen what Dr. Peter Carter has to say, that we continue the conversation and make sure that it is continued in all forums we have access to. In addition to ensuring that this becomes the predominant conversation, we all neeed to push for systemic change, that is change at government and international levels. This is not a change that individuals, or companies or communities can make, there are things we can do at these levels but there need to be huge political changes, disengaging governments from dependency on and support of the fossil fuel industries and their obsession with environmentally destructive economic growth.
Climate change cannot be reversed and there will be disasterous consequences. As Peter Carter indicates there are disasterous consequences happening now. The question is can climate change be slowed and can we ameliorate the consequences. I don’t know the answer to that and I don’t believe anyone does. There is no question that we will suffer hugely. The question is will we survive. Will the planet survive. We don’t know if it is possible to survive given the unprecedented challenge, we do know without a shadow of a doubt that unless we make changes on an unprecedented scale life on this planet will not persist beyond the end of this century.
These are a few of the points made by Carter in the video with some supporting links:
1. Yearly increase in atmospheric co2 is unprecedented in Earth history. That is geological history not human history. https://climate.nasa.gov/…/graphic-the-relentless-rise…/
2. All indicators for climate change increasing.
3. More heatwaves, forest fires, droughts are inevitable. Most food producing regions will see decline in crop yields. This is absolute social chaos.
4. We are wiping out life in this planet at a terrible rate. The yearly rate of species extinction is more than 1000 times greater than the natural background rate.
5. The planet is already drastically different from the one older people grew up in.
6. Catastrophic climate change is now unavoidable.
7. We have lost half of the Great Barrier Reef.
8. The Paris Agreement December 2015 was an agreement to do nothing. The climate justice groups had it right. Friends of the Earth International described the Agreement as a sham. Nothing in the agreement was legally binding. The US under Obama said that it could not be binding as the Republicans could stop it being ratified. The entire world is being deceived.
9 The planet is being fracked to death. It is global suicide. We need to stop subsidising the fossil fuel industry. trillions of dollars a year subsidise fossile fuel industries. We are paying for our own death. There is no allowable amount of carbon we can still burn
“I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.”
Jimmy Dore’s short presentation provides a good introduction to the issue of the climate change catastrophy. As a human species and as individuals we need to change our ways. Here are some of my suggestions for political and personal action:
1. If you’re in the west consume less. Don’t manufacture or buy unnecessary stuff.
2. Share more. Make sure no one starves even if it means you eat less. Make sure everyone has a home even if it means your home is smaller.
3. Phase out meat and dairy farming. We all need to move to veganism. Is eating fish sustainable? I like eating fish but we have to ask the question.
4. Dont buy plastic toys, plastic bags or plastic water bottles.
5. Reduce the use of fossil fuels through sustainable green energy use and a drastic reduction in energy consumption.
6. Don’t even think about fracking. Stop it now.
7. Don’t be a frequent flier. You may be able to afford it but the planet cannot. Focus on making your local environment more appealing.
8. Don’t deforest. Reforest.
9. Rationalise production by taking essential industries into public ownership
10. Learn to repair stuff rather than replace it.
11. Don’t think going to nuclear power is going to help. Disasterous weather conditions and degraded supply infrastructures can lead to Fukashima type incidents.
12. Move globally, nationally and personally from a competition mindset to a cooperation mindset
13. Work for global disarmament and repurpose the military to disaster relief and environment protection forces.
14. Work for change in your own local communities but communicate and coordinate with other communities regionally and globally.
15. Meditate and pray. Things are going to get very rough and we’re going to need acceptance, faith and love to get us through
16. Don’t have more than two children.
This well made and touching video shows the differences between rich and poor in relation to access to clean water. It is very well done. The background story can be read on the Huffington Post site.
This is really IMPORTANT It is vital that enough people understand this and its implications so we can make CHANGES to the way we perceive, believe and act at individual, family, community and political levels. What Annie Leonard says is obvious, painfully so, but our systems of education, media and modes of public and interpersonal discourse do not facilitate our seeing or focusing on the wider picture, in fact there is a pressure to narrow our focus. So this very simple and clear exposition is something we should watch, think about, share and then act upon. An obvious first step would be to dramatically cut our consumption of stuff.