Warming Up: Thinking about Nature and Economics - And ACTING.
Climate change along with the disastrous effects it will have on the earth and humanity is being ignored by much of society. I differentiate between the earth and humanity because many people only relate to the problems that humans might suffer, not fully understanding that what damages the earth also damages us. During the 1992 UN Earth Summit in Rio, media headlines were screaming “We’ve only got 20 years to save the earth!” An environmentalist dryly pointed out, “No. The earth will survive. We have 20 years to save humanity.”
The troubling evolution of corporate greenwashing
The term “greenwashing” was coined in the 1980s to describe outrageous corporate environmental claims. Three decades later, the practice has grown vastly more sophisticated
The Climate Crisis and Imperialism
The outcome of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which concluded over the weekend in Paris, has been hailed almost universally by politicians and the press as a triumph of international collaboration that will pull mankind back from the brink of ecological disaster.
'Travesty': Nestlé Outbids Another Town for Control of Local Water Supply / Boycott Launched After Nestlé Outbids Drought-Stricken Town to Buy Well for Bottled Water
Corporate giant Nestlé continued its privatization creep on Thursday as it won approval to take over another Canadian community's water supply, claiming it needed the well to ensure "future business growth."
[NOTE] - Why am I including Nestle's global pursuit of water resources? Because corporate, technocratic Nestle knows what it is doing, as fresh water dwindles as a consequence of global warming. This is an example of human economics at loggerheads with the demands of climate change. A swarm of profit-mongers, in opposition to the fragile global Commons.
As the planet warms, fresh water becomes more and more of a valued commodity. As glaciers thin and disappear, so do rivers and lakes - and aquifers. As average heat increases, water evapourates, and blue algae, etc., choke up what remains. That is something we saw during the water crisis in Toledo, among others. China, the Koch Brothers, and others, have been playing the long-game, with an eye towards controlling water access in the Great Lakes.
Nestle has been wrangling away water resources not only from towns in Canada, Maine, Oregon, California, etc., it has been steeling water from sovereign Native American lands. Where have we heard this before? Oh, yes: The TD-Bank-funded DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE is being pushed through, (from the ashes of the Keystone XL Pipeline), at the expense of sovereign Native American sacred lands - where the primary contention is that water rights are being taken away.
Population expansion, pollution, Big-Agra farming practices, and crumbling infrastructure, have also been contributing to our impending water crisis, as exemplified by the tragedy in Flint, Michigan. When we harm the Earth, we harm ourselves. Loss of lake and river water habitats mean a decrease of fishing jobs, which certainly is occurring in the oceans as well. Water drinkability decreases. Prices begin to rise all around us, and we tend not to ponder that this stress is simply Nature coming back to haunt us. Instead, we choose to war with each other, and parade nonsense issues in nonsense political dramas.
What we need to realise is that the fights of o_c_c_u_p_y; BlackLivesMatter; #NoDAPL; Ranchers in the West; wild horses in Nevada; the hungry in Venezuela - the animals of the oceans - are all related - reacting to global, government-backed, corporate land-rapists, coming in for the profits of the already-rich.
Behind their putsch are tactics of divide-and-conquer, racism, political corruption, media deceit, and the simple muscle of money. We should be joining together, acknowledging our Natural kinship, and overturning these planetary parasites. In a world in climate crisis, entering the Sixth Mass Extinction, these corporate marauders only perpetrate a culture of competition, conflict and zero-sum-gain. This zombot minority does not own the Earth, it is we the living who own the Earth.
Who Owns the Earth? Earth Ecology versus Global Economy: Part I
They think money buys them the right. Well, it doesn’t. They have simply assumed that right over centuries of abrogating to themselves too much power and self-importance, to the point where, as George Gunn wrote, “Now those who hoard wealth assume that democracy is their property.” And they place their cronies (usually with connections to big corporate business) in positions where they have no right to be.
Who Owns the Earth? People versus Power: Part 2
Many ‘peoples movements’ started in the Americas and right now members from across the world are attending the Peoples’ Summit on Climate Change, running parallel to the UN climate talks in Lima, parallel because their voices won’t be heard at the ‘big table’. Neither will young people be heard even though they will suffer more from climate change than those producing all the hot air. Other activists were prevented from attending but then, even the UK climate change Minister, Amber Rudd, has been barred from going.
What if nature, like corporations, had the rights of a person?
For some people, like the Zuni in New Mexico, wild places are considered living beings. In western society, it’s companies that assume that privileged position...
In the US and elsewhere, I believe we can do better to align our legal system with the cultural expressions of the people it serves. For instance, Congress could amend the NHPA or the American Indian Religious Freedom Act to acknowledge the deep cultural connection between tribes and natural places, and afford better protections for sacred landscapes like New Mexico’s Mount Taylor.
Until then, it says much about us when companies are considered people before nature is.
[NOTE] - I must say that I came up with the concept of, "Humankind," as a corporation, (i.e., mega-person), giving human beings STANDING in legal cases, where they would otherwise be rejected. The idea is that we all share a stake in the fate of the planet, and in each other's welfare. I saw it as possibly the only brake against the consumption being imposed by rampant corporatism. This concept, humanity-as-a-corporation, could also be connected to the idea above, of giving personhood to natural places and ecosystems, (as well as to neighbourhoods, and such). We are currently inching our way to giving more person-like rights to pets, as we learn of the great wisdom and sentience of animals. Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to advance my own concept, "Humankind," as a corporation, in any significant way. I imagine that the push-back would be prohibitive, of course.
On a different topic: During the Cold War, the area around the Marshall Islands, (now imperilled by rising a sea level and harder storms), was bombarded by exploding nuclear weapons. The citizens of the Islands have been raising the issues of the consequences of nuclear pollution, failed health, etc., caused by the explosions. They are seeking compensation, and some countries, like Australia, agree with them. (They are in the minority). At the same time, Native Americans in Nevada, who have suffered the impact of past nuclear detonations in that state, are making their own complaint, as if siding with the Marshall Islanders, (as one "Humankind" corporation).
I also included this article because the world is presently, again, approaching a nuclear war. (Search the internet). PS - In my own LJ, I will be posting large posts on the wisdom of animals, as well as on the possibility of a coming nuclear war.
This week, as if in sync with the Marshall Islanders, a group called the Native Community Action Council convened the Native American Forum on Nuclear Issues, addressing half a century of lingering horror at another nuclear testing site, in Nevada. The forum addressed such issues as abandoned uranium mines and the proposed high-level nuclear waste disposal site under Yucca Mountain, “in the heart of the Western Shoshone Nation (and) a sacred site for Shoshone and Pauite peoples,” according to the organization’s press release.
“Because of U.S. nuclear testing in Nevada, the Western Shoshone Nation is already the most bombed nation on earth’” the release continues. “They suffer from widespread cancer, leukemia and other diseases as a result of fallout from more than 1,000 atomic explosions on their territory.”[NOTE] - Many scientists say that the world is now living in the, "Anthropocene" epoch. The influence of humans on natural habitats have been vast. Now, we are probably entering a mass extinction. Not a very GOOD Anthropocene(!) But, here is a true example of people coming together to make positive changes, despite how dire the future may seem. In my opinion, to act so, whether or not one shall succeed, is an existential imperative. Further, it can be a transcendental success - perhaps even in reality, as everything is connected: our thoughts, our actions, our hopes - and, so, from the chaos of the ethosphere, perhaps Nature might take a Hoffdink Step - a paradigm shift - and turn itself around. But that is not the end of our imperative to act...
Global sustainability projects offer hope for the future
Global examples of sustainability projects, which offer a positive future for the environment, have been identified by an international group of researchers. They gathered examples of positive initiatives from communities around the world for a website they created - Good Anthropocene. These ranged from projects involving community-based radiation monitoring in Japan and ones designed to create healthier school lunches in California, to puffin patrols in Newfoundland that save baby birds from traffic.
The 'Good Anthropocene': Grassroots Initiatives Worldwide Show Path Forward
Looking for a ray of sunshine amidst seemingly endless news of the warming planet, global biodiversity loss, or ongoing war? - 'Our legacy may not be as dark as we might think'
The website: SEEDS OF GOOD ANTHROPOCENES
Seeds are existing initiatives that are not widespread or well-known. They can be social initiatives, new technologies, economic tools, or social-ecological projects, or organisations, movements or new ways of acting that have that appear to be making a substantial contribution towards creating a future that is just, prosperous, and sustainable.
We are gathering seeds from diverse research disciplines, communities of practice, and individuals that have different world-views, values, and problems. This diversity means that not everyone will agree on the importance or value of every seed.
'As many observers have noted, finding what will work is key, as the status quo is simply not an option.' (Photo: Pixabay/CC0)