Five years ago, an investigation from InsideClimate News confirmed what one might have intuitively suspected: that the leaders of Exxon Mobil were well aware of the science of global warming before it became a public issue. The investigation showed that as far back as the 1970s, Exxon had engaged in research that determined carbon dioxide was heating up the planet, corroborating observations about the effects of fossil fuels on the climate that scientists had been making since the 1890s.
It’s often hard to report on U.S. politics and government with a straight face. It’s even harder to report on the usual reporting on U.S. politics and government with a straight face. So much of it is beyond the reach of parody. Yet it also opens up opportunities to shock people with basic facts.
The scientific study of reality is one of detached observation. And that is a beautiful thing, it really is. The problem, however, is that the corporate capitalist approach to defining reality is influenced by self-interest and unafraid of narrative manipulation. It’s approach to facts is “How can they be spun?”
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Feb 15, 2020
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to activist and author, Lisa Fithian, about fierce, loving resistance. Lisa has been at the center of some of the most important campaigns of the American resistance movement in the past four decades, including the March for Peace, Justice in Central America and South Africa, Justice for Janitors labor organizing campaign, the Battle of Seattle, Occupy Wall Street, Egypt’s Tahrir Square, Standing Rock, Ferguson, and most recently, the Extinction Rebellion climate justice protests.
After facilitating the atrocities of the Pinochet dictatorship and helping introduce neoliberal policies around the world, Milton Friedman wrote in an essay from 1982 that “Only a crisis–actual or perceived–produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around.”
A recent article on climate emergency (Ripple et. al. 2020), endorsed by more than 11000 scientists from 153 countries, has received widespread publicity in the media. This is the latest among numerous scientifically researched articles on climate change and global warming, which have been published by various organizations on this one of the greatest problems that have developed on this planet, directly as a result of the activities of particular type of humans, the Modern Capitalist-Imperialist Humans (MCIH), which have evolved from the co-evolution of science and technology and capitalist political economy, during the previous few centuries. These complex and multidimensional developments have been progressively accelerating, with the greatest accelerations occurring during the 20th Century and the current 21st Century.
Waking from the Ancient Madness of Ownership
leftymathprof on Jan 24, 2020
For thousands of years we’ve endured wars, poverty, and other cruelties, all unnecessary. And now the madness is about to kill all of us with a climate apocalypse, which is coming much bigger and faster than most people realize. These problems can all be traced to a practice that we have long accepted as normal: the practice of not sharing with our cousins. Trade increases inequality, making corruption and plutocracy inevitable. Competition makes us insane. To avoid extinction we’ll need two revolutions.
When America next experiences an economic downturn, it won’t be like the relatively small recessions that the country used to regularly undergo before the 2008 crash. It will be a collapse of such magnitude that the global economy won’t ever be able to recover, like it eventually did after the Great Depression. It will likely be the end of the growth period of capitalism, and the beginning of an unprecedented contraction that leaves civilization dramatically changed.
“As the environmental crisis worsens, thinking of war as a tool with which to address it, treating refugees as akin to military enemies, threatens us with the ultimate vicious cycle. Declaring that climate change causes wars misses the reality that we human beings cause war, and that unless we learn to address crises nonviolently we will only make them worse.” — Martin Sheen
Updated: Jan. 9, 2020
by Jake Johnson
January 8, 2020
Chris Dickman of the University of Sydney said “without any doubt at all” the animal death toll has exceeded one billion.
As Australia’s catastrophic wildfires rage on with no end in sight, University of Sydney ecologist Chris Dickman said the number of animals killed in the blazes has topped one billion—a horrifying figure that the scientist described as a “very conservative” estimate.
with Chris Hedges
As 2019 comes to a close and we enter a new decade, we look back at the major events and issues that shaped the year with Chris Hedges. We discuss the rise of the Right, in part due to the weaknesses of the Left, what the Sanders campaign means for activism and achieving meaningful social change and whether or not the United States is ready for a massive uprising against neo-liberalism, as is happening around the world. The next decade will be a time when major crises such as the climate, wealth inequality and militarism are devastating. At some point, a spark will be lit in the US, but in the current environment, that is likely to result in greater movement to the right unless we prepare now to build power on the left.
Roger Hallam is of course right in his short book, Common Sense for the 21st Century: Only Nonviolent Rebellion Can Now Stop Climate Breakdown and Social Collapse. While some portion of humanity heaps scorn on the victims of the fossil fuel propaganda who deny climate science, only a much smaller portion points out the equally delusional and disastrous denial of the need for nonviolent revolution.
The power structure that now dominates the globe is a logical extension of the project for colonizing Africa, Oceania, and the Americas that the European imperialist powers began over five centuries ago. From the start of this project, it’s been a constant rule for those in the colonizing powers that one’s society is at war with a weaker enemy. The indigenous people, who have been portrayed as not capable of running things, have had to be brought under the colonial boot according to the ideology of imperial conquest. And in accordance with the global rise of capitalism that colonialism precipitated, the same dynamic of subjugation has existed between the poor and the rich.