Queequeg wrote: ↑
Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:54 pm
Kim O'Hara wrote: ↑
Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:55 pm
Queequeg wrote: ↑
Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:57 pm
In my younger and naively idealistic days, I deeply sympathized with the approach of Earth First! I don't agree with their fundamental philosophical position anymore - more or less the misanthropic view that humanity is a cancer. I did and continue to admire some of their direct actions - tree sitting and tree spiking (as long as warnings were issued to the logging companies) to prevent logging.
The environment is an existential issue, and its seeming to me that a commensurate direct action is called for. At this time, I don't know what it could be. I know though that it must be non-violent and ethical. Its beyond getting permits and marching with signs that peak as viral social media posts. We need real, analog impact. I look at my children, and the sense of urgency I feel is growing to the point it cannot be ignored or placated with smug overtures of personal virtue.
You're right, and you could add that the environment is a moral
issue, too, since climate change is likely to cause more suffering - human and animal - than any other single thing humanity is doing or has done. And it's going to cause suffering to people who were in no way responsible for it, since the burden will fall disproportionately on the poor (largely in Africa and Asia) and on generations yet to come.
So what should we do?
Bottom line: doing anything
is better than doing nothing.
Thanks, Kim. That was inspiring.
I've considered getting involved with the local Green Party, but I just couldn't bring myself to associate with them. I don't know how Green Parties are in other countries, but here, they are kind of whackadoodle fringe - vaxxers and conspiracy theorists; intolerant identity politics activists. I can't stomach that crowd, and I actually feel like they undermine the "Green" message.
Ours is a bit the same but in ours the "vaxxers and conspiracy theorists" are only the loony fringe within the party, not the bulk of the party. I therefore feel fine about spreading their message, voting for them, and encouraging everyone else to do so. (They rarely get in, but it sends a message to the centre-left party that it had better listen to the left more than to the right.) But I haven't joined the party, and won't. The way I see it, I can support them just as effectively from outside while retaining my freedom to critique them as necessary.
In the end, it really is about a change of the economy. I don't see it changing significantly in the short term, but maybe if we get these ideas out there, they'll resonate and gain momentum with each catastrophic event which are only a matters of time.
Like climate change, "the economy" is not a solid block but can be changed one tiny step at a time. Every time we shop at a local market instead of Walmart or Amazon, every time we buy local instead of imported, every time we hire rather than buy and throw out, we change the economy. Get friends on board, and we amplify our change. Etc.
General question -
Where are the pressure points where energy could be focused?
Excellent question, and one that I found unexpectedly hard to answer. Then I realised that at least three quite different kinds of “pressure points” were fighting for my attention.
One kind answers the question, “Where can our efforts have maximum effect?”
• Every election, making sure the candidates are questioned on green issues and know that voters do care. —> Avaaz https://www.avaaz.org/page/en/about/
• Shareholder action, e.g. ethical investment —> Market Forces https://www.marketforces.org.au
• Community-building —> community gardens, men’s sheds, revegetation of parklands, etc.
Another, quite close to it, is, “Which issues will arouse the greatest community engagement?”
• Wildlife welfare, especially key species like whales and pandas, and special places like our Great Barrier Reef. —> Greenpeace, WWF, etc.
• Extreme weather events and their consequences (Sandy woke up a few people!) —> Red Cross emergency relief.
* Community health issues e.g. mine waste in water supplies.
The third, more scientific than social, is, “Which environmental problems are most likely to be catastrophic or need the most urgent attention, and how are they best addressed?”
• CO2 emissions are the over-riding concern. All the other effects are basically consequences. —> Drawdown http://www.drawdown.org
• Species loss is irreversible so it may need to be prioritised locally —> WWF
There's far more to be done than any one person can even keep in touch with so, realistically, each of us takes up the issues which we feel most strongly about and contributes where we feel we can.