Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Copenhagen - The Aftermath

So, a pathetically weak "deal" that is not binding and basically, if not improved on, condemns large number of humans and other species to perishing as temperature change exceeds 2 degrees in the direction of 3 degrees and beyond. Were we really so surprised? We knew how weak most governments are in the global age - the power is increasingly not with them, it is in corporate boardrooms, banks and the offices of media moguls. The task remains the same as before Copenhagen - to build a movement that can apply pressure on a global scale in the short and medium term and in the long term that can help develop the kind of alternative society and economy that is needed for sustainability and social justice.

In the English speaking world this means taking on both the corporate powers that be and their shills and apologists in media, politics and culture. It is ever more evident from reading Internet discussion boards that the agenda of some of those leading the assault on ecological awareness, social justice campaigns and any mention of ethical concerns is one of nihilism. It is a capitalist-individualist nihilism that rejects politics, religion, collective organisation and ethical concerns not due to corruption and exploitation in these fields (that is the basis of entirely justified left wing critiques of mainstream thought) but philosophically because they all demand restraint and the nihilist will not wear any restraint, regardless of the effect of this stance on others.

The nihilist tries to pretend that every demand for restraint, not matter how politely and gently requested is a totalitarian imposition that is the road to some primitivist hell. Reason and science are abandoned in favour of conspiracy theory and productivist fantasy. The average Internet nihilist lives in a mental universe of abundance where there are no real environmental or economic problems that cannot be solved by the achievement of the nirvana of the totally "free" market.

Despite the prevalence of this attitude online perhaps we should not worry too much about it - it is a basically unsustainable stance that reveals emotional and spiritual immaturity. In the end truth, reason, fellowship and the deep human longing for justice and equality are far stronger than the tantrums of unrestrained egos.

To end on a festive note, perhaps the rightist climate change deniers, the bankers, the political puppets and the nihilist-comment-page-ranters should sit down and watch A Christmas Carol or It's A Wonderful Life this Christmas, they might find food for thought.

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

War On Want Christmas Appeal

War On Want have launched a Christmas Appeal For Palestine.

This is a message from John Hilary:

We need your help today to support people in Palestine in their fight for a better life. I visited Palestine this summer, my first visit in many years. I was truly shocked to see how much everyday life for Palestinians has deteriorated. Olive farmers in the West Bank told us how they can no longer get enough water for their trees as water supply has been diverted to illegal Israeli settlements built on their land. In Bethlehem, we met refugee children who are now forced to live under the shadow of Israel's illegal Separation Wall. The people of Bethlehem are threatened on a daily basis by the violence of the Occupation.

The people of Palestine urgently need your support today. Please help us by donating to our Christmas appeal.

Palestinians are facing economic meltdown as a result of Israel's illegal Occupation of their land. The system of checkpoints and closures in the West Bank has brought the local economy to its knees and communities are harassed on a daily basis. The situation in Gaza is even more urgent. The Israeli blockade has entered its third year, and 80% of people are dependent on food aid.

To meet this new level of threat to the livelihoods of people in Palestine we need your help. Your support will enable us to work with local communities and women's groups in the West Bank and Gaza, giving them the tools and skills to create a better future.

Please donate today.

Thank you for your support,

With best wishes
John Hilary

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Jim on Copenhagen

The Copenhagen Climate Summit and associated demos like this Saturday's The Wave in London loom.

My fellow left wing Green blogger Jim Jepps had a good article that made the centre page spread of the Morning Star this week.

Jim on the media coverage so far :

We are asked to speculate on whether President Barack Obama has a spring in his step and a twinkle in his eye when speaking about the international climate summit.

Does the destiny of the world hang on whether he has a headache on the crucial day?

This focus on political celebrities rather than concrete proposals has more to do with Hello magazine than news. Conjecture about whether there will be a binding agreement rarely goes beyond the personalities of the great and the good.

More here.

Meanwhile on his blog Jim takes on one of the latest attacks on Greens from Tory Climate Sceptics.

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