Extinction Rebellion

droid

Beast of Burden
Apparently one of lead ppl (uk based) was on tv saying that in a few years her children wouldnt have enough to eat because of climate change. Um.
There is a strong possibility that this may be true. Food systems are particularly vulnerable and there's been virtually no preparation, no strategic grain stores, no land appropriation, no contingency planning.

Absent of radical change there's shit coming down the line that makes every war and plague in human history look like a cake walk.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Depends what you mean by "a few years". If food prices carry on rising by a few percent a year for the foreseeable future, then the very wealthy will continue to be unaffected, the middling well off will have to cut back on foreign holidays, there will be further rises in the use of food banks for the poor in developed countries and, as usual, it'll be in developing countries where people suffer most.

A neglected aspect of the food security problem is that developed countries could easily absorb a rise in the cost of raw food products and still get foods to consumers at lower prices if we didn't depend on the massively inefficient supermarket retail system, which leads to about a third of all food that's produced being wasted.
 

Leo

Active member
some comforting findings on this earth day...

U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Weren’t Built for Climate Change

According to a Bloomberg review of correspondence between the commission and plant owners, 54 of the nuclear plants operating in the U.S. weren’t designed to handle the flood risk they face. Fifty-three weren’t built to withstand their current risk from intense precipitation; 25 didn’t account for current flood projections from streams and rivers; 19 weren’t designed for their expected maximum storm surge. Nineteen face three or more threats that they weren’t designed to handle.
https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2019-nuclear-power-plants-climate-change/?srnd=businessweek-v2
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
There is a strong possibility that this may be true. Food systems are particularly vulnerable and there's been virtually no preparation, no strategic grain stores, no land appropriation, no contingency planning.
Be happy to read more about this (I mean that genuinely, rather than sarcastically).

The underlying factor that annoys me is the focus in XR upon what will happen to 'us', whilst the ravages of climate change will affect those in developing countries first. Added to the ongoing spectacle of white middle class people marginalising the concerns of anyone who dares to point out the lack of sensitivity within XR to difference (thus continuing the work of centuries), it dilutes what is in other ways a powerful movement. And then sending people to get arrested many of whom are incredibly naive about possible consequences.

Anyway, it's always the same old shit. People convince themselves they're morally superior through doing what is in many ways good work, and use this as a cover to totally ignore points of difficulty with what they're doing (and castigate those raising these genuine difficulties as 'spoiling' or somesuch).
 

droid

Beast of Burden
I dont think you would be happy to read about it TBH. Things are much worse than you think.

I cant speak for XR, and they seem like a fairly nebulous group, but I think you've got the wrong end of the stick. They grew out of the deep adaptation movement which is primarily about coping with the loss and grief that will come from ecocide, the loss of irreplaceable natural systems that have been here for millions of years. In fact one of the main slogans Ive heard is that hundreds of millions will die as a result of climate change, and they know that this will hit the global south first. This does not strike me as an ethos of a selfish navel gazing middle class movement.

Im curious as to why you've taken such a Peterson like stance on this. They are 100% correct in their assessment, their methods have gotten more press for climate than any other protest movement and there are already shifting policy opinions. I can disagree or quibble with lots of stuff they've done, but fundamentally, they are correct, and we should all hope that they succeed.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Yeah, it isn't a question of "do I want these people to succeed or not, 'cos of X (perceived infraction)" which is something I fall into sometimes. I don't really see much of a difference between me and protestors because we really are all in it together this time. Anything I can write about climate change seems too small and insubstantial given the gravity of the crisis. I actually think it's very hard to stay emotionally in touch with the facts and their significance, it's overwhelming.

And FWIW most people I've talked to seem to foreground the impacts on the global south, this is why "Climate Justice" is such a prominent slogan.
 

yyaldrin

in je ogen waait de wind
i guess for me it depends what they are advocating for? are they advocating for green capitalism? because i don't believe in that.
 

yyaldrin

in je ogen waait de wind
it's somehow ironic that people in the uk are blocking roads and protesting for halting climate change, whereas in france people are doing the same for months because of policy introduced to halt climate change.
 

droid

Beast of Burden
Yeah, although thats not really what the yellow vests were about, just the proximate cause.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
I dont think you would be happy to read about it TBH. Things are much worse than you think.

I cant speak for XR, and they seem like a fairly nebulous group, but I think you've got the wrong end of the stick. They grew out of the deep adaptation movement which is primarily about coping with the loss and grief that will come from ecocide, the loss of irreplaceable natural systems that have been here for millions of years. In fact one of the main slogans Ive heard is that hundreds of millions will die as a result of climate change, and they know that this will hit the global south first. This does not strike me as an ethos of a selfish navel gazing middle class movement.

Im curious as to why you've taken such a Peterson like stance on this. They are 100% correct in their assessment, their methods have gotten more press for climate than any other protest movement and there are already shifting policy opinions. I can disagree or quibble with lots of stuff they've done, but fundamentally, they are correct, and we should all hope that they succeed.
Well, yeah, I probably wouldn't be overjoyed.

I'm pretty sure I haven't taken a Peterson-like stance, given that the criticisms that I'm making. And I think you have the wrong end of the stick in terms of what I'm saying. I agree with XR's aims, and I acknowledge the successes you cite, but the means by which those aims are achieved are important, and it's also important if the movement doesn't feel inclusive. These are not mere side points.

I'm not completely sure that it matters what the group grew out of; what matters is what it is now (and that's true of any other group). Things change as groups develop and grow, and their constituencies change. Obviously it depends on the individual, but I haven't heard the message about the global south, which is not to say it's not there (and I've talked to quite a few people who have become involved). At the very least, the messaging is ambiguous and somewhat confusing.

"We should all hope that they succeed" - well yeah, but that would involve overturning the current system. So this has to be an anti-capitalist movement, right, or at the very least one which radically transforms the form of capitalism we have (can't think how this second would work, but still)? That message is only very intermittently present.

As above, I support XR, but I think their methods need altering.
 
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droid

Beast of Burden
The message is clear and this affects everyone, which is their main point.

https://rebellion.earth/declaration/
https://rebellion.earth/the-truth/the-emergency/

We, in alignment with our consciences and our reasoning, declare ourselves in rebellion against our Government and the corrupted, inept institutions that threaten our future.

The wilful complicity displayed by our government has shattered meaningful democracy and cast aside the common interest in favour of short-term gain and private profits.

When Government and the law fail to provide any assurance of adequate protection, as well as security for its people’s well-being and the nation’s future, it becomes the right of its citizens to seek redress in order to restore dutiful democracy and to secure the solutions needed to avert catastrophe and protect the future. It becomes not only our right, it becomes our sacred duty to rebel.

We hereby declare the bonds of the social contract to be null and void, which the government has rendered invalid by its continuing failure to act appropriately. We call upon every principled and peaceful citizen to rise with us.

We demand to be heard, to apply informed solutions to these ecological crises and to create a national assembly by which to initiate those solutions needed to change our present cataclysmic course.

We refuse to bequeath a dying planet to future generations by failing to act now.
 

droid

Beast of Burden
And the suggestion that they are all middle class narcissists who only care about themsleves and are just doing this for the ego-buzz is pretty Petersonesque TBF.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Their message isn't clear. For example, keeping on saying that this is 'beyond politics' is a way to delay alienating the people they know they'll need to alienate. It is profoundly political.

Well, your straw man is fairly Petersonesque, but it's not at all what I said, so it's kind of pointless you saying it... XR is an organisation that says that most police are "reasonable people" really, and that the prison system is 'messed up', without any politicised critique of who exactly it might be set up to mess up. Clearly not an organisation that has an unambiguous attitude towards power structures, right? It is OK to point this out; we don't have to pretend these issues don't exist, and nor does it mean XR can't be supported. It means they will have to get more radical to really succeed, that's all, and then that will test the loyalty of a certain cohort of people.

The core issue here seems to be a conflation of two separate things: (i) valid criticisms of a movement, and (ii) whether or not one supports it.

I'm out for the moment, as this seems a particularly pointless dead end.
 
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john eden

male pale and stale
It would be a bold move to suggest that it isn't a mainly middle class movement.

I am sure, as with most movements, that the individuals in it have all kinds of conscious and subconscious motivations.

But class composition is important for all sorts of reasons, not just Marxist purism. For example the white middle class bias is definitely one of the factors in "the cops are on our side" type stuff.

Also one of the (unelected) leaders was saying the other day that the protests put them in a good position to "talk to the government" now + they made a statement about "welcoming businesses" to the movement. So they really are in a precarious position in terms of overturning the existing economic system.

But... so far so good. Hopefully the movement will accelerate and overtake its leaders.
 

john eden

male pale and stale
I probably won't read it. What point does it make?
Well essentially that you can't actually make deep changes to the system with a middle class movement.

For lasting change you need to include the people who can actually make the world grind to a halt. You need to appeal to their direct interests and understand where they are coming from:


One of the major achievements of the anti-nuclear movement and its militants (even its 'solar capital' planners) is to have created a social movement practically from zero. In the midst of the general decay of old 'New Left' organisations, anti-nuclear militants took a practical chance that lots of 'pure revolutionaries' didn't even perceive. But this world is ungrateful and militant merits are not eternally respected because all movements, if they remain alive, change continuously. The anti-nuclear movement emerged with a class composition linked to a type of highly valued intellectual labour force in rural and suburban regions. Will this be the social and geographic limit of the movement? With the Three Mile Island accident and the energy price attack, capital is saying to this movement: "Okay, folks, you got a point. But what about food-riots in the cities, which side will you be on?"

This may appear exaggerated, but this question expresses the main problem the anti-nuclear movement will necessarily face in urban areas. The urban working class forces a choice on the movement: will it stick to its old class-structure or will it try to extend beyond these limits? Will it be a movement of concerned intellectual workers, dealing with problems of antiplanning, restricting its form of struggle and organisation to this class sector or will it deal with more immediate issues such as rate hikes and food prices. The anti-nuclear movement is still pondering over the risks of enlarging its class composition (which could mean self-devaluation) versus the advantages of conserving its own value as a labour force. (For example, at one of the first major occupations of a nuclear plant site after Three Mile Island - the one at Shoreham, New York on June 3, 1979 - non-violence training has still been declared compulsory by the organisers).

The anti-nuclear movement has developed a certain rigidity and a fear of uninvited guests. While being harmless in rural areas, this rigidity can become a danger in cities where different class-sectors live closely together. 'Doing your own thing' in a city can immediately mean doing it against others, for everything is so directly interrelated. The apparently innocent act of installing a windmill on the roof and saving energy is an attack on a neighbour who probably doesn't have the necessary money for such an installation and is left alone in the' struggle against rising electricity bills. One arm of the anti-nuclear movement, 'alternative energy', can become just another hobby for higher income people or people with special educations. Thus, Carter's energy bill subsidises the installation of solar heating devices through tax write-offs, but only those who have houses to install them and taxes to write off can take advantage of the deal. In general, such individual or class restricted energy solutions put poorer sectors in an even tighter squeeze and deepen the divisions within the class. if a nuclear shut down only means solar privileges for some people, capital can divide the possible movement of all energy consumers and we will lose the nuclear battle.
 
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