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Jim Hunt

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Extinction Rebellion
« on: October 28, 2018, 01:58:20 PM »
As previously pointed out by gerontocrat, according to George Monbiot:

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A people’s rebellion is the only way to fight climate breakdown

In a letter to the Guardian on Friday Dr Rowan Williams, Professor Molly Scott Cato MEP and 92 others declared:

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We the undersigned represent diverse academic disciplines, and the views expressed here are those of the signatories and not their organisations. While our academic perspectives and expertise may differ, we are united on one point: we will not tolerate the failure of this or any other government to take robust and emergency action in respect of the worsening ecological crisis. The science is clear, the facts are incontrovertible, and it is unconscionable to us that our children and grandchildren should have to bear the terrifying brunt of an unprecedented disaster of our own making.....

We therefore declare our support for Extinction Rebellion, launching on 31 October 2018. We fully stand behind the demands for the government to tell the hard truth to its citizens. We call for a Citizens’ Assembly to work with scientists on the basis of the extant evidence and in accordance with the precautionary principle, to urgently develop a credible plan for rapid total decarbonisation of the economy.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

zizek

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2018, 04:26:44 PM »
We're are currently experiencing the rot of liberal "democracies" and the emergence of extreme reactionary politics and violence.

https://www.vox.com/mischiefs-of-faction/2018/10/26/18029696/brazilian-police-interrogate-professors

Brazil is electing an outright fascist. Bolsonaro doesn't even try to hide it like the American republicans.

The success of Trump and the display of nationalism in the United States has truly uncovered the always-known fact that western democracies were a veil for a society rooted in slavery, exploitation and hate.

The right wing nationalists are already successfully building their bulwarks against climate change refugees. Hate, racism, islamophobia, ICE, mega-prisons, border walls.  The response to refugees has already been institutionalized, politicized, and ingrained in the culture of Americans, Britain, Italians, Brazilians and so many more.

Between the chaos of neoliberal economics and climate change, things are going to get worse. The only way to confront the crisis of economic decline and environmental destruction is bold and direct action. Anything less than revolution will only pave the way for fascists and their collaborators to continue gaining power.


posters here like NeilT likes to call me an idealists for criticizing liberalism and calling for revolutionary socialist action. But I'd like to see him call the Brazilians that are bloodied from a fascist jackboot an idealist.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2018, 07:22:32 PM by zizek »

vox_mundi

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2018, 08:51:13 PM »
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"We can't save the world by playing by the rules because the rules have to change. Everything needs to change and it has to start today….To all the politicians that pretend to take the climate question seriously, to all of you who know but choose to look the other way every day because you seem more frightened of the changes that can prevent the catastrophic climate change than the catastrophic climate change itself… Please treat the crisis as the crisis it is and give us a future."

Greta Thunberg, 15 year-old climate activist speaking at the Helsinki climate demonstration, October 20, 2018

Truth & Consequences - by Kristine Mattis

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... The climate crisis, as many other environmental issues, isn’t a scientific problem; it is a social, political, and economic one. As they say, “it isn’t rocket science.” It is greed.

A Green New Deal will not cut it because it leaves capitalism, corporatism, imperialism, and consumerism in place. We aren’t going to “science” our way out of these crises. We can’t advertise or market our way out, shop our way out, sing and dance or entertain our way out, fundraise our way out, engineer (and genetically engineer) our way out, protest our way out, text, tweet, snapchat or instagram our way out, pray our way out, or even vote our way out. Our way out is to dramatically alter much of our way of life. It is to prioritize ecological concerns and do our best to conduct every aspect of our lives sustainably, rather than just pay lip service to our belief that climate change is real or that plastic pollution is a problem or that fossil fuel use is unsustainable. In many, if not most ways, we just simply need to stop. Our way of life is incompatible with the continuance of life.

Suffice it to say, much of what we are used to in our lives is antithetical to sustainable life and probably has to go. Besides reduce, reuse, and recycle, we should add slow down, simplify, and stop.

... Besides which … Are you happy? Polls and surveys suggest that the answer to that question for the vast majority of Americans is a resounding “No.” While the poor struggle to get by day to day, what’s left of the middle class live paycheck to paycheck. And even the upper-middle class and rich are not completely satisfied, probably because they have actual experience that money does not buy happiness in an atomized, unjust, and environmentally degraded world. But they will never admit to this reality and will continue to strive for more wealth and dominance in a futile quest to fill the voids in their lives.

All of those I know who are truly despairing about the environmental situation are the same people who are doing the most about it. Their desperation comes not as much from the overwhelming nature of the problem, but more from the fact that so many around them do not seem to notice or care.

... Nearly all of the changes that can potentially help mitigate our environmental crises will also mitigate our social crises and our misery. So exactly why are so many people so reluctant to change?

... To be sure, not all humans created this problem. Ironically, it is the ones who have all but been obliterated across the globe – the indigenous - who hold the keys to our salvation. They did not exploit natural resources to the point of collapse; they honored and respected other species and their place in our global ecosystem. They considered more than quarterly earnings; they considered the consequences of their daily actions and looked forward toward the preservation of life for a minimum of seven generations of their people.

Rather than revere the psychopathic, narcissistic, members of society who hoard all of the wealth, resources, and power to the detriment of people and planet, many indigenous cultures would shun and ostracize them. This is not an exaltation of the myth of the “noble savage.” Even the current IPCC report advises that indigenous knowledge and wisdom have important roles to play if we are to survive.

...Right before I received my doctoral degree, I had to meet with the graduate dean for a sort of exit interview. Seeing my field of study, she commented, “So, you are going to go out there and save us.” No. There are no individuals of any field or discipline who can save us. Likewise, to combat utter ecological devastation, people often say “we need our leaders to step up.” If it is not abundantly clear by now, our leaders have little incentive to do anything, and they have accomplished appallingly less.

The truth is, we must all take the lead. We must eat, sleep, and breathe with our environment in mind. In doing so, we will have to support one another in a battle against the rich and powerful who resist - with more fervor than any other type of resistance - all of the changes necessary that might stand half a chance of making this world more equitable and ecologically sound. We should do so not because we will necessarily save the world, but because as moral, ethical, rational, human beings, how can we not do so? And we do so because, unless we are mere sociopaths, we are clear about the truth of our situation and the consequences of not doing so.

Maybe we can learn from others ...

Japan's unusual way to view the world
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Jim Hunt

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2018, 01:16:08 PM »
An extract from the keynote speech at the UN Blockchains for Sustainable Development Session at the World Investment Forum 2018 by Jem Bendell, Professor of Sustainability Leadership at the University of Cumbria:



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Despite decades of deliberation and initiative, carbon emissions continue to rise. One reason we have not stopped that is because action has always been an add on, not a starting point for our systems of economic organisation. So although it is typical for conversations like ours today to focus on how to improve the current global system, I want to ask us to consider something far bolder. That is the need to transform our economic system – and fast.

A full transcript of the speech is available at:

http://iflas.blogspot.com/2018/10/keynote-at-un-on-blockchains-transcript.html
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

NeilT

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2018, 02:26:05 PM »
posters here like NeilT likes to call me an idealists for criticizing liberalism and calling for revolutionary socialist action. But I'd like to see him call the Brazilians that are bloodied from a fascist jackboot an idealist.

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National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus), more commonly known as Nazism (/ˈnɑːtsiɪzəm, ˈnæt-/),[1] is the ideology and practices associated with the Nazi Party – officially the National Socialist German Workers' Party

Other examples of "revolutionary socialist action"

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The Russian revolution
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The communist revolution of China

After Stalin ousted Lenin, he killed more Russians than Hitler did.
Mao killed Chinese on a scale the Japanese could never have envisioned.

You want "revolutionary socialist action"?  The evidence is all around you.  The "socialist" word is used by the biggest egomaniacs and the greatest destroyers or people and environment this world has ever seen.

I call your ideas idealist because they are.  If you want to see the non revolutionary largest beneficial movement the world has ever seen, you want to start looking at the Liberals of the United Kingdom that outlawed Slavery.  Or the Democrats in America who also outlawed slavery.

You might want to look at the Liberals in the UK who brought in Social Security to deliver old age pensions, or the Original Labour party who created the NHS  (don't look at the sycophants that inhabit that space today).

People who espouse "Social Revolution" always call the purveyors of the right to personal ownership, the right to personal wealth and the right to live the benefits of organised society, from the money they have earned, as "Jackbooted oppressors".  Yet they always fail to see the iron fist of the "socialist" order which demands that everyone be the same, except for those who are above being the same, of course.  Animal Farm indeed.

Who is it throwing the stones, rioting, trying to damage property and people?  Oh, yes, the "revolutionaries".  Of course when the Government does what it is charged with doing and stops these, oh so good, "revolutionaries" from damaging property and people, they are called Jackbooted oppressors.

The truth is, as always, somewhere in the middle.  But there are always enough people willing to believe one story or another to cause war and strife and damage.


Idealists?  That is being nice.  Useful idiots is more like it.

Extinction rebellion?  That's when you switch YouTube off and the apathetic riot on the streets because they can't get their fix of "reality".

Honestly any society that can accept the term "reality TV" for something that is so far removed from reality, doesn't fit into the "deserve to survive" category.

They will, however, be excellent fodder for the rebellion.  So long as you can drag them away from YouTube long enough...
Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.

Robert A. Heinlein

Jim Hunt

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2018, 04:04:30 PM »
They will, however, be excellent fodder for the rebellion.  So long as you can drag them away from YouTube long enough...

Apropos of nothing in particular:

« Last Edit: October 30, 2018, 08:01:50 PM by Jim Hunt »
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

etienne

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2018, 07:56:18 PM »
When talking about revolution, there is one thing that only non violence was able to achieve : to have the aims and the paths that are compatible, even similar. In politics, I believe that everybody wants people to be happy, healthy... what makes the difference is how politicians want to reach the aims.
If you use violence, you will always somehow corrupt yourself because you will kill and hurt people, even if you try a zero death path, and government will always be stronger because they have a better access to weapons.
Furthemore, non violence also developped concepts like voluntary simplicity that are required to reduce CO2 production.
Socialism nor Liberalism are ways out of growth and will not help in the context of climate change.

DrTskoul

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2018, 11:45:33 PM »
There is no non-carbon based growth or sustainability attainable with the current population pathway. But who will decide who decreases first.. regarding revolutions show me the last revolution that didn't lead to bloodshed and authoritarianism waiting at the other end...

Human Habitat Index

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2018, 01:26:50 AM »
There is no non-carbon based growth or sustainability attainable with the current population pathway. But who will decide who decreases first.. regarding revolutions show me the last revolution that didn't lead to bloodshed and authoritarianism waiting at the other end...

We don't have a problem, we have a predicament.
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is contempt prior to investigation. - Herbert Spencer

Jim Hunt

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2018, 12:37:11 PM »
Molly Scott Cato MEP on "Why I’m turning from law-maker to law-breaker to try to save the planet":

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/31/law-breaker-save-planet-direct-action-civil-disobedience

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As a Quaker, I don’t believe that spiritual wisdom resides in books or rituals but in the still, small voice that tells you when something must change. When the inward light, that I believe we all have within us, prompts you to stand up to a fascist bully or to engage in civil disobedience to halt climate breakdown, you have no choice but to follow....

It is no exaggeration to say that our survival as a species is at risk. Enough. Enough of words; of hypocrisy and broken promises. It’s time to act.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

oren

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2018, 05:37:22 PM »
In politics, I believe that everybody wants people to be happy, healthy... what makes the difference is how politicians want to reach the aims.
I envy you your beliefs. The politicians I have seen want their own good first and foremost, and treat people as material they can shape to reach their aims, with very little morality involved. some few politicians are "idealists" that seem to care for the people but they they never seem to gain significant power. Most such persons avoid politics because they realize they have no chance of being elected.

etienne

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2018, 09:06:55 PM »
In politics, I believe that everybody wants people to be happy, healthy... what makes the difference is how politicians want to reach the aims.
I envy you your beliefs. The politicians I have seen want their own good first and foremost, and treat people as material they can shape to reach their aims, with very little morality involved. some few politicians are "idealists" that seem to care for the people but they they never seem to gain significant power. Most such persons avoid politics because they realize they have no chance of being elected.
Well, I'm not as naive as it may sound. I should have said :"when you look at the official publications of the political parties..."

I wonder how a rebellion against climate change could look like. My older son is a good example : he told us that we should have been more strict with him as a baby (we had a feeding problem, he is now a teenager) but when we tease him and say: "ok, let's be strict and turn the Internet off because of whatever a reason", he really doesn't agree. Looks like we are in a similar situation with the need to reduce our living standard and the difficulty to accept it, and even more difficult, to elect somebody who would take that way.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2018, 11:04:04 PM by etienne »

NeilT

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2018, 11:21:22 PM »
Well, I'm not as naive as it may sound. I should have said :"when you look at the official publications of the political parties..."

We have a name for them.  They begin "Once upon a time" and are called Fairy Stories....
Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.

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zizek

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2018, 11:29:57 PM »

<snip: uncalled for, friend. If you can't make your argument without just screaming obscenities at your opponents, you should probably choose a different argument. We're not kids here; no one expects saintly behavior. But you have to do better. JP>
« Last Edit: October 31, 2018, 11:39:39 PM by Jim Pettit »

zizek

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2018, 11:48:25 PM »
<Look, NeilT is doing the same thing as you, but doesn't use the curse words. I don't mind cursing all that much, but it does distract. And because it's a trigger for many people, they complain, and then Jim and I have to deal with that. I act when it becomes too much work to do nothing. So, if you just cut back on the direct insults, there's no need for banning, etc.

You also need to understand that if you want to save what can be salvaged, you won't do it by picking fights and venting frustrations in some online venue. Even if you can't convince the person you're discussing with, you may convince those who read along. But you won't if you curse too much. N.

PS as for my opinion: I agree with Neil that the truth is somewhere between your positions.>
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 01:22:51 PM by Neven »

zizek

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Human Habitat Index

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2018, 01:53:48 AM »
https://twitter.com/smoreira31/status/1056901157153587201

https://twitter.com/PersonalEscrito/status/1056632511793717249





"Incredible graph - Bolsonaro won in 97% of the richest cities and Haddad in 98% of the poorest."

Ex PM of OZ Paul Keating : ''In the race of life, always back self-interest - at least you know it's trying''
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is contempt prior to investigation. - Herbert Spencer

oren

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2018, 02:27:25 AM »
**** your decorum. Just ban me. **** etc.
I happen to agree.
You can spew out propaganda all you like, just use proper language. If you must post childish outbursts and endless swear words, I am sure there are other forums that will receive it better.

Sparkles

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2018, 12:48:07 PM »
Hi I am a longtime lurker. Inspired by a post on Jason Box's Twitter feed I was one of the 1000 people at the Declaration of Rebellion for Extinction Rebellion on Wednesday. It was a glorious autumn day and I felt privileged to be at the start of something so significant. https://mobile.twitter.com/extinctionr
« Last Edit: November 02, 2018, 12:58:25 PM by Sparkles »

kassy

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2018, 01:29:23 PM »
Thanks for being there!
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

etienne

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2018, 05:09:16 PM »
It's very impressive, maybe it's the way to do it, to strike until proper legislation is passed.

johnm33

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2018, 07:51:52 PM »
I'm constantly amazed by the sychronicity of ideas passing through our [humanity]s minds, http://www.ianwelsh.net/7-rules-for-running-a-real-left-wing-government/

etienne

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2018, 08:22:28 PM »
I'm constantly amazed by the sychronicity of ideas passing through our [humanity]s minds, http://www.ianwelsh.net/7-rules-for-running-a-real-left-wing-government/
Well, I don't believe that left wings are better than right wings when we talk about climate change. I really believe that we need something different.
The joke is that, like very well described in the book "Tyranny of Metrics", capitalist economy has now the same problems than the communist system, KPI (Key Performance Indicator) have become as worthless than the 5 years plan of the communist time, somehow, same concept with same problems, just that Internet provides much faster feed backs, which in this case means less freedom.
My parents have a friend who lived in Algeria when the independance happend. There was one day a major protest, and like he said, it is too bad that some extremists were able to use that protest to take the power. I believe that we really need democracy if we want to be efficient on the long run, but it's a difficult way. A strike is a good tool to use in a democracy, it's a way to stop cooperating with actions that go the wrong way, but when you need your salary at the end of the month, it's not so easy.

zizek

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2018, 09:11:38 PM »
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<Look, NeilT is doing the same thing as you, but doesn't use the curse words. I don't mind cursing all that much, but it does distract. And because it's a trigger for many people, they complain, and then Jim and I have to deal with that. I act when it becomes too much work to do nothing. So, if you just cut back on the direct insults, there's no need for banning, etc.

You also need to understand that if you want to save what can be salvaged, you won't do it by picking fights and venting frustrations in some online venue. Even if you can't convince the person you're discussing with, you may convince those who read along. But you won't if you curse too much. N.

PS as for my opinion: I agree with Neil that the truth is somewhere between your positions.>

Sorry. You're right. When someone equates socialism to nazism I should be gentle and nice.

This is a forum of respectable people that like to speak with logic and reason. Emotional outbursts should be kept to yourself. And as the world descends into fascism, violence, and environmental chaos, make sure you present yourself as a pragmatic high-class citizen. The Trumps, the Bolsonaros, and the Dutertes only listen to polite language. 

Fascism continues to strengthen its grip across a convulsing world. Environmental destruction and economic decline is forcing the wealthy to rely on violence, hate, and exploitation to secure their place in society.
In ten years from now when things have gotten a lot worse, make sure you pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself. You were bold enough to give reactionaries like NeilT a platform, while silencing anger and frustration felt for people like him. The last thing we would want is humanity entering the violent Anthropocene with a potty mouth. Gross!
« Last Edit: November 02, 2018, 09:52:25 PM by zizek »

etienne

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2018, 10:26:56 PM »
Let's not mix everything. Nazi called themselves socialists, national socialist because it was only for people complying with their ideology. There is no copyright on "socialism" and anybody can missuse it just like he/she wants.

Communism was of course another catastrophy, next year, 2019, will be the 30th anniversary of the end of the wall in Berlin, it was a great time, I made a T-shirt with all the visas I collected during the summer before. I guess in the EU, almost nobody remembers what these days were.

I really believe in democracy, freedom and non violence because extremism (even climate extremism) always ends up with violence.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2018, 10:41:41 PM by etienne »

etienne

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2018, 10:37:12 PM »
Just an extra comment, you can't make people happy against their will. Real achievements are only possible when people want to go forward. Happines requires enthusiasm.
I am also very worried about the political situation in many places on earth. When people start to tweet whatever goes through their mind, the context might become unhealthy.

Rod

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2018, 07:02:48 AM »
Just an extra comment, you can't make people happy against their will. Real achievements are only possible when people want to go forward. Happines requires enthusiasm.
I am also very worried about the political situation in many places on earth. When people start to tweet whatever goes through their mind, the context might become unhealthy.

I remember when the wall came down.  I don't think Zizek was even born yet.  In reading through his post history, he seems to be a young person that is pissed because he does not like the looks of his future.  I don't blame him. It looks pretty bleak. <snip; I don't understand why you had to put that in, given the rest of what you say, sounds so emphatic; N.>  But I understand why he is pissed off. 
« Last Edit: November 03, 2018, 08:50:59 AM by Neven »

etienne

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2018, 10:28:14 PM »
The problem for a rebellion is that clear objectives are needed. Gandhi wanted India to be independent, King and Mandela wanted equal rights...
Here we want to reduce CO2 emissions, but that's difficult to translate in a political requirement. If we only consider sub-objectives, maybe me miss important points. And how do we know that the objective has been reached ?
Non cooperation objective are easier to achieve, we can boycot companies or countries that don't agree to act like required. We can refuse to use some technologies...

Rod

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2018, 02:21:40 AM »
[quote author=Rod link=topic=2431.msg179287#msg179287 date=1541224968
<snip; I don't understand why you had to put that in, given the rest of what you say, sounds so emphatic; N.>  But I understand why he is pissed off.
[/quote]

Sorry Neven!  You are absolutely right!  I was reading some of the comments in "the rest" section and got too worked up. It won't happen again. 

NeilT

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #29 on: November 05, 2018, 11:04:45 AM »
PS as for my opinion: I agree with Neil that the truth is somewhere between your positions.>

We are indeed poles apart, I come from a thoroughly upper middle class background in the UK of a family with very strong military links.  I'm also ex Army (not the middle class section either), so swearing does not bother me at all.  I will use the odd swear word to put strong emphasis on things, but I generally find that not using those words leads to a better debate and less acrimony.

It is unlikely that any cursing will exceed my knowledge of the words or even words I have regularly employed in the past. Unless, of course modern oblique words and phrases are used.

I admit, freely, that my views are further right than most and the things I see as solutions are not part of the mainstream.  I even believe that our rights we cherish so dearly today will have to be trampled on pretty badly to get through AGW.

At this point I'm strongly with the pacifists.  Nothing good ever comes of revolution.  You always have to be looking over your shoulder to see who is sticking the knife in your back.  Contrary to popular belief, revolution is the tool of the middle classes, used to get rid of the glass ceiling above them and install themselves in the place of those above them.

As for socialist revolutionaries? I have never met one that did not see themselves on the top of the pile after the dust settles and I have met a few of the dissolusioned "Ex" revolutionaries.

So I tend to have harsh words for any dreamer who thinks they can just tear down the old order with violence and expect that order and sanity will rise from the ashes like some great Phoenix. History proves it is actually the opposite.

For those who worry about this kind of revolution, I have some comfort.  Looking at the generations of my children and grandchildren they are just too wrapped up in their own lives to even be interested. Simply put they have it far too good to rock the boat in that way.

You only need to look at the arguments put forward by the Brexit debate to see that.  Those for Brexit were worried about loss of jobs, loss of national identity and loss of sovereignty.  Those for Remain were worried about the cost of their holidays to Spain and whether it would take 1 hour or 30 minutes to clear customs on their weekend break to Amsterdam.

God help the climate lobby when people are filled with such weighty matters. You think the demonstrations were bad for Brexit?  Try doing something which really restricts their lives. Trump was not an aberration, it was a consequence.
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Neven

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2018, 11:49:00 AM »
Thanks for explaining where you're coming from, Neil.  :)

How about tearing down the old order without resorting to violence? Or rather, putting some limits on the old order, as in how much an individual can own. My theory is that concentrated wealth owns everyone, including the rich, and forces everyone to engage in this destructive system. The only way to de-concentrate wealth is by putting a cap on how much a person can own. Mind you, it's not communism, the cap could be fairly high for all I care, as long as there is one, and all of society agrees there should be one (primitive tribes did the same by creating taboos around egoism and the pursuit of power).

This idea is pretty radical, I think, but would leave most things in place and not necessarily require violence (although concentrated wealth as an entity will resist, of course). At the same time it would take away the prime incentive fueling the out-of-control system we currently have, possibly opening gaps towards real solutions (no more need for excessive consumption culture, for instance).

What I like about this radical idea - besides the fact that it's mine, of course  ;) - is that it goes beyond the classic ideology or left/right thinking we've all been conditioned with (the generation of my parents more heavily than mine, I think).
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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2018, 12:21:25 PM »
I would be OK with that Neven, if it were only people who were the issue.

In reality it is the transnational businesses, the investment funds and the hedge funds which distort our markets most of all.  Whilst some billionaires are an issue, it is the truly gargantuan finance engines out there which drive our choices and governments.  When we start talking in the trillions, personal wealth becomes less important.

Also I think that you would have some issues today.  Whilst the press constantly whinges about the rich, some 20 odd percent of all UK taxes are paid by the top 1%.  Take that away and the bottom 40% are going to have to start paying some taxes.  Any Government that tries that is going to get a short, sharp lesson in democratic "justice".

I find this "ultra rich" boogeyman to be disingenuous. Back before WW1, in the UK, <15% of the wealth was owned by anyone but the super rich.  Today less than 70% of the wealth is owned by the super rich. I can't remember the exact numbers but it is somewhere around the 60% mark.

You do not get to do the wealth redistribution over and over again.  It is a law of diminishing returns.  Oh it plays well in the press and at elections, but in reality it is just a sound bite.

If we are going to rethink the world we have to start at the bottom and the buy and waste epidemic sweeping the 1st World.  If we break Down consumerism it will solve a lot of the issues.  However the downside is that it will strangle innovation and innovation is our only possible salvation.

As in managing economies, fixing the world is a game of laying the seeds of future success then nurturing them until they bear fruit.

Have a look back at the Obama initiatives and what they ushered in.

Revolution may sound great, but Evolution is the most powerful force on this planet.  Even in human endeavour.
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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2018, 12:41:54 PM »
"...some 20 odd percent of all UK taxes are paid by the top 1%..."

Usual bs argument.

Re-read as "...some [actually over] 20 percent of all UK wealth is held by the top 1%..."

Glad to hear they are at least paying their fair share, although they are in the best position to pay a higher portion to support the country and society that made it possible to accumulate all that wealth!

Oh, and 53% of the wealth in the UK is controlled by the top 10%, 72% by the top 25% (since you couldn't be bothered to do a two-second search to find this readily available info!). Not sure where your cut-off point is for 'super rich.' Most relevant--the bottom 50 only controls 7% of the wealth...not a good prescription for a well functioning democracy!

https://www.google.com/search?q=top+1%25+income+UK&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1

Of course, the US is much worse, since "the 400 wealthiest Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined" or as Warren Buffet put it: “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” (That was a few years ago. Now I think he'd say, "We've won!)

I do agree, though, that ultimately systems have to change. But that rarely happens effectively without some...changes in personnel that make up the system! :)
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 01:05:53 PM by wili »
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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2018, 12:54:02 PM »
I find a 2 minute search, when on a mobile on a TV, tends to be very protracted.

I will answer further when my meeting, sitting on a bench at Bordeaux Airport wit my laptop on my knees, is over.
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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2018, 01:19:46 PM »
I will also reply later today, but just wanted to say that if you read my previous comment carefully, you'll see I'm not making an '"ultra rich" boogeyman'-argument. The rich are just as much a victim of this system as the poor, in some ways they even have it worse.
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NeilT

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2018, 01:33:03 PM »
I will also reply later today, but just wanted to say that if you read my previous comment carefully, you'll see I'm not making an '"ultra rich" boogeyman'-argument. The rich are just as much a victim of this system as the poor, in some ways they even have it worse.

I know Neven, but most people who don't agree with limiting personal wealth will see it that way.  It really is the power of multiple wealth's which is the problem today and a lot of that power comes from the moderately wealthy, wielded  by the unscrupulous.
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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2018, 01:50:33 PM »
I find a 2 minute search, when on a mobile on a TV, tends to be very protracted.

I will answer further when my meeting, sitting on a bench at Bordeaux Airport wit my laptop on my knees, is over.

As I suspected, from my previous walk down this path, getting the reality of the situation is difficult in the extreme.  The Conservative Party under thatcher (right wing), presided over the largest bubble in personal wealth growth in the UK... EVER... As part of the Right to Buy scheme.

This is then picked up by Analysts or as I like to call them "Anal ists" and use it for their own political motives to push the agenda that the UK is becoming more "unequal".  As I said before, you don't get to do the "big giveaway" more than once.  First we did it with incomes, then we did it with State owned property.  it's done, now things move back to the normal path.

The problem is wading through the agenda's to get at the real story and the real figures.  it is not easy and you have to find the right search terms to get the right data.

Depending on the position being made, the line is drawn in the 30's, 70's or 90's.  in actual fact the real truth starts in the first decade of the 20th century.  It started with the National Insurance act in 1911.  Anyone who starts long after that is not presenting the real truth or the change in situation since the "social" acts started.  1911 is the baseline and it shows the huge inequality at that time.  From there you get to reality.  For those who don't know about NI in the UK it was the first time that Employers (the rich), were forced to pay into a fund which would pay for the retirement of their employees.  It was collected and managed by the Government so employers had not choice but to pay it.

If 1911 is not included in the article it is not even worth looking at when you start to talk about the changes in the UK wealth and income.

Let us level set.  in 1911 the UK was the most powerful nation on the planet, the £ was the reserve currency of the world, the British Empire was the wet dream of Napoleon and at least a few Emperors of Rome, all wrapped together.  If you want to talk about concentrations of wealth and power, then, in 1911, the UK was it.

If you want to talk about wealth distribution in a "social" state, then you could do worse than look at the UK over time.  But it is "over time" not some heavily slanted microcosm of the 60's to the 2000's.
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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2018, 05:53:22 PM »
. . . My theory is that concentrated wealth owns everyone, including the rich, and forces everyone to engage in this destructive system. The only way to de-concentrate wealth is by putting a cap on how much a person can own.

I'd support this as a matter of social justice.  I'm skeptical, though, that it would help the environmental situation, and I fear it could make things worse, depending on details.

Note that the US at least has a weak version of something in this direction:  the estate tax.  It is (or was) a fairly steep tax on estates of over a couple of million.  Lots of strategies and loopholes to reduce the bite, of course.  Note that the Republicans have tried vigorously and persistently to get rid of this tax.  Democrats have sought to keep it, even close loopholes.  No, the two parties are not just two sides of the same coin.

As for environmental impacts, it depends on where the excess money is allocated.  When held by the rich, wealth tends to be invested.  When held by the non-rich, such resources tend to go to consumption.  Consumption tends to exhaust resources faster than investments, and produce  more CO2.  Financially strapped folks will use the money to buy cars, appliances, stuff, and to travel more.

Consider that reworking our economy to cease creating CO2 requires a *lot* of investment.  So if the proposed wealth tax/confiscation goes towards this kind of investment  by government, it's a win.  One consideration is that the wealth of the wealthy can also be directed to greening of the economy without tax/confiscation, if incentives can be set up that provide a return on investment.  A tax or confiscation might not be needed to finance the investments needed to green the economy.

I think wealth confiscation with redistribution might just barely be possible in some societies.  Wealth confiscation with proceeds used by government to invest in greening society doesn't have a snowball's chance in Hades of ever being enacted--there'd be no immediate winners, and the losers have vast power.  Maybe after general societal collapse, but that's too late.

The idealist in me likes a wealth cap.  The pragmatist sees a faster, easier, more effective approach using a carbon tax (with redistribution), bolstered by targeted tax credits, guarantees, grants, regulation, etc.  That's a tall political order, too, but more feasible, if the populace can be convinced to demand such measures.

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #38 on: November 05, 2018, 06:56:33 PM »
There is not a lot of time left to make a real change to current rapid environmental degradation and destruction. Hence the rising demand from activists for rebellion - due to the perceived inertia  built into the political and economic systems that currently run the world.

I think that this is getting through to some of the power structure. The COP24 conference in Poland on 10th December includes :-

Quote
III. 3rd Biennial Ministerial High-Level Dialogue on Climate Finance -
Translating climate finance needs into action
[/b]
The 3rd biennial ministerial high-level dialogue on climate finance will be convened in the
afternoon of Monday, 10 December from 15:00 to 18:00 hrs.

The dialogue on climate finance aims to provide a clear vision on how to ensure further progress
on the mobilization of climate finance and will focus on concrete efforts and initiatives on mobilizing finance and investments to translate climate finance needs into action and on enhancing developing countries’ access to climate finance.
Will it be blah-blah (promises, promises) or will real money start to flow as a result?

Unless / until activists see a real sea-change in what Governments and the private sector do on addressing the imminent* collapse of the eco-systems on which we depend, the demand from activists for rebellion in all its forms - from civil disobedience to violent action - will grow.

*Imminent - How long have we got before the point of no return ? The question that cannot be answered. My guess is 10-20 years due to the multiplier effect of CO2 / wildlife (land and oceans) / soil degradation / deforestation / and perhaps ESAS/Tundra methane.
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etienne

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #39 on: November 05, 2018, 07:58:50 PM »

Neven

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #40 on: November 05, 2018, 09:43:26 PM »
Steve, Neil, thanks for your thoughts. One of these days I will open a separate thread for this subject.
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etienne

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #41 on: November 06, 2018, 06:40:21 PM »
Unless / until activists see a real sea-change in what Governments and the private sector do on addressing the imminent* collapse of the eco-systems on which we depend, the demand from activists for rebellion in all its forms - from civil disobedience to violent action - will grow.

Well, what are the real sea-change we see as minimum requirements? I find it difficult to define because it has to be acceptable by the people if we wish any success.
I would say that is not negotiable :
- a CO2 tax on everything using non renewable energy, including airplanes and ships. Housing heating to be discussed.
- a limitation of motor power on vehicles
- lower speed limits
- possibility to tax embedded CO2 on imported goods and services
- a tax on plastic packaging
- ...
--------------------------
Modification:
I heard that one should never ask more than 3 things otherwise it is too easy for the other side to comply with only a part of the requirements, so I woud say :
- CO2 Tax
- Same technical standards everywhere (for example regarding sulfur in gasoline and diesel, chemicals for agriculture...). D. Trump showed us how to do it : if you want access to our market, you can't sale poisons, destroy nature... in other parts of the world.
- Supporting the developpment of renewable energies
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 09:05:35 PM by etienne »

litesong

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #42 on: November 06, 2018, 07:16:53 PM »
Just for fun......https://schrondweiler.teemill.com/product/commitments-2019-for-the-climate/
By bus, it takes 3+ hours to get to the next town over. I'll take my 134,000 mile car that lately has been getting as high as 48MPG (EPA 32MPG), & only take 10 minutes to the next town.

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #43 on: November 06, 2018, 08:57:05 PM »
By bus, it takes 3+ hours to get to the next town over. I'll take my 134,000 mile car that lately has been getting as high as 48MPG (EPA 32MPG), & only take 10 minutes to the next town.

How much CO2 is that?
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etienne

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #44 on: November 06, 2018, 09:07:37 PM »
By bus, it takes 3+ hours to get to the next town over. I'll take my 134,000 mile car that lately has been getting as high as 48MPG (EPA 32MPG), & only take 10 minutes to the next town.

How much CO2 is that?
To be very honest, I have never been able to fully comply with my new year's commitments. I don't think I know anybody who achieved it.

Neven

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #45 on: November 06, 2018, 09:58:23 PM »
How much CO2 is that?
To be very honest, I have never been able to fully comply with my new year's commitments. I don't think I know anybody who achieved it.

Of course, but it helps to know how much one is emitting exactly, instead of how much time something saves or how much MPG your car achieves. And for cars it's really easy, much easier than for things like food or clothing.
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etienne

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #46 on: November 06, 2018, 10:20:06 PM »
There are many other things that I could have put on the T-shirt, like to reduce temperature inside the house, to reduce the use of cloud computing, to extend lifespan of appliance, to finish the switch to LED lighning, to improve the insulation of my house, to add PV and/or thermal panels, to get a more efficient wood stove (this will be in December)... everybody has to find his way, I choosed the ones that were the easiest to put on a T-shirt.

Modification : if somebody wants to make his own organic cotton t-shirt, this link is a possibility
https://rapanuiclothing.com/design-your-own-t-shirt/
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 10:27:34 PM by etienne »

litesong

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #47 on: November 07, 2018, 06:14:48 AM »
....getting as high as 48MPG (EPA 32MPG), & only take 10 minutes to the next town.
How much CO2 is that?
Yeah, you've used that question before. I answered it last time. You can answer your own question this time.

Neven

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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #48 on: November 07, 2018, 08:38:47 AM »
How much CO2 is that?
Yeah, you've used that question before. I answered it last time. You can answer your own question this time.[/quote]

Sorry, I forgot. Would you mind telling me again, or have you forgotten yourself how much kilogrammes of CO2 your fantastic MPG represents, and how that relates to your own body weight? How does it help prevent extinction?
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Re: Extinction Rebellion
« Reply #49 on: November 07, 2018, 10:42:06 AM »
It would be a rare 'people's rebellion' that carried along with it the hearts and minds of the great majority of the resident population.  Instead a rebellion is like a violent form of election (e.g. the USA Mid Terms) wherein there is a vast body of utterly apathetic folk who don't care about the outcome (the non-voters, the folk who keep their heads down and just pray they live until the dust settles) and a collection of people who follow one major candidate or another, or maybe follow a minor player. 

Rebellion or election - the resulting outcome is still an enforced conformity to the desires of the winner, even if the winning margin is a vanishingly-small fraction of a percent.  The only difference is that the violence of the enforcement of the new order is just slightly less bloody via an election than it is via a rebellion.

Either way the process of achieving some change in the direction a society is heading via rebellion or by some democratic process like an election is utterly useless in achieving the changes required to address an up-coming climate disaster because you end up with half the population keen to follow the winner, and the other half hell-bent on doing everything they can to obstruct any progress in the winner's desired direction. 

The best out-come of a rebellion/election is that the folk who lost all pick up their bags and go to one corner of the country and do what they would rather do, and the winners go to the other corner and get on with doing what they would rather do.  Each leaving the other group to its own devices.

If we could do that with climate change policies and actions we would be miles ahead, as vast swathes of the global population would by now be taking meaningful action, while the remainder - being deprived of an 'enemy' to squabble with - may also come to their senses and do something useful.

The present adversarial system utterly stymies any chance of meaningful progress due to the eternal infighting.

As individuals, of course, we can (and many are) take actions to reduce our emissions in spite of any national measures, or lack thereof.  But any attempt to swing an entire nation of millions of self-opinionated saints and sinners onto a new track via rebellion or election is predestined to fail.

In the end the solution to the climate problem lies with individuals who choose to do ‘the right thing’ regardless of any support or opposition from family, friends, local or national government.