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fred

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So when does monkey wrenching start?
« on: February 25, 2013, 10:32:43 AM »
I originally started to post this in response to the Keystone Pipeline topic: if the pipeline is so bad, when does monkey wrenching start?

It is a serious question. I don't want anyone killed. I believe the workers on the pipeline are good people just trying to support their families and thier lives have just as much value as anyone else's, including mine and my families.

But if the pipeline will cause so much destruction, when do we, as a community that believes this pipeline will kill thousands if not millions, take a stand? Are we like the people who live in a small town outside of a concentration camp and pretend it is all ok?

If it was a person being held hostage, or some other situation where that required immediate action, we would all be climbing all over each other to save the person, etc. How is this different?

If there was a world wide effort to monkey wrench oil and coal pollution, it would add to the cost at the pump and help make alternatives more viable.

So the question is: given all that we all believe, when do we take action? (I am not going to do so, by the way, so this isn't a holier than thou comment or a call to action, it is just a moral puzzle that bothers me. I am trying to discuss the moral issue to try to find within me a definition of where this line is written - and a big part of that is that I am not sure monkey wrenching is actually effective action.)

Neven

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 01:08:52 PM »
Fred, this is a very interesting philosophical question. I believe folks like Derrick Jensen say something along the lines of it is our duty to sabotage industrial infrastructure if we want to salvage what is left of our life-sustaining ecosystems. I don't know yet if I agree with that (and not sure if I'm quoting him right), but I have a book co-written by him called Deep Green Resistance that I hope to read soon.

There are two things I'm still not 100% sure about:

1) Whether we have time or not to turn this around.
2) Like you say, whether monkey wrenching is effective.

Here's Derrick Jensen at the start of a pretty good documentary called Blind Spot (torrent):

« Last Edit: February 25, 2013, 01:11:05 PM by Neven »
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TerryM

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2013, 05:02:57 PM »
Fred, this is a very interesting philosophical question. I believe folks like Derrick Jensen say something along the lines of it is our duty to sabotage industrial infrastructure if we want to salvage what is left of our life-sustaining ecosystems. I don't know yet if I agree with that (and not sure if I'm quoting him right), but I have a book co-written by him called Deep Green Resistance that I hope to read soon.

There are two things I'm still not 100% sure about:

1) Whether we have time or not to turn this around.
2) Like you say, whether monkey wrenching is effective.

Here's Derrick Jensen at the start of a pretty good documentary called Blind Spot (torrent):



Neven

Your #1 question is the one I have trouble with.

I'm too old and feel too vulnerable to consider any form of monkey wrenching & from what I've read of Shell's efforts, they seem to be doing fine all by themselves (latest was two tugs running into each other as they circled Kulluk).

The governments, at least in my part of the world, are making no preparations other than to try to assure continued access to FF supplies. I don't see this as my grand kids problem. I can't imagine things staying together that long.

Terry

Edheler

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2013, 07:58:43 PM »
I originally started to post this in response to the Keystone Pipeline topic: if the pipeline is so bad, when does monkey wrenching start?

[snip]

So the question is: given all that we all believe, when do we take action? (I am not going to do so, by the way, so this isn't a holier than thou comment or a call to action, it is just a moral puzzle that bothers me. I am trying to discuss the moral issue to try to find within me a definition of where this line is written - and a big part of that is that I am not sure monkey wrenching is actually effective action.)

With the Keystone Pipeline being a mostly internal United States issue in mind: There are a number of people on the other side who would be happy if you started the Second American Revolution. I would caution you that there aren't as many people who would support you as you may think and the other side owns lots and lots of guns. Unfortunately, if you did take action, you would likely cause far more damage by unintended consequences than you might initially think.

OldLeatherneck

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2013, 08:56:40 PM »
.................. Unfortunately, if you did take action, you would likely cause far more damage by unintended consequences than you might initially think.

While I thoroughly detest everything about extracting oil from the Alberta Tar Sands and the potential construction of the Keystone Pipeline, I would be very much opposed to any subversive acts of sabotage.  The extreme right wing here in the U.S. considers most people concerned about sustainability, the environment and/or AGW to be "Environmentalist Whackos" or "Eco-Terrorists."  We don't need to give them any  more reason to keep thinking that way.

My biggest fear is that if President Obama were to make the correct decision, from an environmental standpoint, the political backlash may be that the anti-science crowd will gain more seats in the 2014 election.  They keep singing the song that the U.S. is awash in gas and oil and their minions keep believing it.

While I don't want to see the pipeline built, I won't lose sleep if it is.  Politically, it may be necessary to keep to keep the powder dry now in order to win the war later.
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Neven

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2013, 09:08:30 PM »
I agree with all you say, but the question is...


While I don't want to see the pipeline built, I won't lose sleep if it is.  Politically, it may be necessary to keep to keep the powder dry now in order to win the war later.

...what if later is too late?

What if you know with 99% certainty that if things like Keystone get built, many people will die? What do you do? What if it's 100% certain?

I'm speaking purely hypothetically here. I don't believe we're even close to 99% certainty. On the other hand, maybe it doesn't have to be that much. I mean, what odds would you find acceptable playing Russian Roulette with a gun to your child's head? 1 in 6? 1 in 10? 1 in 100?

Is it enough to work towards weaning yourself of that which Keystone provides? Or does it take more?

I personally don't know, maybe I'll see when I have weaned myself.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2013, 09:30:37 PM by Neven »
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Edheler

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2013, 09:24:51 PM »
While I don't want to see the pipeline built, I won't lose sleep if it is.  Politically, it may be necessary to keep to keep the powder dry now in order to win the war later.

It is interesting that I get to hear both sides talk when they think there are people around who already agree with their propositions. I think it is incredibly dangerous that over the past few years both sides in the US have been framing their internal discussions in the same way. Both seem to be itching for an actual war and are waiting for the other side to start it.

Both sides need to tone down the rhetoric and quit talking past each other. I get to watch both sides talking points anger the other side to irrationality. I can tell you that neither side really wants where we are going. A civil war won't be fun and there is very little agreement even among the "sides" so it would turn into about a 20-way fight.

Neven

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2013, 09:34:27 PM »
Edheler, it could be me, but I believe Oldleatherneck was speaking figuratively.  :)

If any war is discussed here, it's a war on industry in order to break it and save what is left of needed ecosystems (I don't know if I agree with that), not on some 'other side'.

For back on-topic, see OP or this:

Quote
What if you know with 99% certainty that if things like Keystone get built, many people will die? What do you do? What if it's 100% certain?

I'm speaking purely hypothetically here. I don't believe we're even close to 99% certainty. On the other hand, maybe it doesn't have to be that much. I mean, what odds would you find acceptable playing Russian Roulette with a gun to your child's head? 1 in 6? 1 in 10? 1 in 100?
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Edheler

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2013, 10:02:16 PM »
Edheler, it could be me, but I believe Oldleatherneck was speaking figuratively.  :)

If any war is discussed here, it's a war on industry in order to break it and save what is left of needed ecosystems (I don't know if I agree with that), not on some 'other side'.

For back on-topic, see OP or this:

Quote
What if you know with 99% certainty that if things like Keystone get built, many people will die? What do you do? What if it's 100% certain?

I'm speaking purely hypothetically here. I don't believe we're even close to 99% certainty. On the other hand, maybe it doesn't have to be that much. I mean, what odds would you find acceptable playing Russian Roulette with a gun to your child's head? 1 in 6? 1 in 10? 1 in 100?

I am trying to provide context and perspective. The Republican "side" here in the US will reject any argument which would be based on a "war on industry." The context wouldn't matter one iota. This is in fact how they view a carbon tax. Today this "solution" is a complete non-starter for them. It is one of the talking points which makes many of them irrationally angry.

Your question unfortunately would only have meaning for those on the left side of the political spectrum in the US. The view on the right would be that by opposing the Keystone pipeline you are directly and negatively impacting their economic future. They won't be able to get past that point with the discussion being framed the way you did. You would have more luck if you took a more libertarian argument against the pipeline: framed as the little guy against eminent domain property seizure. There is a libertarian segment of the Republican party who would respond to that type of argument.

I suspect that since you're in Europe you don't quite understand what is happening politically here in the US. As far as I can tell, in Europe there is a much more heterogeneous opinion amongst the various political groups about the validity of AGW than there is here. I do believe that the US is only a spark away from an actual civil war given how the rank-and-file Republicans and Democrats feel about each other. A real, deep seated hatred for the opposition has been developing within both camps for the past two plus decades. I feel that we're not quite playing the same game of russian roulette.

We humans clearly have to change our ways but rhetoric is getting in the way of results. It's part of why I think that the short term battle is a lost cause as per my introduction.

OldLeatherneck

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2013, 10:06:55 PM »
Edheler, it could be me, but I believe Oldleatherneck was speaking figuratively.  :)

If any war is discussed here, it's a war on industry in order to break it and save what is left of needed ecosystems (I don't know if I agree with that), not on some 'other side'.


You are correct, I was speaking figuratively. It is a political battle only, the stakes being the fate of humanity. 

We may have science and morality on our side, however, they have $Billions and short term greed on their side.
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Vaughn

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2013, 03:59:14 AM »
When I first posted about the rant I made on Facebook about the Keystone Pipeline I never dreamed it would generate such, I'll say, "mind wrenching intelligent dialog  ::) ??? :-[ :-\."  I appreciate the thoughtful posts above.  They give me a number of things to "chew on  ???." Thanks  ;)"
Vaughn

TerryM

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2013, 06:43:07 AM »
I've been out of the States for almost a decade, but I don't believe things are as divisive now as they were in the mid 60's through the mid 70's. No one has been turning dogs loose on minorities, beating hippies for sport, shooting college kids or burning the centers out of major cities.

The US is a divisive place. These are divisive times, but it's been much worse than now within my adult lifetime.

Terry

Neven

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2013, 09:19:11 AM »
I'm not a big fan of thinking in a polarizing manner, as this is usual stimulated by TPTB to maintain the status quo.

In the end, 'we' and 'the other side' want the same thing, we just have a different vocabulary/terminology. And of course, the enemy is us.  :)
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fred

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2013, 11:10:21 AM »
I appreciate everyone's comments and there are some points to think about.

The general tone seems to be that monkeywrenching wouldn't help as it might give ammunition to the GOP faux conservatives to paint the issue as an 'eco-nut' issue. I also accept the 'powder dry now' argument given above.

And that is partially what I was thinking about in terms of not being effective. But more I was thinking about physically being not effective: the only way to shut down the pipeline (other than legal challenges) would be temporary and probably cause environmental damage. I had assumed that the monkey wrenching could be done in such a way as to control the press somewhat. I see the point though, even if no one is killed, any sort of explosion or damage would still trigger right wing paranoid fantasies.

So I think the question has been answered: the cause is just (i.e. the gun to our children's head) but the timing is that the monkey wrenching should start when it will be effective, i.e. it is not about the deep emotional satisfaction of watching a piece of pipe get blocked or whatever because that only leads to the deep emotional dissatisfaction of watching new and worse actions being done, legal, infrastructure-ish, etc.

I guess that leads to the next question: how to judge effectiveness? Under what conditions and what type of action is correct to do?

Maybe if it was done right, e.g. a mile of pipe is filled with apple pie, or something else so innocuous it can't be taken seriously as terrorism...

 
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 04:08:14 PM by fred »

Neven

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2013, 12:04:49 PM »
Bananas in tailpipes!



That music would definitely never be interpreted as terrorism!  ;D
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Doc Snow

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2013, 06:39:54 PM »
A couple of thoughts came up for me in reading all the above:

1)  Most of us humans tend to think that "aggressive" action is the most effective action--we want to 'fight', 'struggle', or even 'triumph.'  Me too!  But things get done (including 'fights,' 'struggles' and 'triumphs') by people working together.  Therefore, the best action might be to build community first... which would mean that Neven (and all of us here) have been doing all of the above.  But I think we need 'meat-space' as well as 'cyber-space' communities concerned with this issue--urgently.

2)  Speaking of community, I don't think that the US is anywhere close to civil conflict.  (Backgrounder:  I'm a Canadian living in Georgia since 1989.)  It is true that the 'chattering classes' sound very polarized indeed, and that there has been some mighty ugly rhetoric.  However, observation of how ordinary folk around me actually behave suggests that this political polarization does not mean, in fact, that people 'hate' members of the other party/political wing/whatever.  "Oh, that Bob--you've have to excuse him, he's such a Republican/Democrat!" seems to be the dominant tone.  And there's a lot of tactful 'not asking' that goes on (or should I say, "doesn't go on?")

TerryM

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2013, 07:35:06 PM »
Doc

Liked your comment on the "meat-space".

After trying unsuccessfully to locate a speaker for an event in May I finally decided to learn how to work power point (or at least the Google version) and to do the presentation myself.

I wonder if it might be beneficial to set up a "Speakers Bureau", of knowledgeable people capable of speaking on various Arctic related topics?

Terry

OldLeatherneck

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2013, 08:29:49 PM »
Terry,

Check your messages.  I can help put a PPT presentation together.  Worked in Proposal Center for major DoD contractor for years.
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Artful Dodger

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2013, 06:14:15 AM »
So when DID monkey wrenching start? It was 1712, with the invention of the coal-fired Newcomen steam engine.

Since then, Humanity has been monkeying with the Climate system through unchecked and ever-increasing fossil fuel emissions. We live out-of-balance with our natural systems, ignoring the consequences and blissfully ignorant of the coming storms.

We must un-monkey the climate system by deploying new and replacement power based on clean, abundant, and renewable energy. Anything less is a distraction, a delay, and a disservice to the planet and ultimately ourselves.

The Stone-Age didn't end because the World ran out of Stone. We must deploy, deploy, and deploy to bring about a new Bronze Age of renewables.

The Age of fossil fuels will not end by clogging pipelines, nor by wresting fossil fuels from coal dead hands; they have all the gum. You need just demand the clean, and shun the dirty. That'll put those fossils in a museum, where they belong.
Cheers!
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Edheler

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2013, 03:56:44 PM »
2)  Speaking of community, I don't think that the US is anywhere close to civil conflict.  (Backgrounder:  I'm a Canadian living in Georgia since 1989.)  It is true that the 'chattering classes' sound very polarized indeed, and that there has been some mighty ugly rhetoric.  However, observation of how ordinary folk around me actually behave suggests that this political polarization does not mean, in fact, that people 'hate' members of the other party/political wing/whatever.  "Oh, that Bob--you've have to excuse him, he's such a Republican/Democrat!" seems to be the dominant tone.  And there's a lot of tactful 'not asking' that goes on (or should I say, "doesn't go on?")

You're right, it isn't going to happen spontaneously. If it were to happen it would happen because of a triggering event. I can imagine a number of things which could devolve quickly into general conflict. Those circumstances are only really possible because of the level of polarization today. You may or may not know that the congress and senate are more polarized right now than any time since 1860.



If I find the one which goes back farther than 1879 or later than 2009 I will post it.

My point really was to illustrate that there won't be agreement unless and until a different means is used to convince those who are in opposition can change their minds. The argument style and rhetoric used really do matter. If a solution were imposed on 49% of the population by 51% it will only create more resentment.

I won't even go into how elitist and derogatory it is to refer to any group of people as the "chattering classes."

dreater

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2013, 01:07:43 AM »
I do believe that the US is only a spark away from an actual civil war given how the rank-and-file Republicans and Democrats feel about each other. A real, deep seated hatred for the opposition has been developing within both camps for the past two plus decades.It's part of why I think that the short term battle is a lost cause as per my introduction.
I'm afraid I just don't see this; not at all.  This is the impression one might get if one's opinion is formed purely by watching cable "news" outlets, and the talking heads that fill what would better be dead air.  But the implication of your statement is that the general public feels this way.  I just don't see it.  Most of the public is not in either "camp" in any serious way - most of the public seems to be more in the way of "a pox on both your houses."

I can also comment from the perspective of one who has been involved in government - state government - for a generation-plus now.  The level of hostility you describe simply doesn't exist, at least in the mid-Atlantic state where I work; not in the Legislature, not in the Executive - and not in local governments either.  Now, your mileage may vary, and I really can't gauge the level of partisan fervor in some other parts of the country (I'm thinking of the Bible Belt south and west here).  But from where I sit, the "deep-seated hatred" of the opposition is confined to what I would call the "partisan class" - the most partisan competitors in either party, and the ideological true believers who follow one party or the other.  But these people do not really represent anything even close to most Americans.  Neither the "eco-terrorist" left, nor the patriot militia right, nor the Dominionist evangelicals, command anything like enough popular support to lead to revolution.  Most Americans still seem to recognize a loony or a hack when they see one.

Edheler

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2013, 02:13:44 AM »
I'm afraid I just don't see this; not at all.  This is the impression one might get if one's opinion is formed purely by watching cable "news" outlets, and the talking heads that fill what would better be dead air.  But the implication of your statement is that the general public feels this way.  I just don't see it.  Most of the public is not in either "camp" in any serious way - most of the public seems to be more in the way of "a pox on both your houses."

I might have too much interaction with the edge of both sides. I have activities which put me in regular contact with both Occupy supporters and Tea Party types. I don't watch network or cable news and haven't for a number of years. I do listen to conservative radio on my drive to work and NPR on my way home from work to keep abreast of the world around me. The drive takes me 20-30 minutes each way so I don't think I am extremely exposed to either viewpoint. When I feel stressed out about the world I just listen to music. Generally, I find it easy to both agree and disagree with positions held at both of those extremes.

I can also comment from the perspective of one who has been involved in government - state government - for a generation-plus now.  The level of hostility you describe simply doesn't exist, at least in the mid-Atlantic state where I work; not in the Legislature, not in the Executive - and not in local governments either.  Now, your mileage may vary, and I really can't gauge the level of partisan fervor in some other parts of the country (I'm thinking of the Bible Belt south and west here).  But from where I sit, the "deep-seated hatred" of the opposition is confined to what I would call the "partisan class" - the most partisan competitors in either party, and the ideological true believers who follow one party or the other.  But these people do not really represent anything even close to most Americans.  Neither the "eco-terrorist" left, nor the patriot militia right, nor the Dominionist evangelicals, command anything like enough popular support to lead to revolution.  Most Americans still seem to recognize a loony or a hack when they see one.

I live in a mid-Atlantic state and my regular travels have taken me into seven states over the past year. I think that the lives of most people in government are far too isolated to understand the fervor which is being stewed around them. I have had plenty of interaction with both my state and national level representatives and their underlings to be able to judge their perception of the world around them. In fact my congressman is now obviously in distress when I encounter him lately. It is a reaction which I see from most people whom I consider statists.

My point is that it doesn't take the moderates to start something. It will happen if there is a trigger and a critical mass of what you might call true believers. Only about three percent of the colonies actively participated in the Revolutionary War on either side. You might be surprised to learn that very slightly more of the colonists supported the British than the revolution. Approximately another fifteen percent supported each side leaving a bit more than sixty percent as moderates some with inclinations one way or the other. It is a very rare revolution which is started by even a significant minority.

fred

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2013, 08:46:27 AM »
I am not sure how to judge hostility levels in the country either. I have experience with both unbelievable aggression and with great levels of commonsense between very politically opposed people.

So here is my take on it:

Fred's rule of human behavior is that any subset of humanity has all the flaws of any other subset, i.e. even one section of my brain has all the behavior (love, hate, charity, mercy, cruelty, apathy, etc.) that has even been exhibited in any other section of humanity from conquering nations to little kids playing in the street.

So I assume these divisions have always existed in the world and that people are always in conflict internally with each other (as opposed to overt actuall conflict). What scares me is the trigger point and the magnitude of the emotion that is coming. So I think what people are sensing is not new conflicts between people but a building up of pressure; maybe an earthquake analogy is appropriate here, or two people who are stuck in an elevator for 8 hours and one kills the other and later can't explain why.

Why the build up of pressure? I have hypotheses but I won't waste time here with them. I think though, that climate change can be either the event that relieves these pressures or the event that focuses them into flash points, i.e. if climate change happens at a certain speed and is duly recognized, them we all pull together and fight it as one. If it is ignored until it is a disaster, then we turn into Haiti and have to hope for some sort of second foundation to pull us out of the mess.

fred

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2013, 08:55:03 AM »
By the way, there is a third type of monkey wrenching.

I am basing my categories on the social divisions created: the first being violence based blowing stuff up (very divisive: us v. them), the second being controlled soft (political protest but we are all human). The third is unknown: invisible monkey wrenching that doesn't create divisions because no one knows it ever existed: soft sabotage that raises costs, lowers productivity, etc but can't blamed on anyone.

Think of, for lack of bothering to find a better example, my social life: suddenly I am driving home by myself and thinking hmm, that went pretty well... oh wait, hang-on a minute, I am driving home by myself again.

Edheler

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2013, 04:42:24 PM »
So I think what people are sensing is not new conflicts between people but a building up of pressure;

That is probably a better way of putting what I am observing than what I have written.

if climate change happens at a certain speed and is duly recognized, them we all pull together and fight it as one. If it is ignored until it is a disaster, then we turn into Haiti and have to hope for some sort of second foundation to pull us out of the mess.

I think a change in communication tactics is necessary. Clearly people rejecting science isn't something which should be a goal. In fact, I don't think there is a way right now to get through to them about the science since they believe their own rhetoric. However, there are plenty of alternative arguments which could be used that they are receptive to such as efficiency or saving money. Should we care why they are doing something so long as it is better in the long run?

werther

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2013, 09:24:28 PM »
Monkey wrenching is a hopeless alternative…
I try not to hate people that have another opinion. I imagine someone close to me, someone at great distance, someone that leaves me indifferent… all of them have loved ones, I understand there’s no fundamental difference.
In a universe of possibility, we are tied to this one conceptual World. We can make it…or break it. In the end, our fate is collective to great extent. I’m not going to hurt anyone out of anger or contempt.
I believe in the Gandhi-approach. I’d love to sit in front of a Keystone XL-junction, police and contractors having to drag my ass from the work-site. I’d happily take their beating-up in the process.
I’ll be gardening this summer, for friendship and resilience. And when the First ice free september North Pole is in sight, you might encounter me at North Cape, Norway. I’ll get there by bike. My wife promest me to accompany me…. Maybe I’ll one day see you there.

Artful Dodger

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2013, 07:01:01 AM »
Monkey wrenching is a hopeless alternative

First ice free september North Pole is in sight, you might encounter me at
North Cape, Norway. I’ll get there by bike. My wife promest me to accompany me…. Maybe I’ll one day see you there.
... and I will ride with you, Werther. I'm building up my mileage as we speak.
Cheers!
Lodger

fred

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2013, 08:18:23 AM »
From a anal retentive philosophical point of view, I don't think the statement that "monkey wrenching is a hopeless" could be 100% true in any universe that wasn't created just to make it true. Categories and reality don't work like: the odds that a two separate phenomena (hopeless and monkeywrenching) line up perfectly in some category space is essentially nill.

Aside from the philosophically anal retentive argument, there are many examples of monkey wrenching sabotage that have worked, e.g. partisans, some of GreenPeace's actions (some!), etc.. That was what this thread was about: defining that line. Blanket statements that are a priori wrong about  the phenomena in question being a priori wrong without evidence to back them up are stealing denialist's methodology.

That doesn't mean that I don't agree with you emotionally though. I think your stance is one that I would rather fail with than risk monkey wrenching just to save the planet. Hmmm, "just to save the planet"....  "I agree with you emotionally though" ... both seem to be true in me. I still have some internal resolving to do... I'm missing something here.

As far as biking goes, I would love to join you but it would have to be a family affair... and given my wife's stance that she will bike with me when we buy an electric bike, combined with the emergency purchase this morning of a washer dryer set for her parents... well, please post the pictures so I can live vicariously.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 12:29:04 PM by fred »

Artful Dodger

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2013, 09:37:03 AM »
As far as biking goes, I would love to join you but it would have to be a family affair... and given my wife's stance that she will bike with me when we buy an electric bike, combined with the emergency purchase this morning of a washer dryer set for her parents... well, please post the pictures so I can live vicariously.
Comme vous voudrez, maître donjon!

Kle deg varmt!  8)

http://goo.gl/maps/Ar79f
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 09:45:38 AM by Artful Dodger »
Cheers!
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Neven

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2013, 01:48:48 PM »
I've started reading that Deep Green Resistance book I mentioned at the start of the thread. It's pretty much what the whole discussion is about. I'll report the interesting bits when I'm done (could take a couple of weeks, as I only have time to read when my daughter is doing her 2-4 hour climbing training).
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

TerryM

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2013, 11:01:09 PM »
According to this article people now worry more about polluted water than AGW!


http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/world-cools-on-global-warming-as-green-fatigue-sets-in-8513826.html#disqus_thread


Don't read the comments unless you have a strong stomach.

Terry


StuartC

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2013, 07:28:10 AM »



I've started reading that Deep Green Resistance book I mentioned at the start of the thread. It's pretty much what the whole discussion is about. I'll report the interesting bits when I'm done

I think you're reading the right book, Neven.  Derek Jensen is pretty much the originator of Contemporary Western Monkey-Wrenching Theory.  Succinctness isn't his forte but he's very readable, and I enjoyed getting through the two volumes of 'Endgame' last year - though that's not to say I agree with any of his conclusions.

If we're going to discuss this line of thought others may be interested in learning something about Jensen.  Most of his books are on Amazon and a quick search will lead anyone to his website and his blog on Tumblr.  Lots of videos on youtube, and this particular one is entitled 'Endgame Part One' and might be a suitable intro to those who aren't sure if they'd like his books.  Bear with him for a couple of minutes as he gets into the stride of the original Star Wars script . . .

« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 07:58:53 AM by StuartC »
The earth was made to be a common Livelihood to all, without respect of persons.

birthmark

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2013, 08:31:35 AM »
.................. Unfortunately, if you did take action, you would likely cause far more damage by unintended consequences than you might initially think.

While I thoroughly detest everything about extracting oil from the Alberta Tar Sands and the potential construction of the Keystone Pipeline, I would be very much opposed to any subversive acts of sabotage.  The extreme right wing here in the U.S. considers most people concerned about sustainability, the environment and/or AGW to be "Environmentalist Whackos" or "Eco-Terrorists."  We don't need to give them any  more reason to keep thinking that way.

My biggest fear is that if President Obama were to make the correct decision, from an environmental standpoint, the political backlash may be that the anti-science crowd will gain more seats in the 2014 election.  They keep singing the song that the U.S. is awash in gas and oil and their minions keep believing it.

While I don't want to see the pipeline built, I won't lose sleep if it is.  Politically, it may be necessary to keep to keep the powder dry now in order to win the war later.
Not to mention that any such sabotage in the US probably will be considered "terrorism" under the USA PATRIOT ACT, and might lead to a trip to Cuba with no formal charges and no Constitutional protections. One might get tried before a Military Tribunal...or not. It might just be a very extended incarceration.

Count me out of anything even vaguely sabotage-y. I'm allergic to waterboarding.

fred

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2013, 09:33:08 AM »
I think the direction the thread went made sense: Monkeywrenching is a viable alternative provided that the end result doesn't hurt anyone and is effective. The road block seems to be that effective monkeywrenching is difficult to define and even more difficult to do, all the results seem to backfire, and so while it may be theoretically a noble thing to do, practically it doesn't work.

But of all the reasons not to monkeywrench, worrying about homeland security or a trip to cuba or whatever seem really far down the scale. Not that i am interested in bodily harm or being tortured, but the premise was that if the Keystone pipeline is so bad, then there is a moral obligation to do something about it, even if it means running afoul of the various agencies protecting the US. It goes abck to the concentration camp metafore: if someone builds a concentration camp down the road from you and you don't act, your life is over anyway in all terms except biological.

Bob Wallace

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #34 on: March 06, 2013, 07:18:36 PM »
Monkey wrenching is likely to do more to retard the move to clean energy than to speed it.

First, not many people would actively get involved.  Not much damage would be done and the 'forces that be' would turn out to protect in greater numbers than what anti-pipeline/whatever could muster. 

Second, that sort of "eco-terriorism" turns the general public against the movement.  What is needed is vast public support for clean energy, not more people against it.

I've been living in the Pacific Northwest where some of this stuff was tried.  It didn't work.  It even turned off a lot of environmentalists.

werther

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #35 on: March 06, 2013, 11:48:10 PM »
Well…I attributed the qualification ‘hopeless’ to the concept of monkey wrenching. That, of course, is a personal qualification. It tells more about me, or the choices I make, than about ‘truth’. As truth is relevant only in restricted time and space, I used the qualification ‘hopeless’ to describe the instantaneous results. Not for intentions and ‘the process’.

Let me illustrate, on the risk of hearing my daughter say ‘Yes or no, daddy, please no stories…’.

One is on politics and morality. I don’t want to get into a new round of polemics on the legitimacy of violence. I remember very well having discussed the ‘Rote Armee Fraktion’ as its impact held hostage the West-German society for a couple of years in the seventies. There is no justification for the use of violence in  politics.
There is, however, in morality, to defend what is placed in one’s responsibility. Morality has a general and a specific aspect. On both levels it involves careful examination on first principles. I feel in no way entitled to postulate an ‘a priori’ qualification as ‘truth’, it is opinion and it expresses what I feel.
I think, generally,  the reckless exploitation of Planet Earth is ‘injust’.  But specifically, I cannot judge  FI the Chinese for taking a share. I think there’s no ‘compassion’ in computerized drone bombings to eliminate political opponents. But specifically, I can understand the ‘rage-de-bol’ against terrorism. I could go on examining ‘courage’, ‘wisdom’ and ‘self-restraint’, but I hope you get my ‘wassistderpunkt’.

The other is on the arts. I once waited for hours to have a glance at Botticelli’s masterpiece ‘Primavera’ (resulting in a somewhat blank experience). Later that morning I coincidentally visited an improvised exhibition on English artists having visited Tuscany in the nineteenth century. The specific impact it had on me was enormous. I remember well the original text written by John Ruskin (…give us our Athens back…) and the amazing quietness in these flood-prone basements of the Uffizi, allowing me to receive a compelling blow of neo-romantic mistrust in the achievements of modern industrial society.

I hope Neven will inform us on what he got from ‘Deep Green Resistance’.
Meanwhile, I feel comforted on a specific level having read Prousts’ ‘A La Recherche du Temps Perdu’. Every now and then, I am invaded by this sense of unity in the world. The whole edifice of nature’s creation rises up, and it is perfect.
I may never get to see a whale. But I know they’re possible. And, in a way, they’re immortal.

There is hope, but it will be wasted by violence.

Artful Dodger

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #36 on: March 07, 2013, 09:39:44 AM »
I may never get to see a whale. But I know they’re possible. And, in a way, they’re immortal.

werther, old friend

You may never SEE a whale, but if you close you eyes and listen carefully, you may hear one...  ;)

Cheers!
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fred

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #37 on: March 07, 2013, 03:16:38 PM »
Well…I attributed the qualification ‘hopeless’ to the concept of monkey wrenching. That, of course, is a personal qualification. ....

......I may never get to see a whale. But I know they’re possible. And, in a way, they’re immortal.

There is hope, but it will be wasted by violence.

Um, not sure I get the point here. Sorry to be obtuse. Are you saying that because of a deep sense of inner poetry, violence destroys the hope of stopping global warming?

If so, I hope you'll forgive me for not accepting your argument. Neither do i accept your argument about instantaneous results. Instantaneously, the results could be perfect; it is the backlash and repair that ruins monkeywrenching - and as noted above, anonymous monkeywrenching, of the type that seems to be being done to some attempts to drill in the Arctic, could be effective. (So far there hasn't been any backlash against the green movement for the failure of Shell to drill.)

However, I agree with you about the renaissance, except for Donatello and Brunelleschi, you could throw the whole fat little baby classical/catholic/pagan smorgashborg in the Arno for all I care.

werther

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #38 on: March 07, 2013, 03:25:26 PM »
Hi Fred,

Maybe my post under the Keystone-tread is a bit less poetic.

fred

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #39 on: March 07, 2013, 04:10:27 PM »
Aye, I read it and didn't reply immediately. I don't mind the poetry, by the way, in fact I'd prefer reading comments like yours, I just didn't follow the logic in this case, not saying it wasn't there, just that I didn't follow it.

Laurent

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Re: So when does monkey wrenching start?
« Reply #40 on: March 08, 2013, 03:08:31 PM »
We have to avoid violence as much as possible (for the reasons mentionned earlier)!
We should have act 200 years ago but the effects are becoming so visible that we can't delay anymore !
I believe the people will opened their eyes when they will see the effect on the arctic and certainly will act when they would be impacted !
I personally try to localize the economy that does help me live, that's not easy at all, I have to learn everything and experiment new things !
For the people who see the problem they should start to organize themselves, try rebuild an economy in common would always be more efficient !
I do think we have to change the way we own the land and properties !