September 30, 2014

Blockading pipelines works, revisited

We posted back in June that pipeline blockades, limiting overall pipeline capacity, have a real effect in driving up costs and causing potential tar sands projects to be suspended or canceled. We got more evidence this past week that blockading pipelines works: Statoil Just Shelved Its Multi-Billion-Dollar Tar Sands Project. While the article focuses on the Keystone XL pipeline, which has seen a lot of symbolic protest, even more important may be the direct action blockades such as the Unis'tot'en Camp, physically disallowing construction of the Northern Gateway pipeline.

The article correctly states that, though this is a big victory for environmentalists, it's just a drop in the bucket compared to the entirety of fossil fuel emissions we need to halt. Aboveground activists should certainly keep applying strategic pressure to shut down projects where possible, but we still need to encourage and support the formation of an underground which can be much more effective with asymmetric tactics, as described in the Deep Green Resistance Decisive Ecological Warfare strategy.

September 27, 2014

Guy McPherson on climate chaos - Chicago March 2014

Guy McPherson: not an optimist, not a pessimist, but a realist

Dr. Guy McPherson spoke on climate change to a Chicago audience in March, from the basics to the complexities of our current predicament. He looks at the history of mainstream, conservative projections of global temperature change, the pattern of increasingly worse expectations every year, and the dozens of positive feedback loops not even taken into account in the models generating these predictions. The scientific consensus is that we must limit global temperature rise to 1°C above the predindustrial baseline to avoid triggering those feedback loops and thus catastrophic runaway climate chaos. We're at .85°C right now and have already triggered many of these loops. This .85°C increase is the result of emissions up to 40 years ago; due to the lag time between release of carbon dioxide and its effect on temperature, we're not yet experiencing the exponentially increasing emissions of the 1980s and 1990s, or of this century. The political target of 2°C maximum increase doubles the maximum change considered "safe" by scientists and is not being taken seriously by politicians anyway.

A study of the cooling effect of the atmospheric sulphates continually produced by industrial activity suggests that if all activity stopped today, within three days when all the sulphates have dropped out of the atmosphere, we would reach a 2°C increase. So although shutting down the industrial economy immediately is our only hope of minimizing catastrophic change, doing so would already leave us at a dangerous level of change. In short, we're in huge trouble.

McPherson expects massive habitat die-off, as animals and especially plants are unable to adapt or migrate fast enough to cope with temperature changing ten times faster than ever experienced in the last 65 million years. Setting aside urban illusions of food coming from grocery stores and water from a tap, humans are animals dependent on this habitat, and he expects human extinction within a few decades.

Though McPherson thinks we're already triggered too many feedback loops to avoid massive die-off of all humans and most other species, he still advocates resisting industrial civilization, fighting back, and doing our best to stop it. He points out, for example, the potential of sabotaging electrical transformers to terminate the US electrical grid. Though we know the situation is dire and that this massive die-off is in fact inevitable if civilization is allowed to carry out its endgame, we can't fully predict the restorative potential of the earth. Life wants to live, and science does not and can not understand and foresee how the earth may recover if we can take off the pressure of further destruction and greenhouse gas release.

Watch this video, seriously contemplate our predicament, and consider how you can respond with effectiveness proportionate to the reality we face. McPherson quotes Edward Abbey: "Action is the antidote to despair," and urges us to act. The Deep Green Resistance strategy of Decisive Ecological Warfare, and the entire Deep Green Resistance book are excellent starting points for formulating a plan.

There are many introductions by attendees; Guy's presentation starts at 17:20.

September 24, 2014

Cathy Brennan interviewed on radical feminism and "transphobia"

Cathy Brennan is a long-time radical feminist lesbian activist working for equal rights for gay people, trans people, and women. Mark Angelo Cummings (FTM transman) and Jessica Lynn Cummings (MTF transwoman) interviewed Brennan for the July 24 episode of Transition Radio TV. Despite her work in the real world to protect trans rights and end male violence against women, children, and gender noncomforming people, Brennan has become a popular target of what the hosts term "keyboard warriors" who attack and tear down potential allies. These "transactivists" have threatened to rape and to kill Brennan and many other radical feminists expressing their analysis of gender. Brennan and the Cummings explore this radical feminist analysis that one can not simply "identify" out of this oppressive caste system, and the irony of heterosexual men who identify as women bullying and threatening actual women with whom they disagree.

Brennan speaks with clarity on the history of gay, lesbian, and queer culture; ongoing homophobia and male violence; why the interests of lesbians don't always align with the goals of others in the GLBTQ movement, which she says has become a men's-rights movement; and why women need women-only space to meet and organize.

The interview is an excellent antidote to the smears across the internet about Cathy Brennan and her supposed "hate speech" or "transphobia." Brennan's long-time experience with queer culture and human rights activism, and her resultant wisdom, is a breath of fresh air if you've ever wallowed through the trans hostility online.

By giving Brennan a platform to discuss these important issues, and by calling out abusive individuals and behavior within the trans community, the Cummings model what we all need to do in in our various environmental and social justice circles. We can't build a healthy movement while being undermined by aggressive or mentally ill individuals sabotaging relationships by fostering horizontal hostility. We need to identify and expel such people from our communities, with zero tolerance for abusive behavior. Besides damaging our internal dynamics, such individuals make our movement look childish and non-serious to outside observers, potentially discrediting the goals towards which we work.

Watch the video interview below, and check out the recently featured Meghan Murphy interview for more on how horizontal hostility and labels like "transphobic" are used to silence women.

September 18, 2014

Culum Brown on fish intelligence

For the August 10th episode of Resistance Radio, Derrick Jensen interviewed Culum Brown, an Australian scientist. Brown has specialized in the behavioral ecology of fishes, with a focus on their ability to learn and remember things like environmental hazards, specific places of danger, and the social behavior and trustworthiness of other individual fishes (within the same species and across different species.)

With a combination of fascinating anecdotes and scientifically researched conclusions, Brown counters the popular notions that fish are stupid, can't learn or remember, and can't feel pain. (In fact, he says pain receptors in humans evolved and are nearly indistinguishable from those of fish; the only reason we can feel pain is because they can.) Jensen and Brown also explore the question of whether fish feel emotions, and if so, which ones. The interview debunks some assumed foundations of human supremicism and ethically demands that we change how industrial civilization treats fish.

Listen to this enjoyable and unique interview below, or play the interview at the Deep Green Resistance Youtube Channel.

Download mp3

Browse all of Derrick Jensen's Resistance Radio episodes.

September 10, 2014

Video: The False Solutions of Green Energy

Max Wilbert of Deep Green Resistance Great Basin and Cameron Foley (no chapter affiliation) presented at the 2014 PIELC (Public Interest Environmental Law Conference) on "The False Solutions of Green Energy." Together they debunk some of the myths of "green" energy. Wilbert details the earth destruction required to manufacture, install, and dispose of wind turbines and solar panels, showing their inherent unsustainability as they still rely on large-scale mining, global trade, and global exploitation. Foley discusses the problem of mainstream environmentalism fixating on the illusion of green energy as a techno-fix for the very real problems we face, dangerously diverting us from pursuing real solutions. Environmentalists are really faced with the question of whether we want to find slightly less harmful alternatives to business as usual, or if we want to stop causing harm altogether and even start healing the earth.

Wilbert concludes by describing the strengths and weaknesses of other approaches to addressing the environmental crises, from ecosocialism to permaculture to radical aboveground action such as nonviolent civil disobedience. He makes a strong case for the necessity of adding strategic underground attacks on critical infrastructure to our range of tactics, summarizing the Deep Green Resistance strategy of Decisive Ecological Warfare.

This presentation is an important antidote to the misinformation and misdirection spread by corporations, governments, and mainstream environmental groups. Watch below or read the text transcript, share with your environmentally minded friends, and visit the Deep Green Resistance Youtube Channel or Deep Green Resistance member appearances page to view and hear more DGR and general resistance video and audio:

Transcript

[Cameron:] This is Max, and we've been doing environmental activism for at least five years now. Green energy is a topic that's been really important to us, because in trying to find effective solutions, a really genuine response to the environmental crisis, green energy has come up as an obstacle. We've talked about it always on the side; we've never really come at it head-on so we thought for this year for PIELC it's something we should do.

We're probably going to talk for about 40 minutes, and then we'll do a little Q & A and then we'll call it a day. I'm going to pass it over to Max.

[Max:] Thanks everyone for coming. It's an honor to be here again. Today we’re going to introduce you to some ideas that you're probably familiar with already as environmentalists. But we might also be talking about some things that are surprising or even shocking to some of you.

September 8, 2014

An Open Letter to the UK Environmental Movement

Earlier this year, Deep Green Resistance UK published an open letter to the UK environmental movement, asking folks passionate about stopping ecocide to evaluate the environmental movement to date, and to think and act strategically. The letter describes DGR's strategy and approach, acknowledges that not everyone will agree with all aspects of DGR's analysis, and asks each reader to make up his or her own mind as to which resistance options to support and pursue.

Our culture currently rewards behaviour that benefits the individual at the expense of the group. Acquisitive and insane behaviour such as denuding the landbase of living systems makes powerful individuals rich, and this is the behaviour we see from those in power. This will continue while there is still money to be made, in other words the destruction will continue until there are no more living systems left to exploit. A number of respected scientists are coming to similar conclusions.

Solutions which make no attempt to destroy this culture, or which postpone action until the distant future, are worryingly misguided. The current system is one of arrogance, sadism, stupidity and denial. It will not change of its own accord. The British government’s stance on fracking, despite massive public opposition, is a testament to this and an example of this culture’s insatiable appetite.

[...]

What we propose is that people in the UK environmental movement begin to consider whether their activism- be it community, political or radical- is effective and commensurate with the scale of the problems we face. Community gardens and anti-fracking protests are all part of this resistance movement, but unless they are linked to a larger political struggle, those efforts will fail. Regardless of what our differences might be, we need to start working in tandem.

Read the entire Open Letter to the UK Environmental Movement from Deep Green Resistance UK

September 6, 2014

Earth: Land is Life video

An important view into indigenous ways of thinking and living, Earth: Land is Life centers on the 7th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2008, with interviews of delegates from around the world. The many representatives of many cultures speak eloquently on the importance of returning to a balanced way of life, protecting the earth, and resisting destruction and disruption by the dominant culture.

Unlike many hope-based documentaries, the film conveys the widely held sense of doubt that any material change will come about from the effort and time nearly 3000 indigenous representatives put into traveling and speaking. Though corporations, governments, and their associated institutions routinely put on shows of participatory democracy, the only language they really hear is that of force.

Watch this video, and contemplate how you can get involved in effectively stopping civilization's relentless assault on the lands and lives of indigenous peoples.

September 4, 2014

Dahr Jamail interview for Resistance Radio

For the July 20 episode of Resistance Radio, Derrick Jensen interviewed Dahr Jamail, an award winning reporter for truthout.org. He began his career driven by the obvious lies surrounding the invasion of Iraq, not understanding the apathy of Americans all around him, but compelled to spend his small savings on a laptop, camera and a plane ticket to the middle east. Since then, he has continued to write about US imperialism, including oppposition to it by veterans; and about environmental issues from the BP oil spill to fracking to his current focus on anthropogenic climate disruption (climate change.)

Jamail and Jensen discuss important facts on how quickly climate disruption is advancing, its current and predicted impacts, and how official assessments consistently underestimate the harm in general caused by industrial civilization. They address the interplay of multiple aspects of ecocide and the insane lack of appropriate response by most civilized humans. The interview is an excellent fact-based reality check on our dire situation, and also inspiring as an example of one person finding his way to an appropriate response. As Jensen says, "The big distinction is not between those who believe we need militant resistance and those who believe that militant resistance isn't necessary. I've always thought that the big distinction is between those who do something and those who do nothing."

Learn more and get inspired by listening to this interview below, playing the interview at the Deep Green Resistance Youtube Channel, or reading Dahr Jamail's writings.

Download mp3

Browse all of Derrick Jensen's Resistance Radio episodes.

September 1, 2014

the filthy politicians: 200 Species Every Day

The song "200 Species Every Day" by the filthy politicians is a fictional scene straight out of the Decisive Ecological Warfare strategy advocated by Deep Green Resistance: a pair of activists carrying out well-planned and strategic attacks on infrastructure, in this case combining arson of a power station with raids on corporate offices to trash their crucial data.

As the filthy politicians ask in the preamble, "Why the fuck hasn't this happened yet?"

Listen to this track and read the lyrics below, and hear more songs at the filthy politicians on bandcamp and at the filthy politicians on soundcloud.

yeah she said look at it now it's like
everything is always spinnin around
and what's hard to believe with your feet on the ground
is that we're flyin through space not makin a sound
yeah, let me tell you about a ride and a journey
a small town girl on a midnight train
goin anywhere with a city boy destroyin
everything so they can breath again
cuz life don't fit in a cubicle
lookin out the window damn that's beautiful
fuck that we ain't goin back said sally
take my hand we'll take the back alley
we'll take it all back from the peak to the valley
i wanna burn it all down, shall we
but i don't wanna knock off gas stations
no we're goin for the corporations
there'a power station we could blow
nobody's out there, no one's gonna know
until we're in the next town down the road
where i know a safe place that we can lay low
she said just two people could cut the power
to the whole city for 38 hours
then dress up like police officers
then we got access to every office
her smile was so bright and life was such a mess
that he couldn't think of anything else
and the word that he heard himself say was yes

yeah, she knew him long enough to trust him
but didn't wanna risk it if they got busted
so she kept the network to herself
cuz what he didn't know, yo he couldn't tell
so they planned it out, got it all together
to the decimal everything down to the weather
no cell phones, no booze, shaved heads
no DNA, no trace for the feds
wasn't hard to cop a cop uniform
the gangs were on that one long before
they got timed charges for the transformers
with a little dynamite for the corners
all sourced out yo paid in cash
it's not that hard to build a stash
in a land where everyone has a gun
america manufactured his own crash
so they stole a car from a rich family
that was on vacation
on a beach at a resort in some starving
so called third world nation
then they drove out to the hills
satellites the cloudy night killed
they rehearsed enough, didn't have to think
they cut the fence, just plain chain link
it only took them half an hour
then they were on their way
back to the city where she put on a wig
and they slipped on the costumes of the pig
they strolled out of that parking garage
left one last charge in the trunk of the dodge
they watched the fire as it rose up in the hills
then came the darkness and they both got chills

she waited for the look in his eyes when
he saw another fire on the other horizon
he knew she hadn't told him for the right reasons
about the others, but he couldn't believe it
so he asked her how many?
she said just enough to stand a chance, if any
but lets get in there, get what we came for
hard drives smashed all over the floor
then back out, on to the next one
darkness had never been this fun
they came to call it the great resetting
in an effort to address the great forgetting
life was under attack for so long
they had to fight back before it was gone
status quo had to go
everybody knew it deep down in their bones
so you better get ready for shit to go down
they're on their way they're in the next town
ya you better get ready for shit to go down
they're on their way, they're in the next town