January 26, 2015

Large prairie dog colony to be destroyed for shopping mall

Image by DingoDogPhotography

Bellmeadow, a member of Deep Green Resistance Colorado, reports on the planned construction of the newest biggest mall in the US. The mall in Castle Rock, CO will destroy the home of one of the largest remnant prairie dog colonies on Colorado's Front Range. Already reduced to 3% of their native range and less than 1% of their original population, prairie dogs would be considered an endangered species if not for the loophole of calling them "pests."

Recently I heard news that our county (Douglas) was getting one of the nation’s biggest malls. The news simultaneously sunk my heart and angered me. Why the hell do we need another mall? To consume the world? Then my mind raced to the location of the mall, and the prairie dogs that live there. I had been worried about this colony before, about the strong possibility that the remaining colonies comprising hundreds of prairie dogs would be destroyed for some kind of development. After all, a Lowe’s store, an outlet mall, a housing project, and a tire store had occupied their territory and had already killed thousands of these dogs in the name of “development.” And this was the final solution for the 3,000 to 8,000 remaining burrows: complete annihilation of the prairie dogs for a shopping mall set to cover 170 acres in concrete.

Regular readers of this blog or listeners of Derrick Jensen's Resistance Radio may remember his interview with Con Slobodchikoff on prairie dog language, in which they discussed their high level of intelligence. Sacrificing these beings for short term profit and another shopping mall should be criminal.

Unfortunately, as we know all too well, money and those who wield it write the laws. There's probably no chance of saving the habitat for the colony under threat; the best-case scenario is "relocation", a horrible process of sucking the dogs out of their homes, killing many and splitting up families in the process, and moving them to strange new territory where they may or may not survive. Even implementing this salvaging rescue mission will prove difficult, as few landowners are willing to accept the forced transplants, and if a location can be found, it'll be another struggle to convince the developer to hold off on construction three months so the prairie dogs can be moved at the least harmful time of year.

If you care about prairie dogs and the other people crushed by the relentless expansion of civilization, if you feel anger or grief or shame, let that guide you to action. Join Deep Green Resistance and the culture of resistance!

January 21, 2015

Interview with a Saboteur - Michael Carter of Deep Green Resistance

Michael Carter of Deep Green Resistance Colorado Plateau, fueled by anger and despair but with only The Monkey Wrench Gang for guidance, carried out acts of sabotage in his youth against industrial encroachment on wilderness. He spiked trees, sabotaged road construction equipment, and cut down billboards. Though he doesn't regret his impulse to protect life and strike back against the machinery of industrial civilization, he does regret his lack of strategy, big-picture thinking, and basic security culture. Now older, wiser, and working as an aboveground activist, Carter reflects on those underground actions, what he wishes he'd done differently, and what needs to be done today in the face of even more desperate environmental circumstances.

This interview is a fascinating read, giving a glimpse into what might lead someone to consider illegal forms of resistance such as property destruction, the pitfalls they may encounter if they don't prepare properly, and what it will take to build a larger culture of resistance.

We didn’t know a lot about environmental issues or political resistance, so we didn’t have much understanding of context. We had an instinctive dislike of clear cuts, and we had the book The Monkey Wrench Gang. Other people were monkeywrenching, that is, sabotaging industry to protect wilderness, so we had some vague ideas about tactics but no manual, no concrete theory. We knew what Earth First! was, although we weren’t members. It was a conspiracy only in the remotest sense. We had little strategy and the actions were impetuous. If we’d been robbing banks instead, we’d have been shot in the act.

Nor did we really understand how bad the problem was. We thought that deforestation was damaging to the land, but we didn’t get the depth of its implications and we didn’t link it to other atrocities. We just thought that we were on the extreme edge of the marginal issue of forestry. This was before many were talking about global warming or ocean acidification or mass extinction. It all seemed much less severe than now, and of course it was. The losses since then, of species and habitat and pollution, are terrible. No monkeywrenching I know of did anything significant to stop that. It was scattered, aimed at minor targets, and had no aboveground political movement behind it.

Read the entire interview of Michael Carter, in three parts:
Time is Short: Interview With A Saboteur, Part I
Time is Short: Interview With A Saboteur, Part II
Time is Short: Interview With A Saboteur, Part III

January 17, 2015

Unis'tot'en Camp, January 2015 - Will Falk

A group of Deep Green Resistance members from across the US and Canada delivered cash donations, supplies, and their labor to the Unis'tot'en Camp in early January. A support network for a strategic, indigenous-led front-line blockade is a crucial part of building a culture of resistance. DGR is proud to provide some of that support, and grateful to the camp hosts for allowing us to be involved.

Will Falk wrote about his experience on this recent trip, reflecting on his personal journey that has brought him through despair to activism, and the mingling of his new activist focus with personal and professional relationships and locations of his despair-filled past. He relates this to the larger culture of civilization, and the need for meaningful action to counteract the dangerous self-numbing in which we're all encouraged to engage:

One way to understand the environmental catastrophe confronting us is to view the dominant culture as suffering from a profound case of despair. Despair permeates many religious traditions that say humans are fundamentally flawed, Earth is a scary place, and suffering is inevitable so we may as well embrace it to gain peace in another world. Despair permeates science cutting us off from other beings, telling us other beings are objects incapable of existing with humans in mutual relationship, and encouraging us to use (read: kill) other beings for the benefit of humans. Despair permeates our governments who view raw power and physical force as the only way to control this wildly unpredictable process we call “life.”

Many doctors have told me to reach out to old friends to help me remember who I was and what I was like before despair settled over me. In my worst moments, all I can see is darkness behind me, darkness upon me, and darkness ahead of me. Life is bad. Life was bad. Life will always be bad.

Part of spending so much time in Canada is being far from those who remember who I was. Lately, my desire for connection to a happier personal past has taken strange and pathetic forms. I wear an obnoxious green Notre Dame football flatbrim everywhere I go. I talk about my favorite band, Phish, with anyone who will listen. I find myself in bars just looking for company.

So, one of the benefits of the speaking tour I went on for the Unist’ot’en Camp involved spending time remembering myself with those who love me. But, the temporary feelings this time spent remembering released are dangerous. It would be easy to settle back down into a life based around salving the pain of depression. It would be easy to surround myself in good memories and turn my back on the problems of the world. If I did this, though, the world would still be burning. And, if the world burns for long enough, those I love will burn, too.

Read the entire essay: Reflections on Despair: Walking the Trapline at Unist’ot’en Camp, by Will Falk. And stay tuned for report-backs from other DGR members who attended the camp!

January 7, 2015

Vulnerability of infrastructure to cyber attacks

In November, Admiral Michael Rogers spoke to the House Select Intelligence Committee on Cybersecurity. Rogers, the National Security Agency (NSA) Director & U.S. Cyber Command Commander, spoke on the vulnerability of U.S. infrastructure to cyberattacks due to the proliferation of network technologies which are relied upon for that infrastructure's functioning. Sectors of the economy vulnerable to cyber attacks run the gamut, from energy to oil and gas to government to aviation. In his assessment, no major part of the interconnected global economic system is not vulnerable to cyber attacks.

While this hearing focused mainly on the threat that foreign nation states pose to the U.S., the topic of non-government groups committing catastrophic attacks on infrastructure was brought up as well. In comparing the cyber threat to the nuclear threat of the Cold War era, it has been determined that the cyber threat is a much greater risk because of the ease with which groups with few resources can gain the tools necessary to commit potent attacks, whereas obtaining nuclear weapons is much more difficult.

Main points:

  • Foreign powers (China, Iran, and Russia) have the capability to inflict damage on critical U.S. infrastructure through cyber attacks
  • Primary concern is this nation state threat
  • Secondary threat is gangs/ groups (nation states have been using these groups to execute probing as well as attacks, in order to obscure their own fingerprints)
  • Types of attacks used:
    • Distributed denial of service (DDoS); not a sophisticated attack, but can do a lot of damage in large scale/ high velocity attacks
    • Sophisticated viruses (Iran)
    • Trojan horse malware (Russia)
  • Main targets to worry about:
    • Energy sector (foreign powers have been probing for weaknesses and have gained access to control systems, which could allow nation states / groups to shut down those systems)
    • Financial systems / institutions (major threat)
    • Oil and gas infrastructure
    • Water distribution and filtration systems
    • Government
    • Aviation
  • Attacks can be segmented to perform different kinds of things (cut off power transmissions to specific sectors, turn off specific generators and turbines, etc.)

Watch the full hearing to learn more about cyber vulnerabilities of infrastructure.

January 5, 2015

"142 Years" by Drew Wadden and the filthy politicians

This collaboration between the filthy politicians and Drew Wadden provides a concise summary of the trajectory of civilization, then challenges the listener with a fundamental moral question: what are you going to do about it?

Listen to "142 Years" from the album Modern Man and read the lyrics below, and hear more songs at the filthy politicians on bandcamp and at the filthy politicians on soundcloud.

do you believe that you will die at the end of your life?
what do you think that you will do when nobody can find you?

shit- if we leave here just like this
the way it is now right now
it's a crime scene past time we quit
we've filled paradise full of maggots and shit
which when left to their own are a part of the cycle
but that's blown sky high by a psycho
cancer of a culture that conquered the world with agriculture
we ain't been right with the world for awhile now
rocks, rivers, plants, and animals in exile
we killed the tribes in due course
and turned relationships into resource
extractors - manufacturers
turn the living world into plastic we're
drownin in a sea of loneliness
flailin about for a long lost home it gets
hard to listen to the screams
when you wake up and take in the scene
people take up the meaningless memes
to disconnect is how we cope it seems
if he who dies with the most toys wins
mother earth cries but it's lost in the din
does that man get to join the elders?
or does he wander the depths of hell?
if you sold your soul every time you
took a bite of the torture behind you
hid the light from the torch inside you
do you really think in the end we could find you?
if you sold your soul every time you
took a bite of the torture behind you
hid the light from the torch inside you
do you really think in the end we could find you?
you gotta wake up
you gotta wake up
we tear apart the world for what?
we're still not happy - time to give it up
there's always other ways - old ways - waitin
fight back why are we hesitatin?
we got zombie hearts with the brain rot
take a look inside - what do you got?

January 2, 2015

Ocean Apocalypse: video lecture by Jeremy Jackson

In January 2013, Dr. Jeremy Jackson spoke at the U.S. Naval War College on the multitude of negative impacts of industrial civilization on the oceans of the world. Jackson is a Senior Scientist Emeritus at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and a marine ecologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, with decades of experience studying oceans around the world. He knows and cares about oceans and presents his depressing information in a succinct and engaging manner.

Jackson asks three crucial questions:

  • What are the most important human impacts on the oceans and their consequences today?
  • What are the projected consequences of these changes for the environment (and thus for human well being)?
  • What can we do to prevent these things from happening?

Jackson does an excellent job answering the first two questions. This video is important viewing for anyone who wants to learn about the desperate state of the oceans and their certain collapse if business as usual is allowed to continue.

Unfortunately, though he identifies the major threats as pollution, overfishing, and climate change, he doesn't tie these together into a necessary broader critique of civilization. His proposed solutions, with a focus on green technology hopium and voting in the "right" leaders, are almost entirely useless.

Watch Ocean Apocalypse now, learn from Jackson's summary of the problems, then consider the Deep Green Resistance Decisive Ecological Warfare strategy as an actual plan to save the oceans.