“They are as children, playing with their toys, with their house of fire”
The September Rebellion – Extinction Rebellion. We are heading into that time of the year when Extinction Rebellion enters into news, accompanied no doubt by the usual dollops of mainstream media misreporting. The September action will start with a learning village set up in London for 3 day from 10th September. There will follow other action to be disclosed. This month of action will be followed by The October Parliamentary action by Just Stop Oil when they will be protesting in Parliament Square, being arrested, protesting some more, being arrested on a conveyor belt of action UNTIL the government agrees NO NEW OIL. With 40 new fracking fields on the cards this will be an enormous battle and power to the JSO arrestibles and supporters.
The alternative media outlets will be doing all they can to redress the information imbalance. Certainly, in our humble way, Eastbourne Solidarity will be sharing what we can, in line with “Tell The Truth”. But before the full-on-ness to come, let’s stop a while a take some time to prepare for what’s ahead. Let’s take a broad sweep of the landscape. Then when the news comes we will have a grounding. We will be rooted. Our Climate Crisis is nothing if not a cutting off of people from our earth home. The ways in which we organise ourselves are deadly. Our global Corporation dominated extractives economic system has brought the planet to the brink of destruction and caused its people immense suffering.
“What you do to the land you do to people.
What you do to people you do to the land”.
Facing Extinction. First we need to face up to the our extinction squarely. No skirting around. Full face on. Catherine Ingram’s essay “Facing Extinction” bears witness to the deadly future that is arriving. You can listen to this essay in audio. She goes over the data. It is tough listening. The data pulls no punches. She offers no solutions. She references her friend Leonard Cohen. She puts courage at the centre of her message. She offers ‘companionship’ to activists in our struggles to urge the decision makers to “Act Now” and wake up fast.
Inverting the Energy Paradigm. Next, when I say a ‘broad sweep’, this includes going outside of the usual carbon counting focus. If you haven’t yet come across Charles Eisenstein, Author then please find some time to check him out. (Some of you may remember him from days of The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible, a book that invited us to let the old Story of Separation fall away so that we could stand firmly in a Story of Interbeing). In a recent essay, “Inverting the Energy Paradigm”, Eisenstein maintains it is the USE of energy that is an unexamined aspect of the climate crisis that needs to to considered if we are to truly transform our world.
“The approach of ecological and supply limits signals that our taking has swollen beyond our giving. But here is an absolutely crucial point—if it surprises you, please pause to meditate on what I’ve written: The limits of supply and ecological burden are NOT asking us to use less. They ask us to use differently. (And when we use differently, we will use less.) It is the devotional use of energy that brings giving and receiving into balance”.
Here is a previous post where you will find the link to an article by Eisenstein, and a podcast. I love the podcasts. Love being read to.
XR Action on Parliament. September 2nd saw the XR rebels enter into the House of Commons. 3 rebels superglued themselves to each other and stood in front of the Speakers chair. Other rebels sang and delivered their demand. They stated our democratic system is broken and is woefully inadequate in dealing with the Climate Crisis. They called for a Citizens Assembly to be set up. This assembly would comprise people chosen at random like a jury. They would then receive expert knowledge and training on the Climate Crisis. Ok, so society seems to have moved beyond denialism, but it is the urgency of the Climate Crisis that is being underplayed. A people’s democracy would be asked to come up with solutions to be acted on now. A Citizens Assembly to give us the answers when the politician are failing to act with the urgency required. It is shocking to know that politicians have received no proper briefing of the facts of the climate emergency. Our future is in their hands yet they are so ill informed.
Here is the live recording of the action:-
An unbroken Democracy. Extinction Rebellion are not alone in their criticism of democracy. We have the call for workers assemblies to inform their workplaces of solutions for work related problems. We have to growth of Cooperatives. We have ‘leaderless’ organising. People want to participate. We are not clocking on, clocking out machine beings. We have minds and hearts and thoughts of our own.
I want to next draw your attention to the work of people like Gopal Dayaneni quoted above and Dr Vandana Shiva. “Oh wonderous world”. So encouraging and heartening to have such people as these amongst us.
The word “eco” means environment, house or home. “ecology” is the relationship we have with our environment. “Economy” is “the art of living”, how we manage the resources of our environment. How we manage the resources of our home.
Gopal’s focus is on the need for the people, closest to the resources in their environment, to take charge of how to do management. He asserts that rather than get caught up in carbon counting, we need to focus on democratising the people. His challenge is to the economics of colonialism, imperialism and extractivism. He focusses on food sovereignty and land reform. We currently have an exploitative system were it is largely the Global poor who are supplying the food for the rich north and all too often they are suffering and going hungry in the process. But it needn’t be like this. He advocates for deep democracy and bottom up governance and those who are impacted the most taking the lead. There is more to this than an old hippy loving hearing about the commons ie “the governance of resources (land, labour, information, ideas etc) that are shared by many and therefore must be available and sustained to be use by many over generations. Commons are older than private property and predicated on Consent and Cooperation. I’m going to be looking into his work some more. I will keep you posted.
And then we have the wonderful Dr Vandana Shiva. I will let her speak for herself. Here is a great little cartoon video “Divide and Rule” where she explains her approach. Second, here is an Amy Goodman interview (from democracy Now). This interview with Dr Shive by Amy was 2019. You will find current day videos of the work of Dr Shiva. She is a phenomenon. Her work on food sovereignty and seed freedom tallies with Gopal Dayaneni’s work. She’s done a recent video during the currently extreme heat where she takes reading of her shaded, lush, biodiverse organic farm and compares to the corporate farm next door, the later being unlivable.