Wednesday, September 23, 2015
I am actively involved with the climate justice organization Rising Tide. Of all the groups fighting climate change it appeals to me because of its radical critique, recognizing that the roots of the climate crisis go to the basic institutions and structures of western "democratic" capitalism. I believe it to be fairly unique in its unapologetic denunciation of patriarchy, white supremacy and colonialism as they apply to climate justice and though this language is challenging to mainstream organizations we see it gaining traction thanks to the efforts of people as diverse as Naomi Klein and Pope Francis. Naomi sits on the board of 350.org and the Pope doesn't care who he makes uncomfortable. Of course an established center of capitalist ideology such as the Democratic Party will try to harness this energy for its own purposes and blunt any effects that might harm its privileged position (or Wall Street donors). A great example of this is the legislation sponsored by Maria Cantwell (as reported in Mon. Sept.21 NYT) which would call for a "2% per year reduction in carbon emissions through 2025". In classic Democrat fashion it fails to call for any concrete measures to obtain the goal (taxes, carbon price, regulation etc)..still.... A shift is beginning and elites are scrambling to stake out positions. Some of the pressure comes from the impending COP 21 to be held in Paris this Dec. Some of the pressure comes from chaotic energy markets resulting from gas fracking boom, some from economic stagnation (Europe, now China)and some from Big Insurance which has to underwrite coastal cities and blazing homes in California. The question now is, how to drive a stake through the heart of Dirty Energy while it is off balance? Rising Tide North America is escalating with a campaign called Flood The System and I think it is a great metaphor.
Monday, September 21, 2015
My nickname and photo nearly say it all. I am an old radical fishing guide/writer devoted to (fly)fishing and Left-left politics. I have erratically maintained a blog called Thoughtstreaming for many years now where I voiced strong opinions on political-economy, modernity, philosophy and current events. The majority of my few followers were trolls (rude and dimwitted) but I have generally enjoyed the process of blogging and believe it has made me a better writer. The purpose of starting this new blog is to create a forum for discussion in a narrower range, focusing on the crisis which is climate change and its particular relationship to the workings of capital. I live in a small community in a beautiful valley in western Montana, out on the periphery as they say, or the isolated margins of American power. Yet in terms of climate and dirty energy we are a major Center. The eastern part of the state is connected geographically/geologically to the Powder River coal seams and Baaken shale oil fields, the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would run right down our state and much of these fossil fuels are transported (mostly east to west) through the state with a massive expansion of that network being proposed or developed already. So the fight is on. While I believe this crisis must be attacked at the roots and that only a complete overhaul of the political/economic/ideological system known as capitalism can prevent climate chaos, the work to get there will take place on many levels and on differing terrain. Join me in exploring the possibilities. Truly effective action action must be guided by solid theory and that theory can only be developed collectively.