Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How to Flood The System?

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 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.

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