|"Forget the Rest" blog|
Let us know by return email (hit "reply") if you want to be removed from this closed inner list of our more active local members (~20% of our mailing list) -- or, if you have been forwarded this message and want to receive local letters directly, added to it.
Will your organization or church host a panel discussion on our climate emergency – its opportunities and its dangers – involving Greg Mello, Chuck McCune of McCune Solar Works, and any others you may choose?
May 5, 2017
Are we environmentalists and social justice advocates "bright-siding" our climate, energy, and environmental problems? Are we downplaying the dangers we face and exaggerating the positive effects of relatively easy policy choices that address only a small part of our climate, energy, and related problems? We sure are. As Clive Hamilton recently put it, we are on the edge of the abyss, but we ignore it. His “we” includes most of us.
Climate change denial is pervasive today – as is belief in impossible energy futures, such as the fantasy of powering our present hyper-wasteful economy and society on 100% renewable energy.
Preventing runaway climate change will require revolutionary change, not just reform. We have to talk about this. Effective emergency measures are required, and economic justice will need to be at the fore. The truth is that our energy and economic situations have already changed more than we know, and revolutionary changes are coming to us whether we want them or not. We’ve got to seize the moment before the moment seizes us, in a bad way.
The good news is that we can take some very effective measures ourselves. Not all of them cost money (often the reverse, in fact), and they don’t all require changes in government policy. They will instead produce policy changes, if we organize. Conservation, substitution, and resistance will bring us closer together if we let them, and are really necessary to renew our social contract. We need to start “boycotting ecocide,” as local solar engineer Chuck McCune puts it. Ephemeral marches and protests are powerless, in comparison.
How can we get started? We start from where we are of course, the best and only place there is. Meanwhile, we recommend getting acquainted (for example) with the very clear educational materials available from Climate Code Red (such as this short presentation by David Spratt) and Margaret Salamon (“Leading the Public into Emergency Mode: A New Strategy for the Climate Movement”). This short essay of Greg’s or this talk (“The Crisis at Hand, the Emergency Mode, & the Need for Full-Scale Mobilization”), may also be helpful.
What we shouldn’t do is to put our faith in either main U.S. political party, or imagine that regulatory processes alone will save us. The illusion of salvation within the present political and economic assumptions, for example by some sort of “clean energy utopia,” is delaying action and awareness while also hiding and abetting an all-too-real class war. The U.S. is now regressing into the economic status of a developing country, in no small part because of our largely unopposed, rampant militarism -- nowhere more so than in New Mexico. We need nonviolent constructive action and resistance – both – as we build resilience into our lives and our communities, starting with households, organizations, and churches.
We like to find a way to talk to your group or church about these matters. Our knowledge and perspectives, honed over decades, are different (though largely complementary) to others you may have heard. If you are interested please call Ernest Sturdevant, or Trish Williams-Mello, at the numbers above.
Meanwhile we will be hosting weekly public talks and discussions as part of our summer internship program, which runs from May 29 to August 4. We’ll kick off on June 3 with a solar showcase and party in Summit Park (map) from 11 am to 3 pm. Following that we’ll have weekly discussions, probably on Thursdays at UNM Law School (map), concluding August 3 with a capstone presentation by our eight interns. Exact dates, times, and topics will follow in due course. (Contact Trish if for some reason you don’t get those announcements.)