Sunday, April 28, 2019

McKibben is Banking on Protests

Bill McKibben in The Guardian:

"Luckily, we have two relatively new inventions that could prove decisive to solving global warming before it destroys the planet. One is the solar panel, and the other is the nonviolent movement. . . . Before we can best employ these technologies, we need to address the two most insidious ideas deployed in defence of the status quo. The first is that there is no need for mass resistance because each of us should choose for ourselves the future we want. The second is that there is no possibility of resistance because the die is already cast. . . . The reason we don’t have a solution to climate change has less to do with the greed of the great, unengineered unwashed than with the greed of the almost unbelievably small percentage of people at the top of the energy heap. That is to say, the Koch brothers and the Exxon execs . . . Let’s operate on the assumption that human beings are not grossly defective. That we’re capable of acting together to do remarkable things." 

I have a commenter who thinks it unconscionable for me to provoke students to skip school to protest. Anon (of course) thinks protesting is a matter of privilege because only the wealthy can get tutors to catch up on the work they missed in that one afternoon each month. I responded that tutors aren't really necessary, and later was reminded of all the times parents take their kids out of school to go on vacation for a week or two, and all the time they miss for sports or to rehearse for the school play or to look at what happens at our local waste facilities or how a cow is milked. All those are important things, and none require paying for a tutor to catch up.

BUT none of those, seriously, are as important as slowing climate change and saving many species from mass extinction, including our own.

ETA: It's not like Trudeau is standing up to big oil, but here's this anyway:


Lorne said...

I marvel at the tenacity of the Brits with their Extinction Rebellion protests, Marie. I do wonder, however, what it would take to spark such fierce resistance in our country.

Owen Gray said...

The Conservatives are betting that public anger with Trudeau's carbon tax will lead them to the throne room, Marie -- without any climate plan of their own. They are supreme cynics.

The Mound of Sound said...

Jeremy Corbyn will bring a motion before Parliament for debate on Wednesday concerning whether the government should declare a national state of climate emergency. Corbyn is using the Extinction Rebellion to support Labour's demand for a state of emergency. The Tories will be forced to defend an indefensible position. The Guardian often live streams important HoC debates on YouTube. I think I'll check it out.

Marie Snyder said...

@Lorne - I think, very unofficially, that Extinction Rebellion will be doing something in Ottawa starting June 15th. It's my 15-year-old's birthday (a burgeoning activist in her own right), so a double reason to make the trek!

@Owen - I think the Cons are right, unfortunately. They's masters of spin, and it will take us further down the road to ruin.

@Mound - Good to know!