Saturday, February 23, 2013

Alternatives to Antihumanism

By Murray Bookchin
New Compass
February 23, 2013

This is the conclusion to Murray Bookchin’s Re-Enchanting Humanity: A Defense of the Human Spirit Against Anti-Humanism, Misanthropy, Mysticism, and Primitivism (London: Cassell, 1995), pp. 258-260.

What alternatives do we have to the antihumanistic moods percolating through Euro-American culture today?

To exude nothing but optimism would be as simplistic as the pessimism I have criticized in [my book Re-Enchanting Humanity. Whether a rational choice is possible before the present market society exhausts itself in a frenzy of destruction is certainly debatable; capitalism—whose corrosive workings are abetted, not determined, by an ecer more powerful technology—is spreading into the remotest areas of the planet. Europe and North America are not alone in being shaken to their foundations by the system they spawned less than two centuries ago. Today, large parts of Asia, Africa, and Latin America have also been swept into its fold. Capital has become as “rhizomatic” as anything treasured by Gilles Deleuze and FĂ©lix Guattari, whose concepts play neatly into the imagery of global capitalism.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Roundtable for Ecosocialism - by the Parti de Gauche

The Friends of the Left Front Association (UK)
January 10, 2013

On December 1st 2012 the Parti de Gauche organised a round table to discuss the Ecosocialist project. This gave us the opportunity to debate our "Ecosocialist Manifesto ” around 18 themes. Please visit for practical information.

Building a new left wing political synthesis

We now know that human emancipation cannot be achieved by never ending growth: the ecosystem does not allow it. This forces us to reconsider our production and trading system, and generally speaking the entire social and political organisation. Under these circumstances, we propose Ecosocialism as a new reading of our strategy for the future of humanity.

Ecosocialism implies the use of practical radicalism, environmental planning, and a citizens’ revolution. Its means are based on a redistribution of wealth that would take into account environmental constraints, the rejection of all kinds of domination and oppression, and popular sovereignty within a democratic, republican and secular state.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Canada's environmental activists seen as 'threat to national security'

Police and security agencies describe green groups' protests and petitions as 'forms of attack', documents reveal

By Stephen Leahy
Thursday 14 February 2013

Monitoring of environmental activists in Canada by the country's police and security agencies has become the "new normal", according to a researcher who has analysed security documents released under freedom of information laws.

Security and police agencies have been increasingly conflating terrorism and extremism with peaceful citizens exercising their democratic rights to organise petitions, protest and question government policies, said Jeffrey Monaghan of the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

The RCMP, Canada's national police force, and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) view activist activities such as blocking access to roads or buildings as "forms of attack" and depict those involved as national security threats, according to the documents.

50,000 protest against the Keystone XL pipeline in Washington

By Brent Patterson
Council of Canadians
Feb. 17, 2013

It was a massive and vibrant #ForwardOnClimate protest today in Washington, DC, with an estimated 50,000 people present. Families with small children, Occupy, First Nations, young people, and a broad cross-section of people were here to send a clear message to President Obama - reject the Keystone XL pipeline. Speakers included founder Bill McKibben, former presidential adviser Van Jones, Chief Jackie Thomas of the Saik’uz First Nation in British Columbia, and Crystal Lameman of the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation in Alberta.

Initially, it was believed that 35,000 people were present, but organizer Joshua Kahn Russell writes this afternoon, “Earlier numbers announced were low - after aerial shots, official estimate of #ForwardOnClimate rally is 50,000 people.”

European and US coverage

Agence France Presse reports, “Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Washington Sunday to generate pressure on President Barack Obama to take concrete measures to fight global warming. Waving banners and signs with slogans like ‘What will be your climate legacy?’ the protesters called on Obama to reject the $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline that would bring oil from Canada to Texas…”

Friday, February 15, 2013

Canada Lobbying US to Approve Keystone XL Pipeline

By Yves Engler
Dissident Voice
February 15th, 2013

On Sunday tens of thousands are set to converge on the White House in what organizers are promoting as “the largest climate rally in U.S. history.” The protesters will be calling on Barack Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.

Alongside one of this country’s biggest corporations, Stephen Harper’s government has entangled Canada in one of the most controversial decisions of Obama’s presidency. The Conservatives have lobbied vigorously in support of Calgary-based TransCanada’s plan to build a $7 billion pipeline to take up to 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast. The prime minister has pressed Obama to approve Keystone XL while his ministers have visited Washington to pursue the matter with the Secretary of State. During two visits to Washington in recent weeks foreign minister John Baird said Keystone XL was his main priority.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

James Hansen and the Climate-Change Exit Strategy

By John Bellamy Foster
Monthly Review
February, 2013

Humanity is not a bunch of lemmings marching unstoppably toward a cliff. There is such a thing as free will…. People please wake up! For the sake of young people, future generations, and other life on our planet, don’t settle for what some “experts” say is the best we can do.
— James Hansen

The Climate Cliff

The world at present is fast approaching a climate cliff. Science tells us that an increase in global average temperature of 2°C (3.6° F) constitutes the planetary tipping point with respect to climate change, leading to irreversible changes beyond human control. A 2°C rise is sufficient to melt a significant portion of the world’s ice due to feedbacks that will hasten the melting. It will thus set the course to an ice-free world. Sea level will rise. Numerous islands will be threatened along with coastal regions throughout the globe. Extreme weather events (droughts, storms, floods) will be far more common. The paleoclimatic record shows that an increase in global average temperature of several degrees means that 50 percent or more of all species—plants and animals—will be driven to extinction. Global food crops will be negatively affected. For example, a 2011 report of the National Resource Council indicates that the U.S. corn (maize) crop, which accounts for 40 percent of the world’s total, will experience a 25 percent decline in average yield with a 2°C rise in temperature.

Read more HERE.