Across the globe, millions join biggest climate protest ever // As Millions Join Climate Strike, Top Activist Warns: ‘It Could Get Ugly’

NB: This is a political event of great magnitude. It is is also philosophically loaded. The quest to 'master nature' to serve human needs has come full circle; and a large section of humanity - especially the young - understands that the mindless technological poisoning of the air, water and forests will result; and has already resulted, in disaster. The world order hangs in a tension between a gobal economy and a political 'enemy system' founded upon nation-states. Unlimited growth based on limited resources will destroy the life-preserving capacity of the earth. The political focus on enmity as a defining feature of nationalism undermines the requirement of cooperation - and it is reflected in the massive expenditures devoted to armaments.
What’s It Like to See a Democracy Destroyed? Susan Glasser interviews Hannah Dreier

Nationalism is detrimental to the health of the environment. Ecological issues are global, but nationalism makes us think that natural resources like clean air, water and forests are the property of 'nations'. We have forgotten that the national state is a recent phenomenon. In the last chapter of The Rebel, Albert Camus reminded us that 'real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present'. This was the clue he gave us for understanding ideologies - thought systems that motivate us to focus on an ever-retreating Glorious Future, while we destroy the Present.

We must also be alert to the misuse of this warning, its distortion by nationalism. Ideologies like that of Trump and Bolsonaro can also, in the name of respecting the present and the immediate interests of their voters, play havoc with the very possibility of a sustainable future. The ideological trick is to pretend that not only cultures and peoples, but even space and time are 'national'; that we can have global warming in one country, and a healthy climate in another. The health of the Amazon delta or the Tibetan plateau or the Arctic ice, or the Himalayan river systems is not merely the business of the countries that exercise sovereignty over these places, their health concerns all the species that depend upon them. Nuclear contamination and the ozone hole are not national phenomena. "Giving all to the present" is meaningless unless the idea of the present embraces all of us who live in it, not just those who voted for these mindless demagogues. We cannot nationalise time.
The millions who have demonstrated all over the world yesterday have also heralded the first open and direct challenge to the current politics of the bigots, racists, communalists and ultra-nationalists in power in various countries. They have shown up the hypocrisy of those in power who use science and technology for war and destruction, but who refuse to listen to scientific evidence when that evidence endangers their narrow political interests. 

Ecology is now the major fault line of the modern world order. I salute the young activists who have taken up the global struggle for a sensible and humane alteration in social, economic and poltical policies in their respective countries. I advise them to examine very carefully the actual behaviour of political leaders and governments on ecological issues: what laws are they passing, what regulations are being undermined? How much effort really goes in to environmental clearances by governments such as India's? Don't believe any assurances from anyone. Demand evidence of real, positive action. Supervise official behaviour. Mass satyagraha, civil disobedience and campaigns are the need of the hour. Down with the bigots and thugs in high office. International solidarity is the only way out. DS

Across the globe, millions join biggest climate protest ever
Millions of people demonstrated across the world yesterday demanding urgent action to tackle global heating, as they united across timezones and cultures to take part in the biggest climate protest in history. In an explosion of the youth movement started by the Swedish school striker Greta Thunberg just over 12 months ago, people protested from the Pacific islands, through Australia, across-south east Asia and Africa into Europe and onwards to the Americas

Save the Oceans, Feed the World.

For the first time since the school strikes for climate began last year, young people called on adults to join them – and they were heard. Trade unions representing hundreds of millions of people around the world mobilised in support, employees left their workplaces, doctors and nurses marched and workers at firms like Amazon, Google and Facebook walked out to join the climate strikes.

In the estimated 185 countries where demonstrations took place, the protests often had their individual targets; from rising sea levels in the Solomon Islands, toxic waste in South Africa, to air pollution and plastic waste in India and coal expansion in Australia. But the overall message was unified – a powerful demand for urgent action to cut emissions and stabilise the climate. The demonstrations took place on the eve of a UN climate summit, called by the secretary general, António Guterres, to inject urgency into government action to restrict the rise in global temperatures to 1.5C, as agreed under the 2015 Paris agreement....

As Millions Join Climate Strike, Top Activist Warns: ‘It Could Get Ugly’
We have to go to war with the wealthiest and most powerful people and industries in the history of the world, and we have to win. It could get ugly: As politicians, city authorities and companies scrambled Friday to show support for the millions of climate strikers protesting around the world, one of the top campaigners behind the movement put the powerful on notice. “They’re going to glom onto whatever they can,” Sunrise Movement co-founder Varshini Prakash, 26, said over coffee two hours before the rally in New York City began. “But we don’t want compliments. We want action.”  The Friday event, which drew more than 250,000 to lower Manhattan, was the first of two demonstrations bookending the United Nations General Assembly. A second strike is set for Sept. 27

But Prakash, whose group’s protests have propelled the Green New Deal into the political mainstream and helped shape the 2020 Democratic primary debate, said the movement is preparing a set of demands that go far beyond simply rejoining the Paris Agreement’s targets for cutting planet-heating emissions. Comparing rhetorical shows of support like former President Barack Obama’s call for “action” to the empty public statements politicians and corporations routinely release on Earth Day, Prakash said the demonstrators sought to conjure the original 1970 march that pressured then-President Richard Nixon to pass bedrock regulations and create the Environmental Protection Agency. This escalation of the stakes started earlier this week, when teenage climate strikers admonished lawmakers at a congressional hearing...

Popular posts from this blog

Third degree torture used on Maruti workers: Rights body

Haruki Murakami: On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morning

The Almond Trees by Albert Camus (1940)

Rudyard Kipling: critical essay by George Orwell (1942)

Satyagraha - An answer to modern nihilism

Albert Camus's lecture 'The Human Crisis', New York, March 1946. 'No cause justifies the murder of innocents'

Goodbye Sadiq al-Azm, lone Syrian Marxist against the Assad regime