On May 20, 3PM EDT, join the launch of the Next System Project: http://launch.thenextsystem.org. Growing inequality, political stalemate, and climate disruption prompt an important insight. When the old ways no longer produce the outcomes we are looking for, something deeper is occurring. It is time to explore genuine alternatives and new models—“the next system.” Read the statement and add your signature at: http://thenextsystem.org
SCNCC is a joint Canadian and US coalition of ecosocialists and fellow travellers united in the belief that capitalism is driving climate change and that a radical international grassroots movement can stop it. Green capitalism is a dead end. So are liberal parties like the US Democrats and the corporate friendly approach of most Green NGOs. SCNCC believes the climate justice movement will unite with the labour movement and other struggles for liberation to create an alternative to the upside down world shaped by fossil fuels and corporate power. Another world is possible, but we need more ecosocialists to make it happen.
When Pope Francis visits the U.S. this week, he is likely to preach about climate change and the role of markets, given his encyclical on the environment. Yes, markets.
Many classical economists are scratching their heads about his message so far. Some consider the pope’s writings anti-capitalist.
“It’s sort of too far beyond the pale to even be engaged by serious people,” said Steve Cicala, an assistant professor at the University of Chicago.
Less controversial, in the pope’s encyclical on the environment, is his view of the cause of the problem. He said the earth is increasingly an “immense pile of filth,” and that polluters must pay for polluting.
“Although he speaks his language, this is really the language of market failure,” said Lord Nicholas Stern at the London School of Economics, who wrote a defining paper on climate change, which he calls “the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen.”
Here’s why: carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels hurts the environment — there’s a cost. But the polluters in most of the world pay nothing.
The new documentary “Racing Extinction” goes undercover to the edge of mass extinction in the world’s darkest black markets.
An advance image from the filming of “Racing Extinction,” showing filmmaker Louie Psihoyos with an underwater camera. (Courtesy Oceanic Preservation Society / The Filmmakers)
In 2009, audiences around the world were blown away by a documentary by Louie Psihoyos called “The Cove.” It showed the horrifying secret mass slaughter of dolphins in Japan and the sale of mercury-laden dolphin meat to school children. Won an Oscar. Now Psihoyos has taken his cameras global, and the picture is brutal again. Species falling into oblivion under the pressure of manmade climate change. Some hunted and torn to shreds for gills and fins. A “great extinction.” It’s a powerful call to act, and act fast. This hour On Point, Louie Psihoyos and his tough new film, “Racing Exctinction.”
Pope Francis in the Capitol Hill lion’s den – Yale Climate Connections
Pope Francis to face hostile Republican-Led Congress this week.
Pope Francis will be the first leader of the Catholic Church to address a joint session of Congress. Take out the name “Francis”, and that sentence would be the subject of universal rejoicing among Catholics. Instead we get this: “[The Pope ought to] leave science to the scientists,” from former Senator and Presidential candidate Rick Santorum, or this “when the Pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, he can be expected to be treated like one,” from Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona who intends to boycott the session.
Santurum, Gosar, and many other Catholic Republicans are in a snit because Francis intends to use this opportunity to spread the message of the threat of climate change that he laid out in his encyclical Laudate Si’ earlier this summer. This has led a number of Republicans, who loudly invoke religious authority when thundering on the evils of abortion or same sex marriage, to suddenly become passionate advocates of the separation of church and state. Beyond the amusing theater of politicians trying to pick and choose which Church doctrines they like – “Cafeteria Catholics,” as former Republican representative Bob Inglis calls them – there is the important question of what impact the Pope might have.
“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”
― Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
“Ann Druyan suggests an experiment: Look back again at the pale blue dot of the preceding chapter. Take a good long look at it. Stare at the dot for any length of time and then try to convince yourself that God created the whole Universe for one of the 10 million or so species of life that inhabit that speck of dust. Now take it a step further: Imagine that everything was made just for a single shade of that species, or gender, or ethnic or religious subdivision. If this doesn’t strike you as unlikely, pick another dot. Imagine it to be inhabited by a different form of intelligent life. They, too, cherish the notion of a God who has created everything for their benefit. How seriously do you take their claim?”
― Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
Isaac Asimov speaks in 1989 on how humanity can come together and save the planet for future civilization. (This is the complete speech. There are two shorter versions on this channel on youtube. )
Asomov’s talk includes insight on climate change, global warming, deforestation, space energy solution, the American Civil War, the Cold War, and more. He explains that Humanism is what will drive people to find solutions and that these will be in Space.
This science fiction writer here makes this most important prediction of how human’s can save civilized life on earth.
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
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