Extinction Rebellion

New Orleans    Extinction Rebellion is an interesting burst of energy and protest pushing governments, initially in the United Kingdom, to act immediately to avert catastrophic climate change.   Bursting onto the scene less than a year ago with actions in the fall and now calling for non-violent civil disobedience during the final two weeks of April, they have been front page news in London.  Their hallmark has been hard hitting, disrupting and innovative actions, which I find interesting and worth following.

More than 1000 have been arrested in London so far.  The Mayor of London mobilized more than 2000 additional police to deal with the disruption.  Attempts to confine the demonstrations to the Marble Arch in London have been unsuccessful.  Demonstrators have blocked politicians from entering the House of Parliament.  Others disrupted Parliament by disrobing there with messages printed on their bodies.  Some have super-glued various parts of their bodies, including their rear ends, to public areas to make their point.  Bridges, roads, and the London Underground have all been blocked at various times.  With Extinction Rebellion’s encouragement, actions have been joined in several other countries as well.

Their website lays out their objectives, structure, and principles:

At the core of Extinction Rebellion’s philosophy is nonviolent civil disobedience. We promote civil disobedience and rebellion because we think it is necessary- we are asking people to find their courage and to collectively do what is necessary to bring about change.

We organise in small groups. These groups are connected in a complex web that is constantly evolving as we grow and learn. We are working to build a movement that is participatory, decentralised, and inclusive.

All are welcome who want to adhere to our principles and values

  1. we have a shared vision of change

  2. we set our mission on what is necessary

  3. we need a regenerative culture

  4. we openly challenge ourselves and our toxic system

  5. we value reflecting and learning

  6. we welcome everyone and every part of everyone

  7. we actively mitigate for power

  8. we avoid blaming and shaming

  9. we are a non-violent network

  10. we are based on autonomy and decentralisation

It’s easy to critique this kind of Occupy-lite effort for the climate.  They avoid any economic or political analysis adopting a “make the government act” program rather than going after polluting businesses or policies.  They are oblivious to class and gender.  They don’t worry with sustainability, staffing, or membership.  They focus on the Chenoworth 3.5% notion as if it were a biblical guarantee, rather than a shaky post-Leninist notion.

So what?  Climate change is disruptive to the future, so it needs disruptive tactics to meet the peril and make it immediate, rather than in the by and by.  I’m not saying, let a thousand flowers bloom, but it sure wouldn’t hurt to have Extinction Rebellion and some other hellraisers taking action to stop business as usual and increase the heat on policy makers and politicians by demanding – and acting on their demands – until they force a response.  Some may take potshots at Extinction Rebellion, but for now count me in the stands cheerleading and leading the applause.  Their actions are important and make a difference.

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Worried About Climate Change? Move to Arkansas, Mississippi, or Alabama

keep-calm-i-do-go-southNew Orleans   The National Climate Assessment, a report written by a crew of scientists overseen by the White House, is coming out, and it’s a scorcher.  The takeaway is that climate change isn’t coming, it’s already here.  On an average we’re two degrees hotter throughout the United States.  In some areas people need to start worrying about food and water.  Ok, in fact they say it’s not in “some areas,” but most areas.

True to our John Wayne, pioneer spirit, we’re Americans, and by god, we’re not panicking.  Only 40% of us think this is much to break a sweat about.  On the other hand more than half of those polled in Australia, Canada, France, and Germany think this is a major issue, and more than 60% say so in Spain and Italy.   Living on their island of Japan, 70% of the Japanese think this is a huge issue.

But, why be negative?  Let’s look on the good side, where those that would always be last, might finally be first.  In the next couple of decades we could see a land rush in much of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama, and might do better than you would imagine in Louisiana and the Smokey Mountain and Appalachian areas of eastern Tennessee and Kentucky, and even being an Okie from Muskogee might do nicely in those areas of the Ozarks.  Yes, indeed, as terrible as the news was just about everywhere, these hardscrabble, often dirt poor areas, largely in the Middle South area of the country, are looking good.

What am I really saying here?  Well, temperature stayed pretty much the same for a century or in the range of hardly a half-degree warmer throughout virtually all of Alabama and Mississippi, southern and northwestern Arkansas, eastern Oklahoma, western Georgia, and eastern Kentucky and Tennessee.  Now, the coastal area of Louisiana and some of the Gulf Coast of Mississippi around Gulfport and Biloxi might not be the places for any of you to move, but, hey, you can’t have everything can you?  But, if you want to get some property for a second home now and to relocate your whole tribe over the next fifty years, Hot Springs, Arkansas could be the place for you, buddy!  Or McComb and Hattiesburg, Mississippi, or anywhere around where the Tombigbee River runs through Alabama and Mississippi.  These are going to be, how should I say it, not “hot” spots, but nice cool zones for living and working, based on the last 100 years anyway.  The coolest places in the country on average over the century were Troy, Alabama and Okmulgee, Oklahoma.  No kidding!

And, seriously, since most Americans don’t seem to think we need to worry much about this whole climate change thing and that we can just cowboy our way through another hundred, that leaves the rest of us looking at the map to try to jump in and grab a few acres somewhere in the great middle south of the United States before all of the darned one-percenters corner the market and relocate from New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and other hot spots because they want food and water.

Now’s the time to be living in the South if you have a vision for the future, and a couple of dollars to put down on some land that might be left, high and dry, cool and collected.  Go South, young man, go south!

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As Station Manager of Kabf, I get emailed new music releases.  Please enjoy Willie Nelson’s The Wall.

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