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May 23, 2018

The Climate Crisis Goes Vastly Beyond Any Notion of “Rights”

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“While scientists and climate negotiators mostly speak in terms of human impacts, we must begin to see the planet and its atmosphere as an ecosystem unto itself, worthy of being accorded the highest rights and protections….”
 
I’ve long respected the basic strategy of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) and consider this community rights strategy to have promise against such specific physical assaults as fracking, pipelines, highways, CAFOs, etc. But I fear even they must falter where it comes to the vision necessary to come to grips with the climate crisis.
 
They’re correct to dismiss the “scientists and climate negotiators [who] mostly speak in terms of human impacts…”, primarily because these speak fraudulently even in those terms. None of them comes close to calling for the one and only meaningful response to the climate crisis: Stop emitting*, stop destroying sinks, rebuild sinks.
 
And it’s pure truth that “we must begin to see the planet and its atmosphere as an ecosystem unto itself” within which we ourselves are inextricably wound, bound, dependent.
 
But when they go on to say Gaia is “worthy of being accorded the highest rights and [legal] protections” I reply that we must get past the “rights”-speak which is yet another figment of the modern civilization dedicated to murdering Gaia. No great spiritual/cultural movement in its ascent and prime ever spoke of “rights”, only of power and responsibility. We do need a cultural campaign for a sea change in the human view of nature; this is a necessary part of spurring the necessary action. But to call for this change in terms of according liberal bourgeois “rights” to nature would be insufficient even if such rights were to be technically enacted. (Itself an extreme long-shot.) We’ve long seen how well legal rights actually protect us. We’ve seen how well blacks’ being accorded full civil rights has eradicated systemic racism. But what we’re up against here is the equivalent of systemic racism, albeit on a vastly greater, vastly more aggressive level. (Besides, the very liberals who would have to get behind it tend to be hostile toward the idea. Which is what one would expect, since by definition liberals are pro-capitalist, pro-property, pro-civilization; these are core principles of liberalism upon which the ideology’s adherents would never accept significant constraints. But any move to respect, let alone restore Gaia on any significant level automatically must mean the most extreme constraints on these forces of destruction.) The fact is, while notions of fighting for the legal rights of nature may sound good superficially**, they’re really another example of seeking reform within the congenitally destructive framework, a project self-evidently foredoomed to failure.
 
 
 
*Let’s be clear on what “stop emitting” means: It means STOP EMITTING, completely, NOW. It does not mean “a slight reduction in emissions by 2050,” such as envisioned (and falsely, at that) by the Paris Accord. That’s a contemptible dodge, a lie as bad as any which has wafted from ExxonMobil. If your spouse was a terrible drunk who lost their job, beat you, wrecked the car, set the house on fire, would you ask them to moderately reduce their drinking by 2050? Or would you demand they totally stop, NOW?
 
Of course the real reason the fraudulent climate crocodiles prefer the 2050 notion is that they themselves love getting soused, and they cherish all the same destructive actions. That’s why they refuse to acknowledge what’s necessary, for the climate crisis and every other ecological crisis. Only the total collapse of this “civilization” will change anything, and that’s the correction Gaia ultimately will impose.
 
To recap the fact, there is one and only one way to avert the worst consequences of climate change: Stop emitting, stop destroying carbon sinks, rebuild sinks on a massive scale.
 
All else is a lie. Especially, any version of claiming the crises can be met within the framework of productionism and capitalism is the most odious lie of all.
 
 
**I myself have found the rights-for-nature idea attractive at times. But I still always thought my way to what’s truly necessary:
 
“This judgement is nothing new but restates the truths of natural law, the moral and biological truth known to all of us..This tribunal has only restated the eternal truth. What’s lacking is the will to exercise this truth in reality…Multinational corporations like Monsanto comprise the core of this system, which is dedicated to aggrandizing these criminal organizations. So there’s an obvious contradiction in calling for Monsanto’s own lawyers, bagmen, and thugs to arrest and prosecute it. The same goes for corporate rule as such…To apply law and order to the crimes of ecocide and to all crimes against humanity cannot be done within the framework of a civilization dedicated to exploitation, waste, and destruction. The laws of such a civilization and the way these laws are enforced always will follow from this underlying dedication.
 
To make the call to justice real requires the movement dedicated to realizing these truths and values. We cannot carry out the tasks of necessity and justice within the framework of a system dedicated to every anti-human and anti-ecological action and institution. We can do it only through the action of a movement dedicated to abolishing these crimes and abolishing their ideological and institutional basis…The Monsanto Tribunal, in its compilation and assessment of the evidence and the history, has only provided the latest demonstration that humanity and the Earth cannot “co-exist” with these destroyers, and therefore cannot continue with a regulatory and legal model dedicated not just to this co-existence, but to co-existence on the basis of corporate profit [and destruction for the sake of destruction] as the great normative purpose. The Tribunal itself identifies this as the core of the crisis, even if it doesn’t draw the necessary strategic and organizational conclusions.
 
Morally, rationally, and legally the ruling of the Monsanto Tribunal is true and follows from the ruling of the Nuremburg Tribunal. The only difference so far is the force to put the truth into effect. Only the abolition movement can muster and organize the strength and the will to realize all the necessary truths. We have to begin.”
 
 
 
 

2 Comments

  1. I believe it would be easier to hear your voice if you said “Yes, and,” rather than “no.” Please spend a little more time acknowledging the good intentions of reformers and encouraging them to become more radical, rather than simply proving them wrong. Thank you.

    Comment by VernonHuffman — May 23, 2018 @ 10:10 am

    • I did say “yes and” for the grassroots people. As for the corporate “environmentalists”, the climate crocodiles, I acknowledge nothing but bad intentions on their part, so I can hardly acknowledge good ones.

      The fact is there’s two levels of good and necessary action: At the highest level, conceiving and propagating the necessary anti-civilization, Gaian vision. And at the grassroots level, organizations dedicated to fighting against assaults on specific areas and to prevent specific atrocities.

      But the middle level of the mainstream groups, dedicated by ideology and financial commitment to “working with” all the worst corporations and governments, propagating a vile ideology of “protecting the environment within the capitalist framework”, let alone that of productionist civilization, existing only as a consumer brand of feel-goodism for middle class frauds who intend to do nothing whatsoever about their lifestyles of ecological and human destruction, this level is not only a proven failure but is part of the great evil. As I’ve written before, these organizations really are dedicated only to “managing” the destruction in tandem with the corporate destroyers, exactly as the Judenrate worked with the Nazis. That’s why they themselves invented and proudly tout the term, “sacrifice zones.” For them the real sacrifice zone actually is the entire Earth.

      At most you could say this type of “action” had its time, but in case you didn’t notice, time has run out, for the Earth and humanity. One way or another industrial civilization is going down in flames and will try to murder all that’s left of the ecology and humanity with it. If any part of humanity intends to organize to fight to save what’s left and to carry humanity through to a truly ecological post-industrial age, it’s now or never to find this vision and realize it.

      If in this time of total crisis the most you can find to say to my prophecy is to tone-police it like a common liberal, then why are you bothering to read at all? At any rate, I’m not interested in tone policing. The tone of everyone has been far, far too sedate for far, far too long.

      Comment by Russ — May 23, 2018 @ 12:10 pm


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