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Signs of Hope – A continuing series September 19, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Gewerkschaftler suggested this recently:

I suggest this blog should have a regular (weekly) slot where people can post happenings at the personal or political level that gives them hope that we’re perhaps not going to hell in a handbasket as quickly as we thought. Or as the phlegmatic Germans put it “hope dies last”.

Any contributions this week?


1. lcox - September 19, 2019

I’m going to say (with some trepidation) that the global climate strike over the next week (and more generally Fridays for Future if not necessarily XR) offers cautious grounds for hope.

Not so much in terms of some of those promoting it (it is obviously a very different beast in different countries and contexts) but because it seems set to be genuinely large-scale in quite a few places, particularly W Europe and N America but not only – see the map on https://globalclimatestrike.net/ for details. In some countries (particularly Anglophone ones) schoolchildren are Not the Usual Suspects, and it’s nice to see some union involvement (again varying).

Certainly a shift of legitimacy around these issues but equally an active political mobilisation with a not completely narrow basis. Such things are capable of taking on a life of their own and radicalising in terms of goals and methods, as well of course as spilling over into wider habits of political engagement on the part of those who are new to this.

There are huge problems in eco movements and most in western Europe are far away from “climate justice” but as with other movements, without large-scale involvement by ordinary people the movement is likely to remain captured by the professionals of whatever stripe.


WorldbyStorm - September 19, 2019

Yeah, the scale is very impressive. That has to mean something.


Tomboktu - September 19, 2019

You would hope.

But… a multi-month long series of protests culminated on Saturday 15 February 2003 with the largest ever coordinated demonstration on the planet on a single issue in 600 cities — and included the first ever protest march in Antarctica — and still they invaded.


WorldbyStorm - September 20, 2019

Yes, fair point. Though as lcox notes below, perhaps it is the start? And one small mercy – without in any sense diminishing the urgency there is time to turn things around, or at least mitigate them.


2. lcox - September 19, 2019

Yes, I don’t think anyone sensible assumes this strike itself is going to change things – other than perhaps shift the calculations for some politicians. It is more whether it is capable of becoming the start of something.


tafkaGW - September 23, 2019

I’d be cautiously more hopeful than that, Icox.

I was at the climate-strike demo in a smaller east German city, and there were numbers, parents, scientists and a small group of trades unionists from two of the German trades unions.

The CDU/SPD government reacted but did so in such a manner that the interest of business-as-usual capital were protected. The movement(s) reacted pretty much universally with scorn at these minimal measures which aren’t in any way commensurate with the seriousness of the situation.

These are movements that have at least, in part, learned from the failures of previous movements. They won’t be so easy to pacify.

The slogan ‘system change, not climate change’ represents the views of a majority I would estimate.


CL - September 23, 2019

The world economy is based on ever-increasing consumption of fossil fuel in a process of never-ending economic growth; the effort needed to change this system is beyond anything visible at the moment.
As ‘natural’ disasters caused by the current system become more catastrophic, the political system will begin to respond, but as atmospheric carbon dioxide continues to increase, the problem appears to be outpacing the ability of the current political system to deal with it.


lcox - September 23, 2019

That’s really good to hear tafkaGW. It’s hard to get a real sense of how things are shaping up in different places, but it does seem to be quite varied in terms of levels of participation, who is getting involved and what their political perspectives are – all pretty normal for a large-scale mobilisation taking place across many different countries. And media images almost certainly downplay the system-critical and working-class elements in favour of the things they understand and approve of.

Part of me feels depressed having lived as an adult through multiple waves of red-green, eco-socialist, environmental justice and now climate justice (etc.) attempts to combine those two perspectives (both necessary). But we don’t really have an alternative as you say to attempt to learn from the past and see can we organise better this time.


CL - September 23, 2019

“BILL McKIBBEN:…we’re at a tipping point physically. The planet really is starting to break in profound ways. We’re also at a tipping point, maybe, politically. There’s finally enough recognition, enough demand for action, that maybe things will start to happen. Now, how that race between destruction and hope comes out is anybody’s guess. It really depends on how quickly we’re able to mobilize….
if we did everything right from this point, if we cut off the supply of money to the fossil fuel industry, if we passed something like the Green New Deal and implemented it fast, if we did everything necessary to keep fossil fuel in the ground, then we’re not going to stop global warming. That’s off the table. But maybe we can limit it to the point where it doesn’t cut off our civilizations at the knees.”


CL - September 24, 2019

“in November 2018, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report that had a greater impact than any publication in the thirty-one-year history of the organization.The report examined the implications of keeping the increase in planetary warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7°F). Given the worsening disasters we are already seeing with about 1°C of warming, it found that keeping temperatures below the 1.5°C threshold is humanity’s best chance of avoiding truly catastrophic unraveling.
According to the UN World Meteorological Organization, we are on a path to warming the world by 3–5°C by the end of the century. To keep the warming below 1.5°C would require, the IPCC authors found, cutting global emissions approximately in half in a mere twelve years and getting to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Not just in one country but in every major economy….
What is needed, the report’s summary states in its first sentence, is “rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”…
None of this means that every climate policy must dismantle capitalism or else it should be dismissed (as some critics have absurdly claimed). We need every action possible to bring down emissions, and we need them all now. But it does mean, as the IPCC has so forcefully confirmed, that we will not get the job done unless we are willing to embrace systemic economic and social change….
as surely as the glaciers are melting and the ice sheets are breaking apart, that free-market ideology is dissolving, too. In its place, a new vision of what humanity can be is emerging. It is coming from the streets, from the schools, from workplaces, and even from inside houses of government.”


3. EWI - September 20, 2019

It looks like a clear impeachment issue for Trump has just arrived – a whistleblower has come forward on threats to the Ukraine around US aid unless Joe Biden’s son was pursued over a business deal.

Bonus is that Giuliani – who will sing like the rat he is – is centrally involved.


Joe - September 20, 2019

Interesting. Wonder how it will develop. He’s gotten away with so much so far. All the rules are out the window. Is this a line he shouldn’t have crossed? As opposed to all those other lines he shouldn’t have crossed, but did, and carried on regardless?

Liked by 1 person

EWI - September 20, 2019

He has his personal lawyers active in at least a dozen court cases, fighting attempts to make him accountable or to uphold the law.

One example claims that even though the House Ways and Means Committee has a legitimate imperative in law to ensure that there’s no funny business involving his audits by the IRS, their ‘motives’ should shield the orange menace from publsihing his tax returns. This is the exact opposite argument of the basis for his victory at the USSC over a Muslim immigration ban, where the Supreme Court ruled that Trump’s publicly-expressed (and highly illegal motives) for same on Twitter should be ignored if any possible legitimate reasons for the ban could be discerned by the court (ludicrously, presumably even if Trump himself wasn’t aware of them).

Prevaricate, eventually stonewall, run to the courts, appeal, run immediately to the Supreme Court (which he has installed a Republican majority on) who have bent over backwards to accomodate his wishes.


WorldbyStorm - September 20, 2019

Yeah, agreed.


Joe - September 23, 2019


This must be manna from heaven for the Biden campaign. Dems will rally round him. He looks good as a counterpoint to Trump in the photos – an ordinary Joe vs a spoiled millionaire.
Of course, this could be a Trump plot to ensure Biden gets the Dem nomination – cos Trump fancies his chances more against Biden than some of the others?


4. gypsybhoy69 - September 20, 2019

Buzzin’ for half dozen 😉

Liked by 1 person

Joe - September 20, 2019

With a sneaky yen for ten.

Liked by 2 people

5. Alibaba - September 22, 2019

It looks like Netanyahu is in a desperate battle for political survival.


Should he not remain in office and facing serious corruption charges, along with the immunity from prosecution being withdrawn, I suspect there are many people wishing to bury the hatchet.


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