Why I Refuse to Promote Bill McKibben
Published July 7, 2011 by Political Context: http://bit.ly/pqOXts
Image: Corporate media’s poster boy for the environmental movement, Bill McKibben. (Photo: Nancie Battaglia /
Creative Commons, 350.org)
“Nations and peoples are largely the stories they feed themselves. If they tell themselves stories that are lies, they will suffer the future consequences of those lies. If they tell themselves stories that face their own truths, they will free their histories for future flowerings.” – Ben Okri, Nigerian poet and novelist
It continues to both concern and baffle me that those within the movement who coined the term “climate justice” continue to promote a false prophet who believes/hopes and promotes that greed can save us (see McKibben’s The Greenback Effect: Greed Has Helped Destroy the Planet – Maybe Now It Can Help Save It). Greed, of course, being one of the ugliest traits in the human species. Greed being the pivotal factor behind the “success” of capitalism. Greed being the reason the world’s wealthiest 15% contribute 75% of all global greenhouse gas emissions (Professor Stephen Pacala) on the backs of the poor and most vulnerable while simultaneously decimating and raping the Earth.
Throughout history, greed has proven to be lethal. Greed and justice cannot co-exist.
The premise that “greed can save us” is void of all ethics. It stems from either desperation or denial, or perhaps both combined.
Perhaps McKibben’s 350.org/1Sky partner – Climate Solutions (who McKibben praised/promoted in a recent article) – will soon see their wish list of “sustainable aviation,” biofuels and carbon offsets morph into a global reality. 350.org/1Sky partner Climate Solutions was a key player in the creation of 1Sky – an incubator project of the Rockefellers, who are pushing/funding REDD (the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program) and many other false solutions that ensure power and monetary wealth remain exactly where it is – in the hands of the few.
Of course, James Hansen’s magic wand (which Hansen himself sometimes refers to) will be most imperative for such false solutions to succeed in cooling the planet and stopping the eradication of most life on Earth.
Do we reject biofuels, carbon offsets, the greenwash and delusional concepts like “sustainable aviation”? Or do we reject these false solutions only when promoted directly by industry and government? If we do reject false solutions outright, why do those who claim to seek climate justice turn a blind eye when our “friends” and “partners” support these false solutions that we must fight against?
Perhaps it is a good time to reflect upon the concept of living well, proposed by Bolivia, which describes the capitalist system and the effects of greed that it perpetuates like this:
“We suffer the severe effects of climate change, of the energy, food and financial crises. This is not the product of human beings in general, but of the existing inhuman capitalist system, with its unlimited industrial development. It is brought about by minority groups who control world power, concentrating wealth and power on themselves alone. Concentrating capital in only a few hands is no solution for humanity, neither for life itself, because as a consequence many lives are lost in floods, by intervention or by wars, so many lives through hunger, poverty and usually curable diseases. It brings selfishness, individualism, even regionalism, thirst for profit, the search for pleasure and luxury thinking only about profiting, never having regard to brotherhood among the human beings who live on planet Earth. This not only affects people, but also nature and the planet. And when the peoples organize themselves, or rise against oppression, those minority groups call for violence, weapons, and even military intervention from other countries.”
It must be remembered that McKibben, 350.org/1Sky and most all other “big greens” have rejected the People’s Agreement of Cochabamba rather than unite behind it, in favour of the false illusion of “green” capitalism.
I, for one, choose not to promote organizations or individuals who embrace such a system so unfair that it is systematically destroying all life, nor those who purposely and continually reject and undermine the Cochabamba People’s Agreement. I leave this to the likes of Naomi Klein, who recently joined 350.org/1Sky and other key 350.org/1Sky messengers … celebrated individuals who have warned us of the dangers of unfettered capitalism, yet have chosen to embrace the “green” capitalist entity, 350.org/1Sky.
Over a decade ago, Klein brilliantly educated the public on the growing trend of corporations hijacking public entities, including our universities and museums. In a statement on BP’s sponsorship of the Tate Museum, to which Klein is listed as the first signatory, she/they write: “Corporate sponsorship does not exist in an ethical vacuum.”
Yet, hypocritically, when it comes to corporate power funding the entire mainstream environmental movement, Klein and others have not only failed to speak out against it – they have lent their names to it. In the environmental movement, it has been decided by Klein and others that corporate funding sponsorship does indeed exist in an ethical vacuum, thereby lending legitimacy and credibility to an organization that promotes and protects the branded logo 350 – and little else. As much as Klein and other celebrated anti-capitalists such as Vandana Shiva passionately deliver us the imperative truth, when it comes to 350.org/1Sky and pro-free market McKibben, they turn a blind eye to a movement shaped and funded by the industrial machine itself. As the push towards an illusory “green economy” and “climate wealth” strengthens, even those within the climate justice movement itself are covertly being estranged from the truth.
The videos below shed light on our free markets at work. These people represent only a glimpse of those who suffer at the hands of our current economic system. Climate “justice” or any kind of justice just cannot and can never exist in our capitalist economic system, as this system is dependent upon not only continued growth, but continued violence, oppression and exploitation of perhaps 85% of humanity – who emit a mere 25% of all emissions. This way of life is coming to an end. This system is destined to ultimately collapse – or kill us – whichever comes first.
If the definition of justice is “the quality of being just or fair” – our current economic system, that being capitalism, is the furthest thing from any kind of justice. The idea that we can avert climate genocide by embracing “green” capitalism is an illusion. It is a lie whereby the consequences will prove to be lethal beyond anything our species has ever witnessed. Those who truly seek justice must think long and hard about maintaining faith in a system that has finally brought us to the precipice. We may be trapped within it – but that does not mean we cannot fight like hell to break free.
Testimony of Rosa Elbira: Gang-rapes at a Canadian-owned mine in Guatemala:
The “Green Economy” to solve our climate crisis, in a nutshell (this is not a spoof): http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/energy-security-and-independence (don’t miss ten minutes in – featured in doc END:CIV):
Violent Evictions at El Estor, Guatemala: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgwtLuISE1Y&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL
All That Glitters Isn’t Gold – 10 min. Trailer:
On the Origins of Green Liberalism: http://tedsteinberg.com/essays/can-capitalism-save-the-planet/
Cory Morningstar is climate justice activist whose recent writings can be found on Canadians for Action on Climate Change and The Art of Annihilation site where you can read her bio. You can follow her on Twitter: @elleprovocateur