Research over the last 100 years of resistance movements shows that when just 3.5% of the public mobilizes to support a movement for social, economic or environmental justice, it always wins. Many win with a smaller percentage, but no government can withstand 3.5% of the population working for transformative change.One way to look at the movement is like an archery target, a series of concentric circles. At the center is the core group of people who feel strongly about a particular issue, often those directly affected. There are many who have been working on police abuse, racial injustice and militarization of police long before Ferguson, just as there have been Michael Brown-like incidents across the country. There are many Ferguson’s throughout the United States. With Ferguson, a whole new group of people joined, the circle grew as people were horrified that an unarmed teenager could be killed by police and his body left lying in the road for 4.5 hours. As publicity about the case grew, more people joined the circle of concern seeking Justice for Mike Brown. Then, there were more police killings in additional cities throughout the country and the circles grew larger; and after the grand jury reached its decision, more people joined. When people heard of the grand jury decision, and now as they learn about how the grand jury was manipulated to protect the killer of Mike Brown, more joined.
The new survivalism..
In fact, something like the survivalist dream has become a compelling vision of sustainable future living. Environmental concerns, rising power prices, and the progress in alternative technologies have seen a growing number of people opting to disconnect and live “off grid”.This trend often shares a common picture of the ideal retreat; including, for instance, micro-hydro power, methane digester, water tanks, passive solar design, and avegetable garden.Rawles has suggested that his SurvivalBlog has “an increasing number of stridently green and left-of-centre readers”. Off grid housing is even being talked of as the “new normal”.This can be read as liberating moves towards sustainability, personal autonomy and self-determination. Survivalists also tend to privilege privatised, self-regulated, individualist modes of living.The Australian off-grid advocate Michael Mobbs has recently suggested rethinking the state’s responsibility for sewage. He argues that “mature citizens” should take care of their own waste.If it becomes the “new normal”, what could this sort of thinking mean for the way we live together?Common services and cooperative social institutions have helped form the city as a public good. When looking at the overlapping discussions of being “prepped” and “off grid”, or “resilient” and “sustainable” we should perhaps be wary. Who has the capacity to be off grid and who remains dependent?
The World Bank will invest heavily in clean energy and only fund coal projects in “circumstances of extreme need” because climate change will undermine efforts to eliminate extreme poverty, says its president Jim Yong Kim.
Talking ahead of a UN climate summit in Peru next month, Kim said he was alarmed by World Bank-commissioned research from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, which said that as a result of past greenhouse gas emissions the world is condemned to unprecedented weather events.
“The findings are alarming. As the planet warms further, heatwaves and other weather extremes, which today we call once-in-a-century events, would become the new climate normal, a frightening world of increased risk and instability. The consequences for development would be severe, as crop yields decline, water resources shift, communicable diseases move into new geographical ranges, and sea levels rise,” he said.
What good is a university if it doesn’t educate students?
Strange question? Not in the ever more bizarre world of the American public university.
Don’t get me wrong: many American public universities still do a great job of educating students, but creeping rot is indubitably here (including at my own university). The worrisome trends are plain to see. Higher education is being defunded, the university is being corporatized. Universities are being driven ever further from their core mission of educating the future citizenry.
Full disclosure: I’ve got skin in the game. After all, I’ve worked in an American public university for more than half my life. In that time, I’ve watched the developing crisis up close.
The two most commonly cited causes of the crisis are ever decreasing allocations from state legislatures and ever increasing costs of facilities and services. No doubt, these causes are real. Less frequently mentioned, however…
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Brilliant post. Read, weep, act.
“Your choice is not who you will vote for, if you should write that submission or if you should run for office. You are not safe here in a benign backwater country. At best, you are just hiding in the wardrobe as the house burns. You will not be left alone, they are coming for you. So your choice is simple: are you one of the One Percent; or are you one of the 99 Percent who are coming to tear down these temples, edifices and facades?
Today, as the storm clouds roll in, gigantic and implacable, harbinger of revolution; dance with me in the first showers of rain, for anger is a gift.”
It’s been a bad news week so far.
The Ferguson Grand Jury has decided that Darren Wilson, the US policeman who shot an unarmed black youth, Michael Brown, will not stand trial for that shooting. This has led to two nights of community protests that have been caricatured as ‘riots’ and ‘looting’ by mainstream media, who have willfully ignored the hyper-violence of the police to the community.
The inquiry into allegations that the SIS was used for political gain by the National Party has found “incomplete, inaccurate and misleading information in response to an Official Information Act request by blogger Cameron Slater.” That information was, of course, used to slander Phil Goff during the 2011 election campaign. At the very least it is clear that despite the hamstrung Terms of Reference, the report found evidence that implies there is a slander machine in the PM’s office and was an unsavory…
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The world’s fossil fuels will “obviously” have to stay in the ground in order to solve global warming, Barack Obama’s climate change envoy said on Monday.In the clearest sign to date the administration sees no long-range future for fossil fuel, the state department climate change envoy, Todd Stern, said the world would have no choice but to forgo developing reserves of oil, coal and gas.The assertion, a week ahead of United Nations climate negotiations in Lima, will be seen as a further indication of Obama’s commitment to climate action, following an historic US-Chinese deal to curb emissions earlier this month.A global deal to fight climate change would necessarily require countries to abandon known reserves of oil, coal and gas, Stern told a forum at the Center for American Progress in Washington.“It is going to have to be a solution that leaves a lot of fossil fuel assets in the ground,” he said. “We are not going to get rid of fossil fuel overnight but we are not going to solve climate change on the basis of all the fossil fuels that are in the ground are going to have to come out. That’s pretty obvious.”
November 14, 2014
by Wica Agli
Rosebud, SD – In response to today’s vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to authorize the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, the Rosebud Sioux Tribal President announced that the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (Sicangu Lakota Oyate) recognizes the authorization of this pipeline as an act of war.
The Tribe has done its part to remain peaceful in its dealings with the United States in this matter, in spite of the fact that the Rosebud Sioux Tribe has yet to be properly consulted on the project, which would cross through Tribal land, and the concerns brought to the Department of Interior and to the Department of State have yet to be addressed.
“The House has now signed our death warrants and the death warrants of our children and grandchildren. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe will not allow this pipeline through our lands,” said President Scott of…
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The relation of transitional justice to contemporary reconciliation studies is an issue that requires much more attention. Some of the most recent examples of reconciliation (Australia and Canada) have not taken place inside of a transitional justice paradigm, but are the consequence of previously democratic states coming to terms with past crimes. Inasmuch as reconciliation in places such as South Africa and Yugoslavia has targeted transgressions that took place outside of democracy–for instance after apartheid or following a coup d’état–the performance of “settler reconciliation” has a much different set of effects and consequences than its counterparts in transitional nations. These differences must be parsed both with and against the TRC genealogy.
The way in which political performances of reconciliation can distract from the lived conditions of victims is more evident if analysis is shifted from South Africa to the world’s longest running official reconciliation initiative, found in Australia. In…
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Altruistic BehaviorThe title, direction and burden of this book seem to augur almost apocalyptic failure to confront the coming crisis. But, of course, Marshall pulls out an ace near the end.He concludes that while human brains may be hard-wired to not worry about what may or may not happen in two generations, they also have an immense capacity for pro-social, supportive and altruistic behavior.“Climate change is entirely within our capacity for change,” he says, “It is challenging, but far from impossible.”That is good to know. And the book ends with some serious advice about how to make the case for action—and instead of capital punishment, we get generously shouty advice in capital letters. CLIMATE CHANGE IS HAPPENING HERE AND NOW, he reminds us. And he urges campaigners to DROP THE ECO-STUFF, especially the polar bears.Marshall suggests that we really do try to contain global average warming to 2°C. He quotes John Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who told the Australians: “The difference between two and four degrees is human civilization.” And, yes, do think about it.
The South Australian Liberal Party risks damaging investor and public confidence in the natural gas industry by moving to establish a Parliamentary inquiry into hydraulic fracturing – an industry practice that has been used safely in the State for many decades.APPEA’s Chief Operating Officer Western Region, Stedman Ellis, said the inquiry proposed by the Member for Mt Gambier had little basis in science.Mr Ellis said the South Australian Parliament needed to be wary that it did not provide a megaphone for people who want to undermine the industry and the investment and jobs it provided.“South Australia has consistently been ranked in international surveys as the most attractive Australian state for oil and gas investment,” Mr Ellis said.“But this hard-earned reputation will be at risk if groups ideologically opposed to the industry are given a platform to spread fear and misinformation.