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Kritiek op kapitalisme en economische groei

Voorkant Klein 'This changes everything - Capitalism vs. The Climate' Naomi KLEIN
This changes everything - Capitalism vs. The Climate
New York etc.: Simon & Schuster, 2014, 576 blzn.
ISBN-13: 978 14 5169 7407

[Gelezen als epub-e-book, paginaverwijzingen bij benadering.]

(7) Introduction - One way or another, everything changes

Er zijn veel manieren om de klimaatverandering voor jezelf weg te praten. Klein geeft toe dat zij dat zelf ook deed)

"Climate change is like that; it’s hard to keep it in your head for very long. We engage in this odd form of on-again-off-again ecological amnesia for perfectly rational reasons. We deny because we fear that letting in the full reality of this crisis will change everything. And we are right."(10)

"Slavery wasn’t a crisis for British and American elites until abolitionism turned it into one. Racial discrimination wasn’t a crisis until the civil rights movement turned it into one. Sex discrimination wasn’t a crisis until feminism turned it into one. Apartheid wasn’t a crisis until the anti-apartheid movement turned it into one.
In the very same way, if enough of us stop looking away and decide that climate change is a crisis worthy of Marshall Plan levels of response, then it will become one, and the political class will have to respond, both by making resources available and by bending the free market rules that have proven so pliable when elite interests are in peril."(13)

"I am convinced that climate change represents a historic opportunity on an even greater scale. As part of the project of getting our emissions down to the levels many scientists recommend, we once again have the chance to advance policies that dramatically improve lives, close the gap between rich and poor, create huge numbers of good jobs, and reinvigorate democracy from the ground up. (...) It can disperse power into the hands of the many rather than consolidating it in the hands of the few, and radically expand the commons, rather than auctioning it off in pieces."(18)

"Indeed the only thing rising faster than our emissions is the output of words pledging to lower them."(19)

Dat het politiek gezien en technologisch mogelijk is om wereldwijd maatregelen te nemen is op andere terreinen gebleken)

"The past thirty years have been a steady process of getting less and less in the public sphere. This is all defended in the name of austerity, the current justification for these never-ending demands for collective sacrifice."(26)

"I think the answer is far more simple than many have led us to believe: we have not done the things that are necessary to lower emissions because those things fundamentally conflict with deregulated capitalism, the reigning ideology for the entire period we have been struggling to find a way out of this crisis. We are stuck because the actions that would give us the best chance of averting catastrophe—and would benefit the vast majority—are extremely threatening to an elite minority that has a stranglehold over our economy, our political process, and most of our major media outlets."(28)

"It was always about using these sweeping deals, as well as a range of other tools, to lock in a global policy framework that provided maximum freedom to multinational corporations to produce their goods as cheaply as possible and sell them with as few regulations as possible—while paying as little in taxes as possible. Granting this corporate wishlist, we were told, would fuel economic growth, which would trickle down to the rest of us, eventually. The trade deals mattered only in so far as they stood in for, and plainly articulated, this far broader agenda.
The three policy pillars of this new era are familiar to us all: privatization of the public sphere, deregulation of the corporate sector, and lower corporate taxation, paid for with cuts to public spending. Much has been written about the real-world costs of these policies—the instability of financial markets, the excesses of the super-rich, and the desperation of the increasingly disposable poor, as well as the failing state of public infrastructure and services. Very little, however, has been written about how market fundamentalism has, from the very first moments, systematically sabotaged our collective response to climate change, a threat that came knocking just as this ideology was reaching its zenith."(29)

"A different kind of climate movement would have tried to challenge the extreme ideology that was blocking so much sensible action, joining with other sectors to show how unfettered corporate power posed a grave threat to the habitability of the planet. Instead, large parts of the climate movement wasted precious decades attempting to make the square peg of the climate crisis fit into the round hole of deregulated capitalism, forever touting ways for the problem to be solved by the market itself."(30)

"By posing climate change as a battle between capitalism and the planet, I am not saying anything that we don’t already know. The battle is already under way, but right now capitalism is winning hands down. It wins every time the need for economic growth is used as the excuse for putting off climate action yet again, or for breaking emission reduction commitments already made."(33)

"So this book proposes a different strategy: think big, go deep, and move the ideological pole far away from the stifling market fundamentalism that has become the greatest enemy to planetary health."(36)

(40) Part one - Bad timing

(41) 1 - The right is right - The Revolutionary Power of Climate Change

Over organisaties als het Heartland Institute, het Cato Institute,The HeritageFoundation, het Ayn Rand Institute, en het Competitive Enterprise Institute [rechtse thinktanks' in de VS], promoten 'denialists' die roepen dat de klimaatbeweging niet meer is dan een aanval op de 'American Way of Life' door groene communisten etc etc., "all convinced they have outsmarted 97 percent of the world’s climate scientists with their back-of-the-envelope calculations"(43). En worden nagepraat door elke rechtse politicus en ondersteund door alle rechtse media.

"The Yale researchers explain that people with strong “egalitarian” and “communitarian” worldviews (marked by an inclination toward collective action and social justice, concern about inequality, and suspicion of corporate power) overwhelmingly accept the scientific consensus on climate change. Conversely, those with strong “hierarchical” and “individualistic” worldviews (marked by opposition to government assistance for the poor and minorities, strong support for industry, and a belief that we all pretty much get what we deserve) overwhelmingly reject the scientific consensus."(47)

"For these right-wingers, opposition to climate change has become as central to their belief system as low taxes, gun ownership, and opposition to abortion. Which is why some climate scientists report receiving the kind of harassment that used to be reserved for doctors who perform abortions."(49)

"A 2013 study by Riley Dunlap and political scientist Peter Jacques found that a striking 72 percent of climate denial books, mostly published since the 1990s, were linked to right-wing think tanks, a figure that rises to 87 percent if self-published books (increasingly common) are excluded.
Many of these institutions were created in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when U.S. business elites feared that public opinion was turning dangerously against capitalism and toward, if not socialism, then an aggressive Keynesianism. In response, they launched a counterrevolution, a richly funded intellectual movement that argued that greed and the limitless pursuit of profit were nothing to apologize for and offered the greatest hope for human emancipation that the world had ever known. Under this liberationist banner, they fought for such policies as tax cuts, free trade deals, for the auctioning off of core state assets from phones to energy to water—the package known in most of the world as “neoliberalism.”"(49-50)

"Many deniers are quite open about the fact that their distrust of the science grew out of a powerful fear that if climate change is real, the political implications would be catastrophic."(53)

"So here’s my inconvenient truth: I think these hard-core ideologues understand the real significance of climate change better than most of the “warmists” in the political center, the ones who are still insisting that the response can be gradual and painless and that we don’t need to go to war with anybody, including the fossil fuel companies."(56)

"According to one recent study, for instance, the denial-espousing think tanks and other advocacy groups making up what sociologist Robert Brulle calls the “climate change counter-movement” are collectively pulling in more than $900 million per year for their work on a variety of right-wing causes, most of it in the form of “dark money”—funds from conservative foundations that cannot be fully traced."(57)

"One of the most interesting findings of the many recent studies on climate perceptions is the clear connection between a refusal to accept the science of climate change and social and economic privilege. Overwhelmingly, climate change deniers are not only conservative but also white and male, a group with higher than average incomes. And they are more likely than other adults to be highly confident in their views, no matter how demonstrably false."(59)

"The corporate quest for natural resources will become more rapacious, more violent. Arable land in Africa will continue to be seized to provide food and fuel to wealthier nations, unleashing a new stage of neocolonial plunder layered on top of the most plundered places on earth (as journalist Christian Parenti documents so well in Tropic of Chaos)."(62)

"If we stay on the road we are on, we will get the big corporate, big military, big engineering responses to climate change—the world of a tiny group of big corporate winners and armies of locked-out losers that we have imagined in virtually every fictional account of our dystopic future, from Mad Max to The Children of Men to The Hunger Games to Elysium. Or we can choose to heed climate change’s planetary wake-up call and change course, steer away not just from the emissions cliff but from the logic that brought us careening to that precipice."(73-74)

"This, without a doubt, is neoliberalism’s single most damaging legacy: the realization of its bleak vision has isolated us enough from one another that it became possible to convince us that we are not just incapable of self-preservation but fundamentally not worth saving."(77)

(80) 2 - Hot money - How Free Market Fundamentalism Helped Overheat the Planet

"... the biggest emitters in the world are rushing to the WTO to knock down each other’s windmills. () ... pitting “free trade” against climate action"(81) met beschuldigingen van protectionisme waardoor allerlei milieuvriendelijke initiatieven in de kiem worden gesmoord)

"Almost a decade ago, a WTO official claimed that the organization enables challenges against “almost any measure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”—there was little public reaction at the time, but clearly there should have been. And the WTO is far from the only trade weapon that can be used in such battles—so too can countless bilateral and regional free trade and investment agreements."(88)

"To allow arcane trade law, which has been negotiated with scant public scrutiny, to have this kind of power over an issue so critical to humanity’s future is a special kind of madness. As Nobel Prize–winning economist Joseph Stiglitz puts it, “Should you let a group of foolish lawyers, who put together something before they understood these issues, interfere with saving the planet?”"(89)

"Indeed the three policy pillars of the neoliberal age—privatization of the public sphere, deregulation of the corporate sector, and the lowering of income and corporate taxes, paid for with cuts to public spending—are each incompatible with many of the actions we must take to bring our emissions to safe levels. And together these pillars form an ideological wall that has blocked a serious response to climate change for decades. Before delving more deeply into the ways the climate crisis calls for dismantling that wall, it’s helpful to look a little more closely at the epic case of bad timing that landed us where we are today."(90)

"... exploited workers and an exploited planet are, it turns out, a package deal."(100)

"The significance of the NAFTA signing was indeed historic, tragically so. Because if the environmental movement had not been so agreeable, NAFTA might have been blocked or renegotiated to set a different kind of precedent."(104)

"The errors of this period cannot be undone, but it is not too late for a new kind of climate movement to take up the fight against so-called free trade and build this needed architecture now. That doesn’t—and never did—mean an end to economic exchange across borders. It does, however, mean a far more thoughtful and deliberate approach to why we trade and whom it serves."(104)

"But, critical as these shifts are, they are not enough to lower emissions in time. To do that, we will need to confront a logic even more entrenched than free trade—the logic of indiscriminate economic growth."(106)

En dat is natuurlijk de kern van het neoliberale kapitalisme)

"In other words, changing the earth’s climate in ways that will be chaotic and disastrous is easier to accept than the prospect of changing the fundamental, growth-based, profit-seeking logic of capitalism."(108)

"So what to do in the meantime? Well, we do what we can. And what we can do—what doesn’t require a technological and infrastructure revolution—is to consume less, right away.(...)
Consuming less, however, means changing how much energy we actually use: how often we drive, how often we fly, whether our food has to be flown to get to us, whether the goods we buy are built to last or to be replaced in two years, how large our homes are. And these are the sorts of policies that have been neglected so far.(...)
We will need comprehensive policies and programs that make low-carbon choices easy and convenient for everyone. Most of all, these policies need to be fair, so that the people already struggling to cover the basics are not being asked to make additional sacrifice to offset the excess consumption of the rich. That means cheap public transit and clean light rail accessible to all; affordable, energy-efficient housing along those transit lines; cities planned for high-density living; bike lanes in which riders aren’t asked to risk their lives to get to work; land management that discourages sprawl and encourages local, low-energy forms of agriculture; urban design that clusters essential services like schools and health care along transit routes and in pedestrian-friendly areas; programs that require manufacturers to be responsible for the electronic waste they produce, and to radically reduce built-in redundancies and obsolescences."(110-111)

"Many degrowth and economic justice thinkers also call for the introduction of a basic annual income, a wage given to every person, regardless of income, as a recognition that the system cannot provide jobs for everyone and that it is counterproductive to force people to work in jobs that simply fuel consumption.(...)
That means rescuing the idea of a safety net that ensures that everyone has the basics covered: health care, education, food, and clean water. Indeed, fighting inequality on every front and through multiple means must be understood as a central strategy in the battle against climate change."(114-115)

(116) 3 - Public and paid for - Overcoming the Ideological Blocks to the Next Economy

"Energy privatization reversals—linked specifically to a desire for renewable energy—have started to spread beyond Germany in recent years, including to the United States."(118)

"All around the world, the hard realities of a warming world are crashing up against the brutal logic of austerity, revealing just how untenable it is to starve the public sphere at the very moment we need it most."(127)

"During good times, it’s easy to deride “big government” and talk about the inevitability of cutbacks. But during disasters, most everyone loses their free market religion and wants to know that their government has their backs."(129)

Belangrijke vraag is uiteraard hoe een radicaal andere aanpak betaald moet worden, juist nu er almaar bezuinigd wordt op publieke uitgaven)

"So if we accept that governments are broke, and they’re not likely to introduce “quantitative easing” (aka printing money) for the climate system as they have for the banks, where is the money supposed to come from? Since we have only a few short years to dramatically lower our emissions, the only rational way forward is to fully embrace the principle already well established in Western law: the polluter pays."(132)

"These companies [de olie en gasbedrijven die elk jaar miljarden winst maken - GdG] are rich, quite simply, because they have dumped the cost of cleaning up their mess onto regular people around the world. It is this situation that, most fundamentally, needs to change.(...) These companies are rich, quite simply, because they have dumped the cost of cleaning up their mess onto regular people around the world. It is this situation that, most fundamentally, needs to change."(133-134)

Maar het gaat ook om instanties die vervuilen, rijke mensen die meer vervuilen dan arme, ontwikkelde landen die meer vervuilen dan arme, etc.

"This perception of fairness—that one set of rules applies to players big and small—has been entirely missing from our collective responses to climate change thus far. For decades, regular people have been asked to turn off their lights, put on sweaters, and pay premium prices for nontoxic cleaning products and renewable energy—and then watched as the biggest polluters have been allowed to expand their emissions without penalty."(139)

"After paying for the crisis of the bankers with cuts to education, health care, and social safety nets, is it any wonder that a beleaguered public is in no mood to bail out the fossil fuel companies from the crisis that they not only created but continue to actively worsen?"(141)

"To state the obvious: it would be incredibly difficult to persuade governments in almost every country in the world to implement the kinds of redistributive climate mechanisms I have outlined. But we should be clear about the nature of the challenge: it is not that “we” are broke or that we lack options. It is that our political class is utterly unwilling to go where the money is (unless it’s for a campaign contribution), and the corporate class is dead set against paying its fair share."(142)

(144) 4 - Planning and banning - Slapping the Invisible Hand, Building a Movement

Over de kans die Obama had om werkelijk een ommekeer te bewerkstelligen tijdens de crisis na 2008. Die hij niet greep, omdat hij de banken en de autoindustrie liet ontsnappen toen ze afhankelijk waren van ondersteuning met publiek geld. Oorzaak: de ideologie in zijn hoofd)

"What stopped Obama from seizing his historical moment to stabilize the economy and the climate at the same time was not lack of resources, or a lack of power. He had plenty of both. What stopped him was the invisible confinement of a powerful ideology that had convinced him—as it has convinced virtually all of his political counterparts—that there is something wrong with telling large corporations how to run their businesses even when they are running them into the ground, and that there is something sinister, indeed vaguely communist, about having a plan to build the kind of economy we need, even in the face of an existential crisis."(149)

"The reason governments turn to buy-local or hire-local policies such as these is because they make political sense."(151)

"All of which means that making existing transportation infrastructure work better for more people is a smarter investment from both a climate and an economic perspective than covering more land with asphalt."(152)

"If industrial policy were brought in line with climate science, the supply of energy through wind, solar, and other forms of renewable energy (geothermal and tidal power, for example) would generate huge numbers of jobs in every country—in manufacturing, construction, installation, maintenance, and operation."(152)

"And after more than two decades of hard experience with privatizations—which has too often involved diminished services combined with higher prices—a great many people are ready to consider that option [de nationalisatie van die bedrijven - GdG]"(153)

"Which raises the question: why would notoriously ruthless for-profit companies accept a business model that relies on them not competing with large parts of the energy sector (wind and solar), requires that they submit to a huge range of costly regulation, all with the eventual goal of putting themselves out of business? The answer is that they would not."(155)

"The solution is most emphatically not energy nationalization on existing models."(155)

"... roughly half of Germany’s renewable energy facilities are in the hands of farmers, citizen groups, and almost nine hundred energy cooperatives. Not only are they generating power but they also have the chance to generate revenue for their communities by selling back to the grid. Over all, there are now 1.4 million photovoltaic installations and about 25,000 windmills. Nearly 400,000 jobs have been created."(156)

"Though often derided as the impractical fantasy of small-is-beautiful dreamers, decentralization delivers, and not on a small scale but on the largest scale of any model attempted thus far, and in highly developed postindustrial nations."(157)

"This relationship between power decentralization and successful climate action points to how the planning required by this moment differs markedly from the more centralized versions of the past. There is a reason, after all, why it was so easy for the right to vilify state enterprises and national planning: many state-owned companies were bureaucratic, cumbersome, and unresponsive; the five-year plans cooked up under state socialist governments were indeed top-down and remote, utterly disconnected from local needs and experiences, just as the plans issued by the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee are today.
The climate planning we need is of a different sort entirely."(159)

"Coming up through the middle is “agroecology,” a less understood practice in which small-scale farmers use sustainable methods based on a combination of modern science and local knowledge."(160)

"... the fact that the dramatic rise of renewables is not corresponding to an equally dramatic drop in greenhouse gas emissions is cause for great concern.(...) So even though Germans have indeed been moving in ever greater numbers to renewable energy, coal power continued to grow, with some of it displacing nuclear power, some of it displacing gas, and some of it being exported. And much of the coal in Germany is lignite, often referred to as brown coal, a low-grade variety with particularly high emissions."(163)

"This state of affairs is, of course, yet another legacy of the free market counterrevolution. In virtually every country, the political class accepts the premise that it is not the place of government to tell large corporations what they can and cannot do, even when public health and welfare—indeed the habitability of our shared home—are clearly at stake. The guiding ethos of light-touch regulation, and more often of active deregulation, has taken an enormous toll in every sector, most notably the financial one. It has also blocked commonsense responses to the climate crisis at every turn—sometimes explicitly, when regulations that would keep carbon in the ground are rejected outright, but mostly implicitly, when those kinds of regulations are not even proposed in the first place, and so-called market solutions are favored for tasks to which they are wholly unequipped."(169-170)

"The fact that fossil fuel companies have been permitted to charge into unconventional fossil fuel extraction over the past decade was not inevitable, but rather the result of very deliberate regulatory decisions—decisions to grant these companies permits for massive new tar sands and coal mines; to open vast swaths of the United States to natural gas fracking, virtually free from regulation and oversight; to open up new stretches of territorial waters and lift existing moratoriums on offshore drilling. These various decisions are a huge part of what is locking us into disastrous levels of planetary warming. These decisions, in turn, are the product of intense lobbying by the fossil fuel industry, motivated by the most powerful driver of them all: the will to survive."(172)

De rol van de 'replacement ratios')

"Given these stakes, it is no mystery why the fossil fuel companies fight furiously to block every piece of legislation that would point us in the right emissions direction, and why some directly fund the climate change denier movement.
It also helps that these companies are so profitable that they have money not just to burn, but to bribe—especially when that bribery is legal. In 2013 in the United States alone, the oil and gas industry spent just under $400,000 a day lobbying Congress and government officials, and the industry doled out a record $73 million in federal campaign and political donations during the 2012 election cycle, an 87 percent jump from the 2008 elections."(177)

"So since these companies are going to continue being rich for the foreseeable future, the best hope of breaking the political deadlock is to radically restrict their ability to spend their profits buying, and bullying, politicians."(179)

"Politicians must be prohibited from receiving donations from the industries they regulate, or from accepting jobs in lieu of bribes; political donations need to be both fully disclosed and tightly capped; campaigns must be given the right to access the public airwaves; and, ideally, elections should be publicly funded as a basic cost of having a democracy."(180)

"It is a painful irony that while the right is forever casting climate change as a left-wing plot, most leftists and liberals are still averting their eyes, having yet to grasp that climate science has handed them the most powerful argument against unfettered capitalism since William Blake’s “dark Satanic Mills” blackened England’s skies (which, incidentally, was the beginning of climate change). By all rights, this reality should be filling progressive sails with conviction, lending new confidence to the demands for a more just economic model. And yet when demonstrators are protesting the various failures of this system in Athens, Madrid, Istanbul, and New York, climate change is too often little more than a footnote when it could be the coup de grâce."(186)

"In practice that means that, despite endless griping, tweeting, flash mobbing, and occupying, we collectively lack many of the tools that built and sustained the transformative movements of the past. Our public institutions are disintegrating, while the institutions of the traditional left—progressive political parties, strong unions, membership-based community service organizations—are fighting for their lives."(188)

"In short: more bad timing. Just when we needed to slow down and notice the subtle changes in the natural world that are telling us that something is seriously amiss, we have sped up; just when we needed longer time horizons to see how the actions of our past impact the prospects for our future, we entered into the never-ending feed of the perpetual now, slicing and dicing our attention spans as never before."(189)

(192) 5 - Beyond extractivism - Confronting the Climate Denier Within

"Few places on earth embody the suicidal results of building our economies on polluting extraction more graphically than Nauru. Thanks to its mining of phosphate, Nauru has spent the last century disappearing from the inside out; now, thanks to our collective mining of fossil fuels, it is disappearing from the outside in."(197)

"Extractivism is a nonreciprocal, dominance-based relationship with the earth, one purely of taking. It is the opposite of stewardship, which involves taking but also taking care that regeneration and future life continue."(202)

"Extractivism is also directly connected to the notion of sacrifice zones—places that, to their extractors, somehow don’t count and therefore can be poisoned, drained, or otherwise destroyed, for the supposed greater good of economic progress. This toxic idea has always been intimately tied to imperialism, with disposable peripheries being harnessed to feed a glittering center, and it is bound up too with notions of racial superiority, because in order to have sacrifice zones, you need to have people and cultures who count so little that they are considered deserving of sacrifice. Extractivism ran rampant under colonialism because relating to the world as a frontier of conquest—rather than as home—fosters this particular brand of irresponsibility. The colonial mind nurtures the belief that there is always somewhere else to go to and exploit once the current site of extraction has been exhausted."(202-203)

"The harnessing of fossil fuel power seemed, for a couple of centuries at least, to have freed large parts of humanity from the need to be in constant dialogue with nature, having to adjust its plans, ambitions, and schedules to natural fluctuations and topographies. Coal and oil, precisely because they were fossilized, seemed entirely possessable forms of energy. They did not behave independently—not like wind, or water, or, for that matter, workers. Just as Watt’s engine promised, once purchased, they produced power wherever and whenever their owners wished—the ultimate nonreciprocal relationship."(208)

"The braided historical threads of colonialism, coal, and capitalism shed significant light on why so many of us who are willing to challenge the injustices of the market system remain paralyzed in the face of the climate threat. Fossil fuels, and the deeper extractivist mind-set that they represent, built the modern world. If we are part of industrial or postindustrial societies, we are still living inside the story written in coal."(210)

"And there have been voices in all of these movements, moreover, that identified the parallels between the economic model’s abuse of the natural world and its abuse of human beings deemed worthy of being sacrificed, or at least uncounted."(211)

"This is all the more baffling because Keynes himself, like John Stuart Mill, advocated a transition to a post-growth economy."(212)

"Authoritarian socialism and capitalism share strong tendencies toward centralizing (one in the hands of the state, the other in the hands of corporations). They also both keep their respective systems going through ruthless expansion—whether through production for production’s sake, in the case of Soviet-era socialism, or consumption for consumption’s sake, in the case of consumer capitalism."(213)

"There is one other group that might have provided a challenge to Western culture’s disastrous view of nature as a bottomless vending machine. That group, of course, is the environmental movement, the network of organizations that exists to protect the natural world from being devoured by human activity. And yet the movement has not played this role, at least not in a sustained and coherent manner."(218)

"The movement did not reckon with limits of growth in an economic system built on maximizing profits, it instead tried to prove that saving the planet could be a great new business opportunity."(222)

(223) Part two - Magical thinking

(224) 6 - Fruits, not roots - The Disastrous Merger of Big Business and Big Green

Veel milieuorganisaties hebben te weinig afstand van de economische ideeën en instanties die ze zouden moeten bestrijden)

"That this could happen in the age of climate change points to a painful reality behind the environmental movement’s catastrophic failure to effectively battle the economic interests behind our soaring emissions: large parts of the movement aren’t actually fighting those interests—they have merged with them.
The Nature Conservancy, I should stress, is the only green group (that I know of, at least) to actually sink its own oil and gas wells. But it is far from the only group to have strong ties with the fossil fuel sector and other major polluters. For instance, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, and the Conservation Fund have all received money from Shell and BP, while American Electric Power, a traditional dirty-coal utility, has donated to the Conservation Fund and The Nature Conservancy. WWF (originally the World Wildlife Fund) has had a long relationship with Shell, and the World Resources Institute has what it describes as “a long-term, close strategic relationship with the Shell Foundation.” Conservation International has partnerships with Walmart, Monsanto, Australian-based mining and petroleum giant BHP Billiton (a major extractor of coal), as well as Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Toyota, McDonald’s, and BP (according to The Washington Post BP has channeled $2 million to Conservation International over the years).I And that is the barest of samplings."(229-230)

"Curious, I soon discovered that most big conservation groups did not have policies prohibiting them from investing their endowments in fossil fuel companies. The hypocrisy is staggering: these organizations raise mountains of cash every year on the promise that the funds will be spent on work that is preserving wildlife and attempting to prevent catastrophic global warming. And yet some have turned around and invested that money with companies that have made it abundantly clear, through their reserves, that they intend to extract several times more carbon than the atmosphere can absorb with any degree of safety. It must be stated that these choices, made unilaterally by the top tier of leadership at the big green groups, do not represent the wishes or values of the millions of members who support them through donations or join genuinely community supported campaigns to clean up polluted rivers, protect beloved pieces of wilderness, or support renewables legislation. Indeed, many have been deeply alarmed to discover that groups they believed to be confronting polluters were in fact in business with them."(231)

"In North America and Europe, it’s virtually impossible to do public interest work of any scale—in academia or journalism or activism—without taking money of questionable origin, whether the origin is the state, corporations, or private philanthropy."(232)

"This upside-down world reached new levels of absurdity in November 2013 at the annual U.N. climate summit held in Warsaw, Poland. The gathering was sponsored by a panoply of fossil fuel companies, including a major miner of lignite coal, while the Polish government hosted a parallel “Coal & Climate Summit,” which held up the dirtiest of all the fossil fuels as part of the battle against global warming."(235)

"To understand why, it’s necessary to return, once again, to the epic case of bad historical timing that has plagued this crisis since the late eighties."(236)

"I. F. Stone may have thought that environmentalism was distracting the youth of the 1960s and early 1970s from more urgent battles, but by today’s standards, the environmentalists of that era look like fire-breathing radicals. Galvanized by the 1962 publication of Silent Spring and the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill (the Deepwater Horizon disaster of its day), they launched a new kind of North American environmentalism, one far more confrontational than the gentlemen’s conservationism of the past.[mijn nadruk]"(236)

"Simple principles governed this golden age of environmental legislation: ban or severely limit the offending activity or substance and where possible, get the polluter to pay for the cleanup."(238)

"But with that success came some rather significant changes. For a great many groups, the work of environmentalism stopped being about organizing protests and teach-ins and became about drafting laws, then suing corporations for violating them, as well as challenging governments for failing to enforce them. In rapid fashion, what had been a rabble of hippies became a movement of lawyers, lobbyists, and U.N. summit hoppers. As a result, many of these newly professional environmentalists came to pride themselves on being the ultimate insiders, able to wheel and deal across the political spectrum. And so long as the victories kept coming, their insider strategy seemed to be working."(238)

Daarna volgde de verrechtsing met Ronald Reagan en Margaret Thatcher. Met vanuit de vrijemarktideologie alle typische rechtse verwijten als: jullie willen een centrale planning en controle van de samenleving etc etc.. En maatregelen als deregulatie etc)

"Indeed the pro-corporate conversion of large parts of the green movement in the 1980s led to deep schisms inside the environmental movement. Some activists grew so disillusioned with the willingness of the big groups to partner with polluters that they broke away from the mainstream movement completely. Some formed more militant, confrontation-oriented groups like Earth First!, whose members attempted to stop loggers with sabotage and direct action."(242)

"This confrontational rhetoric—a foreshadowing of Occupy Wall Street two decades later, as well as the fossil fuel divestment movement—was an explicit critique of the corporate infiltration of the green movement."(242)

"Of all the big green groups that underwent pro-business makeovers in the 1980s, none attracted more acrimony or disappointment than the Environmental Defense Fund, the once combative organization that had spent its early years translating Rachel Carson’s ideas into action."(243)

"Global warming was not defined as a crisis being fueled by overconsumption, or by high emissions industrial agriculture, or by car culture, or by a trade system that insists that vast geographical distances do not matter—root causes that would have demanded changes in how we live, work, eat, and shop. Instead, climate change was presented as a narrow technical problem with no end of profitable solutions within the market system, many of which were available for sale at Walmart."(246)

"Public belief in the problem was high, and the issue seemed to be everywhere. Yet on looking back on that period, what is strange is that all the energy seemed to be coming from the very top tier of society."(247)

Over de 'Carbon Market': de totaal corrupte handel in emissierechten etc)

"The problem is that by adopting this model of financing, even the very best green projects are being made ineffective as climate responses because for every ton of carbon dioxide the developers keep out of the atmosphere, a corporation in the industrialized world is able to pump a ton into the air, using offsets to claim the pollution has been neutralized. One step forward, one step back. At best, we are running in place. And as we will see, there are other, far more effective ways to fund green development than the international carbon market."(261)

"Polluting smoke may not be billowing from the tops of its trees but it may as well be, since the trees that have been designated as carbon offsets are now allowing that pollution to take place elsewhere."(262)

"Tired of this time wasting, in February 2013, more than 130 environmental and economic justice groups called for the abolition of the largest carbon-trading system in the world, the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS), in order “to make room for climate measures that work.”"(263)

(271) 7 - No Messiahs - The Green Billionaires Won’t Save Us

"Indeed the idea that we can solve the climate crisis without having to change our lifestyles in any way—certainly not by taking fewer Virgin flights—seemed to be the underlying assumption of all of Branson’s various climate initiatives."(273)

"For many mainstream greens, Branson seemed to be a dream come true: a flashy, media-darling billionaire out to show the world that fossil-fuel-intensive companies can lead the way to a green future using profit as the most potent tool—and proving just how serious he was by putting striking amounts of his own cash on the line. (...) Branson’s personal account of the impact of Gore’s PowerPoint also seemed to confirm the notion, cherished in many green circles, that transforming the economy away from fossil fuels is not about confronting the rich and powerful but simply about reaching them with sufficiently persuasive facts and figures and appealing to their sense of humanity."(274-275)

"But by Branson’s own admission, the miracle fuel he was looking for “hasn’t been invented yet” and the biofuels sector has stalled, thanks in part to the influx of fracked oil and gas."(281)

"So the skeptics might be right: Branson’s various climate adventures may indeed prove to have all been a spectacle, a Virgin production, with everyone’s favorite bearded billionaire playing the part of planetary savior to build his brand, land on late night TV, fend off regulators, and feel good about doing bad."(294)

(301) 8 - Dimming the sun - The Solution to Pollution Is . . . Pollution?

"These [geoengineering methods] involve various means of injecting particles into the atmosphere in order to reflect more sunlight back to space, thereby reducing the amount of heat that reaches the earth. In geoengineering lingo, this is known as Solar Radiation Management (SRM)—since these methods would be attempting to literally “manage” the amount of sunlight that reaches earth.(...)
Spraying sulfate into the stratosphere is often referred to as “the Pinatubo Option,” after the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines.(...)
Which is why some scientists have become convinced that if they could just find a way to do artificially what those large eruptions do naturally, then they could force down the temperature of the earth to counteract global warming.
The scientist leading the briefing starts with the pros of this approach. He observes that the technology to pull this off already exists, though it needs to be tested; it’s relatively cheap; and, if it worked, the cooling effects would kick in pretty quickly. The cons are that, depending on which sun-blocking method is used and how intensively, a permanent haze could appear over the earth, potentially making clear blue skies a thing of the past.7 The haze could prevent astronomers from seeing the stars and planets clearly and weaker sunlight could reduce the capacity of solar power generators to produce energy (irony alert).
But the biggest problem with the Pinatubo Option is that it does nothing to change the underlying cause of climate change, the buildup of heat-trapping gases, and instead treats only the most obvious symptom—warmer temperatures."(303-305)

[Een slechte vorm van symptoombestrijding dus, voortgekomen uit de wereldwijde besluiteloosheid om iets aan het klimaatprobleem te doen. En die nu gebruikt kan worden als een smoes om nog minder aan de problemen te doen, want 'we hebben toch een technische oplossing'.]

"Given this, does it really make sense to behave as if, with big enough brains and powerful enough computers, humans can master and control the climate crisis just as humans have been imagining they could master the natural world since the dawn of industrialization—digging, damming, drilling, dyking. Is it really as simple as adding a new tool to our nature-taming arsenal: dimming?(...) Unlike cutting our emissions in line with the scientific consensus, succumbing to the logic of geoengineering does not require any change from us; it just requires that we keep doing what we have done for centuries, only much more so.(...)
If we respond to a global crisis caused by our pollution with more pollution—by trying to fix the crud in our lower atmosphere by pumping a different kind of crud into the stratosphere—then geoengineering might do something far more dangerous than tame the last vestiges of “wild” nature. It may cause the earth to go wild in ways we cannot imagine, making geoengineering not the final engineering frontier, another triumph to commemorate on the walls of the Royal Society, but the last tragic act in this centuries-long fairy tale of control. "(313-314)

"Indeed in my time spent among the would-be geoengineers, I have been repeatedly struck by how the hard-won lessons about humility before nature that have reshaped modern science, particularly the fields of chaos and complexity theory, do not appear to have penetrated this particular bubble. On the contrary, the Geoclique is crammed with overconfident men prone to complimenting each other on their fearsome brainpower [mijn nadruk]."(314)

"Which is why science historian James Fleming calls geoengineering schemes “untested and untestable, and dangerous beyond belief.”"(316)

Computermodellen laten nu al zien dat het fout kan gaan en dat met name bepaalde gebiedebn als Afrika en Azië er het slachtoffer van zullen worden)

"Alan Robock, a leading expert on the effect of volcanoes on climate, points in particular to two other eruptions—Iceland’s Laki in 1783 and Alaska’s Mount Katmai in 1912. Both were sufficiently powerful to send a high volume of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere and, like Pinatubo, it turns out that both were followed by a series of terrible, or badly worsening regional droughts."(320)

"It’s hard not to conclude that the willingness of many geoegineering boosters to gloss over the extent of these risks, and in some cases, to ignore them entirely, has something to do with who appears to be most vulnerable. After all, if the historical record, backed by multiple models, indicated that injecting sulfur into the stratosphere would cause widespread drought and famine in North America and Germany, as opposed to the Sahel and India, is it likely that this Plan B would be receiving such serious consideration?"(323)

"This is how the shock doctrine works: in the desperation of a true crisis all kinds of sensible opposition melts away and all manner of high-risk behaviors seem temporarily acceptable."(325)

"The earth is not our prisoner, our patient, our machine, or, indeed, our monster. It is our entire world. And the solution to global warming is not to fix the world, it is to fix ourselves."(327)

"The dogged faith in technology’s capacity to allow us to leapfrog out of crisis is born of earlier technological breakthroughs—splitting the atom or putting a man on the moon. And some of the players pushing most aggressively for a techno-fix for climate change were directly involved in those earlier technological triumphs—like Lowell Wood, who helped develop advanced nuclear weaponry, or Gates and Myrhvold, who revolutionized computing. But as longtime sustainability expert Ed Ayres wrote in God’s Last Offer, the “if we can put a man on the moon” boosterism “glosses over the reality that building rockets and building livable communities are two fundamentally different endeavors: the former required uncanny narrow focus; the latter must engage a holistic view. Building a livable world isn’t rocket science; it’s far more complex than that.”"(328)

"Corporations that either dig up fossil fuels or that, like car companies, are responsible for a disproportionate share of their combustion, have a long track record of promoting geoengineering as a response to climate change, one that they clearly see as preferable to stopping their pollution."(330)

"for the fossil fuel companies and their paid champions, anything is preferable to regulating ExxonMobil, including attempting to regulate the sun."(332)

"Admittedly, such responses break all the free market rules. Then again, so did bailing out the banks and the auto companies. And they are still not close to as radical as breaking the primordial link between temperature and atmospheric carbon—all to meet our desire for planetary air-conditioning."(333)

"Indeed, if geoengineering has anything going for it, it is that it slots perfectly into our most hackneyed cultural narrative, the one in which so many of us have been indoctrinated by organized religion and the rest of us have absorbed from pretty much every Hollywood action movie ever made. It’s the one that tells us that, at the very last minute, some of us (the ones that matter) are going to be saved. And since our secular religion is technology, it won’t be god that saves us but Bill Gates and his gang of super-geniuses at Intellectual Ventures."(339)

(342) Part three - Starting anyway

(343) 9 - Blockadia - The New Climate Warriors

"Resistance to high-risk extreme extraction is building a global, grassroots, and broad-based network the likes of which the environmental movement has rarely seen. And perhaps this phenomenon shouldn’t even be referred to as an environmental movement at all, since it is primarily driven by a desire for a deeper form of democracy, one that provides communities with real control over those resources that are most critical to collective survival—the health of the water, air, and soil. In the process, these place-based stands are stopping real climate crimes in progress."(345)

"And it has taken the extractive industries, so accustomed to calling the shots, entirely by surprise: suddenly, no major new project, no matter how seemingly routine, is a done deal."(346)

"Similar scenes, more reminiscent of civil war than political protest, are unfolding in countless other pieces of contested land around the world, all of which make up Blockadia’s multiplying front lines."(348)

"And yet it is worth looking back to the 1990s when the aims were clear. Because what is evident in the original struggles of the Ogoni and Ijaw

[in Nigeria] is that the fight against violent resource extraction and the fight for greater community control, democracy, and sovereignty are two sides of the same coin. The Nigerian experience also had a huge and largely uncredited influence on other resource-rich regions in the Global South that found themselves facing off against multinational oil giants."(361)

"Though there are certainly new and amplified risks associated with our era of extreme energy (tar sands, fracking for both oil and gas, deepwater drilling, mountaintop removal coal mining), it’s important to remember that these have never been safe or low-risk industries. Running an economy on energy sources that release poisons as an unavoidable part of their extraction and refining has always required sacrifice zones—whole subsets of humanity categorized as less than fully human, which made their poisoning in the name of progress somehow acceptable.
And for a very long time, sacrifice zones all shared a few elements in common. They were poor places. Out-of-the-way places. Places where residents lacked political power, usually having to do with some combination of race, language, and class."(363)

"This is coming as a rude surprise to a great many historically privileged people who suddenly find themselves feeling something of what so many frontline communities have felt for a very long time: how is it possible that a big distant company can come to my land and put me and my kids at risk—and never even ask my permission? How can it be legal to put chemicals in the air right where they know children are playing? How is it possible that the state, instead of protecting me from this attack, is sending police to beat up people whose only crime is trying to protect their families?"(366)

"What is clear is that fighting a giant extractive industry on your own can seem impossible, especially in a remote, sparsely populated location. But being part of a continent-wide, even global, movement that has the industry surrounded is a very different story."(377)

"Beyond the fossil fuel industry’s pace of expansion, and its forays into hostile territory, something else has propelled this movement forward in recent years. That is the widespread conviction that today’s extractive activities are significantly higher risk than their predecessors: tar sands oil is unquestionably more disruptive and damaging to local ecosystems than conventional crude. Many believe it to be more dangerous to transport, and once spilled harder to clean up. A similar risk escalation is present in the shift to fracked oil and gas; in the shift from shallow to deepwater drilling (as the BP disaster showed); and most dramatically, in the move from warm water to Arctic drilling."(379)

"All of this illustrates what is so unsettling about unconventional extraction methods. Conventional oil and gas drilling, as well as underground coal mining, are destructive, to be sure. But comparatively speaking, they are the fossil fuel equivalent of the surgeon’s scalpel—the carbon is extracted with relatively small incisions. But extreme, or unconventional extraction takes a sledgehammer to the whole vicinity. When the sledgehammer strikes the surface of the land—as in the case of mountaintop coal removal and open-pit tar sands—the violence can be seen with the naked eye. But with fracking, deepwater drilling, and underground (“in situ”) tar sands extraction, the sledgehammer aims deep underground. At first this can seem more benign, since the impacts are less visible. Yet over and over again, we are catching glimpses of how badly we are breaking critical parts of our ecosystems that our best experts have no idea how to fix."(384)

"If it seems like there are more such spills and accidents than before, that’s because there are."(388)

"The fossil fuel companies, in short, are no longer dealing with those Big Green groups that can be silenced with a generous donation or a conscience-clearing carbon offset program. The communities they are facing are, for the most part, not looking to negotiate a better deal—whether in the form of local jobs, higher royalties, or better safety standards. More and more, these communities are simply saying “No.” No to the pipeline. No to Arctic drilling. No to the coal and oil trains. No to the heavy hauls. No to the export terminal. No to fracking. And not just “Not in My Backyard” but, as the French anti-fracking activists say: Ni ici, ni ailleurs—neither here, nor elsewhere. In other words: no new carbon frontiers."(391)

"This sense of moral clarity, after so many decades of chummy green partnerships, is the real shock for the extractive industries. The climate movement has found its nonnegotiables. This fortitude is not just building a large and militant resistance to the companies most responsible for the climate crisis. As we will see in the next chapter, it is also delivering some of the most significant victories the environmental movement has seen in decades."(392)

(394) 10 - Love will save this place - Democracy, Divestment, and the Wins So Far

"The duty to protect water doesn’t just unite opposition to this one pipeline; it is the animating force behind every single movement fighting extreme extraction. Whether deepwater drilling, fracking, or mining; whether pipelines, big rigs, or export terminals, communities are terrified about what these activities will do to their water systems."(404)

"Fear of contaminated drinking water is what kick-started the anti-fracking movement (and when a proposal surfaced that would allow the drilling of roughly twenty thousand fracking wells in the Delaware River Basin—the source of freshwater for fifteen million Americans—it is what kicked the movement squarely into the U.S. mainstream)."(404)

"It’s not yet clear which side will win many of the struggles outlined in these pages—only that the companies in the crosshairs are up against far more than they bargained for. There have, however, already been some solid victories, too many to fully catalogue here."(406)

"As the anti–fossil fuel forces gain strength, extractive companies are beginning to fight back using a familiar tool: the investor protection provisions of free trade agreements."(418)

"The process of taking on the corporate-state power nexus that underpins the extractive economy is leading a great many people to face up to the underlying democratic crisis that has allowed multinationals to be the authors of the laws under which they operate—whether at the municipal, state/provincial, national, or international level. It is this corroded state of our political systems—as fossilized as the fuel at the center of these battles—that is fast turning Blockadia into a grassroots pro-democracy movement."(420)

(429) 11 - You and what army? Indigenous Rights and the Power of Keeping Our Word

"As we have seen, the exercise of Indigenous rights has played a central role in the rise of the current wave of fossil fuel resistance."(432)

"In short, Indigenous land and treaty rights have proved a major barrier for the extractive industries in many of the key Blockadia struggles."(433)

"Many other North American treaties contained similar resource-sharing provisions.(...)
But any parallel, peaceful coexistence is plainly impossible if one party is irrevocably altering and poisoning that shared land. And indeed, though it is not written in the text of the treaty, First Nations elders living in this region contend that Indigenous negotiators gave permission for the land to be used by settlers only “to the depth of a plow”—considerably less than the cavernous holes being dug there today. In the agreements that created modern-day North America such land-sharing provisions form the basis of most major treaties."(435)

"Premier Alward had been a fracking skeptic before he was elected in 2010 but once in office, he promptly changed his tune, saying the revenue was needed to pay for social programs and to create jobs—the sort of flip flop that breeds cynicism about representative democracy the world over."(437)

"These rights are real and they are powerful, all the more so because many of the planet’s largest and most dangerous unexploded carbon bombs lie beneath lands and waters to which Indigenous peoples have legitimate legal claims. No one has more legal power to halt the reckless expansion of the tar sands than the First Nations living downstream whose treaty-protected hunting, fishing, and trapping grounds have already been fouled, just as no one has more legal power to halt the rush to drill under the Arctic’s melting ice than Inuit, Sami, and other northern Indigenous tribes whose livelihoods would be jeopardized by an offshore oil spill. Whether they are able to exercise those rights is another matter."(438)

"As the Indigenous rights movement gains strength globally, huge advances are being made in recognizing the legitimacy of these claims. Most significant was the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the General Assembly in September 2007 after 143 member states voted in its favor (the four opposing votes—United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand—would each, under domestic pressure, eventually endorse it as well)."(440)

"And yet despite growing recognition of these rights, there remains a tremendous gap between what governments say (and sign) and what they do—and there is no guarantee of winning when these rights are tested in court. Even in countries with enlightened laws as in Bolivia and Ecuador, the state still pushes ahead with extractive projects without the consent of the Indigenous people who rely on those lands. And in Canada, the United States, and Australia, these rights are not only ignored, but Indigenous people know that if they try to physically stop extractive projects that are clearly illegal, they will in all likelihood find themselves on the wrong side of a can of pepper spray—or the barrel of a gun.(...)
The reason industry can get away with this has little to do with what is legal and everything to do with raw political power: isolated, often impoverished Indigenous peoples generally lack the monetary resources and social clout to enforce their rights, and anyway, the police are controlled by the state. Moreover the costs of taking on multinational extractive companies in court are enormous."(441-442)

"It is this gap between rights and resources—between what the law says and what impoverished people are able to force vastly more powerful entities to do—that government and industry have banked on for years."(444)

Neil Young's Honour the Treaties toer.

(453) 12 - Sharing the sky - The Atmospheric Commons and the Power of Paying Our Debts

Maar armoede en werkeloosheid onder de volken maken dat ze er toch voor (moeten) kiezen dat fossiele brandstof-bedrijven hun voorraden kolen etc. op hun land uit de grond mogen halen. Het genereert inkomen en daarmee sociale mogelijkheden, het genereert werk)

"It was desperation like that which made it possible for mining companies like Arch and Peabody to gain a ready audience when they sailed into town promising jobs and money to fund new social programs."(457)

"The only way to break the deadlock, Alden had come to believe, was to prove to the next generation of Cheyenne leaders that there is another path out of poverty and hopelessness—one that does not involve handing over the land for which their ancestors paid so dearly. And she saw no end to the possibilities."(457)

"They demand that we adapt ourselves to the rhythms of natural systems, as opposed to bending those systems to our will with brute force engineering.(...) And there is no doubt that moving to renewables represents more than just a shift in power sources but also a fundamental shift in power relations between humanity and the natural world on which we depend. The power of the sun, wind, and waves can be harnessed, to be sure, but unlike fossil fuels, those forces can never be fully possessed by us. Nor do the same rules work everywhere."(460)

"What this part of the world has clearly shown is that there is no more potent weapon in the battle against fossil fuels than the creation of real alternatives. Just the glimpse of another kind of economy can be enough to energize the fight against the old one."(464)

"The need to provide tangible economic alternatives to extraction is not only pressing in Native communities, of course. The impossible choices faced by the Navajo Nation and the Northern Cheyenne are intensified versions of the same nonchoices offered to a great many low-income communities where the present is so difficult and the pressures to provide the basics of life are so great that focusing on the future can seem like an impossible luxury. Holding on to family farms in the face of fierce competition from Big Ag, for instance, is so tough that there is never any shortage of farmers and ranchers willing to make some extra money by leasing land to fracking or pipeline companies—even if that means going to war with their neighbors who oppose these practices, and even if it means imperiling their own water supply and livestock. Desperate people do desperate things."(466)

"What we cannot expect is that the people least responsible for this crisis will foot all, or even most, of the bill."(488)

(489) 13 - The right to regenerate - Moving from Extraction to Renewal

"For all the talk about the right to life and the rights of the unborn, our culture pays precious little attention to the particular vulnerabilities of children, let alone developing life."(499)

De invloeden van door bedrijven uitgestoten / geloosde chemische stoffen op vruchtbaarheid van vrouwen en vrouwtjesdieren, op de gezondheid van ongeborenen en pasgeborenen, kinderen, etc. etc)

"In species after species, climate change is creating pressures that are depriving life-forms of their most essential survival tool: the ability to create new life and carry on their genetic lines. Instead, the spark of life is being extinguished, snuffed out in its earliest, most fragile days: in the egg, in the embryo, in the nest, in the den."(506)

"Living nonextractively does not mean that extraction does not happen: all living things must take from nature in order to survive. But it does mean the end of the extractivist mindset—of taking without caretaking, of treating land and people as resources to deplete rather than as complex entities with rights to a dignified existence based on renewal and regeneration. Even such traditionally destructive practices as logging can be done responsibly, as can small-scale mining, particularly when the activities are controlled by the people who live where the extraction is taking place and who have a stake in the ongoing health and productivity of the land. But most of all, living nonextractively means relying overwhelmingly on resources that can be continuously regenerated: deriving our food from farming methods that protect soil fertility; our energy from methods that harness the ever-renewing strength of the sun, wind, and waves; our metals from recycled and reused sources."(521)

(524) Conclusion - The Leap Years - Just Enough Time for Impossible

"Put another way, only mass social movements can save us now. Because we know where the current system, left unchecked, is headed. We also know, I would add, how that system will deal with the reality of serial climate-related disasters: with profiteering, and escalating barbarism to segregate the losers from the winners. To arrive at that dystopia, all we need to do is keep barreling down the road we are on. The only remaining variable is whether some countervailing power will emerge to block the road, and simultaneously clear some alternate pathways to destinations that are safer. If that happens, well, it changes everything."(526)

"On one level, the inability of many great social movements to fully realize those parts of their visions that carried the highest price tags can be seen as a cause for inertia or even despair. If they failed in their plans to usher in a more equitable economic system, how can the climate movement hope to succeed?
There is, however, another way of looking at this track record: these economic demands—for basic public services that work, for decent housing, for land redistribution—represent nothing less than the unfinished business of the most powerful liberation movements of the past two centuries, from civil rights to feminism to Indigenous sovereignty."(534)

"So climate change does not need some shiny new movement that will magically succeed where others failed. Rather, as the furthest-reaching crisis created by the extractivist worldview, and one that puts humanity on a firm and unyielding deadline, climate change can be the force—the grand push—that will bring together all of these still living movements."(535)

"There is just enough time, and we are swamped with green tech and green plans. And yet the reason so many of us are inclined to answer Brad Werner’s provocative question in the affirmative is that we are afraid—with good reason—that our political class is wholly incapable of seizing those tools and implementing those plans, since doing so involves unlearning the core tenets of the stifling free-market ideology that governed every stage of their rise to power."(536)

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