Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A FUTURE: Can we construct one?

I came back from New York City ... well ... rather stunned.

I had been attending sessions of the NPT Prepcom and meetings with nuclear abolition activists, as well as discussing the World Beyond War initiative.

One thing that we said over and over was that it would be necessary to work for a mass movement, and to join together with those working against the threat to the planet being caused by global warming.

In other words, people are coming to the conclusion it's not enough to tackle one massive problem; we have to tackle all of them.

I'm grateful to my friend, Jim Barton, for framing the problem in a way that is adequately broad, and yet contains a measure of hope.  It's about the future, and whether we have one -- or can construct one -- he said.  Young people today are asking: Do I have an economic future? Does the planet have a future? Will (nuclear) war extinguish everybody's future?

"Do we have a future?" This seemed to sum up what a diverse group of people with whom I have been in conversation have been saying.

I was tempted to put this new, all-encompassing view to one side.  There were plenty of blog posts I wanted to write about specific problems -- drones and militarism, for instance -- and about the upcoming National Forum on Police Crimes in Chicago that I've been working on, and much more.  But someone's words were ringing in my ears: "Are we going to just go ahead and repeat what hasn't worked before?"

And then I walked out my door this morning and saw the Chicago Tribune headline in the newspaper box: "Climate Change Report Stark." That cinched it.

So my blog got a new subtitle: "A FUTURE: Can we construct one?"

The first step has been taken. Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Related posts

Oil companies are valued by the market based on their reserves. The problem with this approach is that the total reserves claimed by the oil companies is FIVE TIMES what can possibly be burned without driving up the temperature of the atmosphere up by a catastrophic amount and, as McKibben puts it, "breaking the planet." How can the value of oil companies be a function of reserves that can never be used?

(See The REALLY Big Short: The Jig is Up with Oil Companies)

Elaine Scarry demonstrates that the power of one leader to obliterate millions of people with a nuclear weapon - a possibility that remains very real even in the wake of the Cold War - deeply violates our constitutional rights, undermines the social contract, and is fundamentally at odds with the deliberative principles of democracy.

(See Reviews of "Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing Between Democracy and Doom" by Elaine Scarry )

I believe that the heart of Jesus' message was: "People! You don't have a PRODUCTION problem ... you have a DISTRIBUTION problem!" (Yo creo que el corazon del mensaje de Jesus fue: "Mi Gente! Usted no tiene una problema de la PRODUCCION.... tiene una problema de DISTRIBUCION!")

(See Occupy Food Justice! )