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Strategy to Save the Planet

To continue Deep Green Resistance: I can do without the Dave Spart polemic in chapters 3 and 4. The political content with all its long words had me glazing over a couple of times before I skipped huge chunks. This left-wing analysis may be new to an American audience but it’s stale this side of the Atlantic. We lived next door to the Soviets, were brought up on Animal Farm and suspect those spouting this rhetoric of aspiring to be the “new boss, same as the old boss.” Ironic then that it leads with a quotation from Orwell himself.

It runs along the lines of Us against the 1%. But we (in the Western World) are all in it together. We all have our family packs, houses & mortgages, foreign holidays, cars & roads, schools, pets, weddings & parties, washing machines, lounge suites, TVs & X-Factor, pop music, trainers & bling, movies, Hello magazines. We have our drugs, cheap booze, fags, porn, hospitals, credit cards, insurance, pensions. We’re all getting fat. We’re all responsible.

You might argue that the billions in poverty and those not yet adult are innocent. You can bet your last barrel of oil though that they would emulate us and if we went they’d rush to fill the vacuum. Our children certainly will. It’s human nature.

Us vs Them is a simple analysis and works if all you want is a struggle. I love how revolutionaries wallow in that word. If We take responsibility though, We see what needs to be done. True power lies that way.

However, We, and the 1% especially, will never abandon our entitlement culture and I think these 100+ pages are saying that. Personally I don’t care about how shitty people are to each other, which seems to be the main obsession of politics. I know how they are and they’ll change slowly if at all. I do care about how shitty people are to the planet and I care about stopping that. It may never change too, which will wipe us off the face of the Earth, without too much mourning unless we take it all down with us. We need not a new system but a new humanity, almost a new species. And that may change our behaviour to each other as a by-product.

That’s the PPE lecture out of the way. So, how do we save the planet?

2 comments to Strategy to Save the Planet

  • Allan McD

    I haven’t read this book yet, but it’s becoming clear from other sources that one of the main problems is the perception of ‘value’, which has moved almost entirely from intrinsic to monetary. Nothing really important gets done unless someone gets a payoff. Even the health and well-being of people gets stopped in its tracks by the amoral agenda of economics (eg “we can’t cure that person of cancer because they can’t afford to pay for it”). Crucially, the well-being of this planet and the preservation of species diversity is subject to the same criteria.

    In this respect, whatever value we place on things is therefore the engine of a wider morality. The change from intrinsic to monetary value is related closely to a ‘powering down’ of the moral values encompassed within religion (I say this as an agnostic).

    Given that religion has now allowed itself to become commodified and politicised – and (surprise surprise) is now largely impotent as far as morality goes, what now informs morality? The answer is nothing much, except perhaps the media – and I need not say any more about that…

    The only door left open to future generations (apart from direct action) is how we educate. Schools can teach moral values, if only teachers could be allowed to teach from the heart, rather than being suffocated by government meddling and hidden agendas.

    It makes my blood boil when I hear that the Heartlands Institute are advocating the teaching of Climate Science Scepticism as part of the curriculum in the US. I wonder who it is pushing that particular pen?

  • Andy

    I’ll have something to say about Christianity and how it stacks up against Islam with regards to responsibility and capitalism in a later post. And I can refer you to The Long Emergency, part of which is a gloomy analysis of what education actually does.

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