Fewer than 36 hours before the People’s Climate March in NYC!
But between that and the Scottish independence referendum (#indyref), there’s a lot of good writing to look over. Let this week’s long and short reads help you catch up.
Watch Disruption and inform yourself, but leave the fear behind
Climate Stew: Disruption Film and Review (Keisha McKenzie | @mackenzian)
I updated my review of 350.org’s documentary Disruption for the Climate Stew blog! Disruption is neither dispassionate nor impartial: it’s an issue film and includes several calls to action. During my first viewing, I made a list of over 25 organizations and researchers who I’m looking forward to following up with. I’ll share that list with you next week after the March.
City Lab: A Major Accounting Firm Just Ran the Numbers on Climate Change (James West | @jameswest2010)
The world’s major economies are increasingly failing to do what’s needed to to limit global warming to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above preindustrial levels. That was the target agreed to by countries attending the United Nations’ 2009 climate summit… at current rates, we’re headed towards 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit of warming by the end of the century—twice the agreed upon rate.
West points out that some countries have leaped into responsiveness and others (like the US) have lagged.
As the question of global climate is transnational, our responses must be transnational as well. But so far, political solutions continue to be floated as discrete national solutions, and so results vary widely as the PWC report shows. That’s not going to work: nature does not respect geopolitics.
We should have absorbed that insight back in the early days of acid rain. In the 1970s, researchers started to track acid deposits across the US and Canadian borders and the two nations began to negotiate a common policy. Naomi Oreskes and Eric Conway tell that story in their book on the denial industry, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Worth reading and asking yourself how much has changed.
Geopolitics and the referendum of the year
Politics.co.uk: Scottish Referendum: We have witnessed a total breakdown in political legitimacy (Ian Dunt | @iandunt)
The sharpest comment on the systemic implications of the referendum that I’ve seen so far. Dunt writes from the left political aisle, and directly addresses what happens when one political ideology (in this case, neoliberalism) overwhelms both the political proposals made by mainstream parties and also the media’s ability to ask the questions that the people need them to.
The turnout at #indyref—over 84%—has amazed those observers who’ve bought into the “Citizens Of Today Are So Apathetic” story line.
My conclusion is simply this:
If you ask the People questions that matter to them in language they understand; if you support the People in grasping the stakes; and if you make their shared investment in outcomes clear, they will respond.
Is there any social change issue for which this isn’t true?