This makes me sick.
I hope everyone has “taken note of” the near blackout of accurate news about Copenhagen. That is certainly the case in the American mainstream press- even PBS. I’d be curious to hear whether it has been the same in the UK and elsewhere. Very few Americans are aware of the brutal police violence against peaceful, unarmed climate protesters that has taken place over the past two weeks. For honest, non-corporate controlled reporting, Indymedia comes through again.
If there was any doubt left that our “democratic” governments are incapable of reigning in our fossil fuel use and protecting our planet’s climate, the failure of the COP 15 conference should be a sobering reminder. Much can be gleaned between the lines in Obama’s speech at the conference. Listen to his tone of voice and watch his body language during the speech. This is not a man who has hope for the future. And hope is why we voted him in. I, for one, would like my twenty bucks and my vote back.
Let the failure of the Copenhagen conference launch a new era of DIY localization, civil disobedience, and educational outreach to new groups of people yet to be made aware of the truth of what is going on in the world. And let’s be thankful for the brave protesters in Copenhagen who suffered through freezing conditions, police violence, and times when hope seemed far away- we stand with you!
It’s easy to be depressed at this dark time of year- even without the failure of the climate negotiations and police torture enforcing the status quo. But sitting around and moping isn’t going to help anything. I recommend a vigorous bike ride up some nice hills where the air is clean, hooking up with local allies and hatching a plan to cut emissions in 2010, and lots of local, seasonal, and organic greens.
If you’re sad or lonely, you should know that it’s not your fault. Western society loves to attribute unhappiness to individual shortcomings, but more evidence surfaces every day that our society has a series of systemic flaws that actively generate loneliness and isolation. Not the least of which is the motor traffic that has made all but a few of our public spaces unpleasant and anti-social. And of course the capitalist system is all too ready to provide false remedies that burden your health and burn a hole in your pocket. It all leaves a bad taste in the mouth and mounting debt as the underlying problems fester. If you don’t believe me about the historic importance of community that has been taken away from us, read the introduction to Malcolm Gladwell’s new book Outliers.
Let’s re-imagine this dynamic. Happy winter solstice everyone. And do feel free to pop round for a cup of hot tea :)