30 April 2017

(1) There Is Zero Reason To Exit The Paris Climate Accord, David Roberts, Vox
Bannon wants to keep Trump’s hardcore base on board by showing them that he intends to keep his most egregious campaign promises. Such a move might temporarily restore Bannon’s reputation as a key player in the White House. It might offer a thrill to Trump’s core supporters, at least for a news cycle or two. In exchange for that ephemeral political boost and a soothing stroke to Bannon’s ego, Trump could do serious, lasting damage — not only to the desperate global attempt to rally and prevent the worst of climate change, but to his own reputation, influence, and ultimate success. There’s just no reason to do it.
(2) For Effective Engagement: Hitting The Reset Button
This is the reason why a focus on values alone is not sufficient. Values belong in the pre-frontal cortex, where we can reflect, strategize, imagine, and yes, clarify our values. And this involves addressing our fear-based, short-term survival neural networks—in the limbic system. Meeting the limbic system with a values-based message is akin to being tone-deaf. Would you ask someone who is fearing for their security, if they “value” something? No. You would ask them what do they need, now, to feel safer and more secure, before you can engage in the conversation you really wish to have. If even a fraction of this were to be taken on board, we would immediately be redesigning our research, strategies and tactics differently. This means inviting new and different people to the table, beyond polling, surveying and focus group experts. We would pause to rethink the use of social marketing, such as ambassadors or champions, heavy reliance on celebrity endorsements, and coming up with yet another values-based messaging platform. We would be designing our research methods to really capture the deeper layers of anxiety, ambivalence and aspiration, by using more conversation-based approaches. We would be funding projects that leverage insights already gained from ethnography, marketing, psychosocial research and innovation sectors. We would not be focusing only on what people “view” or how to “mobilize,” but on what people are experiencing – where the anxieties, ambivalence and aspiration live, or what I call “The Three A’s.” And to do this, requires rethinking our deeply held, even cherished ways of doing things. It means being open to new and emerging practices, and collaborating with new kinds of practitioners from different disciplines. It also means recognizing that we are all in this together – that our lessons learned are what are going to help us protect and preserve the vulnerable human and nonhumans amongst us, who are depending on us right now to show up and be effective.
(3) Climate Politics: Environmentalists Need to Think Globally, But Act Locally
In our view, environmentalists need to defend environmental regulations by emphasizing their concrete benefits for well-defined constituencies, and mobilize those groups to protect their gains. Environmentalists should continue making broad, long-term arguments about addressing climate change. After all, there is an important political constituency that views climate change as the defining challenge for humanity and favors active advocacy on climate issues. At the same time, however, they need to find more ways to talk about local jobs and benefits from climate action so they can build constituencies that include both greens and workers.
(4) Three Paths - Resilience
The path according upon which humanity has a chance to find a just and sustainable world requires what is unthinkable yet mathematically impeachable and morally imperative: that we in America and Europe live more like African villagers, Indian subsistence farmers, and South American peasants.[xx] They must become our models for the triumph of human dignity and justice, not to mention sustainability. We, who have the appearance, at least, of a choice, must choose this sort of radical simplicity, embrace the hard work and the community interdependence, and abandon dreams that we might live without limits and be or do anything we can imagine (that godlike conceit was forged under the illusion that we have an infinite universe at our disposal[xxi]). This will never happen you say. It is unrealistic. People will never give up privilege unless they have to.[xxii] Congratulations: you have just chosen Path 2. But true enough, I can’t disagree, this skepticism is probably warranted, especially if the limits of human aspiration are to be pragmatic and strategic, if you can’t hope beyond the current political parties and already established life-paths for middle class people. For there is no clear path from where we are to a world of radically simple sustainability, except the one paved with cataclysmic violence and bloodshed, in which we will eventually be forcefully taken to our knees.[xxiii] But we might still stand up and declare, “this is the right path, this is what I support, this is where I will throw my energy.” There is no reason why we must continue to choose Path 1 or Path 2, or accept it–no reason why we must continue to pretend that our way of life or our side of the ideological divide (give or take a few ideological tweaks) is just and sustainable. There is no reason why we should continue to give our consent to the maintenance of either growth or inequality. Let us openly and loudly declare our commitment to our own eventual material poverty, and in this declaration find moral and spiritual wealth. Let us begin to proclaim the unthinkable and think it every day.
(5) Limits to Economic Growth?
From isolated projects/struggles to a movement with a narrative for the future of society. Many activists have realised the need to network and make alliances and need for political representation to combat the way that the toxic economy uses the state to advance its own purposes and agenda. To combat this the green movement must be more than a collection of isolated struggles and projects but needs to come together as a movement with its own ideological narrative for the future of society. This has included challenging the desirability and critiquing the prospects for the growth economy. Many groups therefore share an overarching vision of the need for a Great Transition – and for “Degrowth”.
(6) Ask Umbra’s 21-Day Apathy Detox | Grist
I’m here to ... offer the best tools, tricks, and advice to help you fight for a planet that doesn’t burn and a future that doesn’t suck. You’ll build civic muscles, find support buddies, and better your community!
(7) How Trump Could Spend $1 Trillion To Fix America | Grist
I think the modern environmentalist needs to be a pro-city person, but our pattern of infrastructure investment hurts cities. It induces people to spend their money inefficiently, by getting on the freeway to go to Walmart rather than walking to a store across the street. The more we can invest in making cities viable places — places where people want to live, places that can take care of themselves — the more cities will serve the aims of environmentalists.
(8) Why The Moral Argument For Nonviolence Matters
In a principled nonviolent approach, the goal is always reconciliation and steps toward beloved community. The goal is always to build and strengthen relationships and to bring people and communities together, not separate them. If we are not able to find ways to bring communities together, we will always have separation, violence and injustice. Even if you are able to achieve short-term gains, if relationships between people were harmed in the conflict and you are further away from each other as a result, then it is not a victory at all. If only your tactics are nonviolent and not your worldview, whatever issue you’re working on may get resolved, but the relationships don’t get repaired. We are in need of a truly nonviolent revolution, not just of systems and policies, but also of worldviews and relationships. We need to understand that people are never the enemy, that violence and injustice itself is what we need to defeat, and that the goal of every conflict must be reconciliation. Each conflict we face has to be seen as an opportunity to strengthen understanding between members of a human family that have grown so far apart that we have forgotten our dependence on each other. That is why we need a principled nonviolent approach to society’s ills. Because it is not just laws and systems that have poisoned us. It is a worldview that has made us forget that our liberation is bound up in the liberation of all people. And only a holistic nonviolent approach — one that involves both strategies and principles — can muster the force to stop injustice in its tracks while bringing communities towards reconciliation.
(9) No Country On Earth Is Taking The 2 Degree Climate Target Seriously - Vox, David Roberts
When climate activists say, "We have the technology; all we need is the political will," they act like that’s good news. But think about the political will we need: to immediately cease fossil fuel exploration, start shutting down coal mines, and put in place a plan for managed decline of the fossil fuel industry; to double or triple the global budget for clean energy research, development, and deployment; to transfer billions of dollars from wealthy countries to poorer ones, to protect them from climate impacts they are most vulnerable to but least responsible for; and quite possibly, if it comes to it, to limit the consumptive choices of the globe’s wealthiest and most carbon-intensive citizens.