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The Fallacy of Climate Activism by Adam Sacks, Grist

In the 20 years since we climate activists began our work in earnest, the state of the climate has become dramatically worse, and the change is accelerating—this despite all of our best efforts. Clearly something is deeply wrong with this picture. What is it that we do not yet know? What do we have to think and do differently to arrive at urgently different outcomes?[1]

The answers lie not with science, but with culture.

Climate activists are obsessed with greenhouse-gas emissions and concentrations. Since global climate disruption is an effect of greenhouse gases, and a disastrous one, this is understandable. But it is also a mistake.

Such is the fallacy of climate activism[2]: We insist that global warming is merely a consequence of greenhouse-gas emissions. Since it is not, we fail to tell the truth to the public.

I think that there are two serious errors in our perspectives on greenhouse gases:

Global Warming as Symptom

The first error is our failure to understand that greenhouse gases are not a cause but a symptom, and addressing the symptom will do little but leave us with a devil’s sack full of many other symptoms, possibly somewhat less rapidly lethal but lethal nonetheless...

...We love our cars, our electricity, our iPods, our theme parks, our bananas, our Nikes, and our nukes, but we behave as if we understand nothing of the land and water and air that gives us life. It is past time to think and act differently.

If we live at all, we will have to figure out how to live locally and sustainably. Living locally means we are able get everything we need within walking (or animal riding) distance. We may eventually figure out sustainable ways of moving beyond those small circles to bring things home, but our track record isn’t good and we’d better think it through very carefully.

Likewise, any technology has to be locally based, using local resources and accessible tools, renewable and non-toxic. We have much re-thinking to do, and re-learning from our hunter-gatherer forebears who managed to survive for a couple of hundred thousand years in ways that we with our civilized blinders we can barely imagine or understand.[8]

Living sustainably means, in Derrick Jensen’s elegantly simple definition, that whatever we do, we can do it indefinitely.[9] We cannot use up anything more or faster than nature provides, we don’t poison the air, water, or soil, and we respect the web of life of which we are an intricate part. We are not separate from nature, or above it, or in any way qualified to supervise it.[10] The evidence is ample and overwhelming; all we have to do is be brave enough to look...

Read entire article here:
http://www.grist.org/article/2009-08-23-the-fallacy-of-climate-acti...

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You beat me to posting this! This is one of the most well written articles I've read in a while, and says so much that needs to be said more often. I'm of the belief that, for the most part, we're past the tipping point for the climate, and as we continue on the path we're on, we're only making things worse. My current life goal is to be living as sustainable as possible as soon as possible. I do understand, though, how people are so easily caught in the trappings of modern everyday life. It is people like us who need to act as examples of alternatives. Change cannot come soon enough for a better, more bearable and livable future.
Thanks Walter. Some folks are working on reviving Northwest Freedom University as Transition University, and this could be one of the course offerings. Probably won't get off the ground until at least next spring however.
David MacLeod said:
Some folks are working on reviving Northwest Freedom University as Transition University, and this could be one of the course offerings.

I've heard about that. Now that would be a school that I would be interested in going to. I'm not going to school now because almost nothing is offered (as a degree, etc.) that goes in the direction that I believe we should be going. I would take an anthropology course.

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