Naomi Klein, in a recent interview, Green Group’s May be More Damaging than Climate Change Deniers, has sparked a furious debate amongst activists on the right and left of the North American environmental movement. Thanks to Klein’s article, the flames of controversy have been fanned and brought forth some fiery rhetoric around a dispute which has smoldered since the emergence of a more combative and distinctive left current within the environmental movement.
The following article is the third installment of an investigative report that demonstrates why billions of dollars are pumped into the non-profit industrial complex by corporate interests, effectively to manufacture discourse in order to protect the ruling classes from systemic change. The first installment outlined the key players: Barack Obama, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Warren Buffett, the Rockefeller family, Bill Gates, and Bill Ackman. The key instruments employed by the state and the oligarchs were/are a cluster of foundation-financed NGOs.
When discussions begin among environmentally concerned people about foundation funding and how it offsets resistance, a common complaint is that such a discussion is unnecessarily negative. With all of the world at stake, so goes the argument, we need to involve as many “diverse” views and strategies to stop climate chaos as possible. Rather than “being divisive,” we need positive thinking.
Journalist and author Bill McKibben is one of the most prominent climate change activists in the USA, and is founder of the growing network 350.org. He is coming to the UK for a speaker tour this week, and before he set off, I caught up with him over Skype from my house in Oxford.
Adam Ramsay: The climate movement in the UK grew to a peak around 2009, around the time of the Copenhagen talks, then died off and there's been a lot of introspection about that. Is that a pattern we've seen globally, or just in the UK? What should be done about it?
It's disconcerting to find so few faces in the prominent ranks of the environmental movement that reflect the realities and experiences of those bearing the brunt of climate collapse. Estimates show that since 1990 more than 90% of natural disasters have occurred in poor countries and that, globally, communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by air, soil and water pollution. Numbers also demonstrate that low-income households are hit the hardest by disasters, due to factors such as poor infrastructure and economic instability.
Dear AFL-CIO President Trumka and Our Sisters & Brothers in the Labor Movement:
There is a movement growing across the country and around the world–a movement to fight climate change and build a sustainable future for the planet and its people. This movement will define the 21st Century in the same way that seven great social movements defined the best of the 20th Century: labor, civil rights, environment, LGBTQ equality, women’s, migrant rights, and peace & freedom.
MORE THAN 6,000 environmental activists assembled in Pittsburgh for PowerShift 2013, sponsored by the Energy Action Coalition (EAC). This fourth PowerShift reflected the broader changes taking place in the environmental movement, with more emphasis placed on grassroots struggles, climate justice, racism and indigenous rights. This year's conference was the first to be held outside the Washington, D.C., area. The choice of Pittsburgh as the location signifies the deepening of locally based resistance to extreme energy extraction and growing criticism of fracking practices nationwide.
Architecturally, a keystone is the wedge-shaped piece at the crown of an arch that locks the other pieces in place. Without the keystone, the building blocks of an archway will tumble and fall, with no support system for the weight of the arch. Much of the United States climate movement right now is structured like an archway, with all of its blocks resting on a keystone — President Obama’s decision on the Keystone XL pipeline