Across the USA, people from all types of backgrounds marinate for hours each day in the glow of nationalistic and militaristic news reports and entertainment. From the reverence directed toward its historical wars, to the imaginary wars featured in the entertainment industry, to the virtual wars of drone strikes (which blend politics and entertainment into ideological indistinction), glorification of war is ubiquitous. But though it may be amplified by the pervasiveness and invasiveness of social media, this philopolemia is hardly new.
Amanda Stanley, “science program officer” for the Seattle-based Wilberforce Foundation, headed up to Prince Rupert a couple of weeks ago to check on one of her projects.
That would be the camp on Lelu Island where a splinter group of Tsimshian tribal members and supporters maintain an effort to blockade and disrupt testing required for an environmental permit application to construct a liquefied natural gas terminal.
The idea that our profit-oriented, growth-driven economic system can deliver a sustainable society is a beguiling one, write Lili Fuhr, Thomas Fatheuer & Barbara Unmüßig. But it is doomed to failure. The changes we need are in the first place political, and will be driven by a new democratic will to put people and planet before money.
Mitch Whitaker remembers well when Letcher County, Kentucky was booming with mining jobs. In fact, coal mines like the one near the land that Whitaker’s family has owned for generations made the town so busy that miners had three shifts running through the day.
“Everything was booming,” the 55-year-old environmentalist told ThinkProgress.
For two weeks this May, organizers across 12 countries will participate in Break Free 2016, an open-source invitation to encourage “more action to keep fossil fuels in the ground and an acceleration in the just transition to 100 percent renewable energy.” Many of the month’s events — pulled together by 350.org and a slew of groups around the world — are set to take place within ongoing campaigns to shut down energy infrastructure, targeting “some of the most iconic and dangerous fossil fuel projects all over the world” with civil disobedience.
Opposition to Kinder Morgan is not limited to British Columbia. In fact, the effort by First Nations, municipalities, and environmental groups to stop the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline from the Alberta tar sands to the Pacific coast is just one part of a rising tide of resistance to the corporate behemoth that bills itself as “the largest energy infrastructure company in North America.”
Last December members of the International Trade Union Confederation joined other civil society activists in a mass sit-in at the COP21 talks in Paris. Unionists and their allies, some 400 strong, filled the social space adjacent to the negotiating rooms for several hours, in defiance of a French ban on protests that remained in effect in the wake of the November 13 terrorist attacks.