Beyond Politics

Media fixation on the increasingly toxic Washington soap opera detracts from another Friday of global strikes and protests undertaken by youth movements and their supporters in response to the Great Unravelling that is taking place at eco-structural and existential levels, well beyond politics.

We yield to the honorable and indefatigable Bill McKibben, who offers twenty three reasons why we must strike, strike and strike again:

 

Strike, because the people who did the least to cause this crisis suffer first and worst — the people losing their farms to deserts and watching their islands sink beneath the waves aren’t the ones who burned the coal and gas and oil;

Strike, because coral reefs are so gloriously beautiful and complex — and so vulnerable;

Strike, because sun and wind are now the cheapest way to generate power around the world — if we could match the political power of the fossil fuel industry, we could make fast progress;

Strike, because we’ve already lost more than half the animals on the planet since 1970 — the Earth is a lonelier place;

Strike, because our governments move with such painful slowness, treating climate change as, at worst, one problem on a long list;

Strike, because this could be a great opportunity — and maybe the last opportunity — to transform our society towards justice and towards joy. Green New Deals have been proposed around the world; they are a way forward;

Strike, because forests now seem like fires waiting to happen;

Strike, because young people have asked us to. In a well-ordered society, when kids make a reasonable request their elders should say yes — in this case with real pride and hope that the next generations are standing up for what matters;

Strike, because every generation faces some great crisis, and this is ours;

Strike, because half the children in Delhi have irreversible lung damage simply from breathing the air;

Strike, because Exxon and the rest knew all about global warming in the 1980s, and then lied so they could keep cashing in;

Strike, because what we do this decade will matter for hundreds of thousands of years;

Strike, because the temperature has hit as high as 129 F/54 C — in big cities in recent summers. The human body can survive that, but only for a few hours;

Strike, because do we want to be the first generation to leave the planet in worse shape?;

Strike, because batteries are ever cheaper — we can now store sunshine at night, and wind for a calm day;

Strike, because the UN estimates unchecked climate change could create a billion refugees by 2050;

Strike, because the big banks continue to lend hundreds of billions to the fossil fuel industry — people are literally trying to get rich off the destruction of the planet;

Strike, because what animal fouls its own nest?;

Strike, because Indigenous people around the world are trying to protect their rightful land from the coal and oil companies — and in the process protect all of us;

Strike, because every time they cut down a patch of rainforest to grow some more cows, the climate math gets harder;

Strike, because science is real, because physics exists, because chemistry matters;

Strike, so you can look your grandkid — or anyone else’s — in the eye;

Strike, because the world we were given is still so sweet.

 

 

 


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