As at COP24, that shamefully inert gathering inside a former Polish coal mine towards the end of last year, the only person who made any sense whatsoever during the annual Davos Festival of the Exalted Egos: Greta Thunberg, as she broke the stupefying complacency with a concise call for urgent action towards the creation of a radically new political and economic paradigm.
The panel to which Thunberg had been invited had been scheduled to discuss “Responses to Climate Disruption”. She rejected that theme out of hand, and instead held a roomful of leather-loafered feet to the fire. Much media hubbub was generated by an economic historian who dared to suggest that the world’s ultrarich should pay their fair share of taxes; Greta’s words were treated as if someone had released a methane burp beneath the lavish buffet table.
Excerpts below, with images from a series of Scorched Earth paintings by Lynn Christine Kelly.
SCORCHED EARTH 13
SCORCHED EARTH 32
WE MUST CHANGE EVERYTHING
We took note of a quote from Hermann Hesse used by Lynn Kelly on her home page, relayed below:
There is the heart of the new paradigm,
in the heart of the trees, now scorched:
the ancient law of life.
During a week when the most mindless power struggles distract attention from fresh evidence of a climate breakdown endgame for which few are prepared, we turn to a lucid essay by Costica Bradatan, author of Dying For Ideas: The Dangerous Lives of Philosophers. The essay is worthy of close reading in its entirety; excerpts below, with images from the studio of Richard Kurtz, whose sublime visions are on display this weekend at the NYC Outsider Art Fair.
The next sentence in the cited text from Simone Weil strikes us as even more important:
“Unless one has placed oneself on the side of the oppressed, to feel with them, one cannot understand.”
Among the oppressed, we would include the countless non-human species of life that disappear each day from the biosphere. Do we really think that we are exempt from the rhythm of erasure, incarnate within the Sixth Extinction?
Let us place ourselves
on the side of all life forms facing elimination
as a result of toxic human supremacism.
Only then will we be able to navigate
with deepest humility
into a viable future.
Amidst the disgraceful blather pumping through the sound system inside the former coal mine that served, perversely enough, as the assembly hall for COP 24, there have been a few sane voices. First, we relay the address of activist Greta Thunberg in its entirety; lucid, not a single word wasted, and cutting to the very heart of the matter.
Also present giving voice to a perspective equal to the challenges ahead: Extinction Rebellion activist Liam Geary Baulch. Images above and below derive from recent ER actions.
As for the discredited suits that jet around the world pretending to be the global “elite”, we strongly echo the words of Greta Thunberg, addressing their paralysis in the face of the Sixth Extinction:
Change is coming, whether you like it or not.
The real power belongs to the people.