This panel (part of the Peoples’ Climate March weekend September 20/21, 2014) examined underlying economic, political and philosophical roots of the climate crisis. The science is clear: what are the obstacles preventing action commensurate with the crisis? Speakers addressed the capitalist economic and political system, traditional theological understanding of humanity’s relation to the earth and the inheritance of colonial domination and the settler mindset.
The Rev. Dr. Ignacio Castuera has been involved in ecological concerns since the early 70’s when he helped plan Alternatives to Catastrophe, a conference addressing issues raised by Limits to Growth, the Club di Roma commissioned report. His activism has taken him all over the US and some places in Europe. Recently in Germany he spoke at the World Student Environmental Network. He has addressed many issues and their connections finding the convergence of these issues and the ones who cause the problems. Born in Mexico, Ignacio has lived in the US all his adult life. He is an Advisor to the Latin American Project of the Center for Process Studies at Claremont School of Theology.The father of four and grandfather of two, he hopes to make sure his they have a world that has not warmed up so much as to endanger them.
Erica Violet Lee is a 24-year-old Nehiyaw (Plains Cree) student at the University of Saskatchewan. Since speaking at the first Idle No More teach-in in 2012, Erica has worked as an international youth leader with the movement, drawing attention to the need for social and environmental justice for indigenous peoples in Canada. Erica works in her community as a student mentor and advocate for First Nations students in education.
Orpheus Reed writes for Revolution newspaper. He reported from New Orleans on the BP- Gulf oil spill. Orpheus participated in the mass civil disobedience against the Keystone XL pipeline at the White House. He has written widely on the climate crisis. Reed bases his approach on the new synthesis of communism brought forward by Bob Avakian, a world where humanity is emancipated and the planet’s environment safeguarded.
Moderator: Debra Sweet, Director of World Can’t Wait, initiated in 2005 to drive out the Bush regime and reverse the direction it launched. World Can’t Wait continues efforts to stop the crimes of our government. Debra worked with abortion providers for 25 years, organizing community support and helping withstand anti-abortion violence. Since the age of 19, when she confronted Pres. Nixon in a face-to-face event and told him to stop the war in Vietnam, she has been a leader in the opposition to US wars and invasions.