Earth Day? It’s being used to sell things, like the Democrats’ claims their unrealized plans could ever limit climate destruction, or to sell electric vehicles, or to focus people on objectives like recycling or gardening more.
But I want the earth and its people to survive, and so do you if you’re reading this. So we can’t settle for platitudes, or worse yet, accept the idea that things are just going to get worse.
As a freshman student on the first Earth Day in 1970, I organized a collection of garbage on the campus, which we dumped in a big mound at the administration building. (I was already a protester!) I knew the custodians at the college weren’t the problem, that it was “the system” at fault, and that mere conservation efforts weren’t enough. I couldn’t identify “the system;” I was just outraged at the destruction of the environment, which at that point could have been turned around if not for the system.
That summer, I attended the World Food Congress, a UN gathering that was designed only to appease the oppressed countries (and from which some of us youth delegates were nearly ejected for staging a protest against the Vietnam war aimed at the U.S. delegation.) There, I had my photo taken next to graffiti in many languages: You know revolution makes sense! I got to searching harder for the solution.
It was only a few months after that Earth Day that I met revolutionaries who captured my attention with the concept that it was capitalism – on a world scale, imperialism – that is based on literally burning up the globe’s fossil fuels. Their leader, Bob Avakian, has since worked diligently to lead a movement to overturn the “system that is the fundamental source of much misery and torment in the world,” capitalism-imperialism. I follow the RNL — Revolution, Nothing Less! — show on Youtube which features the work B.A. and the revcoms. I encourage you to check it out.
One of the basic points Avakian argues for is that what happens in a society has everything to do with the mode of production, and that it is possible to change it, in this case, to a socialist, and eventually communist mode of production that would meet the needs of the people, and not be governed by what makes capitalist profit. In a recently published Interview with Bob Avakian on Climate Change—Climate Justice he talks about why capitalism can’t be “green.”
“…the entire energy grid (its storage, distribution, and consumption) would all need to be radically transformed to significantly scale up renewable energy sources. This is something that as a whole is not profitable under this system of capitalism-imperialism. The fact is that, while renewable energy sources exist, under this system they are out-priced and not as profitable as basing the economy on fossil fuels, and therefore are not “scalable”; and with what is essentially the approach of “get rich while going green”—with “getting rich” the guiding and determining principle (including with schemes such as the “Green New Deal”)—there is neither the economic basis nor the “political capital” for the massive investment (in the trillions of dollars) that would be required to really convert to an economy based on renewable energy.”
This system can’t be reformed. We need a revolution, not just in the superstructure of politics, but in how the things humans need are produced. Check out the full interview.
World Can’t Wait has been helping to promote NYC XR’s Spring Rebellion, co-sponsoring two of the marches this past week (We Will Not Be Bystanders and No Wars, No Warming – we helped organize the latter) and the Listen to the Science march tomorrow – joining with the March for Science. During 11 days of protest, XR has been hosting an open Festival in Washington Square Park and has done several other protests and non-violent direct actions such as one today outside The New York Times printing plant to call out major U.S. newspapers for failing to cover the climate emergency with the frequency and depth it deserves while also continuing to accept fossil fuel company ads.
Please be sure to bookmark these World Can’t Wait project websites and check them regularly for updates.
Fire John Yoo: This blog keeps up with news related to U.S. torture policies and, in particular, anything related to UC Berkeley professor John Yoo who, among other offenses, drafted the legal memos saying President Bush could waive the Geneva Conventions regarding the invasion of Afghanistan by labeling it a failed state and that prisoners seized during that operation would not be covered by Geneva Convention protections. For example, see this recent update on Ketanji Brown Jackson.
Sudan’s Struggle Blog: Carol Dudek has volunteered at World Can’t Wait for more than 10 years. In the early 1970’s, Carol spent years in Southeast Asia supporting GI resisters to the U.S. war on Vietnam. She worked for decades assisting progressive lawyers in working for justice for the Attica Brothers and later for men unjustly imprisoned during the U.S. war on terror. Through getting to know a Sudanese man imprisoned in the U.S. as a victim of the “war on terror,” she became interested in Sudan and has followed the repression there following the military coup last year. Carol follows news reports closely, and you will find much of interest in these reports that she updates regularly.
War Criminals Watch: People of conscience must insist on accountability for the actions of government officials. The status of the United States as a major world power results in immunity, in practice, to accountability for its crimes. It is the obligation of citizens who recognize that no country or government is above the law of human decency, as currently embedded in international law, to demand public accountability in a court of law. Recently posted is this video of Debra speaking at the 19th anniversary of the “shock & awe” U.S. War on Iraq.
We Are Not Your Soldiers: Presents information on arranging for class visits by anti-war veterans, backgrounds of the presenters, comments by participating educators and students, student papers connected to our presentations, resources for teachers and a wide range of articles related to participation in the military and veterans’ issues. Recent posts include an article about our visits to schools in March 2022 and a link to a KPFA interview with one of We Are Not Your Soldiers’ speakers, Joy Damiani.
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