I had a feeling that the Deep Green Resistance movement would have something interesting to say about the Occupy movement, and I wasn’t disappointed.
As might be expected from a radical environmental group, they are envisioning a massive escalation of the movement, swelling the numbers and multiplying the targets so as to overwhelm the police who will be called in to maintain order.
DGR is imagining an occupation at the sites of worst destruction of the environment, like the boreal forest of Alberta, known to the energy mafia as the tar sands; the coal-burning power plants; the pipelines and the shipping routes.
I might add factory farms to the list, like the beef and hog farms out West that generate the toxic runoff that is poisoning the ocean for miles around the outlet of the Mississippi River.
Naming targets is one thing, but what’s really important is being clear on what the occupations are for. I don’t think the Occupy movement is especially focused on the environment. It seems to be focused on social inequality–excessive wealth that has destabilized our economy, and the lack of jobs for the middle class.
These are all worthy issues. But as I’ve said before, it won’t matter a rat’s ass if you have a job–or if you’re dripping in gold or starving and naked–if the climate changes decisively due to global warming.
To turn global warming around will require a movement like the Occupy movement, filled with idealistic, dedicated, thoughtful people who are willing to give it their all. This struggle has to be linked with a critical rethinking of the industrial capitalist economic model of ruthless extraction and production in the name of profit.
That is the model that has driven our planet to the brink of systemic correction.
Not collapse. The planet will be fine, she will regenerate. She has time. But to do it she will need to effect a serious correction of a species gone haywire, the human species, which in a very short time has altered the planetary environment to such an extent that millions of other species have gone extinct, and supplies of the basic life support systems like oxygen and water are threatened.
The Earth has survived such challenges before, and she will survive this time again. But human beings, and most of the countless other beautiful life forms that share the planet with us at this time, will be doomed if industrial civilization is not rebooted and recreated as an ecologically sustainable system.
That is where the pressure of the Occupy movement needs to be applied.
Will the Occupiers step up to such an enormous challenge, much bigger than the one they initially envisioned? Hard to say. But at the moment they seem to be the best hope of deep change of our society and our terribly destructive economic system.
It’s in the Liberty Parks all across the world that the conversations are beginning that might have the potential to lead to real change.
All the money in the world is not going to buy safety or plenty once the Earth herself begins her own form of Deep Green Resistance.