By Rebel Fagin
Do you love? Do you remember how to love? If you fall in love with where you live you’ll fight to the death to defend it. Climate change solutions are rooted in locale and direct action groups are seeing results.
One of our strongest legal options may be with the treaties between the United States and First Nations. Idle No More is a leading First Nation climate change resistance group. They began in Canada in 2012 with an education campaign. They’ve led coalitions of farmers, Indians, ranchers, students, and others concerned about life on this planet. Idle No More demands their treaty rights to nature, clean water, and a traditional way of life. Their goals are the same as their non-native allies. Building coalitions of like minded people gives us the strength we need to combat corporate money. In the Black Hills of Dakota the “cowboy & Indian” coalition is fighting fracking. When your way of life is at stake, your commitment deepens. Resistance grows and the lure of jobs doesn’t equate to a way of life handed down over the generations.
Student groups have responded by calling on their universities to divest from fossil fuels. Their movement has spread off campus to other organizations.
January 2014, Shell’s 4th quarter profits were down by 48%. They attributed this to dangerous practices, science, and citizen resistance.
The US consumes 25% of all the hydrocarbon energy in the world. Experts say we need to cut back to 1970’s levels of consumption. We can meet this goal by 2030 without KONG (coal, oil, nuclear, gas).
Local control is a key to success. This Fall Mendocino County passed a community rights law to halt fracking. In October 2014 the California Grange voted unanimously to ban fracking in California as a threat to farming and a crime against nature. New York banned fracking last December. In October 2012 Icelanders voted to protect natural resources as national property that can no longer be privately owned. In 2010 the City of Pittsburg passed a “right of nature to exist and flourish” ordinance. The rights of Mother Earth are enshrined in the constitutions of both Ecuador and Bolivia. An offender can be charged with ecocide.
Much of the wealth of the North is based on exploiting the South. Justice requires that the industrialized world pay the most. We must enact a carbon tax and use this money to provide energy alternatives. The fossil fuel industry is subsidized at $775 billion a year. This money could be used to develop localized systems of renewable energy that could create permanent, year-round jobs.
40% of greenhouse gases come from industrialized farming and the shipping of these products around the world. Localized, organic food production reduces carbon use. Rooted plants, especially trees, sequester more carbon than annuals. Trees for a Change can help you increase the amount of trees on our planet. Diversity and perennials keep soil rooted, healthy, and retain more water than annuals. The Land Institute in Salinas, Kansas is at the forefront of agro-ecological farming. When Texas hit a long drought the Land Institute still had plenty of perennial wheat grass flour.
We need to ground our actions in science. What is biologically possible? What is ethically, socially, and psychologically desirable? Our new institutes must protect and promote common ownership of resources created by nature. We need to learn to live within limits and share. Interdependence serves all stakeholders best. In essentials unity. In non-essentials liberty and in all things charity.
I live in the mountains now and I often walk alone in the woods for hours at a time. I’m regularly overwhelmed by all the life and beauty that surrounds me. It’s a deeper beauty and it humbles me. Am I falling in love with the place? Will I defend it to the death?
Sources: Endgames Vol. II © 2006 Derek Jensen, This Changes Everything © 2014 Naomi Klein, Censored 2014 © Huff & Roth, Post Carbon Reader © 2010 Post Carbon Institute, Willits Grange, Naomi Klein in Santa Rosa 10/17/14
Rebel can be read at the Sonoma County Peace Press & Daily Censored