PANDEMICS AND WARMING MOBILIZATION NEWSLETTER #1
April 15, 2021
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology
MOBILIZATION TO RESIST PANDEMICS AND TEMPERATURE RISING:
WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED FROM THE PANDEMIC APPLIED TO GLOBAL WARMING
CONTENTS: PANDEMICS AND WARMING NEWSLETTER #1, APRIL 15, 2021
Progressive Magazine articles on Covid 19
Laurence Delina, Strategies for Rapid Climate Mitigation: Wartime Mobilization (2016)
Andreas Malm, Corona, Climate, Chronic Emergency: War Commonism in the Twenty-First Century (2020)
Robinson, The Ministry for the Future
Salamon, Climate Awakening
Dick, No Rebellion? No Mobilization? Coverup Continues
The Pandemic: Half a million lives lost in U.S., more than the two World Wars and Vietnam War combined. Mronline.org (2-27-21). .
Over half a million people have died of coronavirus in the U.S. Grasping the enormity–half a million people gone–is difficult to visualize. | more…
From Resisting the Virus to Resisting Warming: A Hopeful Perspective on the Pandemic
The Progressive magazine (June-July 2020) offers an outstanding special number on the corona virus pandemic. And the essays possess an even more important value: the essays apply also to climate change (and therefore to the Green New Deal).
Here are some sample titles, just think climate:
“The [Climate] Class War: Will the crisis reduce economic inequity or just be another sop for the rich?”
“On the Front Lines: Community health centers play a vital role in the age of [climate change].”
“Other Nations Lead the Way: How China, South Korea, and Germany developed effective strategies for fighting [climate change].”
Etc. Analogies are often slippery, but perhaps what we are learning about mobilizing against the pandemic will help us mobilize against climate change.
Strategies for Rapid Climate
Wartime Mobilisation as a Model for Action? By Laurence L Delina. Routledge, 2016.
To keep the global average temperature from rising further than 2°C, emissions must peak soon and then fall steeply. This book examines how such rapid mitigation can proceed – in the scale and speed required for effective climate action – using an analogy provided by the mobilisation for a war that encompassed nations, the Second World War.
Strategies for Rapid Climate Mitigation examines the wartime-climate analogy by drawing lessons from wartime mobilisations to develop contingency plans for a scenario where governments implement stringent mitigation programs as an ‘insurance policy’ where we pay for future benefits. Readers are provided a picture of how these programs could look, how they would work, what could trigger them, and the challenges in execution. The book analyses in detail one plausible approach to a crucial issue – an approach built upon knowledge of climate science and on proven and demonstrated mitigation measures. The book is meshed with a social and political analysis that draws upon narratives of mobilisations during the war to meet a transnational threat, while also addressing the shortcomings of the analogy and its strategies.
The book will be of great interest to scholars, students, and practitioners of public policy, climate policy, energy policy, international relations, and strategic studies.
Foreword by Hans Joachim Schellnhuber Introduction 1. The age of climate consequences 2. A Rapid Mitigation Project 3. Scale, speed, scope 4. Mobilising funding 5. Mobilising labour 6. Legislations, control, oversight 7. Dilemmas, implications Conclusion
Laurence L. Delina conducts research at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University, USA. He is also a research associate at the Center for Governance and Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts Boston, an Earth System Governance Research Fellow, and a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School.
"The most fascinating part of this book is its close look at how wartime mobilization of our industrial sector might actually happen. People have been talking about it for years, but Laurence Delina has actually done the work to figure it out." – Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, USA
"Strategies for Rapid Climate Mitigation is an important and timely contribution to the urgent debate about the actions required to drive swift and equitable decarbonisation of the global economy. The detailed and thoughtful discussion of key legislative, regulatory, financial, and labour market policies for mobilizing the resources and capabilities required to achieve emergency speed emission reductions is particularly valuable." – John Wiseman, Deputy Director, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne, Australia
"In our age of catastrophe and neoliberal defeatism, this book is a beacon of hope. Laurence Delina uses his fierce intellect and bold vision to demonstrate that a global emergency mobilization against climate change, with states as central actors, is a viable strategy—indeed it may be the only one left. A must read." – Margaret Klein-Salamon, founder and director of The Climate Mobilization, USA
"The world needs to transition to clean, renewable energy as quickly as possible to reduce the health and climate damage inflicted by the combustion age. This excellent new book examines resources and efforts needed for such a transformation, using wartime mobilization as an example. I recommend it highly for students and the public." – Mark Z. Jacobson, Stanford University, USA
"Despite frequent calls for rapid transitions to a lower carbon economy, few people have sought systematically to build on the lessons of the past to sketch out potential scenarios for the future. The Gendanken(thought) experiment that lies at the heart of this book forces us to engage with historical lessons and face up to uncomfortable truths about the role of the state, finance and labour in enabling and accelerating an energy transition to a world in which climate change is more effectively addressed. It is original, provocative and deserves to be widely read." – Peter Newell, University of Sussex, UK. Editor of ‘The Politics of Green Transformations’ (Routledge 2015).
"Delina asks how human societies can tackle the herculean task of recasting energy systems to meet climate change. He successfully sketches the many moving parts involved in a complex socio-technical transition. From sustainable energy technologies to public policies, and from vested interests to systemic inertia, transition looks daunting. In answer, Delina argues for reviving government as a leading agent of change, rather than relying only on the market. Using wartime mobilization history, he shows both the possibilities and limitations of government action. He calls for the creation of new, powerful institutions to help plan and superintend the widespread, rapid take-up of sustainable energy technologies. He also calls for checks on executive power, reflecting modern democratic norms. The book empowers us to imagine how we might arrive at our climate-safe future." – Alastair Iles, University of California Berkeley, USA
"If publics come to demand climate action, as well they might as extreme weather intensifies and surprises multiply, this book offers a model, historically grounded yet applied to contemporary, even future trends. Delina doesn’t just look back for "lessons from history" but projects forward, imagining the possibility of fundamentally challenging the self-destructive, endlessly expansionist order." – Thomas Princen, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, USA
A full exposition of the possibilities suggested in The Progressive articles are presented by Andreas Malm in his new book
A review of Andreas Malm’s
What can a virus tell us about climate breakdown, in its causation and in humanity’s response? And what can both tell us about capitalism and communism? These are the questions that Andreas Malm addresses in his new book forthcoming next month. It is a remarkable work, a tour de force. It portrays capitalism not simply in metaphorical colors as a meta-virus run by parasites, but as the godfather of actual viruses, the patron of parasites. Written at whirlwind pace, one of its leitmotifs is : the varying velocities of climate collapse, locust swarms, zoonotic pathogenic leaps, and the dynamics and gear changes of political response and strategy. While others were hesitantly piecing together analyses of COVID-19 and its links to climate change , as the familiar coordinates heaved all around in April 2020, Malm seems to have summoned the energies of the crisis and guided them onto the page. The prose crackles—this is an urgent book.
Malm aims to demonstrate that COVID-19 and climate breakdown are “interlaced aspects of what is now one chronic emergency,” where in tracing the interconnections we’re not following random patterns (even cheese and chalk—CaCO—have calcium in common, but such associations are contingent) but tracing deeper connections and shared . This is the topic of the second chapter, on which more below. In the first, Malm compares states’ to the twin threats. At first sight, they appear entirely different. In the case of COVID-19, governments came to recognize its seriousness. They forced businesses to close, distinguishing essential from nonessential occupations. Where they laid down rules even draconian ones, citizens generally adhered. Much of the rhetoric figured it as an existential fight: “We are at war” (French president Emmanuel Macron); “we’re at war and ventilators are our ammunition” (mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio). “Parallels with World War II imposed themselves,” notes Malm. He quotes the Los Angeles Times’ “Call it war mobilization”—a reference to President Trump’s instruction to auto firms to produce ventilators. In Europe meanwhile the Spanish state nationalized its private clinics, Italy took over Alitalia, and Britain “all but nationalized” its railway system, leading Malm to effuse that “the fences around private property blew away like a thatched hut in a hurricane,” and that the COVID crisis “.” This is hyperbole. Capitalism is not “suspended” through nationalizations today any more than it was, say, during the war economies of the 1910s or 1940s, and indeed many of the titans of fossil capital are state-owned: Saudi Aramco, Gazprom, , et cetera. The basic point, however, is incontrovertible. States, up against a virus, took measures of a force and on a scale and with an alacrity for which climate activists have been clamouring for decades—without success.
Why, then, have governments responded in antithetical ways to global heating and global pandemic? MORE click on the title or here
DICK ON PP. 9-12
I’ll play with a few pages in Chapter One, especially the section entitled “We Have An Enemy Out There” pp. 9-12 and their Notes pp. 178-79. I’ll say the main theme is the war waged against humans and other species by fossil fueled capitalism (i.e. USA today).
It begins with Greta’s great disappointment. In 2019 she repeated to world leaders the IPCC warnings from world scientists that “the climate crisis constituted an emergency on a par with war” and hoped they would get it, panic, and act to save their countries. But, as we observe each warming day, they did none of the above.
The leaders had heard her message earlier not only from the IPCC scientists, but from other scientists drawing from their reports. In 2011, say it again Dick, in 2011 a well-known publication explained “how the US economy could replace fossil fuels with 100 per cent renewable energy” by pointing to “the factories of GM and Ford rolling out hundreds of thousands of aircraft during World War II” within a few months after converting from car production. “Then why not wind turbines and solar panels?” That year, ten precious wasted years ago, NGOs spanning the world urged leaders to “get on a war footing” because “global warming was already killing more than 150,000 people per year.”
But, as we observe every warmer day in the state’s largest intellectually and morally failing, growth-and-profit-intoxicated newspaper, there was none of the above. Right? Yesterday? Today? Tomorrow? Last year? Next year?
Here’s the crucial truth of their culpability. They could not have failed to have known, at least by 2016. By 2016 Laurence Delina had written a circumstantial book based upon the IPCC reports showing how leaders could “marshal their resources—money, labour,-technology-and phase out fossil fuels at the speed required”: Strategies for Rapid Climate Mitigation: Wartime Mobilisation. Environmentalist celebrity Bill McKibben immediately promoted the book with his essay “A World at War,” which described the Arctic meltdown “as a devastating enemy offensive and the fire-storms and droughts…as overwhelming assaults.” And he made the familiar case of conversion from WWII: the rapid retooling of production from tractors to tanks. AND Bernie was campaigning for president and recommended that “the US ‘approach this as if we were at war…we have an enemy out there.’” A N D the Democratic Party officially adopted his demand for warlike mobilization before the election, with Hillary Clinton pledging to create a White House “’situation room just for the climate change,’ “modelled” on FDR’s WWII map room.
The leaders knew by 2011, unquestionably by 2016, and they were told again and again during the successive years—by 2019 from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nobel Prize-winner in economics Joseph Stiglitz
And by Greta Thunberg, who repeated her call for panic and WWII-scale conversion, and Time on December 23 portrayed on its cover as “person of the year.”
On that day a Wuhan market worker was ill at home “shivering and spitting.”
MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLES ON THE PANDEMIC, CLIMATE, AND CHRONIC PANDEMIC/CLIMATE EMERGENCY
Catastrophe and Utopia: Kim Stanley Robinson’s ‘Ministry for the Future’. Mronline.org (2-27-21).
We need no longer speculate about whether we live in a climate emergency. The scientific verdict has been out for some time now, each year’s report grimmer than the last. | more…
Announcing My New Project: Climate Awakening
12:04 PM (1 hour ago)
My friends and allies,
I am very excited to tell you about the launch of my new project, Climate Awakening, which aims to unleash the power of climate emotions through thousands of small group conversations.
It has been the honor of my life to develop and champion a new approach to climate politics, one that treats climate as an emergency that requires a WWII-scale mobilization to address, through founding and directing The Climate Mobilization. When we launched in 2014, this was an audacious, marginal paradigm. We were determined to make it mainstream.
And we did it! This small, scrappy, visionary organization changed the way the world talks and thinks about climate — a new United Nations poll shows that 64% of people globally view climate as an emergency — and we have brought the concept of WWII-scale Climate Mobilization firmly into the mainstream of the climate movement and politics. This is a huge achievement that was made possible by hundreds of volunteers, organizers, donors, and allied organizations. Thank you for all of your help!
Of course, until we have eliminated emissions, restored a safe climate, reversed the 6th mass extinction of species, and created a just society that works for everyone, our work is unfinished. The next step is for governments and institutions to declare climate emergencies and enter “emergency mode", dedicating all available resources to protecting humanity and all life. The Climate Mobilization is supporting this work at the local and state level. Matt Renner is leading as Executive Director, and I am supporting as Board President. Climate Awakening is fiscally sponsored by the Climate Mobilization Project.
My Next Step
With Climate Awakening, I am getting back to my roots as a clinical psychologist, and building on the work of my book, Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth. Of course, I am also bringing the understanding that we are in an acute emergency, that full-scale mobilization is our only option, and that we need to build the largest social movement in history.
There is a huge disconnect between what people understand intellectually about the climate: 64% think it’s an emergency, and how they are acting: normally. I believe that this disconnect comes from the failure to confront and process the truth of the climate emergency emotionally and socially.
Through small group conversations, climate-alarmed individuals can have breakthroughs in the depth of their engagement and commitment. I’ll be writing to you with more information and an invitation in the coming days.
Thank you to our wonderful community for supporting The Climate Mobilization, and for everything you have done to help us wake up to the climate emergency.
You can join a small group conversation, sign up for updates, learn more, and support Climate Awakening at: ClimateAwakening.org
The Climate Mobilization
Extinction Rebellion Is Back, Calling for New Laws to Stop the Climate Crisis
Made with love and rage by XR Global Support Extinction Rebellion (XR) is a do-it-together movement. All our design and artwork can be used non-commercially for the purpose of planet saving. This does not mean creating merchandise for fundraising or sending XR a percentage of your sales.
Extinction Rebellion (abbreviated as XR) is a global environmental movement with the stated aim of using nonviolent civil disobedience to compel government ...
Formation: May 2018; 2 years ago
Affiliations: Rising Up!; The Climate Mobilizatio...
WHY NO CLIMATE MOBILIZATION IN USA? KINDS AND DEGREES OF DENIAL AND COVERUP 11-15-20 and 4-11-2021.
Profit, denial, evasion, distraction, cover-up, hypocrisy, profit are the constituents of the successful corporate propaganda machine. Here are two examples of how it works:
“Real Green TV.net” 11-15-20: a series of examples of pro-environment work
pretending to show progress around the world that only provide people in the affluent consuming world an excuse for not taking meaningful action (i.e. stopping fossil fuels!).
1. More efficient charcoals stoves in Haiti. What an exciting idea! What fun! But the story reveals the truth of the one company planning to build them: their manufacturing building under construction was destroyed by an earthquake. They will start over, the entrepreneur declares. But by then we’re unsure whether he is a real creator or only a fake fundraiser. How does this work with US audiences? The problem of deforestation and polluted air from charcoal cooking belongs to the poor people to solve. We in the US, the major consumer and waster, don’t have to do anything!.
2. This story was followed by ads selling a new “Safety Can” can opener. Then an ad for Shillz.com, a new fun game.
3. Back to an ad for Real Green, the org. that explores new green ideas.
4. Example #2: Recycling in Las Vegas by Republic? claiming 25 to 30% of waste stream being recycled by separating the cans from the plastic which are sold for profit. Segment ends with enthusiasm for the “The Greening of Las Vegas” accompanied by drums. The “greening” has been under way for fifty years and they achieve only 30%? Isn’t that an illustration of the
failure of capitalism to solve global warming?
5. A Real Green “Tip” for reducing pollution: slow down in your driving. How much? Enforcement? This is just silly, or maybe deliberately deceptive.
6. Ad for Life Alert. “Saves a life every 11 minutes.’ Call…..
And more. Isn’t free enterprise great! Eventually we’ll stop the temperature from rising, but for the present we must make a profit.
This film and Real Green reek of the 1970s, when they might have possessed some authenticity. But now we don’t have the luxury of clapping and dancing for all the neat ideas popping up around the world, when we must mobilize globally to stop the temperature from rising and quickly. (The best quick way to cut through the “Real Green” bunko that pervades our world and to feel beneath our skin the urgency of warming is by reading Greta Thunberg’s authentic collection of her 2018-19 speeches—about 100pp. in small pages and large type.)
ADG’s Sunday Parade Insert (April 11, 2021) about “Earth Day” begins with “5 Ways to Help the Planet Today” by Kathleen McCleary. “1. Ditch the Glitter,” “2. Be Food Smart.” Oh Oh, you see it? McCleary thinks today is April 11, 1970, and the first Earth Day. Her subjects were cutting edge then maybe, but pure piddling now. And when she ends each of the 5 “helps” with an advertisement for a business, we perceive the real purpose of her “5 Business as Usual Ways.”
The next section presents four “Earth-Friendly Cities”—Louisville, San Diego, Seattle, and Orlando. These offer more significant resistance to the climate catastrophe, but in the light of the IPCC studies all such cities together provide only Pitiful Piddle Power to help us FEEL GOOD.
The Five Ways and the Four Cities actually function to cover up climate change and prevent us from understanding the threat of the onrushing, intensifying climate crisis. They are really complementary to the systematic denial campaign paid for by the fossil fuel industry that so successfully prevented the public from grasping what they sure didn’t wish to acknowledge and have to act upon: the atmosphere is collecting CO2 and the planet is warming!
A clue to the motivation underlying Parade’s Wizard of Oz approach to immense dangers is another insert in the ADG on this day: “2020 Recognition Awards” by the Northwest Arkansas Board of Realtors: 48 pages congratulating the recipients; 48 pages celebrating growth, development, resources exploitation, deforestation, profit.
The ADG is thoroughly in the game. This same April 11, the newspaper editorialized concerning housing and the development crossroads of sprawl versus density: “NWA’s Future Unclear: Region’s Growth Creates Opportunity, Pitfalls.” These certainly are the poles of growth, if, that is, you have been listening to the FF industry, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Board of Realtors. The editors’ chronological horizon is around 15 years. They made no mention of climate warming and its consequences. Adequate and affordable housing for most people will be one set of problems a decade from now, but likely a drastically, somberly different set of problems in three decades—if, that is, we fail to face reality and don’t stop the rise in temperature. We can still prevent the worst.
Sample of references on FF industry’s bamboozling campaign:
Gelbspan, Ross. The Heat Is On (1997).
Hoggan, James, with Richard Littlemore. Climate Cover-Up (2009).
Mann, Michael. The New Climate War (2021).
END OMNI NEWSLETTER #1 ON PANDEMICS AND WARMING