» RT: @JimBarker @pickledpolitics So, why are you so mean to Iain Dale when you're in your pajamas? The nation has a right to know. 15 hrs ago

» Lame. Right-winger @TomHarrisMP won't even publish my comments on his blog. Apparently he wants debate. http://is.gd/2smBa 15 hrs ago

» Video of Tory who said he wanted an attractive woman candidate now here: http://is.gd/2skEP - excellent scoop by @cathynewman 16 hrs ago

» RT @libcon: Top Tory: I would only select fit women for seat - http://bit.ly/UVYgB Oh dear! 17 hrs ago

» Rupert Murdoch's web strategy isn't doing so well is it? http://is.gd/2sgfe 17 hrs ago

More updates...


  • Family

    • Ala Abbas
    • Clairwil
    • Daily Rhino
    • Leon Green
    • Liberal Conspiracy
    • Sonia Afroz
  • Comrades

    • Andy Worthington
    • Angela Saini
    • Aqoul
    • Bartholomew’s notes
    • Blairwatch
    • Bleeding Heart Show
    • Bloggerheads
    • Blood & Treasure
    • Butterflies & Wheels
    • Campaign against Honour Killings
    • Cath Elliott
    • Chicken Yoghurt
    • Clive Davis
    • Daily Mail Watch
    • Dave Hill
    • Dr StrangeLove
    • Europhobia
    • Faith in Society
    • Feministing
    • Harry’s Place
    • IKWRO
    • Indigo Jo
    • Liberal England
    • MediaWatchWatch
    • Ministry of Truth
    • Natalie Bennett
    • New Humanist Editor
    • New Statesman blogs
    • open Democracy
    • Operation Black Vote
    • Our Kingdom
    • Robert Sharp
    • Rupa Huq
    • Septicisle
    • Shiraz Socialist
    • Shuggy’s Blog
    • Stumbling and Mumbling
    • Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • The F Word
    • Though Cowards Flinch
    • Tory Troll
    • UK Polling Report
    • Women Uncovered
  • In-laws

    • Aaron Heath
    • Ariane Sherine
    • Desi Pundit
    • Get There Steppin’
    • Incurable Hippie
    • Isheeta
    • Neha Viswanathan
    • Power of Choice
    • Real man’s fraternity
    • Route 79
    • Sajini W
    • Sarah
    • Sepia Mutiny
    • Smalltown Scribbles
    • Sonia Faleiro
    • The Langar Hall
    • Turban Head
    • Ultrabrown



  • Technorati: graph / links

    Climate Camp next week


    by Sunny on 19th August, 2009 at 6:04 am    

    The Guardian reports:

    Senior officers have told representatives from Climate Camp, who are planning to construct a huge campsite next week at an undisclosed location in London, that they will be met with a “community-style” policing operation that will limit the use of surveillance units and stop-and-searches wherever possible.

    Activists have also been assured that there will be no “ring of steel” around their camp and that sleep deprivation tactics, used when officers blasted loud music at campers at last year’s Climate Camp at Kingsnorth power station in Kent, will not be repeated.

    The amazing thing is that the police is actually trying to be “lenient” simply by letting a peaceful protest take place. We’re living in a country where environmental protests are routinely subjected to the most authoritarian practices and yet the libertarians, the left and right, and other groups obsessed with civil liberties say very little. It’s as if no one cares for the environmentalists because they’re seen as a nuisance.

    Well, screw that. I’ll be at Climate Camp next week again….documenting any abuses of civil liberties like at the G20 protests. Who else is coming?



      |   Trackback link   |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Environmentalism




    25 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. Yakoub — on 19th August, 2009 at 7:45 am  

      What is also interesting is how some of these protests, notably the camp at Heathrow, have been represented in the media. Sections of the right-wing press resorted to evoking the most ludicrous stereotypes of eco-protestors, e.g. feckless smelly hippies. I sometimes say to my wife, if the climate goes unexpectedly bonkers and the world badly fucks up, the nasties who piss on climate change campaigners will be lynched from lampposts. Not that I’d ever incite such violent criminal behaviour, you understand. The ring-wing press would do that, whilst brazenly claiming to have always been pro-environment.

    2. Shatterface — on 19th August, 2009 at 8:18 am  

      ‘We’re living in a country where environmental protests are routinely subjected to the most authoritarian practices and yet the libertarians, the left and right, and other groups obsessed with civil liberties say very little.’

      That would be why we didn’t comment on the policing of the G20 protest, then.

    3. damon — on 19th August, 2009 at 10:02 am  

      ”It’s as if no one cares for the environmentalists because they’re seen as a nuisance”.

      Yes, I’d say that’s why many people don’t care that much.
      It is an important reason though isn’t it?
      Brian Haw protesting outside Parliament is also seen as a nuisance. (And I can see why).
      The pro Tamil Tigers protests were said to have cost about fifteen million quid to police and caused traffic gridlock at times.

      The reason that the eco-protestors come into conflict with the police is partly to do with their ”direct action” tactics.

      I saw a camp on the north side of Kew Bridge in west London as I drove past last week, and I looked it up, and see that it’s this one.
      http://london.indymedia.org/articles/1535

      They’re not doing any harm and the site has been vacant for some time and I would absolutely support their right to live there for the present, completely unmolested (or even monitored particularly) by the police.
      If they were doing some ‘’stop the city” kind of protest every morning and went and blocked the bridge routinely, then that would be another matter entirely.

      When this climate camp takes place, I think it all depends on where it takes place.
      If people descend on Hyde Park or somewhere open, I’d be all for it.

      I think that Climate Camps (or Rainbow Gatherings) coming to a city should be looked on benignly and we could have or own little summer of love here in the the capital.
      It’s just when people start blocking the roads, or trying to invade buildings and corporate headquarters that problems are bound to arise.
      Then, I too find them to be a nuisance.

    4. Shatterface — on 19th August, 2009 at 10:55 am  

      Being a nuisance is a legitimate form of protest. I do, however, reject Sunny’s constant jibes at civil libertarians for failing to support environmentalists; we do support their right to protest, just as we support the rights of others we may or may not agree with.

      It’s a shame that respect is not reciprocated though: environmentalism attracts more than it’s fair share of authoritarians (as well as anti-science crackpots).

    5. Dave S — on 19th August, 2009 at 12:41 pm  

      Damon @ 3:

      It’s just when people start blocking the roads, or trying to invade buildings and corporate headquarters that problems are bound to arise.
      Then, I too find them to be a nuisance.

      Unfortunately Damon, short of keeping quiet and doing nothing, there are few options left other than direct action against the corporations responsible for climate change. These corporations are not the friends of humanity - they have one obligation and one alone, and that is to make money now, and to hell with what happens in twenty years time.

      People don’t take direct action lightly, you know. In my case, it comes after having spent quite a few years doing things the “proper” way, and being systematically ignored by those who are supposed to “represent” us. It’s abundantly clear that all they do is represent their own short-term, profiteering, power-grabbing interests.

      Have you ever written to an MP, or local councillor? Have you ever lobbied them, or been to meet them and talk about things? Did you get anywhere? I’ve wasted many a day of my life on that futile endeavour - no more!!

      Governments will not take action in time, because they are the lackeys of their corporate string-pullers, and will not rock the boat. They are perfectly content to sit by and rearrange the chairs on the titanic. Multinational corporations are far more powerful and mobile than governments, and thus even if there was the will in government to do something about climate change (which there isn’t really), it wouldn’t matter anyway.

      The only language the corporations speak is that of their bottom line; profit über alles.

      They will do what it is profitable to do. (If you haven’t seen it, The Corporation is a great film, which psychoanalyses a typical corporation and comes to the conclusion that they are basically psychopathic.)

      Runaway climate change is going to be rather more than a nuisance, and thus direct action to draw attention to the worst perpetrators and try to stop them is more than justified - it’s now entirely necessary.

      Yet even with everything that people are trying to do now, future generations are still going to be asking how on Earth we could be so stupid and blind that we didn’t do more to try and avert disaster. Make no mistake, the current generations are going to be cursed and loathed by the rest of the future of the human race. We are the only ones who have the resources and the time to do something about it, and yet we’re still doing just about everything we can to avoid taking responsibility and sorting it out.

      I guess another reason Climate Camp is seen as such a threat is because it actually has a positive message about how to create a radically different type of world - one which is not only ecologically sustainable, but which is socially just and where communities are self sufficient. A world that will actually be fun and peaceful to live in - imagine that!

      So of course politicians and capitalists see it as a major threat, because that type of world has no need whatsoever for people like them. It’s all about protection of their privileges, and about the maintenance of our artificial “need” for people with power over us.

      Climate Camp is about saying “we don’t need or want any of this”, and about giving people the tools and the means to create the type of world they DO want to live in - and the type of world that it will be a joy and an honour to pass on to future generations.

      What does capitalism have to offer those future generations? Nothing but a wrecked home, huge mountains of waste, starvation, and the echo of millions of shattered dreams and broken promises.

      Shatterface @ 4:

      environmentalism attracts more than it’s fair share of authoritarians

      Climate Camp has an anti-authoritarian streak a mile wide! I’m not going this time, and I didn’t go last time, but I was at the first two. In my experience (in workshops, talks and in the general running of the camp) whenever anything remotely authoritarian came up, people actively took steps to dismantle it and find non-authoritarian alternatives.

      Many of those who had never done anything like it before (like myself, and my partner who incidentally I met at the first camp), soon became empowered to recognise and challenge authoritarianism too.

      Yes, there are a great many authoritarian greens. But I, and many people like me (who will be at the Climate Camp this year) find the type of world they propose to create nearly as undesirable as the type of world that authoritarian nationalists, authoritarian socialists or any other type of authoritarian wishes to create.

      Climate Camp is necessary precisely because if a future “green fascist” global government is to be avoided, we have to take it upon ourselves to create and live the alternatives NOW!

      To those who, like me, oppose authoritarianism by the green movement: you really should support the climate camp, because it is not authoritarian and is not reading from the same page that the authoritarian greens are. (Go there yourself and see, if you get the chance!)

      What’s the point of an ecologically sustainable future under a totalitarian government? No thanks!!

      But we have to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions now, if that is to be avoided.

      Which is for example, why I voluntarily don’t fly any more, and why I voluntarily don’t consume any more than I need to survive, and why I voluntarily cycle journeys that would probably be quicker by car.

      Perhaps the most radical thing I do is to voluntarily earn a whole lot less money than I have the “potential” to, and to spend my time trying to fix my little sphere of influence as best I can.

      Employment is the biggest killer, and the thing to be voluntarily dropped out of and avoided! Employment uses up huge amounts of resources, huge amounts of power, and co-opts huge amounts of human effort and ingenuity for little more than the pursuit of profit.

      I quit employment and went the self-employed route, and I only work as much as is necessary to put food on the table and pay the bills. That’s all.

      I voluntarily reduced my ridiculous Western aspirations about how much “stuff I should have”. I stopped being a consumer, and found that it’s basically not necessary to do more than a few days work a week.

      The rest of my time is mine - and you can’t put a price on that.

      It’s also not necessary to go shopping for stuff I don’t need, or to spend vast amounts of money and create loads of pollution in order to escape the drudgery of my life for a measly couple of weeks a year. Holidays are for slaves!

      I am voluntarily creating a life that is a joy to live, and that consumes as few resources as possible, and the good news is that anybody who is suitably empowered could do this.

      The shackles keeping us locked into the current way of thinking and living are nothing but imaginary, and as soon as you realise this, it’s possible to undo them and create a beautiful life for yourself too.

      This, again, is what those in power are massively afraid of - millions of people waking up and realising (in a very tangible sense) their own freedom and power over themselves.

      Of course there will be a media shitstorm about it too - because the media LOVE to profit for purveying all kinds of bad news.

      I’ve been reducing my consumption of “The Media” too. Got rid of my TV years ago, and now I try not to read that much on “news” websites either. I don’t have time for all the shit that they want to tell me about, like people who are out to get me, or distractions like sport, or distractions like party politics.

      I! Don’t! Care! :-)

      So, don’t go to the Climate Camp! Don’t think about freedom, joy, community, sustainability or anything like that. Think about your career, keep your head down, get back to work, and scoff at those smelly hippies and their silly ideas.

    6. MaidMarian — on 19th August, 2009 at 12:51 pm  

      Dave S - ‘Climate Camp has an anti-authoritarian streak a mile wide!’ So authoritarian at the edges would be a fair description, yes?

      ‘Climate Camp is about saying “we don’t need or want any of this”’ Who exactly is this, ‘we,’ of which you speak? And who appointed you to talk for them? Do people who are not, ‘we,’ therefore not matter?

      I am more than capable of thinking about, ‘freedom, joy, community, sustainability.’ I just don’t think I need climate change protestors ramming their vision of those things down my throat to think for myself. Or you just think that your thinking is all that matters? (I recognise that the answer there is probably yes.)

      ‘I don’t have time for all the shit that they want to tell me about, like people who are out to get me.’ Promise me that you see the irony there.

    7. Shatterface — on 19th August, 2009 at 1:28 pm  

      ‘Employment is the biggest killer, and the thing to be voluntarily dropped out of and avoided! Employment uses up huge amounts of resources, huge amounts of power, and co-opts huge amounts of human effort and ingenuity for little more than the pursuit of profit.’

      So that’s your rallying cry - down with employment?

      I’m sure that’ll have people flooding into your camp, on bicycles carved by pixies from clouds and smugness.

    8. damon — on 19th August, 2009 at 4:26 pm  

      Dave S @ 5

      ”I guess another reason Climate Camp is seen as such a threat …”

      I really don’t think that it is. No one is too concerned about people protesting, but you can’t really have people turning up at places like working power stations and cutting through the fences and climbing up the chimneys.

      And it has such a knock-on effect in the need for ever more security, and fences and cameras and security guards (on minimum wages) staying up all night watching perimeter fences at airports and places that might be targeted.

      Go there yourself and see, if you get the chance!

      I went to visit the Heathrow airport climate camp last year.
      I saw very nice people practicing ‘how to break through police lines’ tactics. (They wouldn’t work so well in Moscow, I thought).

      I didn’t know of the film The Corporation, but am watching a bit of it on youtube now.
      I looked up some reviews, and came up with this from those (dreadful) Spiked people.
      http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/printable/1923/

      I don’t really think that one’s own personal consumption is really the issue. If this global warming is such a problem, then it’ll have to be fixed by governments.

      I was working for the last couple of days, driving Lexus cars back and forth between the dealership and owners whose cars needed to be taken in for servicing.
      Is that like taking blood money?
      I enjoyed sitting behind the wheel of some powerful luxury cars (that I could never own myself).
      Put my foot down a bit too. It was fun.

    9. Dave S — on 19th August, 2009 at 8:11 pm  

      MaidMarian @ 6:

      So authoritarian at the edges would be a fair description, yes?

      It’s an open camp, and nobody can control who does or doesn’t turn up. The central core of organisation around Climate Camp is non-hierarchical and anti-authoritarian.

      To the best of my knowledge, whenever authoritarian ideas have been expressed at the camp (such as by Aubrey Meyer and George Monbiot), people have strongly opposed them. That’s not to say that all people there strongly opposed them, but a significant number did. That then lead on to spontaneous follow-up discussions about why authoritarian solutions to climate change will never work.

      Who exactly is this, ‘we,’ of which you speak? And who appointed you to talk for them? Do people who are not, ‘we,’ therefore not matter?

      Some good questions there.

      I speak for nobody but myself, but I think I can say with some certainty that one of the core ideas at the centre of Climate Camp is that it’s desireable, possible, and absolutely necessary to create a completely different type of world, with new ways of life and social structures within that.

      Of course the people who are not “we” do matter, but you have to look at the impact of those people’s way of life upon the rest of humanity and the wider environment.

      It is not possible to live a consumer-capitalist way of life in a sustainable manner, or a manner which doesn’t exploit countless other people and the environment. By definition, it will never be possible for all (or even the majority) of humanity to live in the way that we have become accustomed to in the UK. In a matter of a decade or so, it will not be possible for even us to live in the manner we have become accustomed to now - never mind the rest of the world.

      Therefore, to be a consumer is an inherently authoritarian act. To take resources from the global commons and transfer their “ownership” into private hands is, again, inherently authoritarian.

      This is the model that industrial capitalism has pushed, and it is not a model which can be reformed into something “nicer” - even less a model which can be “enjoyed” equally by all of humanity. Exploitation is built in to this system to the core.

      Therefore, people who are not “we” (Climate Campers) are free to live their lives however they want - but not at the expense of the planet, the future of humanity, or other people now.

      All of us have a responsibility to make some tough choices now and clean up our act. Personally, I don’t believe that the vast majority of people will make that choice - and even so, I’m not prepared to see them forced to do so by some authoritarian government.

      Conservation of the environment is meaningless if it is done with coercion - because instead of understanding why it is necessary, and happily playing our parts in it, coercion will only create resentment.

      Climate Camp is at least in part about educating people to realise their connection with the Earth which keeps us all alive.

      So although I say it is necessary to create a completely different type of world, I am not sure we will do it in time to survive. If we don’t, then we’ll only have ourselves to blame, and will have to just live with the consequences.

      I just don’t think I need climate change protestors ramming their vision of those things down my throat to think for myself.

      In what way are they ramming their vision of those things down your throat?

      Or rather, in what way are the choices you make ramming things down people’s throats any less?

      Does the majority of the world’s population have any choice about the impact of your actions on them? No, they do not.

      As I said, consumer capitalism is inherently authoritarian.

      Or you just think that your thinking is all that matters? (I recognise that the answer there is probably yes.)

      Priceless irony there.

      I am arguing for all people to be able to live their lives in whatever way they want, as long as it doesn’t negatively affect the environment, other people, or future generations.

      Unless I’m mistaken, you are arguing for you to be able to live your life however you want, and damn the consequences for everybody else.

      I guess this is a crucial difference between typical anarchist and typical libertarian thinking - typical “libertarian” (right) thinking is incredibly authoritarian! (It just chooses to ignore the fact that other people exist too, and that unequal access to resources is inherently authoritarian.)

      Most anarchists think that everybody should have the inalienable birthright to be liberated and that it shouldn’t depend on luck - whereas most libertarians (at least, the libertarian right) are only concerned with liberating themselves.

      ‘I don’t have time for all the shit that they want to tell me about, like people who are out to get me.’ Promise me that you see the irony there.

      Actually, I came to my own conclusions about pollution and resource depletion a long time before I’d ever even heard of “climate change” or “peak oil” or anything else - although the stuff I have read in recent years has helped to firm it up. Now, I have read enough, and I’m just getting on and doing something about it.

      It’s fucking obvious to anyone with half a brain that we can’t carry on taking so much from the Earth, spewing out billions of tonnes of crap into the environment, and expecting that we can just continue this forever.

      We are poisoning ourselves. We are destroying our only home.

      If we don’t stop and change our ways, we are finished. It’s obvious!

      Shatterface @ 7:

      So that’s your rallying cry – down with employment?

      Yes, that is my personal rallying cry.

      I’m sure that’ll have people flooding into your camp, on bicycles carved by pixies from clouds and smugness.

      Look, just because bikes are currently made by people in employment, doesn’t mean that they couldn’t be made in the future by craftspeople within small communities.

      Hell, there are probably already enough bikes made, if we share and repair the ones we have. We can bodge them back together using reclaimed and remade parts.

      Ultimately, I would like to see a world where we don’t really need bikes - where almost everything is local, and where we have the time to travel slowly to things that aren’t so local. There is no reason this isn’t possible.

      Down with employment!

      damon @ 8:

      you can’t really have people turning up at places like working power stations and cutting through the fences and climbing up the chimneys.

      Why not, when those power stations are a serious threat to our future?

      I saw very nice people practicing ‘how to break through police lines’ tactics. (They wouldn’t work so well in Moscow, I thought).

      Actually, the “fingers” tactic you’re referring to works just great - even when the police know about it in advance, it doesn’t matter. The fingers keep splitting, and splitting, and eventually people get through. Save for shooting or beating the shit out of everybody, it is impossible to stop it with sufficient numbers of people.

      Last time I checked, Heathrow wasn’t in Moscow. The tactic was designed to work in this country, and work in this country it does - very well!

      I didn’t know of the film The Corporation, but am watching a bit of it on youtube now. I looked up some reviews, and came up with this from those (dreadful) Spiked people.

      Spiked is a crushingly dull website for Marxist-turned-capitalist tosspots. I couldn’t give two hoots what they say!

      I don’t really think that one’s own personal consumption is really the issue. If this global warming is such a problem, then it’ll have to be fixed by governments.

      Sure, if you want to live under a completely authoritarian nightmare system.

      The thing is: we can wait for governments to make us do something (by which time, it will be far too late), or we can just get on and do it ourselves now because it is the right thing to do, and because preserving our home is about as necessary and obvious a thing to do as eating, sleeping and shitting.

      I’m not such an inconsiderate arse that I need to be made to do the right thing by some government.

      I was working for the last couple of days, driving Lexus cars back and forth between the dealership and owners whose cars needed to be taken in for servicing. Is that like taking blood money?

      That is for you to decide.

      I enjoyed sitting behind the wheel of some powerful luxury cars (that I could never own myself).
      Put my foot down a bit too. It was fun.

      Every action has consequences.

      In a different sort of society, we would know this enough to limit our destructive acts to a minimum.

      We’d also be able to have copious amounts of fun without plundering our home planet for everything she has to offer.

    10. MaidMarian — on 19th August, 2009 at 10:30 pm  

      Dave S (9) - Thank you for your reply. You ask me, ‘In what way are they [climate activists] ramming their vision of those things down your throat?’

      You are the same Dave S who earlier concluded, ‘there are few options left other than direct action,’ are you not? Humanity is underrated.

      Out of interest - would you like to see a mass global slaughter of cows?

    11. Katy — on 19th August, 2009 at 11:14 pm  

      MaidMarian:

      Out of interest, if you are suggesting that there are other options than direct action, could you elaborate on what you think they are?

      I have taken direct action myself, it doesn’t always work, but I still think it is the most effective course of action when done well. And indeed as Dave S said, one of few options given the short amount of time we have left.

      I am genuinely interested in what your opinions are on the alternatives and perhaps point out where they have been successful.

      Thanks,

      Katy

    12. MaidMarian — on 19th August, 2009 at 11:30 pm  

      Katy - Long story short, I’m a believer in the adaptation idea. Sure, that does not exclude Dave S style moral hectoring solutions, but there you go.

      I realise that the very use of the word adaptation in this context on here is to invite a pasting and to almost demand a lecture on heartlessness. I’ll sit back and take my pasting now.

      But, you see, I believe that the Dave S vision is a bizarre mix of wild underreation and holier than thou hectoring.

      By the way Katy - mass global slaughter of cows, yay or nay?

    13. Don — on 20th August, 2009 at 12:00 am  

      Dave,

      These corporations are not the friends of humanity – they have one obligation and one alone, and that is to make money now, and to hell with what happens in twenty years time.

      Yes. We know. But no direct action spectacular grinding The City to a halt will make the tinniest blip in those profits. It will piss off tens of thousands who are introduced to the debate by being inconvenienced and abused by smug bludgers.

      As Damon said, direct action which encourages people to kick off their shoes and experience a few moments of the alternative on offer would be good, even an imaginative work of guerrilla art, gardening, some kind of flash mob (Two thousand zombies in MetroCentre, I’m there) Or protesting a specific and clearly nefarious project. Go Swampy. Fine.

      But just fucking up someone’s day to make a point? How is that helping?

    14. Katy — on 20th August, 2009 at 12:28 am  

      Maid Marian:

      Okay, so adaptation. Can we get into that more deeply? Are you saying that the solution is survival of the fittest? Who are the fittest and why? And if the ‘fittest’ do survive, how do you envisage their lifestyle being able to continue into the future?

      I also think humanity is underrated, but come at it from a very different angle than you, I think.

      As for the cows… I’m assuming you are referring to the methane problem? Well, for one there is a mass slaughter of cows every day. But I’m being facetious! What I would like to see is the gradual phasing out of meat rearing on a mass industrial scale and the return to eating meat on an occasional basis. I live with a vegetarian and despite being an obstinate omnivore, really and truly am happy with eating meat on the odd occasion rather than every day or even every week.

      Like most large scale industrial systems, meat production is unsustainable. Too much energy and resources go in, too much pollution comes out, to say nothing of the horrendous conditions of life for the animals and often for the humans who dispatch them.

    15. Dave S — on 20th August, 2009 at 12:30 am  

      MaidMarian @ 10:

      Out of interest – would you like to see a mass global slaughter of cows?

      An unusual question. I would not like to see a mass global slaughter of anything.

      Perhaps we should just stop breeding them for our own consumption?

      I have voluntarily given up eating meat - because I understand the links between factory farms and environmental devastation. I also find the idea of killing something abhorrent.

      If more people voluntarily decided the same, there would not be so many cows “needed”.

      If you want to know my honest opinion on what to do with the cows that are here now - we should rehome them and look after them for the rest of their natural lives. Perhaps we can drink some of their milk if there is some spare, and use their manure to grow vegetables.

      I don’t know. The only reason they (the vast majority of farmed cows) are here is because of us.

      It is a huge problem of our own creation, and I don’t have all the answers. Undoubtedly, we shouldn’t have raped them and forced them to bear children in the first place.

      Now we have, it’s our mess to clear up. But that doesn’t mean we should just kill them.

      I don’t know. I’m not sure I really understand the significance of your question? Perhaps you’d like to explain, if I haven’t “got” it?

      Don @ 13:

      As Damon said, direct action which encourages people to kick off their shoes and experience a few moments of the alternative on offer would be good, even an imaginative work of guerrilla art, gardening, some kind of flash mob

      I’m not sure I’m that convinced this style of direct action works any more - it has to be planned meticulously and have all of the consequences considered.

      But one positive thing it does achieve, is to get together the people who have had enough, and just want to do something about it. It is an expression of desperation, and at the same time, a glimmer of hope - a platform for finding out more about how to make a transition to a different way of life. Direct action is only a small part of Climate Camp.

      So, based on the last few years of my life, I am choosing to take, in my opinion, a more radical type of direct action - that of dropping out of a society and a way of life I do not wish to be a part of, and getting on and living the alternative I have been talking about for the last few years.

      I intend to help anyone who comes my way and asks, to live it too.

      The problems are obvious. The solutions are actually pretty easy. We don’t really need to talk any more - we just need to get on and do it!

    16. Don — on 20th August, 2009 at 1:05 am  

      Actually, that’s an interesting point. If we all went vegetarian, how many extinctions of breeds which that would cause would we regret? They ain’t natural, it’s true, but no more Aberdeen Angus or Rhode Island Reds or Berkshire sows? We stop eating them, they stop existing. (Let’s not pretend we’d have the luxury of maintaining them as museum pieces.) Which is morally preferable, controled exploitation or extinction?

    17. douglas clark — on 20th August, 2009 at 8:17 am  

      It is possibly worth saying that whilst meat was a kind of status symbol a while ago, I expect that’ll go the same way as the mink coat. And Don, who reads Terry Pratchett should know that the breeds will not become extinct because some, (some others would say eccentric individuals), will dedicate their whole lives to preserving them. And get massive endowments from rich old dowagers… Isn’t there some chap who is dedicating himself to saving the mini Nazi Auroch or somesuch?

      Yes, there is:

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article6143767.ece

    18. damon — on 20th August, 2009 at 9:52 am  

      To me it’s the direct action that spoils the whole thing and causes the overreaction from the forces of law and order.
      Wouldn’t it be great if 10,000 people could turn up and camp in Hyde Park for a week and it turned into a free festival kind of thing, where there was no dersire to occupy or invade places?

      The wider public could be made to feel welcome to come down and attend workshops and the like.
      Seeing all the beautiful people frollocking (naked?) in the lake might make some people think about the shallowness of their materialistic lives.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5PgfqnZ7Ew&feature=fvw

      Obviously for this to happen the police would have to lighten up considerably, and trouble makers would have to be told they were not welcome.

      And Dave S, if you want to ‘tune in, turn on and drop out’ that’s fine. But these individual actions by people aren’t going to make any difference to the rise in global temperature, and nor (as far as I can see) will mass actions like invading airport runways, or occupying power stations. In fact they could be seen as aggressive actions. Against people. And rather smug and selfish too.
      What next? Protests against cars, where ”direct action” blocks motorways?

    19. MaidMarian — on 20th August, 2009 at 12:49 pm  

      Katy (14) - ‘I’m assuming you are referring to the methane problem.’ Yes, any chance of you sharing your thoughts on that specific problem rather than you going off on one about industrial farming?

      ‘Are you saying that the solution is survival of the fittest? Who are the fittest and why? And if the ‘fittest’ do survive, how do you envisage their lifestyle being able to continue into the future?’

      No, and I don’t like the way you put words into my mouth. I’m saying that the solution is in a programme of R & D on an unimmagined scale. A programme that will lead to lyfestyle changes, sure. I would not even want to hazard a guess as to what those would be. I also acknowledge that the end point of this is likely to be the phasing out of certain technology by statute. I do not claim this is a model of democratic purity.

      Of course, such a programme would need resources. I simply can not understand why so many can not see that prosperity and advancement in environmental technology go hand in hand.

      We could take these steps - or we could take the Dave S approach, drop out and sit around swearing on talkboards.

    20. Katy — on 20th August, 2009 at 9:02 pm  

      MaidMarian:

      I’m sorry if I didn’t make it clear in my last post, but I am under the impression that the methane problem as related to cows IS very much about mass scale industrial farming. The sheer numbers of animals bred for meat cause all sorts of problems for the environment, including massive amounts of methane production. Please elaborate if you have a different view.

      I sense that you might be angry about the tone of my last post- I apologise for the ‘tude but I was merely rising to your bait, a little. Maybe I’m mistaken about that too but I thought you were being a tad sarcastic. I also apologise for “putting words into your mouth”- that wasn’t my intention. I was simply taking one of the definitions of adaptation and hypothesised that that was what you were talking about as you had previously mentioned that by bringing the subject up you were expecting “a lecture on heartlessness”. So I’m now confused as to why your thoughts on large scale R&D would be thought of as heartless and invite a pasting?

      What I can’t understand is why ‘we greenies’ often find ourselves being lambasted for our unrealistic views on how to reorganise our lives to be more sustainable when the solutions we propose are simple and workable without the use of too many resources. Whereas the kind of answer you gave me in your last post is sketchy at best and doesn’t really have any basis in current, workable reality. It is based on a fancy. It is absolutely crucial to know where we would get the kind of physical resources we need to carry on into the near future. Am I really being pie in the sky to say that? Or maybe I should just be more optimistic, despite what my senses tell me and just believe that one day soon someone will come up with a magic bullet?

      But I would say I am optimistic, for a different reason. I do think humanity is underrated, but not because we might be able to throw a large amount of (imaginary) money at a problem and have people in labs beavering away to come up with a myriad of new technologies that (based on the world as it is now) will mainly be there to make a few companies richer than they already are. Oh, and to come up with either a damn good way of recycling resources or finding another planet to mine them from. The reason why I think humanity is underrated is because I see that we can live in balance with our surroundings and that we have amazing minds and bodies already without enhancement, that we have already have the capacity to live well with all our needs met without sucking up all the resources on and in our planet and spew out mostly dangerous and useless waste. Furthermore, history has shown us that we can do this by self government- not by statute, not by coercion (who is talking about authoritarian measures here?)

      I do see that prosperity and advancement in environmental technology go hand in hand, but the words ‘prosperity’ ‘advancement’ and ‘technology’ can mean different things to different people. I think they mean very different things to you than they do to me. But I am still guessing at that because you haven’t given me much to go on. At least Dave S elaborates fully on his views (even if his posts are lengthy!) and yet also, far from “sitting around, swearing on talkboards” he has said he IS taking the steps HE thinks are necessary. And so will I, because, fortunately for me, he is my partner :)

      So we are going to try to walk our talk and it isn’t dropping out, it’s re-skilling, learning real, solid existing technologies and like he already said, sharing them with whoever wants to learn them with us. Only a month till we begin- I can’t wait :)

    21. Dave S — on 20th August, 2009 at 11:13 pm  

      damon @ 18:

      To me it’s the direct action that spoils the whole thing and causes the overreaction from the forces of law and order.

      Lucky for you that you’re in the sort of position where you can say that kind of thing.

      Not so lucky for the millions of people around the world who’s lives are already being wrecked by anthropogenic climate change - such as the 300,000 people each year who are already dying needlessly as a direct result of climate change (according to the World Health Organization).

      The slave trade wasn’t voluntarily given up - it was opposed until it could no longer be continued.

      Apartheid didn’t just come to an end - people stood up to stop it.

      Women weren’t given the vote - they joined together and took it.

      Most of the freedoms we enjoy today came about by people taking direct action to take back the power and create social change.

      Have a guess at where the freedom of speech which allows you to post on websites like this and rebuke those who take direct action came from?

      Yet now more than ever, that’s under attack too, and will undoubtedly only be preserved by those who are prepared to do more than just wring their hands and sigh about how terrible it is.

      I asked you before at comment 5 - and I don’t think you’ve answered - about whether you’ve ever actually lobbied an MP or local councillor. I get the impression from your comments that you probably haven’t - becuase perhaps if you had, you’d understand exactly how crap “representative” democracy is.

      It is not representative in the slightest - the masses can be ignored, so, so easily.

      Therefore, direct action is the foundation and lifeblood of a healthy democracy, and you ignore this at your peril!

      Wouldn’t it be great if 10,000 people could turn up and camp in Hyde Park for a week and it turned into a free festival kind of thing, where there was no dersire to occupy or invade places?

      Oh, you mean a bit like The Big Green Gathering, which was maliciously cancelled and systematically ruined financially this year by the police and local council - despite the fact that it has been running for years, and has an utterly exemplary record for a minimum of trouble at the festival (compared to most).

      You see, nowadays we’re not even allowed to get together and discuss other ways of living - at least, not if the authorities have anything to do with it. Free country my arse!

      If it even looks like we’re getting anywhere, they just move the goalposts and conspire to shut us down - and they can, because it’s “legal” and they have the monopoly on power.

      The only solution left is to say “fuck that”, and refuse to play by their rules.

      And Dave S, if you want to ‘tune in, turn on and drop out’ that’s fine. But these individual actions by people aren’t going to make any difference to the rise in global temperature, and nor (as far as I can see) will mass actions like invading airport runways, or occupying power stations. In fact they could be seen as aggressive actions.

      That is why I am making damn, damn sure that my actions are not merely individual ones - and why I can see most of the greenwash coming out of the big companies and governments for the utter crap that it is.

      It doesn’t really matter a jot if you do or don’t recycle, or if you switch your lightbulbs to energy saving ones, if you use reusable carrier bags rather than disposable ones, or if you occasionally ride a bike instead of driving.

      That’s not to say I don’t do these things anyway - but when the entire system is the problem, nothing short of it’s complete destruction and replacement with something better will do.

      You can’t reform a pile of shit into anything other than a pile of shit!

      As for “aggressive actions” - what do you call the indirect murder of 300,000 people a year, just so a minority of rich folks can live a life of luxury?

      Honestly, invading a runway for a few hours in response to ongoing global genocide could hardly be called “proportionate”, could it?

      Against people. And rather smug and selfish too.

      Don’t even talk to me about being “against people”, or “smug and selfish” - you clearly don’t have a clue.

      What next? Protests against cars, where ”direct action” blocks motorways?

      What next? People being called “against people” and “smug and selfish” for daring to point out that climate change is going to cause devastation, death and human misery for billions of people on a completely unimaginable scale?

      In fact, that’s exactly what you’re attempting to do, isn’t it?

    22. Dave S — on 20th August, 2009 at 11:21 pm  

      MaidMarian @ 19:
      Further to what Katy (my lovely partner in crime) has already said…

      Your attempt to divorce the livestock methane problem from industrial farming exhibits a breathtaking lack of joined-up thinking.

      Don’t you realise that everything in this universe is interconnected?

      Evidently, you don’t!

      I once had an argument with a relatively well-known BNP blogger on exactly the same subject, and even he “got it” and conceded defeat on that point in the end - and he’s as thick as, well… pig shit!

      Industrial farming == excessive livestock methane == industrial farming.

      I’m saying that the solution is in a programme of R & D on an unimmagined scale. A programme that will lead to lyfestyle changes, sure. I would not even want to hazard a guess as to what those would be.

      Unimagined, or just imaginary?

      Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, we need solutions now!

      The solutions exist, they are easy, low impact, can be widely implemented with minimal cost by anybody who can pick up a saw, a hammer and a spade, and will abso-fucking-lutely save our backsides, if we get it together in time.

      But oh noes!!!1111 It’ll mean we have to live on a bit less stuff, return to a far more subsistence lifestyle, and that capitalism will need to be abolished! Back to the drawing board it is then!

      Does subsistence living repulse you so much that you’d rather choose death? (Or is this lunacy only OK as long as it’s someone else who is doing the dying, and not you?)

      I also acknowledge that the end point of this is likely to be the phasing out of certain technology by statute. I do not claim this is a model of democratic purity.

      Gee, well that sounds like a fun, free place to live!

      Of course, such a programme would need resources. I simply can not understand why so many can not see that prosperity and advancement in environmental technology go hand in hand.

      Because, quite simply, the sums don’t add up!

      Honestly, I’d love it if you could spend just one day in the shoes of an environmental refugee - perhaps someone who has lost most of the people they know because of the way some silly, far-away people like you think it’s perfectly OK to wreck the environment in the pursuit of “prosperity”.

      Just one day. You’d soon change your idiotic tune.

      We could take these steps – or we could take the Dave S approach, drop out and sit around swearing on talkboards.

      You don’t have the foggiest idea about what my approach is, do you? That is because you are a collossal, obstinate, hypocritical moron.

      Sure, I swear! A well placed “fuck” or “shit” gets the point across sometimes in ways that more polite language doesn’t. What’s the fucking problem with that?

      You can swear and still be a generally pleasant person, and make a few good points - as I try to on my better days.

      Or you can keep your language clean, and still be just argumentative for the sake of it, with precious little substance actually emerging in your discourse - as you do, in almost every posting I have ever read of yours on this site.

      I mean really, what do you have to contribute to this website, other than bitchy put-downs and a rather telling hollow sound any time anyone tries to see if there is some substance behind your words?

      “Let’s wait for the geeks to sort this mess out, and meanwhile we’ll just carry on business as usual.”

      Is that the sum total of your “solution” to climate change?

      And I thought I was a hopeless optimist and occasional deluded fool!

      Quite frankly, I am almost done with Pickled Politics. It might as well be called “Petty Politics” if you are typical of the type of “progressive” person who frequents this site. (Thankfully, I’ve been around these parts long enough to know that you aren’t particularly representative of the majority of posters here.)

      As I said previously on this thread:

      The problems are obvious. The solutions are actually pretty easy. We don’t really need to talk any more – we just need to get on and do it!

      One month to go, and I’m counting the days! One month, and you can most likely keep your talkboard and slap yourself on the back while listening to the cavernous resonance of your own ego, because I won’t be wasting much more time on people like you - I’ll be standing in a field, planting a whole lot of vegetables and doing my best to live off as little as I can. Once I’ve got the hang of it myself, I will help all comers who wish to do the same.

      You are the purveyor of hot air! I am the one who has the level of commitment required to voluntarily completely alter the course of my life and just fucking walk my talk. Actions speak far louder than words.

      That’s not to say I’ll never pop in, but I’m already reducing the amount of my life I waste on this site. I am sick and tired of trying my hardest to be reasonable (obviously not in this post!) and explain myself, while people who’ve got nothing better to do than pick holes in what I say (while having precious little in the way of realistic suggestions themselves) sit there and slag me off like the sad little keyboard warriors they truly are.

      So now you’ve dragged me down to your level MaidMarian - well done, well done. I’m ashamed, but I’m going to post this bullshit anyway.

    23. damon — on 21st August, 2009 at 7:05 am  

      No Dave S, I’ve never lobbied an MP or local councillor. And I agree that trying to make a difference through normal political channels is pretty useless.

      Don’t think I’m having too much of a pop at you. As I said, I found the people I saw at the Heathrow climate camp were very nice and open people.
      One lovely (and soft as I remember) woman came up to me and gave me a hug for no reason, and I definitely approve of that kind of behavior.

      Invading airports is the worst kind of direct action IMO though, and like you said about every action having a reaction (or something like that), well that one brings bad karma I think.
      Neil (from the Young Ones) wouldn’t approve of doing that.

      But joking aside, I understand that people want to change the world and all that, and if this kind of thing does it for people, then good luck to them.

      You see, nowadays we’re not even allowed to get together and discuss other ways of living – at least, not if the authorities have anything to do with it.

      It’s too bad about the The Big Green Gathering being cancelled. That sucks. It’s all that health and saftey and bureaucratic BS that seems to have scuppered it.
      http://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/27-07-2009-Big-Green-Gathering-cancellation.html
      That events like this can’t get be held shows there is really something mean and small minded in our society. But I don’t think it’s got much to do with the powers that be fearing the spread of ideas in that political sense. They’re just killjoys and control freaks.

      I still say that it’s the direct action that gives the fash the excuse they are looking for though.
      Though I understand that’s part of the movement’s appeal. Personally though I find the whole carabiner and ropes thing (and terms like ”locking on”) a great turn off.

      There’s nothing wrong with a bit of good old fashioned hippy stuf though. I’d welcome its revival as a mass movement.
      http://www.lyricsfreak.com/j/joni+mitchell/woodstock_20075381.html

    24. MaidMarian — on 21st August, 2009 at 12:37 pm  

      Dave S - You feel better for getting all that off your chest? I’m actually quite impressed you’ve held that lecture on heartlessness in for so long. As I said, any discussion of adaptation on here leads only to one thing.

      Your calling others, ‘keyboard warriors.’ after post 22, please tell me you see the irony.

    25. Katy — on 21st August, 2009 at 8:10 pm  

      I haven’t got long to write a reply- my baby daughter is having a grizzly day today!

      MaidMarian- it’s not your “discussion” of adaptation that provoked the “lecture” you got from Dave, it’s the fact that you only take pot-shots at what others say without any substance to your argument. It’s the lack of discussion which we find so frustrating. In post 19 you asked if there was any chance of me replying specifically to your questions- well, I feel I have done that- can I ask you for the same courtesy?

      Damon: I hear what you are saying about health and safety bulls**t but surely you can see that it must have been at least a bonus for the government that a major funding stream for the climate camps would be wiped out overnight? The Last Chance Saloon raised a lot of money for the climate camp in past years. Like you said, licensing is just a convenient tool for the ‘authorities’ to stop things they don’t like. But it’s political whichever way you look at it. How do we ever really know their motivations for doing it? Too much power.

      Anyway, my keyboard warrior is making pizza for dinner so I’m off to eat it now ;)



    Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2009. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
    With the help of PHP and Wordpress.