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How to Stop Worrying and Love the Bulldozer

How to Stop Worrying and Love the Bulldozer

The mainstream environmental movement is unintentionally re-creating Dr. Strangelove, a cautionary tale about the perils of unexamined beliefs and one of the greatest films in cinematic history

In Spring of last year, I was sitting on top of an excavator in Nevada as part of a protest against the destruction of a biodiverse and sacred Native American cultural site and wildlife habitat.

That’s me in the photograph on the right. I’ve climbed on top of the machine as part of a prayer action led by Northern Paiute and Western Shoshone indigenous elders seeking to protect Thacker Pass, known in Paiute as Peehee Mu’huh, from an open-pit lithium mine.

Because lithium is a key ingredient in batteries for electric cars, this fight has represented a flashpoint in the environmental movement.

At the same time as we were sitting in front and on top of the machinery, Mother Jones Magazine was publishing the polar opposite message on its cover. I know I have a few sight-impaired readers, so allow me to explain. The cover of the May/June 2023 issue of Mother Jones features a title story called “Yes in Our Backyards: It’s time for progressives to fall in love with the green building boom,” written by Bill McKibben.

The cover of the magazine shows a woman standing in the bucket of an excavator that closely resembles the one I climbed on top of at Thacker Pass. But this woman is not protesting. Instead, she is embracing the machine lovingly, a rapturous expression on her face.

Welcome to Biocentric, a newsletter focused on sustainability, greenwashing, and building a resistance movement to defend the planet. I’m Max Wilbert, co-founder of Protect Thacker Pass and co-author of ‘Bright Green Lies: How the Environmental Movement Lost Its Way and What We Can Do About It

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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