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Olduvai III: Catacylsm
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Telling the ‘Truth’

The ‘Truth’ will always vary depending on your perspective. Many people in Pakistan and Africa are fully aware that global ecological collapse is well underway and is already challenging their ability to comfortably survive. Whereas most people in Europe and the USA would be surprised to learn this, most people in the affluent countries are unaware of this collapse, because the media do not dwell on this uncomfortable truth.

Global ecological collapse is a result of ecocidal growth economics, and the most developed countries are by far the biggest culprits. Environmental scientists agree that the ecological footprint for an individual person can be roughly calculated as a product of their affluence, and the technology that they use (I=PAT). One can easily see how the pursuit of GDP growth has now become ecocidal, for we are continually striving to increase our wealth and technology. The Preface in this paper elaborates this case.

The ongoing ecological collapse can never be fully arrested, because numerous tipping points are now past, and climate breakdown is changing the local weather patterns; the biodiversity within ecosystems will have to adjust very rapidly, and in many cases that may not happen. This is the ‘Truth’ of which many scientists are currently aware, we are already a long way down the slippery slope of ecological collapse.

In 2019 Extinction Rebellion (XR) raised my awareness about tipping-points with their Heading for Extinction talk. At a very early XR meeting, I got talking with a lovely gentleman called John Guillebaud, who is an Emeritus Professor in reproductive health, it was he who made me aware of the insights of the I=PAT equation and the organisation Population Matters.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Extinction Rebellion: Four Criticisms (and why they’re unconvincing)

Extinction Rebellion: Four Criticisms (and why they’re unconvincing)

The issue of climate change activism and the Extinction Rebellion (XR) movement has caused me a good deal of intellectual and emotional soul-searching. A journey that began last year with a large helping of scepticism on my part took me last Friday to a cell in Sutton Police Station, where I whiled away several hours. I’m not going to tell that story here, but my enforced idleness at least gave me the opportunity to reflect on the various criticisms of XR that have been doing the rounds of the media, formal and social, during its actions over the last couple of weeks and why I’ve now come to find these criticisms unconvincing.

So below I bring you a sceptic’s guide to XR scepticism, in a two-part post that’ll be continued next time. In this first one I focus on issues that strike me as requiring a genuine, substantive response and/or that I wrestled with myself in embracing the movement. In the next one, I discuss objections that seem more like flummery to me (“XR is too white and middle-class”, “XR is a millenarian death cult”, “technical innovation will save us” etc.) but nevertheless tell us interesting things about our times.

I’ve chased down a few references and datasets to inform this post after regaining my freedom and internet connectivity (same thing, right?), but I’m dashing this out kind of free-form while I can still remember my thoughts without explicitly linking to many sources for these criticisms. They’re not hard to find online for anyone who cares to look.

Here we go, then – XR defended, Part I, in relation to four common objections.

1. With their nylon tents, smartphones, coach rides to London and so forth, XR activists demonstrably participate in the fossil fuel economy and are therefore hypocritical.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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