I was encouraged to take in the audiovisual presentation of “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace”, wherein Adam Curtis demonstrates what appears to be a lack of understanding regarding failure in the financial markets. Most foundational year ecologists can tell you that systems are self-correcting, that virtual bubbles get popped, that hubris gets torn down, that over-population gets underfed. Rabbits and foxes. Owls and mice. George Monbiot’s “War On Slugs” because of missing hedgehogs and thrushes. It all depends on the natural resources available to feed the participants in the game. The global economy can only accelerate growth so much before it implodes. There are Limits to Growth. Curtis could be said to be expressing his suspicions that the fake “Knowledge Economy”, the Asian “Shock Doctrine” and the Property Crash were an artefact of a secret evil cabal formed from the vaguely impressed followers of Ayn Rand – but the rest of us all know that’s silly. She was a lovely, sensitive, principled woman, although she could have done with a little more kindness in her life to inspire altruism in her worldview.
[ WAIT FOR IT… a video will appear shortly in the space below…if not, reload the page, will you ? ]
Just what are they brewing ?
An e-mail trail with a certain amount of political content…
from: Kate Shepherd
date: Tue, Aug 10, 2010
subject: Climate Week
It was lovely to speak with you today about Climate Week and I’d be grateful if you could pass on the information to the rest of your team.
Climate Week, 21st – 27th March 2011, is a new national occasion on climate change, backed by the Prime Minister, Al Gore and Kofi Annan. During Climate Week, thousands of events will be run by organisations from every part of society to highlight the positive steps being taken to help prevent climate change.
I have attached a document for further information, the document includes a list of supporters of Climate Week, which range from every part of society: from the Chief Fire Officers Association to the Women’s Institute, the Girl Guiding UK to several Regional Development Agencies.
Oh dear. It appears that the Edinburgh Chapter of the Peoples Golfing Association, formed in 2005 ahead of the G8 Gleneagles Summit, has got the band back together at the Climate Camp, and played a round just a tad too close to the buildings of the Headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland :-
“22 August 2010 : Climate change protesters arrested at RBS office : Two women have been arrested after climate change protesters attacked the Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) Edinburgh headquarters on Sunday. More than 100 protesters took part in the action, which also involved an oil-like substance being thrown at the building and windows being smashed. The protest comes in response to RBS’s investment in oil industry developments around the world…Shaun Caulfield, who took part in the attempted raid, said: “RBS is one of the biggest climate criminals in the UK. People are angry that bankers are ploughing the billions that they got in the bail out into incredibly destructive fossil fuel projects around the world.” Golf balls were also apparently thrown at the building, the Press Association reported…”
I wouldn’t call it an “attack”. It was more like a good walk spoiled.
And as for “attempted raid”…well…there are plenty enough doors to sneak through, nobody needs to break anything to get inside. They probably didn’t.
Who chipped the first ball into the panes of expensive coated glass, eh ? Lady golfers or police chappies ?
Shock ! Horror ! Major Climate Change Scientist spotted at Climate Camp…ah, but which one… ? How to distinguish one dressed-down, unwashed individual with dishevelled locks from any another ?
Any sign of Climate Change sceptic-denier Andrew Montford, as affectionately known as “Bishop Hill” ? Can’t make him out, but he might have responded to the banner appeal to “Come On Over for Lunch”. You never know. That might be him chopping potatoes, right in the thick of it.
How paranoid is Andrew Montford of Edinburgh, Scotland ? Does he have any reason to be afeard now that the Climate Camp has parked up on his doorstep ?
Don’t worry. This isn’t a threat, Andrew. It’s a invitation. When the rocket stoves have been lit and the canvas staked out, you’re invited to come and talk with real people about the realities of Climate Change instead of being cooped up with your hot laptop at home cooking up hurtful and inaccurate things to say about working Scientists and activists.
By the way, I rocked with laughter at this recent review of your book “The Hockey Stick Illusion” :-
[ UPDATE FROM JOABBESS.COM : ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND, EDINBURGH, CLIMATE CAMP SITE HAS BEEN TAKEN. ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION FROM firstname.lastname@example.org, Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 9:59 PM : “Site taken! People needed NOW! At 9.15PM tonight Climate Camp took the site on RBS HQ. Get on site as fast as you can! Defence help urgently needed. Come to RBS Gogarburn Gardens, off Gogar Station Rd. More info later. x” ]
Al Gore has been telling all the young people, and well, all of us, really, to protest, in public, to make a downright law-unabiding nuisance of ourselves :-
“Gore calls for major protests on government’s climate change inaction…In a post on his personal blog headlined “The Movement We Need”…”
Well, it won’t work to call people out onto the street. Most people are too busy credit-crunching, wage-slaving or favour-scraping to be able to commit to a short-term, potentially self-defeating public display of annoyance, frustration and shrill demands.
And if people do come out to the big protests, it won’t achieve much. News reports can be swept into the trash. Activists can be swept into holding facilities. Politicians can conveniently ignore anything that isn’t violent.
Drop the loud-hailers and home-made placards, I say, and do something more…focussed.
The Climate Camp want to target the Royal Bank of Scotland for financing Coal power plants and Tar Sands oil projects, which are very bad things to be doing, and smacks of huge corporate irresponsibility, considering the bank is largely owned by the British taxpayer, and I say, if you can’t make the camp (and I can’t for reasons which I shall not go into just now), do something about money in other ways instead.
What’s your money doing ? Which oppressive regimes in oil-rich countries is it supporting ? Which Fossil Fuel companies trashing your Environment do your bank support ? Why not switch your money to an ethical financial organisation ? Why don’t we all try to do this at the same time ? “Crowd-banking” could have an impact, you never know until you try.
Let’s pick, say, Monday 23rd August 2010. And let’s all spend our way out of Climageddon together on that day. Transfer your money to an ethical bank, or pledge to do so. Phone your bank and tell them you’re leaving for a sustainable bank.
Other actions possibly useful :-
1. Refuse to buy Fossil Fuels for a day.
2. Refuse to use any hot water for one day (most hot water is produced by burning Fossil Fuels). It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere – come on – a cool shower won’t hurt you.
3. Don’t spend any money on anything that had Petroleum-based plastic or Natural Gas-based chemicals in its production – which would rule out 85% of non-food purchases, I reckon.
4. If you’re working for a company or an organisation who have anything to do with the Energy industry, make a point of asking your boss, or their boss, or the Chief Executive or something what the company/organisation intends to do about moving the whole business to Renewable Energy.
5. One short telephone call could have you moving from burning Coal for your home electricity to a Green Energy account.
This is not a riot – but it is an emergency, and the response should match the scale of the problem.
Our Climate – Not for Sale.
Banks + Coal = Climate Chaos
People + Information = Social Change
Just say no. No to Coal. And then no to all the other Fossil Fuels.
On the night of 15th May 2010 in London, England, an all-night, all-party, all-age, all-opinion vigil will be held to uphold the Climate of the Earth in the newly elected British Parliament.
A candlelight service of thankfulness, commitment and prayer will be held at the ancient church of St Martin’s in the Fields, just off Trafalgar Square, and then events will be held by torchlight throughout the night, in and around Parliament Square :-
The organisers of the event are asking for chamber and orchestral musicians to participate in the church service, and in some of the overnight moments, which will feature a range of artistic performances, culminating in a Vigil Breakfast in the early hours.
There will be no money, but there will be plenty of love and respect, and perhaps even a little fame, for all musicians who take part.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC : GLOBAL WARMING 101 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJAbATJCugs
Each year the Climate Camp run a wide-ranging agenda of workshops, with subjects from Climate Change Policy to how to build efficient camping “rocket” camping stoves.
Here follows the text and graphics from this year’s “Climate 101” workshop. Do follow up the sources and check when you encounter the myths and ask yourselves why they are still being propagated.
So, what do you think would be appropriate Community Service orders for the 29 men and women who held up the coal train to Drax “the Destroyer” power station in June 2008 ?
Should they be sentenced to build a straw bale, lime and mud community centre in Liverpool ? Should they be required to host Permaculture seminars in inner London ? Should they be asked to take part in leafletting and campaigning for the 10:10 campaign ?
London’s great : there’s so much to do. Or rather, so much to buy.
Pipped to the news post by other events of global import, social action on Climate Change got completely wiped off the map today.
The necessary Media footage of violence featuring the Police, intended to diffuse tension built up by the BBC and others over the week, was nicely provided by football hooligans, saving anyone having to trump up some charge about the Climate Campers.
What would you do if you met a Climate Camper face to face ? And how could you be sure ? Would they have dreadlocks ? A facepainted clown face, raggedy, dirty clothes ? Would they be shouting ?
More to the point, would they be getting in your face ? Or in your way ? Would they be threatening or violent or extremely negative ? Or would they offer you a cup of tea and a nice wholemeal organic flapjack ?
Well, the Metropolitan Police in London have tried a charm offensive to make nice with the Climate Camp before it all kicks off. Or have they ? Many Campers have been suspicious of the softly, softly propaganda, and have put together a little message to give right on back to the Met, and it reads a lot like this :-
1st Apriil 2009
2pm : Trading our way into Trouble – How carbon trading hasn’t worked so far, why it’s not going to work and the problems it’s causing in the Global South (CarbonTradeWatch).
3pm : Plenary (all together session) – “Their solutions / our solutions” – with starting contributions on “their solutions” and an open discussion on “our solutions”.
I’m getting reports of people with an outline plan to take a skinny dip in the fountains in Trafalgar Square.
Apparently, to raise the profile of Carbon Trading, they’re going to paint themselves with some kind of black paint, or black marker pen, and splash about shouting something like “Carbon Trading doesn’t wash !”
The London Press today have been thumbscrewing public opinion down against the G20 demonstrations – with fear-laden messaging and nasty tagging of protestors as “violent”.
I’ve overheard several conversations today between various casually dressed office workers moaning about tomorrow’s happenings.
“The Russian Revolution was accompanied by a remarkable period of artistic experiment known as Constructivism, which questioned the fundamental properties of art and asked what its place should be in a new society. The Constructivists…looked at how they could contribute to everyday life through design…”
So murmurs the small booklet handed out at Tate Modern to accompany the “Rodchenko & Popova” exposition galleria “Defining Constructivism”.
And it’s Big Art all over again in 2009 as we witness the construction of yet more Climate Camp settlements : the art of constructing the future right in your neighbourhood, down amongst the fading idiocy of what passes for modern “built environment”.
Prince Charles should be pleased with us : we’re taking architecture on, head on, and camping our way to a sustainable mode of community infrastructure.