Global Climate Strike
From September 20th, 2019, to September 27th included, Petites Singularités stopped all services in solidarity with the global youth climate movement. During this week, we have revisited our positions with regard to how we engage online and offline.
UN Climate Summit
The United Nations Summit on Climate was held in NYC during this week. As expected, the results of this convening of “leaders, of governments, businesses, and civil society” did not match expectations from climate scientists and activists. I want to make a distinction between the youth climate movement and all the peripheral, and potentially parasitic, initiatives capitalizing on them.
Youth Social Movement
Within the social movement for climate, the presence of relays of the dominant thought and neoliberal culture must not be forgotten: they will happily use the image of the youth, and support their moves, if they can place their rethoric on “energy transition”.
There Will Be No Energy Transition
As historian Jean-Baptiste FRESSOZ brilliantly demonstrated, there was never such a thing as “energy transition”: new energy sources accumulated over the existing ones, rather than replacing them. Given this, and the Jevons’ Paradox, it’s easy to understand that focusing on growth and an understanding of public space as a competitive space, will not help us face the increasingly tangible effects of climate change.
There Is an Ethical Imperative
Scientists warned us long ago, and continue to revise their predictions in a way that hints us that an exponential effect might be occurring, leaving technocratic and capitalist solutions way off-topic: we need political solutions where political must be understood as radical democracy. The youth movement seems to be understanding this, but neoliberal lobbyists are busy changing their minds.
Warning to Humanity
Here’s what concern scientists[2:1] were recommending 27 years ago:
We must bring environmentally damaging activities under control to restore and protect the integrity of the earth’s systems we depend on.
We must manage resources crucial to human welfare more effectively.
We must stabilize population. This will be possible only if all nations recognize that it requires improved social and economic conditions, and the adoption of effective, voluntary family planning.
We must reduce and eventually eliminate poverty.
We must ensure sexual equality, and guarantee women control over their own reproductive decisions.
These recommendations, that I voluntarily stripped of their details, so that you can go into more details by reading the original material, were followed by this (emphasis mine):
The developed nations are the largest polluters in the world today. They must greatly reduce their overconsumption, if we are to reduce pressures on resources and the global environment. The developed nations have the obligation to provide aid and support to developing nations, because only the developed nations have the financial resources and the technical skills for these tasks.
Acting on this recognition is not altruism, but enlightened self-interest: whether industrialized or not, we all have but one lifeboat. No nation can escape from injury when global biological systems are damaged. No nation can escape from conflicts over increasingly scarce resources. In addition, environmental and economic instabilities will cause mass migrations with incalculable consequences for developed and undeveloped nations alike.
Developing nations must realize that environmental damage is one of the gravest threats they face, and that attempts to blunt it will be overwhelmed if their populations go unchecked. The greatest peril is to become trapped in spirals of environmental decline, poverty, and unrest, leading to social, economic, and environmental collapse.
Success in this global endeavor will require a great reduction in violence and war.
A new ethic is required—a new attitude toward discharging our responsibility for caring for ourselves and for the earth. We must recognize the earth’s limited capacity to provide for us. We must recognize its fragility. We must no longer allow it to be ravaged. This ethic must motivate a great movement, convincing reluctant leaders and reluctant governments and reluctant peoples themselves to effect the needed changes.
The scientists issuing this warning hope that our message will reach and affect people everywhere. We need the help of many.
What Will Change with P.S.: Online
“Missing” one week of Fediverse news did not affect us very much – or at least we ignore what we “missed”, since we did not receive any messages emitted during this period. It’s unclear whether all notifications were lost or we did not receive any.
One thing that became clear is that we want to focus on collective communication, so we’re going to set up thematic accounts and move most of our communication to these accounts.
Rather than publishing omnidirectionally from my (@how) individual account, I prefer focusing on ideas: this stems from the observation that 1) individual accounts tend to foster a cult of personality, while 2) we’re more interested in conveying more focused messages related to a specific perspective of our work each time.
Whether we can maintain such a discipline remains to be seen, but the experiment seems worth the effort, and maybe the effort is not that constraining – or at least, should not be.
We’re probably lessen our exploration of various services, since we do not have enough participation among our networks to spend pertinent time on this. If and when there is demonstrated interest in setting up a service, we can study the question, but we shall focus our efforts on current processes before engaging in novelty. The goal here is to consolidate our online presence to enable collective reflection and action rather than anticipating needs that seldom come. This refocus on existing presence and efforts will enable us to spend more time on existing efforts both online and offline. Nevertheless, we will continue working with other collectives to pursue the exploration of stronger cooperation among collectives.
Our current focus is on the upcoming event at the Performing Arts Forum, from 31st of October to November 4th: https://ps.zoethical.org/t/diffracting-decentralisation-exploring-collective-asymmetry/2475. Registrations are open, and there’s a limit on the number of participants, so you’re warmly invited to proceed as soon as you can!
“It is a confusion of ideas to suppose that the economical use of fuel is equivalent to diminished consumption. The very contrary is the truth.” ↩︎
the original “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” was published in 1992. The Second Notice was published in 2007 and came with specific recommendations. Both were largely ignored, although the current global move seems to be to apply (too late and too slowly) some of these recommendations. See https://en.wikipedia.org/w/Warning_to_Humanity ↩︎ ↩︎