Whizzakers. Woke up today on HOLIDAY! In a few hours I shall be on an olive farm in Italy, most likely without an internet connection [ …must…have…conn..ect.…iv.…ityyyyyyyy.…]. Back in a week.
Monthly Archives: April 2006
Alex Steffen over at WorldChanging has written a fabulous, comment-provoking essay on individual choice versus large-scale actions to save the enviornment. Much to latch on to here, but one of his more controversial points is that making our individual lifestyle choices is all well and good, but it’s not furthering the macro-agenda: seizing the ballot box, seizing the markets, eliminating fossil fuels. It’s an articulate and passionate cry:
We need to admit that we’re at war over the definition of the future. There are a lot of powerful interests spending a lot of money to keep people ignorant, make them uncertain, postpone action, encourage cynicism and apathy, and lock them in the mental prison of thinking that no better future is possible. To the extent they are successful, nothing we advocate can happen. We need to fight back. We need to speak clearly, intelligently, and, if possible, with humor and passion. We need to label our opponents (from climate denialists to apologists for the status quo) what they are — enemies of the future. We need to make the nature of our times crystal-clear for all to see. We need to hew to the demanding standards our actual real situation imposes on us — that we achieve measurable sustainability, honest-to-goodness one-planet living, for everyone, within our lifetimes — and scorn the mental tyranny of small goals. We need to break through the meaningless chatter around environmental and social issues, and point to genuine alternatives, hold real conversations, and create a culture that speaks to the soul of our times. Continue reading
Nice one from Greenpeace USA attacking the Ted Kennedy opposition to the Cape Wind project. (Sorry, this page has an auto-load flash — adjust your speakers if like me you’re annoyed by a sound blast when loading a page).
Ted has a mansion on Cape Cod and has sided with the brainless position that the mills will mar the view.
Since when is a windmill ugly? I’ve never understood this — to me they are graceful symbols of planetary custodianship. I sail in the Ijsomeer here in Holland, where they dot the landscape (or the lakescape, I guess), and they make me proud.
What also makes me proud is to see Greenpeace USA going after an A-list Democrat for an environmentally unsound position. Trolling through Earth Day stuff I was remembering how insistent we were in the 80s about Greenpeace being politically neutral. Today everything in the US is so polarized around liberal/conservative Democrat/Republican issue splits, but the planet can’t afford that squabble, and it shouldn’t be Greenpeace’s fight.
That windfarm will provide home grown American energy and Ted Kennedy opposes it. Come on, conservatives, this ought to be YOUR cause.
I looked at a lot of Earth Day stuff this weekend. This is the image that drilled into my brain the most:
The post that got to me emotionally, though, was Lisa Vickers’ letter to her unborn child.
The piece I wrote for the Greenpeace.org site was an opportunity to get Alex Tingle’s Google Maps of sea level rise up there on the GP site, a recommendation that came from a comment on this blog from Lamna Nasus and which I took to heart.
I also threw the trailer to Al Gore’s True Horror film, An Inconvenient Truth, into the mix. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. If the film lives up to its promotion, it could raise up the climate chaos issue in the States the way “The Day After” did for the nuclear disarmament issue back in the 80s. Fingers crossed.
I HATE Google Earth. I really get lost in it. Seeing places you’ve been from a heavenly perspective just shouldn’t be this addicting, but it is.
They’ve recently upgraded their maps of my adopted home, Amsterdam, and golly, I can actually see the blue tarp roof of my son Doon’s fort in the postage-stamp garden in back of our house!
I’ve been working for a while to make a kind of travelogue of places I’ve been. It’s still way incomplete, but so much fun.
(That link will only work if you have Google Earth installed. It’s out for Mac as well now. Get it here: earth.google.com)
There’s the water tower I climbed as a kid. There’s the place I learned that after a long time at sea, land smells like babyfood. There’s “Loyoloa Beach” the roof of my college dorm where we used to sunbathe. And there, in all their scary moonscapery, are the craters in the Nevada Desert where the US and UK used to test nuclear weapons above ground. Have a look at that and then decide if you think it’s a good idea to Nuke Iran.
Did you know that the Netherlands is a nuclear power, and the conservative government here might join the US in a nuclear strike on Iran?
Absurd as this seems, the fact is that the US plans for a nuclear strike on Iran, revealed in Seymour Hersh’s New Yorker piece, would rely on US nukes stationed in Netherlands, Italy, Germany, the UK, Belgium, and Turkey.
And under the terms of these weapons placements, the US could do it without asking any of those countries if they’d mind terribly enabling that attack, being complicit in the deaths of up to 3 million people, and bringing down the inevitable reprisals and possibly a global jihad down on their own heads.
Regardless of how things go in Iran, it’s time to get those missiles out of Europe. They’re a cold war legacy, a danger to people who have no say in the election of the guy who decides if they’re used, potential terror targets, and (as if it mattered) completely illegal under international law. (The NonProliferation Treaty, which the US loves and hates selectively did declare that no land-based nukes are to be stationed outside a country’s own territory.)
It’s time that those of us who believe in Peace made our own pre-emptive strike. Let’s get those NATO nukes out of the equation. Demand an assurance from the Defence Ministers of the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and Turkey that they won’t play at the game of nuking Iran. And tell them to wise up: US Nukes out of NATO.
OK, this video of a grafitti artist taggin Air Force One is a fake. Marc Ecko’s speech about “Why I Tagged Air Force One” is pedantic and boring. And instead of using the opportunity for message, he uses it for marketing.
But what a great idea, and what a challenge for some enterprising young tagger or political activist out there.
And don’t talk to me about security. Back in my days of Breaking and Entering for a Good Cause, I learned a variation on that old Godfather saw: “If history teaches us anything, it’s that you can always get around security.”
Roof of the Canadian Embassy in Boston? Fire escape could be pulled to ground level with a simple hook and rope.
Nuclear Test Site in Nevada? They relied on nothing but desert to protect that in 1983. Four of us walked over salt lakes and abandoned mining trails and we were in for a four –day camping trip. “A security guard out here would make the Maytag Repairman look like an overachiever” jested Jon Hinck.
Statue of Liberty? The guard watched TV in his trailer and made his walk around the base on the hour like clockwork. We landed zodiacs at quarter past the hour and put a Hiroshima anniversary message up.
The US Capitol building? We distracted security with a decoy and scaled some scaffolding to put an anti-nuclear message on the dome.
Others in Greenpeace have gotten into UK missile bases, nuclear power plants, and put banners on the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, the Pyramid of Ghiza, the statue of Christ overlooking Rio… you name it, Greenpeace has bannered it.
Monumental Banners are Free Speech Crimes: not unlike the art crime of grafitti.
So let’s consider. If we could tag Air Force One with any message, what would it be???
Weapon of Mass Deception
No Nukes (except for mine)
Osama was here
If you can read this, you still live in a free country
I brake for nothing. Iraq body count: 35,000
Terrorist on board
Best I can do on one cup of coffee. Help me out here!
P.S. When news of my involvement in the bannering of the Statue of Liberty in 85 reached my mother, she told a friend that I did it “to prove how easily terrorists could get to the statue.” I still haven’t had the conversation with her that begins “Ummmm, actually, Mom.…”