Before the Flood, a Leonardo DiCaprio documentary about climate change, was shown as a fundraising event for the Standing Rock camp for land and water rights in North Dakota. The connection between the two issues is represented by the Dakota Access Pipeline. Together these issues point to a variety of all-important problems and paths to solutions. Here are some that come to mind after the viewing:
The role of corporate power, in driving both fossil fuels and the propaganda against climate change science.
The urgency of the time frame in which action is possible to prevent cataclysmic changes: ; devastating weather events like droughts, floods, hurricanes and forest fires; rising sea levels in coastal cities and farmlands, causing displacement and conflict over resources; dying of species, oceans and ecosystems, and human cultures that depend on them.
The need to engage in the issue where we are, at our point of contact with the fossil fuel industry system: wells and fracking sites, seismic lines, pipelines, ports.
The need to deconstruct the opposing arguments. The climate deniers suspect proponents of the carbon tax for a conflict of interest, through global financial governance, from the measures they propose to reduce climate change. On the other side, climate change activists can target the self-serving links between the media-scienced political hirelings of the deniers and funding by fossils like the Koch brothers. But it’s not a zero sum game… or a game at all. The problem comes down to trusting the globalists (like Obama) to solve climate change, when they are tied to the existing rule of the fossil fuel industry as part of the financial elite; and when they propose technocratic solutions like geoengineering, AKA chemtrails, as the preferred method of solving the problem so we can continue our overfueled lifestyles.
So if not global, then local. But the antiglobalist Trump is also a denier, and heavily invested, as it happens, in the Dakota Access pipeline. Meanwhile in Canada we have the neoliberal Trudeau likely approving the Kinder Morgan pipeline, Site C dam, and other catastrophes for the indigenous peoples of the region, the local ecosystems, and global warming.
So we talk to our neighbors, feel the pain of the problem and the struggle, which is not only the world’s pain but the toxic effects of all this denial, both collective and personal, in one’s own body, heart and soul. Because even if we are aware and educated, even if we are concerned and taking action, our lives our programmed and dependent, woven into the very fabric of this matrix of destruction and falsehood. We all wear this cloak of denial, in every visit to the gas pump, each bite of cheeseburger or palm-oiled potato chip, every footprint we make on this overtaxed earth. We destroy, we burn, we exterminate. So we must accept this pain too and learn to live with it, making amends where we can. Exposing the hard choices to shared scrutiny, and putting heads and hearts and hands together to try things a different way.
This too is where alternative governance grows: in the one-to-one, local village style (as at the Standing Rock camp). Where people have evolved to survive over millennia, not just one empire at a time. Taking care of where we are, where we call home, and knowing it deeper than our pavement. Feeling the earth beneath our feet, and the connection to our brothers and sisters in this species and all elements of the sacred creation. Deny this and we are as nothing, going nowhere for no purpose, and erasing all in our path.