They’ve dedicated their lives to understanding the problems then communicating to the world only to be ignored or, worse, threatened.

    Decades ago, three pioneering Australian scientists were some of the first to warn the world about a looming climate crisis. They were branded alarmists and faced political pressure. We hear how they made their discoveries, the personal toll it took on them, and how, during the hottest year on record, they stay hopeful

    Weight of the world | The Guardian

    “We are talking about over 7,000 Palestinian political prisoners inside Israeli prisons right now. More than 2,500 are being held under administrative detention … without a charge and without a trial,” says Tala Nasir, a lawyer with Addameer, a group that advocates for Palestinian prisoners. We also speak with Israeli journalist Orly Noy, who says the sheer number of Palestinian prisoners shows “how central the tool of incarceration is in the Israeli project” of occupying and oppressing Palestinians

    Incarceration Is a Central Tool of Israel’s Oppression of Palestinians | Truthout

    Israel has long practiced “administrative detention” against , Palestinians, jailing them indefinitely without charge or trial. They call it a lawful preventative security measure using it to target people for political activity, including speech and nonviolent protest.

    Even beyond administrative detention, when charges are brought against Palestinians they are almost always tried in military courts that have a near-perfect conviction rate.

    Human rights groups have deemed it a violation of international law.

    Palestinian prisoners and Israel’s unlawful administrative detention policy - Vox

    How and why did the US get to this?

    Trump’s talk of seeking “retribution” against foes, including some he’s branded “vermin”, has coincided with plans that Maga loyalists at rightwing thinktanks are assembling to expand the president’s power and curb the DoJ, the FBI and other federal agencies. All of it has fueled critics’ fears that in a second term Trump would govern as an unprecedentedly authoritarian American leader.

    ‘Openly authoritarian campaign’: Trump’s threats of revenge fuel alarm | The Guardian

    The answer is in front of us. For decades we’ve allowed ourselves to be redefined from citizen to consumer. Whatever interest in self governance we may have had in the past has been drained away as we’ve allowed ourselves to be distracted by entertainment, shiny things, comfort, convenience. Our planet burns, people starve or go without medical care, children are shot in their schools. And yet we go about daily life, prioritizing our own happiness. We’ve forgotten how to be active citizens.

    There should be no such thing as “activism” or “activists”. Those words are fucking ridiculous. They exist because most citizens don’t want to do the job of citizenship. “We the people” is a fucking farce and has been for a long time. Our “democracy” was broken from the start (designed by the privileged for the maintenance of priviledge) but it’s only gotten worse. And now here we are, divided, frustrated, angry but still unwilling to do the work of participatory, active citizenship.

    Look in the mirror if you want to see why we are at the threshold of authoritarianism. What have YOU done to stop it? Oh, me? No, what can I do? Nothing I can do. 

    Our attitude is always that the problems are caused by others. Corrupt government. Greedy corporations. Welfare recipients that don’t want to work. The list goes on. There’s always someone to blame. But it’s never us and our lack of commitment to citizenship. 

    The truth is most Americans don’t actually seem to want democracy.

    We like to pretend we do. We allow ourselves to think America is the “home of the free, land of the brave” blah, blah, blah. But that’s just nonsense in 2023. It’s arrogance, hubris and lazy patriotism. 

    The truth is we don’t want to do the work of democracy. And no, not just voting. That’s the most minimal expression of what is a fairly hollow politics. I’m talking about the day-to-day practice of self governance. Of being a part of neighborhoods, communities, towns. Of being connected.

    Democracy is going to city council and school board meetings. It’s calling your county commissioner to express concerns because you’re taking an interest in the happenings of your community. It’s noticing a problem on your street or in your neighborhood and taking an interest in fixing it.  A broken sidewalk, dangerous intersection, a lack of bike racks, a neighbor in need. It’s being a part of community and caring about it the same as we care about ourselves or our children. Community is home.

    Being an active citizen means extending and practicing empathy outside of ourselves and our tiny bubble of family. It’s understanding that our lives and well being are intertwined with those of our neighbors. Our neighbors are next door, down the street, in the next town over, in the next county over and the next country over. Next door or across the planet, we are all connected and this truth is increasingly obvious. What we and our government does impacts the planet and our fellow humans.

    Being a citizen means taking personal responsibility. It means making a point of noticing problems and taking charge as though we are the only ones on the scene. In some cases our actions are individual and are not the immediate solution but are symbolic at least, an expression of care and making an effort to do ones part. But our individual actions as citizens can and should be followed with social actions when we ask for help to do the job. Citizenship is collective and cooperative.

    We are the problem and cause of authoritarianism because we’ve forgotten what it means to take full responsibility for our freedom. 

    “Freedom is something you assume.Then you wait for someone to take it away from you. The degree to which you resist is the degree to which you are free.”  -  Utah Phillips

    While I love that quote I would argue that freedom is intertwined with responsibility and we don’t assume it. We practice it, live it in our daily lives. It has to be renewed daily.

    The support for Trump and authoritarianism is an expression of our decades of complacency and our lack of attention. It’s the accumulated frustration of people who know the government is broke and even an awareness on some level that capitalism is a fundamental part of the problem. And that frustration, intertwined with a lack of knowledge of our history, of working people being used and turned against one another, it makes for powerful mechanisms for control and manipulation.

    Angry, frustrated people who have lost sight of the larger context of their role in the process of creating the collective good. Alone and separated rather than connected in community. That’s what he’s given them. He’s given them a connection, a feeling of empowered. And combined it with people to be angry at. We all know the idea of divide and conquer. He embodies the largely negative, back-stabbing reality tv show culture that put him in people’s homes and helped him got to this point.

    He’s given his supporters a mission, something to thrive in. They feel necessary, useful, powerful and connected. 

    Connected. His movement overlooks his criminality and authoritarianism because they feel like they’re a part of something greater, a collective belonging. The fact that that something is based on authoritarianism goes unnoticed is, in part, due to the lack of historical understanding of authoritarianism. 

    The counter is a movement that promotes active citizenship in daily life.

    Next week, world leaders will head to Dubai for the Conference of the Parties—the United Nations’ annual climate meeting—to finalize the first “global stocktake,” assessing progress toward the Paris Agreement’s goals. The UN Environment Programme is not mincing words about how far from those goals nations are. Today, ahead of COP28, it is releasing a damning report: “Broken Record—Temperatures Hit New Highs, Yet World Fails to Cut Emissions (Again).”

    Emissions Should Be Plummeting. Instead, They’re Breaking Dangerous New Records | WIRED

    I am speaking with Professor Kevin Anderson from the Universities of Manchester and Uppsala about how journalists and experts have failed the public by an over dependence on reductionist thinking, as opposed to systems thinking, much needed to avert disaster.

    Instead of making the space for envisioning a better world, perpetrators of the status quo instead construct fantasies as a way to deflect criticism and delay real action.

    Kevin Anderson: Climate Failures and Phantasies | Full episode - YouTube

    I so, so love the fungi images shared by Geertje Geertsma on Mastodon.

    Coal must be phased out seven times faster than is now happening, deforestation must be reduced four times faster, and public transport around the world built out six times faster than at present, if the world is to avoid the worst impacts of climate breakdown, new research has found.

    This failure makes the prospect of holding global temperatures to 1.5C above preindustrial levels even more remote, according to the State of Climate Action 2023 report.

    World behind on almost every policy required to cut carbon emissions, research finds | The Guardian

    For anyone who’s still confused or considers the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas overly complex, John Oliver offers valuable context.

    Israel-Hamas War: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) - YouTube

    (Jerusalem) – The Israeli military’s repeated, apparently unlawful attacks on medical facilities, personnel, and transport are further destroying the Gaza Strip’s healthcare system and should be investigated as war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today…

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that at least 521 people, including 16 medical workers, have been killed in 137 “attacks on health care” in Gaza as of November 12.

    Gaza: Unlawful Israeli Hospital Strikes Worsen Health Crisis | Human Rights Watch

    We speak with two physicians who knew Dr. Hammam Alloh, a Palestinian nephrologist at Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital who was killed Saturday in an Israeli airstrike. They recall him as a "committed physician, wonderful father" and "beacon of light." He had refused to heed Israeli directives to evacuate in order to continue providing care to his patients. "He spent a decade learning how to serve his people," says Dr. Tanya Haj-Hassan with Doctors Without Borders.

    "Beacon of Light": Fellow Doctors Recall Dr. Hammam Alloh, Gaza Doctor Killed by Israeli Airstrike - YouTube

    In honor of our great Veterans on Veteran’s Day, we pledge to you that we will root out the Communists, Marxists, Fascists, and Radical Left Thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country, lie, steal, and cheat on Elections, and will do anything possible, whether legally or illegally, to destroy America, and the American dream.

    It’s Official: With “Vermin,” Trump Is Now Using Straight-up Nazi Talk | The New Republic

    Israeli American scholar Omer Bartov, a leading expert on the Holocaust, says Israel’s brutal assault on the Gaza Strip is at risk of becoming a genocide. The monthlong war has killed more than 11,000 Palestinians, a majority of them women and children. Israel has also severely limited the movement of food, water, fuel, medicine and other essentials into Gaza.

    “Clear Intention of Ethnic Cleansing”: Holocaust Scholar Omer Bartov Warns of Genocide in Gaza - YouTube

    Authorities in a number of European states have banned Palestinian solidarity protests and harassed and arrested people for expressing — in public and online — support for Palestinians' rights.

    Some governments have threatened to shutter organisations and groups that advocate for human rights for Palestinians…

    Such fear-mongering has a logical outcome: people will be reluctant to stand up for the human rights of Palestinians and Muslims. In the midst of all that fear and uncertainty, better to say nothing at all.

    Peaceful Israel/Gaza protests are not ‘national security’ threat

    "Something horrible is happening to these people, and this administration is turning a blind eye to it," says James Zogby, the institute's president. "There are going to be electoral consequences."

    Arab American Support for Biden Plummets over Gaza Ahead of 2024 Election - YouTube

    Metabolic change is a less-talked-about, yet brutal and widespread, consequence of global warming. As ocean temperatures rise, so do the metabolisms of animals from fish to crustaceans to zooplankton. They need more food, and it isn’t always available, which is what appears to have contributed to the snow crabs’ population collapse.

    One of those little details that the wealthiest 10% of the planet can’t be bothered to think about as they go about the business of burning up the planet and apparently forgetting that this is home.

    The Hidden, Awful Way That Climate Change Imperils Animals | WIRED

    Tens of thousands marched from Washington, D.C.'s Freedom Plaza to the White House Saturday in the largest pro-Palestinian demonstration in U.S. history. Democracy Now!'s' Messiah Rhodes, María Taracena and Hany Massoud spoke to protesters who condemned the U.S. government's support for Israel and called for a ceasefire in Gaza. We also play excerpts from speakers at the protest rally, including lawyer Noura Erakat, musician Macklemore and writer Mohammed El-Kurd.

    Voices from Largest Pro-Palestinian Protest in U.S. History: Stop the Siege on Gaza Now! - YouTube

    The UN chief tells reporters Gaza is “becoming a graveyard for children. Hundreds of girls and boys are reportedly being killed and injured every day... More journalists have reportedly been killed over a four-week period than in any conflict in at least three decades... More United Nations aid workers have been killed than in any comparable period in the history of our organisation... I joined the UN family in mourning 89 of our UNRWA colleagues who have been killed in Gaza, many of them together with members of their family.”

    UN chief: ‘Gaza is becoming a graveyard for children’ - YouTube

    "Should we assume that Hansen and his team of researchers are right, and therefore take the drastic actions that are indicated? Or should we trust that mainstream moderate scientists like Michael Mann are correct, and calmly adopt a more gradual approach? Which choice represents the greatest risk? I think the answer is obvious." - Bread and Circuses at Climate Justice Social

    Hansen Vs. Mann — Is Global Warming Linear Or Exponential?

    "I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain." — James Baldwin

    Dr. Lucky Tran, Mastodon

Older Posts →