03 October 2009

64 Days - Five Things Everyone Ought to Know

According to British author, David Edwards (as explained by Derrick Jensen, "leading voice of uncompromising dissent" in How Shall I Live My Life? On Liberating the Earth from Civilization), there are five things that everyone ought to know. I hope that Jensen and Edwards won't mind me listing them here. I've only just started reading the book, but so far it's delicious.

Here are the five things that everyone ought to know:
  1. "The planet is dying." Coral reefs doomed. Sea mammals and sea birds going extinct. Global warming dooming other ecosystems.
  2. "Huge numbers of intelligent, motivated people are working all out to obstruct action to save the planet." Here, Edwards quotes a mining company executive who admits, "We think we have raised enough questions among the American public to prevent any numbers, targets or timetables to achieve reductions in gas emissions being agreed here... What we are doing, and we think successfully, is buying time for our industries by holding up these talks."
  3. "The death of the planet is symptomatic of a deeper, institutionalized subordination of all life — including human life — to profit." And people aren't talking about this crucial question of valuing profits over life.
  4. "The same economic and political forces that profit from these atrocities also profit from the suppression of truth." And Edwards believes that the role of corporate mass media and politicians is to keep us from digging up the truth. "It only takes a moment of honest reflection to realize that when a world is being ravaged by corporations, a corporate media system is the last place to look for truth."
And then he gets so busy explaining these four that he forgets to give the fifth! But I've chosen one from the rest of this brilliant interview:
5. "It's a great kindness to be honest." In other words, telling the truth, when the money powers want to control what we know and believe, is a gift.
I would add that sometimes it's an unwelcome gift. Many people are so ensnared in the propaganda that they don't want to hear the truth, because it makes them uncomfortable. Therefore you make them uncomfortable when you speak the truth. So truth telling can be a lonely place. Edwards suggests that there is "a certain bliss that comes from telling the truth," but it's an inner bliss, an I-can-sleep-at-night-and-look-myself-in-the-mirror sort of bliss.

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?