Tuesday, November 28, 2023


After the demise of the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009 (COP 15) this column boldly resolved to advocate for global civil obedience to address the dangerously accelerating change in our biosphere, including climate change. We believed then, and still believe now, that the highly politicized approach and unambitious methodology of the global status quo is grossly inadequate to help arrest humanity’s ecocidal mission! After ten years of procrastinating, the global sheeple (human mass), particularly the youth, has finally started to take matters in its own hands. The youth has initiated various lawsuits against those in power bent on pushing the existing shortsighted/unsustainable narrative on collective humanity. ‘Extension Rebellion’ is the name they have given the movement!
Had robust civil disobedience started ten years ago, we would have made some headway in alleviating the protracted problems by now. By civil disobedience, it is generally meant the peaceful refusal to accept all morally repugnant decrees and narratives propagated by the ruling entrenched interests. Boycotting many of the products and services that clearly contribute to the worsening of our environment can be construed as acts of civil disobedience. Mahatma Gandhi’s peaceful resistance against the South African regime and the British colonial rule (India) can serve as template for vigorous actions. Even those in ivory towers who quietly pursue their engagement with lofty ideas and ideals are facing persecution, literally. As soon as these knowledgeable start to speak out, grants promptly dry up. When ‘critical’ scientists (no more redundant) try to forcefully warn us about our unsustainable trajectories, the response from the status quo is to ostracize and out rightly incriminate the messengers, so to speak. Amongst these entities, big oil remains one of the major culprits. The tentacles of big oil reach the very soil from which we derive our sustenance. The petro agriculture that flourished in the last one hundred years, very much depend on oil and its derivatives, like chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides!
The Mozambique typhoon, which killed over 300 people in Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa, came as a surprise to many. Typhoons have not been common in this part of the world., From the look of things it might not remain rare any longer. The so-called ‘once in a century phenomenon’ are becoming ‘once in a decade’ happenstances. Climate change is by no means a straight line or linear phenomenon. In fact, it is one of the non-linear occurrences that is relatively easy to understand. Remember the story about the butterfly’s fluttering that caused the Florida hurricane? What this illustrates is a simple non-linear manifestation. Imagine trying to trace back the trajectory of the hurricane, starting from the very eye of it! Reversing the phenomenon will be confronted with infinitely many uncountable possible outcomes. Amongst these, only one yields the exact same hurricane. Other paths might yield other complex occurrences, which we might not even see, let alone understand! Nature is just too complex for our cognitive capacity, but we just go on bulldozing it whenever and wherever we can, with impunity!
‘The greatest challenge we face is a philosophical one: understanding that this civilization is already dead. The sooner we confront our situation and realize that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves, the sooner we can get down to the difficult task of adapting, with mortal humility, to our new reality.’
Roy Scranton, Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization. “The ‘social contract’ has been broken [and] it is therefore not only our right but our moral duty to bypass the government’s inaction and flagrant dereliction of duty and to rebel to defend life itself.” Extinction Rebellion Organizer, Gail Bradbrook. Good Day!


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