How Sex, Politics, Money and Religion are Killing Planet Earth

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Civil Disobedience is the American Way – Time to get up off our butts and take action

The American population has been lulled into a trance-like state. Once upon a time, we were a nation of activists. Our founding fathers were anarchists of the highest order. But then, they didn't have television or internet or iPhones, only a sense of righteousness and purpose that makes the current American apathy all the more pathetic. We don’t deserve the country they made for us.

Our founding fathers bequeathed us a United States with a legislative infrastructure specifically designed to protect citizens from the manipulations of powerful, private interests, a government, elected by the citizens and operating solely by the consent of the people. And by people, I am pretty sure they meant flesh and blood individuals, not corporations.

Over the years, the heirs to this great country have allowed the miracle of personal liberty that was the United States to become hijacked by the same types of powerful entities our founding fathers were explicitly trying to remove from the legislative process. Free market capitalists have twisted the law to extend rights intended exclusively for humans to corporate entities. A right to personal liberty has been distorted into a right to exploit resources and labor without regulation. Where does personal liberty end? I would submit that it stops at the door where another’s personal liberty begins. And in this regard, corporate pillagers have run riot across the liberties of the global human population and the living earth.

The multimillion dollar campaign by the fossil fuel industry to deliberately manufacture doubt about global climate change highlights the blatant self interest and indifference towards potentially catastrophic consequences perpetrated by the fossil fuel industry. When viewed objectively into the future, this campaign of misinformation may be seen as the most heinous crime against humanity and the rest of the living biosphere in the history of our species. Life on earth now finds itself pitted against the largest and most powerful industry in history.

To make matters worse, a corporate-owned media muddies the informational waters with the faux science they have been spoon-fed by the fossil fuel industry. As news budgets are cut across the board, true investigative journalism has become a relic of the past. The modern news media is a farce, an entertainment entity that no longer provides factual information as a primary responsibility.  Yet the American people have not yet adjusted to this new reality and many still believe that the false dichotomy presented in the mainstream media, showing the science behind anthropogenic climate change as questionable, is an accurate representation of reality.

Our government, supposedly of, for and by the people is complicit in the crimes. The Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling is merely the capstone on a degraded and increasingly illegitimate political system that now blatantly serves the corporate interests that sponsor it. This is true now no matter which political party is in power. The current impotence of government to effect meaningful changes to the corporate hegemony perfectly illustrates this.

The government of the United States and the powerful fossil fuel interests it now represents will not effect meaningful climate change policy, as both the Bush and Obama Administrations have now proved unwilling and ineffective in this regard. While Bush’s blatant disregard for the environment was obvious, Obama’s activities have been more insidious. While our President is very good at paying lip service, when real action is needed, at Copenhagen for instance, Obama’s tendency is to bow to the forces of the status quo. Apparently, voting for a new party leadership makes no difference at all in the United States of America.

It’s time to show our government who they are supposed to be working for. From August 20th until September 3rd, concerned citizens are meeting in Washington D.C. in what will hopefully become a historic act of civil disobedience. It turns out that President Obama has the exclusive authority to sign off on the Keystone XL pipeline to the Canadian tar sands. President Obama alone will decide the fate of the pipeline that has been described by NASA climate guru James Hansen as “essentially game over for climate.” It will be time for President Obama to demonstrate whether he is the pro-environment President he presented himself as during his campaign or whether he is just another corporate lap dog. The organized protests that will take place on the above dates are intended to inform the President of the people’s opinion on the subject, lest he harbor any doubt. We want a decent planet to live on.

Attendees can come for the entire two weeks or just for a day or two. The reality of the corporate control of government can be daunting. Average people feel like they have no power to effect change. Nothing could be further from the truth. The recent uprisings in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia should give us all hope and insight. Our government will not change unless we force it to. There are few opportunities in the modern era to alter the course of history. This is one of them.

Sign up to be part of history at If you plan to attend, post a comment here, and hopefully we will be able to meet up in Washington


  1. I really enjoy reading your blog, but you must change the color of your typeface to anything but YELLOW. YIKE! Don't you look at your own page?

  2. I like the yellow, very much. Such is the way of opinions, I guess.

    killingMother, speaking of opinions, I have one. That is, that the American Indians have never experienced the wonderful democracy that is the founding fathers. What shall I say?

    That killingMother still believes in the "SYSTEM"?

  3. DiAnne, I don't get yellow. I get green and gray. I will have to look into that.

  4. tsisageya, you are correct as usual. Tis true America's First People have really been royally screwed. The least we can do now is take care of the land we stole from them, although we have done a pretty sorry job of that too. I should be like Derrick Jensen and say that the only solution is just to bring down the whole system, but I remain a reluctant optimist. I will engage in acts of civil disobedience and then decide where to go from there.

  5. Well, killingMother, isn't it all so special? FYI, I am not an optimist---reluctant, or otherwise.

    "take care of the land"? How's that been working out for you?

  6. Oh gosh.

  7. Great idea. Let's change time.

  8. tsisageya, It's too bad we can't turn back time, but if the present is anything to go by, it wouldn't change anything anyway. The history of Western civilization is a history of those with military power and immunological advantage exploiting nature and everyone else. Until it implodes on itself, nothing is likely to change.

  9. One of the most powerful and truthful posts I have read anywhere. Please stand strong for those of us unable to attend, for we are many. Peace be with you my sister.

  10. killingMother, are you aware of the fact that the wikipedia entry for Derrick Jensen says that one of his heroes is the UNABOMBER?

    If so, is it true? Are these your plans?

    If so. I don't like it and I say NO.

    Forgive me if I jump to conclusions or speak out of turn.

  11. Tis true America's First People have really been royally screwed

    KillingMother, seriously?

  12. I suddenly feel very if I've been seduced and then raped.

    Well, it won't be the first time, unfortunately.

  13. Concernicus. Thanks for your support! I am having mixed feelings about soiling my clean record, but I think it's a worthy cause. I don't think the criminal record will interfere with my profession as an environmental scientist anyway:)You will be there in spirit.

  14. tsisageya, I am surprised someone as well-educated as Derrick Jensen lists the Unabomber as one of his heroes. Be careful about what you read on Wikipedia. As anyone can contribute, it is possible and probable that many establishment individuals have an interest in undermining his credibility.

    And don't worry. My aim is "civil" disobedience. I have no stomach or respect for violence, as violence is (IMHO) the ultimate cause of all our planetary woes.

    re: the First People, what can I say? I can officially claim Mohawk heritage due to the atrocities of Western Civilization (I also have some African blood, although you would never guess these things from looking at the dominance of my European genes). If only we could turn back time...but we can't. If only we could embrace the values of the cultures that respect this earth...but we don't. The dominant culture that rapes the earth and its people will be the ultimate undoing.

  15. Hi Killing Mother, I will be arriving in DC 9/30 staying until Friday - although I just saw there will be a big rally on Saturday, so I might change my train ticket if it doesn't cost too much.

    By chance I happened to read up on the Unabomber this week, I had never paid much attention to him since he was violent I figured he was just a crazy. Well, he probably was (is) but it was quite unsettling to discover that I share much of his disgust with our society. What made him deranged is the unstoppable destruction of the earth.

    Just sayin'

  16. Hi Gail! It looks as if we are just going to miss each other in Washington. I am headed up on the 25th. I too am sorry about missing the big rally on Saturday, but I have other commitments at the end of the week, oh well. It should be fun. I have never been arrested before, so I am looking forward to a new experience.

    re: the unabomber, he was crazy, but the messenger and the message are two different things. Ad hominem fallacies are unfortunately all too common in our discourse on such topics.

    Have fun in Washington!

  17. Looks like the Obama administration gave the green light on the pipeline. It's not the final approval, but may as well be ...

    I have no one to vote for in come next November for the Presidential election. So depressing.

  18. Anonymous, I read recently a government report that indicates current global consumption patterns and production are going to lead to a 41% shortfall of US demand for crude by 2020. Given this scenario, Obama had two choices. He could have started a green energy revolution by mandating energy efficiency and taking the subsidies to the oil, gas and coal industries to revamp the United States into a clean energy company. He didn't do this, which leaves only one option, building the pipeline to Canada's tar sands and delaying the inevitable till it is someone else's problem. No hope for change...