Why Ecological Revolution?

It is now universally recognized within science that humanity is confronting the prospect — if we do not soon change course — of a planetary ecological collapse. Not only is the global ecological crisis becoming more and more severe, with the time in which to address it fast running out, but the dominant environmental strategies are also forms of denial, demonstrably doomed to fail, judging by their own limited objectives. This tragic failure, I will argue, can be attributed to the refusal of the powers that be to address the roots of the ecological problem in capitalist production and the resulting necessity of ecological and social revolution.

The term “crisis,” attached to the global ecological problem, although unavoidable, is somewhat misleading, given its dominant economic associations. Since 2008, we have been living through a world economic crisis — the worst economic downturn since the 1930s. This has been a source of untold suffering for hundreds of millions, indeed billions, of people. But insofar as it is related to the business cycle and not to long-term factors, expectations are that it is temporary and will end, to be followed by a period of economic recovery and growth — until the advent of the next crisis. Capitalism is, in this sense, a crisis-ridden, cyclical economic system. Even if we were to go further, to conclude that the present crisis of accumulation is part of a long-term economic stagnation of the system — that is, a slowdown of the trend-rate of growth beyond the mere business cycle — we would still see this as a partial, historically limited calamity, raising, at most, the question of the future of the present system of production.1

When we speak today of the world ecological crisis, however, we are referring to something that could turn out to be final, i.e., there is a high probability, if we do not quickly change course, of a terminal crisis — a death of the whole anthropocene, the period of human dominance of the planet. Human actions are generating environmental changes that threaten the extermination of most species on the planet, along with civilization, and conceivably our own species as well.

What makes the current ecological situation so serious is that climate change, arising from human-generated increases in greenhouse gas emissions, is not occurring gradually and in a linear process, but is undergoing a dangerous acceleration, pointing to sudden shifts in the state of the earth system. We can therefore speak, to quote James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and the world’s most famous climate scientist, of “tipping points…fed by amplifying feedbacks.”2 Four amplifying feedbacks are significant at present: (1) rapid melting of arctic sea ice, with the resulting reduction of the earth’s albedo (reflection of solar radiation) due to the replacement of bright, reflective ice with darker blue sea water, leading to greater absorption of solar energy and increasing global average temperatures; (2) melting of the frozen tundra in northern regions, releasing methane (a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide) trapped beneath the surface, causing accelerated warming; (3) recent indications that there has been a drop in the efficiency of the carbon absorption of the world’s oceans since the 1980s, and particularly since 2000, due to growing ocean acidification (from past carbon absorption), resulting in faster carbon build-up in the atmosphere and enhanced warming; (4) extinction of species due to changing climate zones, leading to the collapse of ecosystems dependent on these species, and the death of still more species.3 Continue reading

Disobedience Makes History

The Clown Army is surrounded, Gleneagles G8 protests, Scotland 2005 Photo: © Ian Teh

Led by the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination
Saturday 23 January 2010, 10.30–17.30
Saturday 30 January 2010, 10.30–17.30

In 1989 thousands of citizens defied the law and brought down the authoritarian regimes that were already crumbling under economic burdens across Eastern Europe.  Many of the seeds of these revolutions were planted by artists and subcultures who devised forms of civil disobedience and opened up a space for dissent.

Twenty years later we are in the midst of an unprecedented economic and ecological crisis not unlike that which swept across the east in 1989 and yet voices of dissent are being increasingly repressed. There has never been a more urgent time to develop new forms of creative disobedience and artists have the skills and imagination to do this. This workshop will explore the history and practice of creative disobedience and will culminate in a co-created intervention. No arts or activism experience necessary.

Tate Modern  Level 7 East Room
£50 (£35 concessions), booking recommended
Price includes refreshments
For tickets book online
or call 020 7887 8888.

Book tickets online

Source: http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/eventseducation/coursesworkshops/20641.htm

The Crisis of Credit Visualized

By the author: “The goal of giving form to a complex situation like the credit crisis is to quickly supply the essence of the situation to those unfamiliar and uninitiated. This project was completed as part of my thesis work in the Media Design Program, a graduate studio at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. For more on my broader thesis work exploring the use of new media to make sense of a increasingly complex world.”

See http://www.crisisofcredit.com

To watch this short animation in HD click here http://www.vimeo.com/3261363

How To Watch Free Live Footy On The Internet

Step 1. Cancel your SKY subscription. 700 channels of absolute crap. You know as well as I do that you never watch the films or much else for that matter. 9 times out of ten you end up watching the terrestrial channels anyway. Time to revert to freeview and think about the money you are saving. See how to cancel your SKY contract

Step 2. Make sure you have a good internet connection and a pc at home. Anything less than broadband will make it very difficult for you to enjoy watching the live streams of the games that are available. If you dont have an internet connection at home dont worry, you can get online broadband for as little as £4 a month now days. For best deals see http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/phones/cheap-broadband

Step 3. Here we go! Time to get all your favourite footie games for free live on your pc. Using the following links on match days you should be able to get the footie games you are looking for, all for the price of your internet connection with your internet service provider.  Basically peanuts!

Think about the money you will save and the joy that you will get from watching Saturday afternoon matches live  and for FREE!

Recommended Free Footie Links:

  1. http://www.iraqgoals.net/
  2. http://livefooty.doctor-serv.com/
  3. http://www.justin.tv/directory?category=sports
  4. http://www.ustream.tv/discovery/live/sports-football
  5. http://www.ilemi.com/
  6. http://www.liveonlinefooty.com/

These are not the only websites out there that are providing free streams of the football matches but are a few that can be used to enjoy access on match days. If anyone out there has any other good links that they could recommend please post below under comments. All links provided will help to make this a valuable source for footie fans looking for their favourite match ups on the weekend.

Not only that but these websites can also help you to bypass the ridiculously priced box office pay per view sky promotions where they basically take advantage again of the punters at home. You can also access PPV boxing, tennis and all other sports if you know where to look.

Happy surfing and remember to leave feedback and new sites for others to enjoy in comments. Beat the system and boycott Murdoch’s media monopoly.

Best wishes

Tio

Anti-Democratic Nature Of US Capitalism Is Being Exposed

By Noam Chomsky

THE SIMULTANEOUS unfolding of the US presidential campaign and unraveling of the financial markets presents one of those occasions where the political and economic systems starkly reveal their nature.

Passion about the campaign may not be universally shared but almost everybody can feel the anxiety from the foreclosure of a million homes, and concerns about jobs, savings and healthcare at risk.

The initial Bush proposals to deal with the crisis so reeked of totalitarianism that they were quickly modified. Under intense lobbyist pressure, they were reshaped as “a clear win for the largest institutions in the system . . . a way of dumping assets without having to fail or close”, as described by James Rickards, who negotiated the federal bailout for the hedge fund Long Term Capital Management in 1998, reminding us that we are treading familiar turf. Continue reading

How to Fix the Wall Street Mess

March on Wall Street

Demonstration on Wall Street

The richest 400 Americans — that’s right, just four hundred people — own MORE than the bottom 150 million Americans combined. 400 rich Americans have got more stashed away than half the entire country! Their combined net worth is $1.6 trillion. During the eight years of the Bush Administration, their wealth has increased by nearly $700 billion — the same amount that they are now demanding we give to them for the “bailout.” Why don’t they just spend the money they made under Bush to bail themselves out? They’d still have nearly a trillion dollars left over to spread amongst themselves!

Of course, they are not going to do that — at least not voluntarily. George W. Bush was handed a $127 billion surplus when Bill Clinton left office. Because that money was OUR money and not his, he did what the rich prefer to do — spend it and never look back. Now we have a $9.5 trillion debt. Why on earth would we even think of giving these robber barons any more of our money? Continue reading