Progressive Christian Social Action
Beyond the Spectacles
As the daily spectacles of the Trump Administration enthrall the public, Republicans continue to push their unjust and oppressive agenda. For one thing, they are trying to repeal laws that keep the Internet free and accessible. Today I made calls as part of the Internet-Wide Day of Net Neutrality, which the organizers have made very easy to do.
The shameful policies of the Trump Administration (and the Republicans) were apparent at the recent G-20 meetings, and were especially obvious in the sidelining of the U.S. president in his refusal to engage with world leaders on the issue of climate change. Still, some have found a silver lining in that cloud of U.S. non-participation. Because the United States has regularly blocked strong and binding climate legislation, the rest of the global community may be able to craft a stronger position than would have been possible otherwise. The G-20 events highlight not only the disaster of the presidency of Donald Trump, but of the problems inherent in U.S.-style politics, captured by corporations, dark money, and ideologically-driven special interests, especially the Religious Right. (See Paris, Trump, and the Religious Right.)
Meanwhile, heat records are (again) breaking and wildfires are blazing throughout the Western United States. And now we’ve gotten word that a trillion-ton iceberg has broken off (“calved”) from the Larsen Ice Shelf; it is so big that maps of Antarctica will need to be redrawn. There are calls to name it the “ExxonKnew” Iceberg, since internal studies show that Exxon-Mobil has known that their products would cause climate change for decades, even while they created a massive public relations establishment promoting climate change denial. And ironically, Rex Tillerson was CEO of Exxon-Mobil from 2006 until 2016, before he was appointed to the prominent position of U.S. Secretary of State.
My new book, Love in a Time of Climate Change, addresses the ideology and mechanisms that underlie the present U.S. and global system, leading to problems that are illustrated by, but also go far beyond, the ongoing shocks of the (hopefully short-lived) Trump presidency, and which create a momentum that not only harms people’s lives but endangers life on earth. For example, preview Corporate Influences on Climate Policy in “Chapter 10, Reason: Climate Justice and Common Sense.” The following call to action is also an excerpt from that chapter:
“Whatever we do, it is important to keep in mind that we are not acting in isolation, but contributing to the larger movement for climate justice. We are doing our small part to awaken people to what is at stake and to point in the direction of hope.
“Reason makes clear that building a strong movement to stabilize the climate means working in coalition with justice-oriented groups that have other priorities. By joining with pro-democracy organizations, we help to end corporate domination of government and build a peoples’ democracy. Another natural ally is the peace movement. War is deadly for humans and all life, and the U.S. military is one of the world’s largest consumers of fossil fuels. It also makes sense to work with groups that oppose toxic trade deals like the TPP. Specific groups are listed in the Suggested Reading List at the back of this book. Working together in a broad coalition of groups builds strength in solidarity and makes it possible to influence public policy in areas of trade, economics, racial justice, immigration reform, prison reform, war and peace, and climate justice. It also makes system change more likely.
“The movement for climate justice, together with allies in the broader movement for global justice, embodies faith that “another world is possible.” Together we seek to establish justice and build a global community in which all human lives, local communities, and the natural world are valued for themselves and not for how much wealth they deliver upwards. As we consider God’s call to climate justice, we turn now [In Chapter 11] to the experiences of people living and working on the front lines of climate change.”
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Other blog postings about climate change can be found here.