11 Nov 2012

Occupy Sandy

In my last post I asked "Where Now Occupy?". Well Hurricane Sandy has provided us the answer.
http://interoccupy.net/occupysandy/  Yes, as Mr Eisenstein for one, suggested, they are rolling up their sleeves and getting active. And there's certainly plenty to help with, judging by the pictures coming back from across the pond. But how timely that, after another interminable US presidential election, during which the words "Climate Change" were noticeably absent from the mainstream media, on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as the mouths of the 2 "chosen" candidates, some commentators  are finally having to utter those dangerous words- could Sandy have something to do with us- humans??

And another response that Sandy has generated comes from that growing body of humanity that is getting increasingly angry at the inaction and downright stupidity of our leaders. Many of us I imagine would share the feelings expressed by Reverend Billy http://revbilly.com/podcast
And Rebecca Solnit expresses a similar sense of pent-up anger and frustration http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/10/20121030112045617773.html

But ultimately, despite the anger, frustration and sense of impotence, our default state will continue to be the natural response we have in the face of the suffering of fellow humans, of our animal friends and of the planet.  Thats no doubt what drew me recently to Taunton Magistrates Court in moral support of one of several campaigners arrested for cutting through the perimeter fence of Hinkley power station. Faced with the bleak forces of our legal system, it brings into sharp perspective the price that protesters at the sharp end of the movement, pay for their actions.

And the ubiquity of these scenarios is plain for all to see. The peasant's movement, La Via Campesina  http://viacampesina.org/en/, presents ample evidence of the struggle of common people against the forces of globalisation. Typical of these campaigns is the ongoing fight of local people in Rosia Montana, Transylvania, Romania. http://www.rosiamontana.org/

So, whether its Occupy Wall St, the campaign  against Hinkley C or the people of Rosia Montana, we all share a common goal- to save our villages, our environment, our world from the depradations of those motivated more by greed than they are by their innate humanity.

29 Aug 2012

Co-operation is better than Competition

This is the text of our recent letter to the Western Morning News:

One of the things that most concerned us about the recent Olympics was the obsession with gold medals and winners. Of the 10,500 Olympic athletes, only about 1000 actually won medals of any type. Thus over 90% of the competitors became “losers”. Whatever happened to the Olympic spirit where participation is paramount? The founder of the International Olympic Committee; Baron Pierre de Coubertin believed that "The important thing in life is not to triumph, but to take part".

 But this obsession with competing to win has become the dictum of modern industrial civilisation and the recent Games were enlisted to emphasise this. Competitiveness has replaced cooperation, a worrying trend that starts with school and now pervades all strata of society. Competitiveness is an expression of the power of self above the common good. It pitches human vs. human, and – even worse – human vs. nature. It underlies the growing gap between rich and poor. It is the guiding principle of consumer capitalism, which is driving the inexorable exploitation of limited natural resources. And it explains why governments are unable to negotiate an international climate treaty.

We recognise that competitiveness is a part of our human nature, but so is co-operation. We could choose to emphasise the latter more than the former. Society as a whole would then be the winner rather than the 1% that currently have that privilege. This is not an impossible dream, but an ideal that many of us believe is truly possible. We might then have a chance of building that “Big Society” which is proving so elusive given our present priorities.

Your sincerely
Phil Foggitt, Susan Hannis, Laurence Shelley, Mozz Spurway.
Members of Devon Dark Mountain