Sunday cheerfulness for #Manchester; #Snowden, #climate, #food #GCHQ & #lemmings

There’s a chap called Graham Wayne who has persistently and consistently been writing excellent stuff on all aspects of climate change (science, policy, denial, etc).
His latest piece, “What connects Edward Snowden, climate change, GCHQ and lemmings?” is very fine, and very depressing. Excerpts below, but you really should read the whole thing.

Climate change – which I write about for the most part – is coming to a front room near you at a speed nobody reckoned with, and nobody knows how to stop it. The first article I wrote for the Guardian was about civil liberties, after I realised that when threatened, any government will seek to enforce totalitarian, blanket restrictions on the public, their only counter to threats they cannot properly assess, understand or address. The technology of the digital world is a dream come true for the government; the intelligence services, while constantly playing catch-up, do understand the risks, just as the criminal fraternity are slowly learning about it all….

Climate change (remember that?) is going to unhinge society. If you read the Pentagon or Joint Chief’s assessments, civil disorder on a global stage is one of the key threats they believe they will have to address in the future. In  successive Quadrennial Defense Reviews, including this latest (PDF), they warn of civil disorder placing demands on armed forces that they are neither trained, equipped or funded for. In other words, their assessment now is of threats not only from abroad, but from within – and they fully expect military involvement in domestic law and order in the near future. The security forces clearly mirror those concerns, given the amount of resources they now employ to spy not just on Russia or China, but on me and you.

They also warn that, at the same time, they will face increasing threats overseas from terrorism, fuelled not only by the hostilities we already comprehend (to some extent) but exacerbated by the privations that climate change is going to visit on us all, predominantly on those who are already so distraught they are prepared to blow themselves up to make their voices heard.(A summary of the Pentagon’s latest report is on DeSmogblog and elsewhere).


Which all serves to remind me that the success of yesterday’s Research Training for Activists event will have to be multiplied and extended several gazillion times if we’re to get anywhere with averting the (?)inevitable.


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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5 Responses to Sunday cheerfulness for #Manchester; #Snowden, #climate, #food #GCHQ & #lemmings

  1. Graham Wayne says:

    Hello MCM; this isn’t the first time you’ve passed on one of my ‘messages’, and I would like to thank for doing so, and for your kind words. I do want to take the most gentle, un-confrontational issue with my article being ‘depressing’. I know it can seem that way, but I can offer this positive observation; we can only find the right answers if first we formulate the right questions. By highlighting what’s wrong (as I see it of course), I hope that this might encourage others to think about what’s right, and how we might go about reaching for something better, more durable, more equitable and…well…just better!

    Each to his own version of what better is – but first, we must understand how we are made to feel powerless, and how our apathy and disinterest can effectively make us co-conspirators in the process of buggering up the world.

    Anyway, all the best – and thanks again….

    Graham Wayne

  2. gille liath says:

    Right now, I only hope we last long enough for society to be unhinged by climate change. I’m more concerned about apathy and lack of interest (not disinterest) in the situation in Ukraine.

    Graham Wayne is right though: continuous and not-entirely-warranted use of ‘apocalyptic language’ only makes people shut down and stop listening. It makes one sound like the street corner preacher shouting, ‘the End is Nigh’.

    • But what if the end is, actually, finally, nigh? What then?

      My answer is to prepare (communally) for the unpreparable. This is not an ethical or practical suggestion though. It says “devil take the hindmost” (globally) and is unrealistic, in that there is no adaptation you can do to a 4 to 6 degree warmer world…

  3. Jenny says:

    Okay here’s an idea …it’s not difficult to go Vegan! If you really are concerned about the environment, that is one thing you personally can actively do now. Just go Vegan! People you know may be curious, and so exponentially the world will go peacefully Vegan, and we will be cutting a third of greenhouse gas emissions from “livestock farming” in the process.

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