As a supporter of MoveOn, I was sorry to read in the March 16 “Noted” that MoveOn is not opposing the invasion of Afghanistan. If antiwar Nation readers want an effective voice that is organizing against all our immoral wars, they should explore the Friends Committee on National Legislation (fcnl.org), which has lobbied for peace and justice since 1943.
It’s Global, It’s Green, It’s Good
Congrats to Mark Hertsgaard. His “A Global Green Deal” [March 16] kept me in suspense, but just as I was becoming convinced that he, too, was going to wimp out, there it was: “As a moral and practical matter, the rich will have to help pay for this shift; otherwise it will not happen.”
Please note that this coming December in Copenhagen, we will see the most important climate meeting since the 1997 conference in Kyoto. And the “Who pays?” question is squarely at the center of the Copenhagen agenda. Here’s the elevator version: the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the master treaty that structures the global climate negotiations, says that nations must act “in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and their social and economic conditions.” We signed the UNFCCC, and we ratified these words, and given that they’re among the most important in the history of international law, maybe we should take a squint at them and imagine what they might actually mean. Everyone else is!
Executive director, EcoEquity
I was disappointed that Mark Hertsgaard could write so forcefully about the need for a green “revolution” yet be so naïve as to think “a global green deal” is the answer. Like Thomas Friedman, he seems to have the “challenge is opportunity” mindset that innovation and market opportunities can rescue the climate. It is not the climate that needs to be rescued but humankind. (The planet and its abundance of adaptive microbes will get along quite nicely without us, thank you.)
Talk of human civilization “surviving global climate change” is essentially meaningless. As Slavoj Zizek points out in In Defense of Lost Causes, “We are dealing with what, in Rumsfeldian epistemology, one would call the ‘unknown unknowns’: we not only do not know where the tipping point is, we do not even know exactly what we do not know.” He describes how Jean-Pierre Dupuy would confront the coming ecological catastrophe: “We should first perceive it as our fate, as unavoidable, and then, projecting ourself into it, adopting its standpoint, we should retroactively insert into its past (the past of the future) counterfactual possibilities: we have to accept that, at the level of possibilities, our future is doomed, that the catastrophe will take place, it is our destiny–and then, against the background of this acceptance, we should mobilize ourselves to perform the act that will change destiny itself and thereby insert a new possibility into the past.”