Open thread for night owls: Climate action again? Yes. This isn't a flash-in-the-pan uprising

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Diane Stuart at Common Dreams writes—Will You Rise Up for Climate Justice Next Week? Don’t Let Fatalism and Cynicism Hold You Back:

April 15 will initiate an international week of rebellion led by the UK’s Extinction Rebellion, part of a global wave of movements demanding governments take bold action on climate change. Part of this wave is the youth movement Fridays for Future, which continues to hold weekly school strikes with an impressive global turnout on March 15. In the US, the youth-led Sunrise Movement is actively working to gain support for the Green New Deal. And Extinction Rebellion has continued to garner widespread attention through disruptions and creative stunts that put a wrench in the current system.

This momentum to address climate change is unprecedented and impressive. But given that most of us deeply care about climate change, shouldn’t there be more people of all ages participating? Recent polls in the US and in the UK show that about two thirds of all citizens are very concerned about climate change. In addition, citizens want government to take meaningful action. Given that governments are not representing the majority of their citizens and are instead leading us toward climate catastrophe, why aren’t more people rising up to demand meaningful climate policy?

As a social scientist, I have been looking into how social theory can help answer this question. In January, Erik Olin Wright, a renowned sociologist who studied social transformation passed away. His work represents a valuable and timely contribution, not only for scholars, but for all of us trying to understand how societies can change for the better. In his book, Envisioning Real Utopias, Wright presents a detailed theory of social transformation. Applying his work to current trends, we see that decades of growing inequality and a failure to mitigate climate change have created tensions and openings for change, movements are now increasingly demanding change, and we may be standing at the precipice of transformation. Because mitigation demands “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society,” climate change could be a critical catalyst for a transition to a more just society. [...]

... as Wright states, the only way to tell if change will occur is to actively work to make it happen. Now is the time to reject the voices of fatalism and cynicism and to get involved and stay involved.

As Gandhi put it, “the future depends on what you do today.” In the case of climate change, what you do today could not only help save the planet, but further a transition to a better society. A window for positive change could be opened if we only try. And we already have the answers. Those studying and practicing economic democracy and degrowth are ready to teach us how to create a more just and sustainable world. But first we have to rise up and demand change.

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“And in that moment, I was hit with the realization that this delicate layer of atmosphere is all that protects every living thing on Earth from perishing in the harshness of space.” ~~Ron Garan, The Orbital Perspective: Lessons in Seeing the Big Picture from a Journey of 71 Million Miles, 2015

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— Irreverent Testimony (@IrreverentDuo) April 12, 2019

BLAST FROM THE PAST

On this date at Daily Kos in 2006—Gallup: 63% Believe Bush Acted Illegally Or Unethically:

A Gallup poll out today finds that over 6 in 10 Americans are "critical" of Bush's role in the Plame controversy. Of those polled, 21% believe he did something illegal, 42% think he acted unethically, while 28% say he did nothing wrong.

Over half of respondents are paying attention to the scandal, with 25% following the issue "very closely" and 39% following it "somewhat closely." According to the poll, the closer someone follows the scandal, the more likely they are to believe the President acted illegally, not just unethically.

The party split is not surprising; though the fact that 70% of independents think Bush did something wrong when he selectively leaked intelligence for political gain doesn't bode well for the RNC's "W-Brand" election strategy.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: BREAKING: First picture of black hole reveals large, black void. Greg Dworkin & Armando discuss Assange arrest; how Barr shocked pundits by doing what we said he would. Israel, UK wrestle with political collapse. Trump's sister retires to duck tax probe.

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