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#Occupy Climate Change

The impossible is suddenly possible.

In the grand scheme of things, capitalism is a blip. A flicker on the historical radar and a rather dangerous planetary-scale experiment whose results are easy to guess and hard to ignore. When you have a giant machine pushing for infinite and perpetual growth in a world with finite resources, you know it's not going to end well. Yet right now, for the average citizen of the West, a world without the hallmarks of capitalism – without Wall Street, the rat race, shopping malls, economic growth, debt and competitive consumerism – is almost impossible to imagine. The very thought of a consumer-free world opens up such a void, such a unknowingness that it scares the bejesus out of us.

Throughout history, however, there have been people willing to place themselves in that white void and be petrified, even liberated by change. The Arab Spring, which has seen ordinary citizens revolt against mighty dictatorships, is the most recent example of that human ability. And for that reason, the Arab Spring gives us hope. Hope that the world will be able to save itself from the system that has pushed the earth and its resources to the brink. That an alternative will not only be imagined but embraced in the name of new possibilities and freedoms.

The Arab Spring also shows that although we can't imagine how it will happen or where the political and personal courage will come from, it will surprise us all the more. Despite what you may have heard by now, no one saw the Arab Spring coming. Not the political commentators, not the average person on the street and definitely not the Arab 'leaders' and 'presidents.' It came completely out of the blue, after years of complacency and apathy. Even those who first took to the streets could not have realized the significance of their actions. But once they were there, together, on Tahrir Square and at Benghazi, they didn't go home – they wanted change now and more desperately than ever.

Gaddafi, who had ruled Libya for 40 years – almost as long as we have known what we need to do to stop climate change – was forced into hiding by rebels who decided that 40years was 40 years too many. For many Libyans before the revolt, the prospect of a Gadaffi-free Libya was unimaginable. Yet Gadaffi is gone now and we are given another hint that one day – when Capitalism is least expecting it – people will say that the destruction of the planet in exchange for constant economic growth is a price too high to pay. It gives us a glimmer that one day capitalism will be gone too, replaced by a new world system that places the value of our existence and the world's existence before a quick buck.

Some say that capitalism is too big to fail, that there are too many people invested in its survival. But as we discover that the survival of capitalism means the destruction of the planet, we grow hopeful of our ability to stop, look around and step into the void.

Arwa Aburawa is editor at GreenProphet.com, the leading site on green news from the Middle East. She has also written on environmental issues for The Guardian, Al Jazeera English, Electronic Intifada and The Big Issue North. Her monthly green column can be found at SISTERS magazine.

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106 comments on the article “#Occupy Climate Change”

Displaying 31 - 40 of 106

Page 4 of 11

Anonymous

Ich finde OWS richtig gut. Es passt zur heutigen Zeit, Gedanken zu verändern. Im Qualtätsmanagement ist eine 1%ige Verbesserung schon ein Weg zum Besseren. We have to go out of The train bevor the track ends. What we are doing after leaving the train is not yet written. But by all means it is much better leaving the train bevor the train goes with full speed in the track end. There are only two possibilities. Either sitting in the train and waiting for the Track end or leaving the train asap.

Anonymous

Ich finde OWS richtig gut. Es passt zur heutigen Zeit, Gedanken zu verändern. Im Qualtätsmanagement ist eine 1%ige Verbesserung schon ein Weg zum Besseren. We have to go out of The train bevor the track ends. What we are doing after leaving the train is not yet written. But by all means it is much better leaving the train bevor the train goes with full speed in the track end. There are only two possibilities. Either sitting in the train and waiting for the Track end or leaving the train asap.

Anonymous

This is like saying attending a think tank is useless because it doesn't begin with a solution. Occupy Wall Street is not a solution, it is a method for finding solutions. And the first step to finding solutions is wanting a solution. That desire will come from admitting that our current system is not rational. We as a country need to accept the harsh truth that our current system - the intertwined financial, economic, and political world - are stalled. With that confession behind us, we will start building something better.

Don't criticize those who are pointing out the problem, criticize those who either don't admit we have one or don't believe we can build a better world. They are the ones blocking innovation and solution building, ideals that one could argue are American principles.

I agree we need to offer solutions. But consider how new this movement is. And consider the fact that we can, through sympathy, be inspired by the disillusionment of our fellow Americans Occupiers in order to become galvanized toward finding solutions. A concept for you to consider.

We are capable of innovation and solutions (not utopia, obviously.) But we have to agree that we can do better. And we will if people like me and you make a contribution. OWS just might be the opportunity and means for you to offer some solutions of your own. A conversation is happening, if its lacking something, add to it out of a desire to do good.

Anonymous

This is like saying attending a think tank is useless because it doesn't begin with a solution. Occupy Wall Street is not a solution, it is a method for finding solutions. And the first step to finding solutions is wanting a solution. That desire will come from admitting that our current system is not rational. We as a country need to accept the harsh truth that our current system - the intertwined financial, economic, and political world - are stalled. With that confession behind us, we will start building something better.

Don't criticize those who are pointing out the problem, criticize those who either don't admit we have one or don't believe we can build a better world. They are the ones blocking innovation and solution building, ideals that one could argue are American principles.

I agree we need to offer solutions. But consider how new this movement is. And consider the fact that we can, through sympathy, be inspired by the disillusionment of our fellow Americans Occupiers in order to become galvanized toward finding solutions. A concept for you to consider.

We are capable of innovation and solutions (not utopia, obviously.) But we have to agree that we can do better. And we will if people like me and you make a contribution. OWS just might be the opportunity and means for you to offer some solutions of your own. A conversation is happening, if its lacking something, add to it out of a desire to do good.

Anonymous

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Occupy everything! The climate is ours! Be free with the birdies and the duckies and my cocka cocka! East Anglia researchers lied, but who cares! Stop climate change NOW! It's the Arab Climate Spring Change! YESSSS! members of the IPCC admitted bending research to fit a political aim, but it's OK! MAN-MADE Climate change is INCONTROVERTIBLE! Our minds are made up! There is no other answer! Why? OCCUPY! Why accept or even ponder arguments to the contrary? Al Gore says it's all BULLSHIT! So it's true! And we can occupy the air and the fish and the sun and shut down all those who disagree with us! Remember that the WORLD IS FLAT - no really, the SCIENCE is INCONTROVERTIBLE! So don;t ask questions and let's shut down the oil and gas and coal industries and destroy all cars and planes and trains with combustion engines and spend public money to create a NEW WAY! Throug the tunnel, over there, see it! Oh it's PRRREEETTTYYYY!

Anonymous

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Occupy everything! The climate is ours! Be free with the birdies and the duckies and my cocka cocka! East Anglia researchers lied, but who cares! Stop climate change NOW! It's the Arab Climate Spring Change! YESSSS! members of the IPCC admitted bending research to fit a political aim, but it's OK! MAN-MADE Climate change is INCONTROVERTIBLE! Our minds are made up! There is no other answer! Why? OCCUPY! Why accept or even ponder arguments to the contrary? Al Gore says it's all BULLSHIT! So it's true! And we can occupy the air and the fish and the sun and shut down all those who disagree with us! Remember that the WORLD IS FLAT - no really, the SCIENCE is INCONTROVERTIBLE! So don;t ask questions and let's shut down the oil and gas and coal industries and destroy all cars and planes and trains with combustion engines and spend public money to create a NEW WAY! Throug the tunnel, over there, see it! Oh it's PRRREEETTTYYYY!

Anonymous

It is simple. You should really understand. If the concentration and build-up of gases in the athmosphere changes, it does have an affect on the climate. Which one in detail is hard to predict. We cannot even predict the weather next week. But human activity does change the concentraion and build-up of gases in the athmosphere. This is mere logic and physics. Just use your brain once.

Now maybe you want to contribute something more productive next time. I would be delighted.

Anonymous

It is simple. You should really understand. If the concentration and build-up of gases in the athmosphere changes, it does have an affect on the climate. Which one in detail is hard to predict. We cannot even predict the weather next week. But human activity does change the concentraion and build-up of gases in the athmosphere. This is mere logic and physics. Just use your brain once.

Now maybe you want to contribute something more productive next time. I would be delighted.

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