Naomi Klein's critique of New York Times magazine climate change edition

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MegB
Naomi Klein's critique of New York Times magazine climate change edition

Quote:

None of the excuses can mask the dereliction of duty. It has always been possible for major media outlets to decide, all on their own, that planetary destabilization is a huge news story, very likely the most consequential of our time. They always had the capacity to harness the skills of their reporters and photographers to connect abstract science to lived extreme weather events. And if they did so consistently, it would lessen the need for journalists to get ahead of politics because the more informed the public is about both the threat and the tangible solutions, the more they push their elected representatives to take bold action.

https://theintercept.com/2018/08/03/climate-change-new-york-times-magazine/

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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..txs megb.

MegB

epaulo13 wrote:

..txs megb.

You're welcome. Thank you for all your work here on babble. I makes a difference.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..from the peice

quote:

This Sunday, the entire New York Times Magazine will be composed of just one article on a single subject: the failure to confront the global climate crisis in the 1980s, a time when the science was settled and the politics seemed to align. Written by Nathaniel Rich, this work of history is filled with insider revelations about roads not taken that, on several occasions, made me swear out loud. And lest there be any doubt that the implications of these decisions will be etched in geologic time, Rich’s words are punctuated with full-page aerial photographs by George Steinmetz that wrenchingly document the rapid unraveling of planetary systems, from the rushing water where Greenland ice used to be to massive algae blooms in China’s third largest lake.

The novella-length piece represents the kind of media commitment that the climate crisis has long deserved but almost never received.

quote:

That’s also why it is so enraging that the piece is spectacularly wrong in its central thesis.

According to Rich, between the years of 1979 and 1989, the basic science of climate change was understood and accepted, the partisan divide over the issue had yet to cleave, the fossil fuel companies hadn’t started their misinformation campaign in earnest, and there was a great deal of global political momentum toward a bold and binding international emissions-reduction agreement. Writing of the key period at the end of the 1980s, Rich says, “The conditions for success could not have been more favorable.”

And yet we blew it — “we” being humans, who apparently are just too shortsighted to safeguard our future. Just in case we missed the point of who and what is to blame for the fact that we are now “losing earth,” Rich’s answer is presented in a full-page callout: “All the facts were known, and nothing stood in our way. Nothing, that is, except ourselves.”

Yep, you and me. Not, according to Rich, the fossil fuel companies who sat in on every major policy meeting described in the piece. (Imagine tobacco executives being repeatedly invited by the U.S. government to come up with policies to ban smoking. When those meetings failed to yield anything substantive, would we conclude that the reason is that humans just want to die? Might we perhaps determine instead that the political system is corrupt and busted?)

This misreading has been pointed out by many climate scientists and historians since the online version of the piece dropped on Wednesday. Others have remarked on the maddening invocations of “human nature” and the use of the royal “we” to describe a screamingly homogenous group of U.S. power players. Throughout Rich’s accounting, we hear nothing from those political leaders in the Global South who were demanding binding action in this key period and after, somehow able to care about future generations despite being human. The voices of women, meanwhile, are almost as rare in Rich’s text as sightings of the endangered ivory-billed woodpecker — and when we ladies do appear, it is mainly as long-suffering wives of tragically heroic men.

All of these flaws have been well covered, so I won’t rehash them here. My focus is the central premise of the piece: that the end of the 1980s presented conditions that “could not have been more favorable” to bold climate action. On the contrary, one could scarcely imagine a more inopportune moment in human evolution for our species to come face to face with the hard truth that the conveniences of modern consumer capitalism were steadily eroding the habitability of the planet. Why? Because the late ’80s was the absolute zenith of the neoliberal crusade, a moment of peak ideological ascendency for the economic and social project that deliberately set out to vilify collective action in the name of liberating “free markets” in every aspect of life. Yet Rich makes no mention of this parallel upheaval in economic and political thought.

NDPP

Annis:  Naomi Klein Bares the Limitations of Her Liberal Environmentalism  

http://rogerannis.com/naomi-klein-bares-the-limitations-of-her-liberal-e...

"...Klein and the ecosocialists take little or no account of the extraordinary danger to a warming world of imperialist war and militarism. Imperialist war and militarism as well as the rise of social and national inequalities are insurmountable barriers to mitigating the worst of the global warming emergency now fully washing over the world. There will be no mitigation of global warming and its harsh consequences if the expansion dynamic of capitalism is not curtailed and eventually eliminated."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Ever since the publication of This Change Everything, ecosocialists have offered much praise for Klein’s misleading ideas in which she posits a social democratic, green capitalism (otherwise known as ‘democratic socialism’ become ‘democratic eco-socialism’) as a path of salvation from the global warming emergency. One reason for this commonality of ideas is that Klein and the ecosocialists take little or no account of the extreme danger to a warming world of imperialist war and militarism. (They also share a dismissal of the urgency of radically reducing all the productivist waste and excess common to present-day capitalism.)

..while ndpp's quote is words by annis it is not one paragraph but bits and pieces from two. the above statement by annis, where he posits klein's politics is something he may very well believe but it is nothing, that i know of, that she has declared. same goes for his attack on ecosocialist who vary in positions around the world.

..in my personal view..klein's politics lie in local decision making. and this is in line with the municipalist movements.  

MegB

epaulo13 wrote:

..txs megb.

You're welcome. And thank you for all that you do. Your contributions do not go unnoticed.

NorthReport

In the scheme of things how long has the capitalist system been around? Obviously we will burn up using that system, so we need some courageous leaders to take on the Wall Street/Fleet Street etc. power brokers. Unfortunately political courage is in short supply. Canada has had Tommy Douglas but can’t really think of anyone else at least in a political leadership position. Outside of politics we presently have David Suzuki leading the fight to stem global warming but his time is limited. Many more need to rise to the occasion both inside and outside politics

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

MegB wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

..txs megb.

You're welcome. And thank you for all that you do. Your contributions do not go unnoticed.

..thank you once more for your kind words meg.  :)  and thank you for all you do as well.

NorthReport
NorthReport
NorthReport
NorthReport

Huge wildfires in Northern B.C. merge into one blaze of 28,000 hectares

https://globalnews.ca/news/4379117/northern-bc-wildfires-merge/

lagatta4

Why on earth is Annis attacking ecosocialists? Ecosocialists have definitely spoken out against militarism and the military industry.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

lagatta4 wrote:

Why on earth is Annis attacking ecosocialists? Ecosocialists have definitely spoken out against militarism and the military industry.

Just another arrogant man who is seeking the limelight not a real coalition of like minded people. His last paragraph is a study in contradictory statements.

Imperialist war and militarism as well as the rise of social and national inequalities are insurmountable barriers to mitigating the worst of the global warming emergency now fully washing over the world.

Insurmountable for everyone except him. He knows what to do not like that Klein woman.

 

lagatta4

Thanks. Of course Naomi Klein has both the advantages (for the movement as well) and the downsides of being a kind of celebrity spokesperson. Most ecosocialists are in some kind of network or group, and there is a range of "socialisms", from "socialisme libertaire" (I guess one would say socialist anarchism or anarchist socialism, but in any case very anti-authoritarian), "post-trotskyist", if that makes sense, strongly internationalist but rejecting a lot of idiotic things Lev T said about progress and development, or left-social-democratic - Québec solidaire? The left wing of the NDP? and many groups elsewhere. And of course tinges of ecofeminism, but not in the sense of goddess worship!

While Annis is not a Stalinist, historically, his analysis comes across as very "old Left". And more than a bit "campist". And as kropotkin said, not very collegial.

The Réseau écosocialiste here has one foot in and one foot outside Québec solidaire - not everyone participating in it belongs to QS; some are simply not keen on party politics. And while it has its highs and lows at least everyone seems to be talking, among degrowthists, former Leninists and many other origins.