Ecological Overshoot: Climate, Inequity and Corruption

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20.09.2009, 02:43:4620.09.09
Ecological Overshoot: Climate, Inequity and Corruption

A call for reluctant Earth revolutionaries to unite and slay the
economic growth machine consuming ecological being.

September 20, 2009
By Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet
Earth Meanders come from Earth's Newsdesk,

A disease is ravaging Earth as ever more people, consume ever more,
destroying natural ecosystems that are our shared habitat. In a few
short centuries the violent, expansionist and deeply ecologically
unsustainable Western mindset has become virtually universally accepted.
The meaning of life is more, ever more of everything, at the expense of
a finite biosphere. The emptiness of such a vacuous worldview is
revealed through changing climate, devastating human inequities and an
irredeemably corrupt economic system.

More than just a climate crisis, humanity is facing profound
over-population and injustice that are spurring dozens of inter-related
ecological and social crises. Billions suffer as their basic human needs
go unmet, while billions more gorge themselves. Forests, prairies,
streams, rivers, estuaries, wetlands, lakes, soil, oceans, air and all
the rest are all life's flesh and blood. Humanity, Earth and kindred
species have entered the late stage condition of ecological overshoot --
whereby our cumulative demands upon ecosystems exceeds their life-giving
capacity and causes them to collapse.

We are eating creation. Hardly anyone is thinking or acting at the
necessary scale to avert global ecological Armageddon. Market based
solutions are pervasive with corruption and inequity. Nothing we do is
going to maintain an affluent life, as it is now for some. Widespread
economic decline will certainly accompany abrupt climate change and
global ecosystem collapse; indeed, it has begun. If existing political
systems are unable to deal with the inevitable collapse of the growth
machine, at the same time as pursuing rigorous environmental
policy-making, then new political structures will be necessary.

A stewardship revolution that maintains life of some worthy, habitable
sort is possible. Surely in a free country whose liberty came from such
means, we can talk about revolutionary violence, as Thomas Jefferson
said would continue to be necessary. "The blood of tyrants and patriots
must flow to renew the soil." What could be more glorious than fighting,
and perhaps dying, for the Earth, and maybe even succeeding in saving
her (and us)?

It is time for a credible revolutionary threat to protect the biosphere.
What is needed is a steady ratcheting up of pressure ? protests,
sit-ins, sabotage, assassinations -- giving opponents every opportunity
to respond to reasoned arguments ? and culminating in guerrilla warfare
and whatever else is necessary to save the Earth. If a few thousand
insurrectionists can tie up the American military in Iraq, think what
dedicated, highly decentralized and autonomous groups of tens of
thousands of Earth insurgents could do to bring down industrial
capitalism and the Earth eating growth machine.

People power protest culminating in an Earth Revolution needs to be done
urgently yet thoughtfully. Not speaking of mob rule or rioting -- that
is what is coming from the status quo. We are speaking of highly
disciplined, targeted protests including the possible use of violence to
bring down the equipment and individuals responsible for destroying
global ecosystems, and herald in a new ecologically sustainable, just
and equitable way of living with the land, water and sky. Living must
become a matter of what you can give to ecosystems, and others with whom
you share being, rather than only being concerned with what you can take.

Economic growth cannot continue forever if greenhouse gases are to be
curbed, and the myriad of other eco-crises solved. Efforts to cap and
trade, certify, sustainably manage and otherwise reform our way out of
the situation are orders of magnitude inadequate and failing. Free
markets appear to inherently be unable to price carbon and other
externalities. It is becoming increasingly unlikely (if not impossible)
that current political and business growth systems can reform in time to
maintain the ecosystems necessary for life.

The looming death of Gaia and most or all being is no one's fault, or
rather, it is all our faults. As many species have done previously, we
have collectively overgrazed our habitat. We simply must immediately
allow traditional ecological disturbance, regeneration and succession
patterns to again operate. The industrial growth machine must be powered
off and we must herald in an era of ecological stewardship and
restoration. Even while we organize and pursue revolutionary action;
each of us must plant, tend and restore our Earth's natural ecosystems
and permaculture gardens, and help others to do so.

Only dramatic and immediate revolutionary action to destroy the growth
machine offers any hope of maintaining a livable Earth. We must commit
to stopping burning and cutting -- antiquated means to make a living --
indeed killing those that refuse to stop. Rich people are setting
themselves up to be fine in geo-engineered comfort while sacrificing the
poor who no longer have free ecosystem services to sustain them. There
can be no engineering of a biosphere; indeed, thinking we can has
brought us to this moment. We must return to nature.

We must hold onto our humanity as we collapse and renew ourselves. Earth
Revolution is as much about helping those that want to reconnect to
Earth as it is sabotaging equipment and killing people directly
responsible for ecocide. This means sharing food and water, shelter and
clothing. But bring those responsible for ecocide to justice, utterly
destroying them, their institutions and their equipment. The must be no
indiscriminate terror, but if our warnings go unheeded, targeted
violence against known ecological criminals is justified and warranted.

Given the momentum of nearly seven billion seeking to be super-consumers
, do not see any other way to stop the forces of destruction other than
a revolution. There is absolutely no way current energy and other
resource use-- much less expected growth in population and per capital
consumption -- can be produced either from agrofuels or more drilling.
Humans have hit the biogeochemical limits of a finite planet, and each
of us must seek what is enough, rather than always more.

It is well past time to be men and women of fortitude, set aside our
computers and amusements, and commit our minds and bodies to stopping
the destruction of being. We must demand more courage and less
corruption from ourselves and our leaders. The Arctic has already been
changed forever. Soon your neighborhood, ecosystem and bioregion will be
too (if you really look, almost certainly it is already). Please, as I
do, take the end of human being through needless habitat destruction

Part of the solution is allowing people to get back to Earth on their
own plot of land. How we live in the future will be by necessity less
urban. We will be called upon to make do with what is in our bioregion.
Let me make some further suggestions to you. Acquire land and seeds.
Make or restore an Earth friendly shelter and plant trees and
permaculture forest gardens. Prepare to live in your changing bioregion.
Go back to the land. Ecologically farm and restore as you connect with
like minded Earth revolutionaries to clandestinely carry out escalating
protest, sabotage and guerrilla war.

I urge you to really think about what is necessary -- both personally
and in terms of social change -- to sustain being, and committing to it.
Token managerial reforms of the antiquated ecologically damaging
activities of burning and cutting are not enough. Technology is not
going to save us. Market campaigns using glamorous celebrities are not
enough. Petitioning our leaders is not going to save us. Personal
efforts will only get you and Gaia so far. Only escalating protest
action targeting the destroyers, their equipment and their Earth eating
worldview can still avert biosphere disintegration.

Set aside your best efforts at ecological denial, acknowledge the task
before us, and join with others in becoming a reluctant revolutionary.
An Earth insurgency could topple the growth machine in a day, though it
may take years. The sooner the better, as more ecological remnants will
exist to serve as the basis of ecological restoration. Even as we
pursue revolutionary strategies and tactics to maintain a habitable
Earth, commit to remaining free and humane. The answer is neither
tyranny of the left nor right. Above all else we must achieve global
ecological sustainability through just and equitable means.

Protest and restore natural ecosystems including old forests right now.
Work with others to destroy coal, tar sands, fishing trawlers, oil palm,
industrial agriculture, pipelines and ancient forest loggers. Start
today. Now continued human existence depends upon your courage,
ecological wisdom and taking direct lethal action in defense of our
shared ecological heritage. Each of us and together will transition to a
state of ecological grace, quickly, and through action against the Earth
destroyers, or we will all die a horrific and barbaric death together as
being ends.

If we choose to fight for Earth there is hope, otherwise there is none.
Share the anguish of not knowing if revolutionary violence is the answer
or not. But it has to be considered comprehensively, thoroughly and
quickly. Prove me wrong and demonstrate how to ecologically sufficiently
address converging eco-crises in a couple years time within current
economic and political systems. Yet revolution is almost certainly the
only possible way to sustain and restore healthy ecosystems as the basis
of human civilization and all life. Be strong, slay the growth machine,
for Gaia.

Discuss essay:

This is an excerpt from Dr. Glen Barry's forthcoming new book entitled
"New Earth Rising". Sadly, this will not be finished by Copenhagen,
though we intend to publish the introduction soon as we begin
serializing it at We eagerly seek a
publisher and financial backers to finish the book which is nearing

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