The Unsuitablog

Exposing Ethical Hypocrites Everywhere!

Million Letter March: Just Say No!

Posted by keith on October 15th, 2010

If anyone sends anything to you asking to join the Million Letter March, treat it like spam.

Look, I’m being serious: it’s the idea of Lester Brown, head of the Earth Policy Institute, who’s primary driver doesn’t appear to be saving the global ecology or humanity in general, but saving civilization. Yep, that’s right: civilization – that thing which is utterly incompatible with saving humanity or the global ecology.

He has teamed up with our friend Bill McKibben and Jim Hansen (or perhaps press-ganged the latter) to start a campaign to raise some kind of fee or other to put into renewable energy and stop cap and trade. In a world where climate science permitted the current levels of greenhouse gases without causing the atmospheric-climate system to produce a global mass extinction echoeing the end of the Permian Era (90% of all life on Earth gone) then that would be fine: just go for it Lester, Bill and Jim; keep us writing those letters to “our” Senators (as opposed to the Senators who have always worked for corporations?) and pretend political changes will have any effect on our future at all.

But this is not a world like that, it is reality: a reality where we have to finally realise that NOTHING WITHIN THE EXISTING INDUSTRIAL-POLITICAL SYSTEM OFFERS US A SURVIVABLE FUTURE!

Still want to be all symbolic and lovely? Watch the excruciating video the Million Letter March has produced, and see if you can see anything at all which would make a blind bit of difference to greenhouse gas levels:

And is it just me or are there just a few too many creepy moments there?

5 Responses to “Million Letter March: Just Say No!”

  1. Edward Fields Says:

    One way to look at it is the following:

    If they are right we save the planet for our children and grandchildren

    If they are wrong, we get clear air, clean water, and vastly improved balance of payments

    win win

  2. keith Says:

    Well, that’s *one* way of looking at it, however…

    “If they are right…” So you are saying there is a chance that writing letters to Senators will stop the industrial system producing greenhouse gases. I call that a zero probability, sorry.

    “If they are wrong…” Based on the above, then they are, *but* let’s suppose we suspend reality for a minute and say they had a good go and then found out they were wrong. The knock-on is quite striking:

    1) All letter writers will have spent time composing, writing, posting a letter then waiting for a reply. This time was wasted.
    2) Many letter writers will consider their work complete, at least for a while. This time may be considerable, during which they will not do anything else that may actually be beneficial.
    3) Some letter writers will be convinced as a result of this campaign that writing letters to politicians is a *key* part of campaigning, and stop doing whatever else they were doing. That “else” may have actually been constructive, like building communities or actively disrupting brainwashing.

    This kind of symbolic action is a great threat to genuine, non-symbolic efforts to stop the industrial greenhouse gas machine.

  3. keith Says:

    N.B. “Balance of payments” is relative to every other part of the economy. In order to win (financially) someone has to lose (usually physically). All profit is through exploitation of something, be that human beings, natural materials, habitats, or any environmental “resource”.

    Also, I have no idea how global ecological collapse results in clean air and clean water.

  4. LS Says:

    Keith it sounds like you and I have independently reached the “end point” of this discussion. That is:

    Unless we _all_ make serious changes to our level of consumption (and I would add population to that as well), then there really is no point even talking about the problems that the world faces. Writing letters, attending marches etc have no value, other than to make us feel better about ourselves and less guilty about our lifestyles.

    But these things won’t save our environment (and by extension our civilisation).

    The hard truth is that we all need to change our expectations. That is not something that anyone really wants to hear, let alone do.


  5. Patty Says:

    It’s not just you. Creepiness abounds in that marketing piece,

    “This is how it started. An American revolution, with allies overseas.” Followed by an image of the U S Constitution. Wow. I must have been taught incorrectly. I thought the American revolution was a particularly violent armed uprising; I didn’t realize that this nation’s founding was accomplished by a campaign of writing letters to ineffectual politicians.

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