Friday, June 20, 2008

1Sky & 350

Now, I've made fun a little of 350 and maybe seemed a little cynical about them. So, I want to be absolutely clear that I think activism and outreach -- which these sites do -- are essential to changing our culture to slow climate change. I'm not optimistic about saving civilization, but I totally think it's worth trying, and I value their efforts.


So, I volunteered to be a local leader for 1Sky. I'm having a problem with local activism as my political party has no presence to speak of in my community, so it's, well, not much of a party. I literally know 0 other Green Party members in Manhattan, and it's fair to say I know a lot of people. I was thinking of jumping ship to anarcho-syndicalism, but I don't know how much more popular that is, and it's really not electoral. I have been doing a little volunteering with, which infamously blames the Green Party, instead of Socialists or continuously inebriated mouth breathers for humanity's 2000 defeat in the US presidential election, but inviting people to a election season training tonight, I realized that there was no way I could not end up plumping for another party's presidential candidate if I kept up with them.

I can't work for a party with no one in it, and I can't work for an opposing party, so I'm left with nonpartisan organizations. It's not like I can give up political activism altogether. I'll let you know how this goes.


nephos said...

Just a thought, but it isn't it interesting that even though there have been some pretty skeptical beliefs for a long time in the fate of civilization, and in that context, believing the world will dwindle to a few seems like a crazy belief among a long history of crazy beliefs, nonetheless there is an air of scientific defensibility to present-day doomsaying that is in some way unprecedented.

I mean we *know* that oil is running out and CO2 concentrations are higher than they've been for a bazillion years. It's rather nice not to have to appeal to Satan to get the point across.

Anonymous said...

Of course, I'm a Cold War baby. I was four when Nixon and Brezhnev signed SALT, making Mutual Assured Destruction the official policy of the United States. I've always expected to die with civilization, although the threat of nuclear war seems thankfully remote.

Still, the pattern of thinking, "inexorable historical force A dooms civilization/humanity/pop culture in manner B" has always been mine. I think of myself as optimistic, but I regard any long term plans as hopelessly polly anna-ish.

All of which is to say, outreach is a problem. While I'm totally sold on the end of the world, the millennialist pronouncements of crazies through the ages have sort of innured the culture at large. We can squawk all we want and say, "This is Science! It's happening all around you now," but I don't know how successful that's going to be.qvnk