The recent article by George Monbiot (excerpts below) explains that the multitude of recent government policies and judicial capitulations that are dismantling any efforts to protect Mother Earth are not based on financial interests. The ideology of the ultra-rich is one committed to destroying life on Earth. “It’s no longer about money for them. It’s about brute power: about watching the world bow down before them. For this rush of power, they would forfeit the Earth.”
As Monbiot writes below, the changes needed to protect Mother Earth and all our relations cannot happen until we change our political systems.
Indigenous peoples have always known how to protect our environment. Which makes the policies of forced assimilation of native children and peoples all the more ignorant and reprehensible. We would not be in this catastrophic situation now if settler colonists had learned from native peoples. Can you imagine what that would have looked like?
What would be the political system that would allow us to honor the earth and each other? One alternative would be to build communities based on the concepts of mutual aid. (see: https://quakersandreligioussocialism.com/mutual-aid/ )
The following is from my mutual aid community, Des Moines Mutual Aid (DMMA).
But the final straw for me was a smaller decision. After two decades of disastrous policies that turned its rivers into open sewers, Herefordshire county council, following a shift from Tory to independent control, finally did the right thing. It applied to the government to create a water protection zone, defending the River Wye against the pollution pushing it towards complete ecological collapse. But in a letter published last week, the UK’s environment minister, Rebecca Pow, refused permission, claiming it “would impose new and distinct regulatory obligations on the farmers and businesses within the catchment”. This is, of course, the point.
When I began work as an environmental journalist in 1985, I knew I would struggle against people with a financial interest in destructive practices. But I never imagined that we would one day confront what appears to be an ideological commitment to destroying life on Earth. The UK government and the US supreme court look as if they are willing the destruction of our life support systems.
But even financial interests fail fully to explain what’s going on. The oligarchs seeking to stamp out US democracy have gone way beyond the point of attending only to their net worth. It’s no longer about money for them. It’s about brute power: about watching the world bow down before them. For this rush of power, they would forfeit the Earth.
Since 1985, I’ve been told we don’t have time to change the system: we should concentrate only on single issues. But we’ve never had time not to change the system. In fact, because of the way in which social attitudes can suddenly tip, system change can happen much faster than incrementalism. Until we change our political systems, making it impossible for the rich to buy the decisions they want, we will lose not only individual cases. We will lose everything.
It’s democracy v plutocracy – this is the endgame for our planet by George Monbiot, the Guardian, July 6, 2022