Planet Burning, Lawsuits Churning, Pentagon Still Turning Toward Climate Destruction

It’s another record breaking hot season for the Northern Hemisphere. Despite the fact that the summer solstice just occurred we’re seeing Arctic ground temperatures in the 110+ degrees Farenheit range (38+ Celcius), a 1,200 year drought shaping up in the western United States, and spring wildfires in Siberia, Arizona, and New Mexico. Some of these are believed to be “zombie fires” that wintered over under the snow cover in the Arctic, unextinguished.

The lawsuit by young people suing the federal government for inaction on climate, thus depriving them of their constitutional right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” is on appeal with a hearing set for today at 1pm EDT to review oral arguments in Juliana v. United States.

Meanwhile, the state of Massachusetts has seen progress in its lawsuit against petroleum giant Exxon Mobil for knowing the risks of climate crisis yet concealing them from consumers and the general public.

“Greenwashing” similar to that currently engaged in by Hydro-Quebec on behalf of what some in Maine are calling the “Massachusetts extension cord” project currently destroying acres of carbon-sequestering trees to build a giant transmission line. Governor Janet Mills just vetoed a bill to ban foreign entities like HQ and the owner of the line, Iberdrola, from spending on lobbying and advertising campaigns to influence the outcome of citizen referendums; one on the ballot in November threatens the project.

I’m sure investment bankers at Goldman Sachs have made it crystal clear to Mills which side her bread is buttered on.

Source: Brown University, Watson Institute, Costs of War Project

Meanwhile, the biggest polluter on the planet continues largely unchallenged.

In September, Maine will be visited by the super polluting and entirely unnecessary Blue Angels airshow. All these carbon emissions kill only indirectly i.e. these planes don’t drop bombs on anyone, and they drop napalm onto the runway in Brunswick only to “entertain.” 

Of course all airshows, like the military displays at sporting events that your tax dollars subsidize, are recruiting tools. Along with crushing student debt for postsecondary education, they steer the young people not born to affluence into donning uniform in order to qualify for “free” college.

Why don’t the big environmental groups challenge the Pentagon on its non-stop hastening of climate crisis?

Some say its because most of them take money from the corporate owned and operated Democratic Party. Some say its because they dare not appear “unpatriotic” even if that’s what it will take to keep Earth liveable for our grandchildren. Some want to stay in their silo of challenging climate crisis without venturing into the much more fraught arena of challenging our militarized, fascistic government that exists mainly to protect the profits of already wealthy corporations. embedded video of Veterans for Peace plenary session on the U.S. Military & Climate does not play for you, access it here:

Some say that an annual budget of $778 billion buys a lot of silence from potential opponents.

I notice that in the new guidelines the Biden administration is developing anyone who opposes the life-threatening system of capitalism will now be designated a terrorist.

Sign me up!

Insatiable Greed And A $600 Slap In The Face

Fascism got a bad name in the 20th century because of the mass genocide of the Holocaust, plus the rapacious colonialism (redundant, I know) of the Japanese imperial project. For decades since, teenagers have snarled “fascist” at parents enforcing curfew in reference to the violent policing that accompanied the rise of a white supremacist party in Germany.

But it was Mussolini, the dictator of Italy, that actually had it right: “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”

In other words, the precise system of government we have in the United States today.

Over the last several decades we have watched as corporate power captured, not only our legislative and executive branches of national government, but the judiciary as well. 

The predictable outcome of our descent into fascism is the passage and enforcement of laws designed to benefit our corporate overlords at the expense of the literally starving and homeless people.

During any crisis of the last several decades, the already wealthy have prospered while the already impoverished have perished before our very eyes with little to no government intervention. I think Hurricane Katrina is when I first realized that the federal government would stand idly by, fat with our tax dollars, while the poor drowned and starved. FEMA like so many other federal agencies was designed to enrich corporations while the matriarch of the Bush clan toured refugees being housed in a sports stadium and pronounced on network television, “And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them.”

The fact that so many of the “underprivileged” were Black was undoubtedly a factor in their abandonment by government of, by, and for the wealthy. Kanye West increased his fame when he said live on network television at the time: “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people.” 

So, failure to attend to the common good is nothing new. But it is accelerating mightily under the cover of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other wealthy countries have managed the health crisis by recognizing that staying home is containment, and subsidizing people to stay home — including staying housed — is good health policy.

But the US Congress is in session this weekend struggling over whether to pass a relief bill that would provide $600 one time payments after sending a measly $1200 once months ago. (Note: I know at least one Black working mother who never even received that payment.)

Currently 1/3 of people in the U.S. report they are struggling to meet basic expenses such as rent, food, and utilities.

The uptick in memes and slogans advocating violent revolution is significant in my social media feeds.

A sampling includes this one with one of the planet’s rapacious billionaires as poster boy:


But more specifically, Congress is in the crosshairs. Sample tweets:

I also saw but cannot now find one that said, “The next stimulus is hidden inside in your member of Congress like a piñata.”

Meanwhile reformers are insisting on a floor vote in the House on the wildly popular Medicare for All that our elected representatives will not even consider.

Fascists, drunk on power, always think the future is theirs. I think they’re wrong about that.