Even Activists Get More Revved up Over Guns than the Fate of Our Planet

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    ( – promoted by lowkell)

    A piece by Kos on Daily Kos reads in part:

    [Y]ou say, people ARE excited about the environment on Daily Kos! Haven’t I seen all those Keystone XL diaries? And yes, to some degree, that interest is growing. But compare candidate fundraising for Robin Kelly in the Illinois 2nd Congressional District-a race that revolved around the NRA (white hot topic), and that of Ed Markey in the Massachusetts Senate special election, who would be among the biggest environmental champions in the entire Senate if elected. Kelly raised $114K from nearly 6,500 community members. Markey has raised $3,277 from 138 of you.

    When we sell Markey, we do so on environmental grounds, and quite frankly, the environmental community on Daily Kos hasn’t responded. Some of you may not like that. We at Daily Kos HQ don’t like that, but the broader community guides us. After seeing several appeals for Markey fall flat, we pretty much gave up on it.

    It should be noted that stakes in these two issues are not at all comparable.  Not even of the same order of magnitude.  Not even within one order of magnitude.

    But we humans have many millennia of being concerned about individual people killing other people.  The problem of people collectively killing the planet we live on is new to us.

    And habits of thought and feeling change slowly. Hard wiring even slower.

    Homo sapiens is not ready to be responsible for the fate of the biosphere.  Unfortunately, our species has that responsibility anyway.

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    Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia’s 6th District.  He is the author of various books including The Parable of the Tribes:  The Problem of Power in Social Evolution.  

    • AndySchmooklerforCongress

      Our civilization’s lack of response to the challenge of climate change is not so completely hard-wired.  First of all, other cultures –e.g. some Native American cultures– have been more tuned in to the need to live in balance with, and even in reverence for, Mother Earth. So human beings and human culture have the potential. Secondly, our civilization is particularly hampered by the emphasis, in its concept of the “good life,” on materialistic conception, and hampered also by having such vast accumulations of power and wealth in the hands of entities that are organized around the core value of making monetary profits. It doesn’t help that these entities are more and more turning our democracy into a plutocracy.

      On the issue of guns, as small as the particular issues are in the great scheme of human well-being, compared to whether our planet will be able to feed the human population in coming generations, the gun issue DOES serve to highlight the political pathologies of our times, which are indeed the most urgent of our challenges, since until these are remedied nothing else much can be accomplished on any of these issues.

      One vivid example, on view last night on ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES, was the fear-mongering talk of Wayne LaPierre.  Hayes was connecting his rhetoric with the ricin-laced letters sent to Mayor Bloomberg and President Obama.  And he brought out the dishonesty and over-the-top politics-as-war nature of the way the NRA conducts its politics. What he didn’t mention on this occasion is that the policies involved –universal background check– that LaPierre was denouncing as a threat to all our liberties, HE HIMSELF IS ON VIDEO as having endorsed back in 1999.

      If this kind of politics can be exposed, so that people see how they’re being manipulated so grossly on the gun issue, that may also open the door to people seeing how much they’re also being manipulated by the right-wing fear-mongering liars on so many other issues, including climate disruption.

    • is that if we don’t address severe environmental problems, like climate change, with the potential to make earth a nightmarish/unlivable hellhole, then all those other issues won’t matter much (if at all). And no, bought-and-paid-for politicians and idiot media, “the environment” isn’t just “another special interest,” it’s the one thing we all have in common – the air we breath, the water we drink, the biosphere we inhabit – and if we f*** that up, we’re all toast. Even you, bought-and-paid-for politicians and idiot media. Even you.