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Occupy SMA

By Jim Carey

Exxon, the big polluters, and the Koch Brothers’ funded think tanks have spent millions attacking environmental regulations and supporting the denial of climate change. They refuse to take seriously what 97 percent of all scientists, NASA, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reveal—that our planet is accumulating heat at a rate actually accelerating over the past 16 years—and with each month, we see old heat records broken. The USA’s President of alternative facts calls climate change a hoax and his EPA chief says that he would not agree that human activity is a primary contributor to global warming. It then becomes more important than ever for us citizens of the planet to educate ourselves about the issues and resist these lies.

Meeting and Film
Occupy SMA presents
This Changes Everything
By Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis
Mon, May 15, 1pm
Quinta Loreto Hotel TV room
Loreto 15, Centro
No Charge

Some have already read the facts laid out in Naomi Klein’s book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism versus the Climate. Occupy SMA invites you to view the movie This Changes Everything based on Klein’s book and produced by Klein and her husband, Avi Lewis.

Narrated by Klein, they travel from the tar sands of Canada to a Montana oil spill—and around the world. Lewis films the protests of common citizens against big companies whose indiscriminate exploitation of the planet is paving the way to hellish climate change. In striking images he captures real anger at what is happening but chooses to emphasize the positive successes that grassroots protests have had.

The first horror story comes from Alberta, Canada, with the destruction of forests in the ever-expanding tar sands projects, which extract oil from the gooey wetlands—stripping the trees, subsoil, topsoil, and clay from the virgin land. The benefits, as estimated by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, are earnings of more than $150 billion in the next decades.

This raises the issue of how an economy in recession can say no to such enormous profits, probably the film’s most thought-provoking point. The poignant example is Greece, with its back to the wall and pushed to sell its land to developers like a Canadian gold-processing plant.

Klein’s book expounds the thesis that the historical idea of nature as a machine that can and should be put under human domination is outmoded and wrong. This Enlightenment belief has been knowingly embraced by capitalism and the free market for profit making. She instead proposes that citizens can counter this false idea by collectively resisting the rape of the land they live on. In the case of Alberta, the highly paid workers are at least benefiting from the plunder. In India the proliferation of unsightly coal plants is said to bring unemployment, forcing farmers and fishermen off their land.

Lewis underlines how it is not governments that are spearheading progressive measures but spontaneous movements of residents whose determination forces the politicians to listen. Calling these forces the “new environmentalism of the poor,” the 80-minute film offers the indigenous people as a major source of hope for the future. Join our discussion. Our events are free.

 

 

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