Grow the Grass-Roots
by Grant A. Mincy
Of all the complex environmental problems the world faces today, the elephant in the room is climate change. If current predictions are correct, our posterity faces famine and drought, land loss, natural disasters, political instability and (if the hippies at the Pentagon are correct) increased warfare as resources are strained. So, how do we address the issue?
State progressives suggest classic command and control policies. Their authoritarian spirit is so commonplace it’s no longer shocking. Society is but a marionette to the high liberal — and climate may be next.
The United States National Research Council, an arm of the very well-respectedProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published a two-volume report (Climate Intervention Is Not a Replacement for Reducing Carbon Emissions; Proposed Intervention Techniques Not Ready for Wide-Scale Deployment — Feb 10, 2015) arguing for development of a “portfolio of activities” to combat global change. The Council suggests climate engineering as an approach. As indicated by Clive Hamilton at The Ecologist: “In other words, rather than presenting climate engineering … as an extreme response to be avoided if at all possible, the report normalises climate engineering as one approach among others.”
Climate engineering is deliberate interference with the climate system in hope of curbing global change. Such a proposal is potentially disastrous. Climate is incredibly complex — to think we can manage such an integrated system is foolish. Numerous unintended consequences will surely follow any attempt to hack the climate.
To be fair, the report notes the serious risk in climate engineering, but still suggests the US move forward with major research programs to investigate various forms of climate manipulation. This state approach is riddled with incredible dangers. Luckily, social forces offer an inspiring alternative.
A holistic, global sustainability movement has roots going back to the early 1980s. Looking to the market, it places less emphasis on legal solutions and focuses on liberty. Among the root causes of environmental degradation are institutionalized social and economic woes. Realizing this, activists for a sustainable future seek the liberation of markets, reclaiming the labor of individuals from the corporate arm of the state.
The sustainability movement is built by local community action groups, as opposed to the deep pocketed “green” organizations stalking DC’s halls of power. Sustainability is a local movement. There are no defined leaders, only activists and practitioners. After all, if the coal fields, for example, are to resist power and domination from the coal industry, then why tolerate such ethos in the movement? Activists are not concerned about positions of privilege — horizontal themes define grass-roots activism. The goal is not power, but instead a healthy environment, thus healthy communities. As the sustainability movement grows, it continues to develop new strategies and approaches to further the goal of preserving the environment for our generations that follow.
State approaches to environmental degradation remain vague, hypocritical and, with the prospect of purposefully altering the climate, maniacal. If you care for the natural world, instead of empowering the state, turn your back on it. Grow social power instead. Find a local group and get active in your community. No matter your skill set, I guarantee your labor will be appreciated. It will no doubt be meaningful. Salvation does not lie in the hands of the powerful, it lies in liberty.
Citations to this article:
- Grant A. Mincy, Grow the Grass Roots, Alliance, Nebraska Times Herald, print edition, 02/20/15