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Climate Change Not Worth Debating?


Climate change is an existential threat to human society. A rapidly heating climate will effect not only the weather but will also have grave consequences for human health, biodiversity, food production, refugee migrations, wars for natural resources, and the world economy.

Military experts have warned that climate change presents a “significant risk to U.S. national security and international security”. The DoD (Department of Defense) has released a report on the security implications of climate change, and the Pentagon has also declared climate change to be a threat to national security. Clearly, at the highest levels of the U.S. security state, climate change is being taken seriously and viewed as an imminent threat.

Why then during the U.S. presidential debates have the two people vying for the position of Commander in Chief spent less than 90 seconds discussing this pressing national and international security issue? Not a single one of the debate moderators raised the issue of climate change, and it only received a partial mention during the town hall when internet sensation Ken Bone asked about the balance of environment, energy policy, and jobs. Instead of focusing on the implications of both Clinton and Trump’s subsequent advocacy for fracking and the climate challenges that lay ahead, the media idiotically seized on Ken Bone’s red sweater and quirky demeanor as fodder for the 24 hour news cycle.

To her credit, Hillary Clinton did make a few ad hoc comments on the reality of climate change and the need for clean energy jobs during the first debate, yet this was not a nod to the urgency of the moment but was yet another politically advantageous attempt to contrast herself with Donald Trump (who has stated that climate change is a Chinese conspiracy theory). About half of the presidential debates were spent discussing Donald Trump’s disgusting misogynistic comments and Hillary Clinton’s borderline-criminal private email server. While not unimportant, these issues are certainly not more newsworthy than the fate of our planet and our species, so how can we explain the veil of silence regarding what is arguably one of the most important and urgent issues facing humanity?

One explanation is that the media is very much dependent on fossil fuel related advertising revenue. From Media Matters:

CNN aired almost five times as much oil industry advertising as climate change-related coverage in the one-week periods following the announcements that 2015 was the hottest year on record and February 2016 was the most abnormally hot month on record. Specifically, CNN aired 23.5 minutes of American Petroleum Institute ads during its morning, afternoon, and primetime coverage over those two weeks, compared to just five minutes of coverage about climate change or the temperature records. That disparity does not even account for dozens of Koch Industries ads that also ran on CNN, which were not energy-focused but did serve to boost the image of the oil billionaire Koch brothers’ primary corporation.

We must consider the implications of automobile advertising which provides a large chunk of corporate media advertising revenue:

Automakers, the vast majority of whom produce vehicles that run exclusively on fossil fuels, dominate the advertising landscape:

Even NPR has been tainted. Since they began taking money from America’s Natural Gas Alliance, their coverage of climate change has dropped by 20%; listeners have been angered after tuning in to their beloved station and hearing blatantly misleading pro-fracking propaganda.

Money does indeed talk, and it has drowned out the voices of the many Americans who are very much worried about climate change:

Polling firm Gallup, which has been tracking public sentiment on the topic annually since 1997, found that 41% of US adults feel warming will pose a “serious threat” to them during their lifetimes. This is the highest level recorded by Gallup, a 4% increase on 2015.

A total of 64% of those polled said they worried about global warming a “great deal” or a “fair amount”, the highest level of recorded concern since 2008. Just 36% of Americans said they did not fret about it, or only worried a little.

We should be outraged that, despite growing public concern about climate change, it received no mention at all from the presidential debate and town hall moderators and only a passing mention from the candidates themselves. This should illuminate for us the dangers we face at the hands of the increasingly corporate-controlled state. An existential threat is being hidden and obscured to protect corporate profits. The corporate media has essentially become a mouthpiece for the mega-wealthy and their interests; they have failed in their journalistic duty to provide the public with correct and adequate information regarding a serious threat, a threat we can at least prepare for and mitigate against if we’re presented with the right information in a timely fashion.

Despite the corporate media silence, people can see what is happening around them: the ongoing drought in California; the devastation of Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Sandy; record warmth and lack of snow in Alaska; destructive floods in Louisiana, Iowa, Texas and Maryland; the spread of the Zika virus in Florida — these and many other examples are what people have been experiencing on the ground in their own communities, and this is the reality that cannot be denied.


On Pipelines & Nate Parker

Let’s begin by taking a look at a map of of the over 2.5 million miles of pipeline coverage here in the United States. Keep in mind that this map was last updated in 2012. Please take a moment to really look at this map; let the implications of this sink in.


Our Earth is sometimes described as a mother, as our mother, yet we are almost never invited to consider the current situation from her perspective. A recent editorial asks an important question: ‘We imagine how it feels to be a character, why can’t we imagine how the land feels?’ This author does not go quite far enough, but he begins to touch upon what is at the root of the environmental emergency we are now living through: the objectification and commodification of the Earth, and a culture that can only view the Earth through a utilitarian lens.

One explanation for why we can call the Earth our mother and yet seem to have trouble mustering empathy towards her plight is the fact that our way of life depends upon the Earth being stripped of  spirituality, feeling, agency, rights, or any of the other attributes of personhood. One cannot have a relationship with a thing that is meant to be destroyed and consumed, which is why (with few exceptions) we do not keep cows, chickens and pigs as beloved pets.

When one’s way of life depends upon the exploitation or destruction of another, the one targeted must of course lose their agency, their personhood, and their rights. The period of chattel slavery in both north and south America is one example of how personhood was denied in order to justify institutionalized enslavement, torture, rape and generations of forced labor. The Nazi desire for lebensraum exclusively for “pure” Aryans was used as a justification for the systematic dehumanization, expulsion, enslavement and murder of Poles, Jews, Russians, Roma, and others.

The above mentioned atrocities and many others are almost always framed by the perpetrators as a matter of necessity blessed by divine right or cultural superiority. The atrocities being committed against the Earth fall into the same category. We must have these pipelines, we must mine for coal, we have no choice but to frack for gas and oil. Think of the jobs, think of the economy, think of our geopolitical concerns! And of course the underlying unspoken understanding is that as modern humans we have the absolute entitlement to everything on, above and underneath the Earth. Modern science legitimizes our entitlement, reminding us of our “superior” brains and intelligence.

If the Earth could say “no, stop,” if she could vocalize, if she could scream in pain as she is slashed and penetrated and torn, would that make a difference? Maybe, maybe not. We perceive the Earth as silent, enduring and devoid of emotion, but is she really? The storms, the floods, the heatwaves and wildfires that are increasing all over the planet – do they not contain and convey somewhat of a hint of anger, indignation and fury?

For eons humans both personified and deified nature and the natural forces around us; on the south American continent, in Africa, and in Australia and everywhere in between, the rituals and spiritual practices of so-called primitive people reflected a deep respect and awe for the life sustaining mysteries. For eons we lived in harmony with nature, just one of many other species who call this planet home. Then something happened, something changed. Most likely during a time of hardship and chaos we discovered with our big brains ways of bypassing the rules all species had up until that point lived by. We discovered how to dominate, how to bend the world to our will. We discovered how to make the land do what we wanted it to do, and how to make other animals and other people do what we wanted them to do. We discovered the intoxication of power, the thrill of control, and during this period the land went silent.

As the gods moved up into the sky, or into other dimensions, the Earth became a thing, an inert, voiceless and soulless thing. The land was enslaved, then plants, then animals, then women, then came a new way of living. Towns emerged, then cities, kings and queens, and along with them a new kind of warfare; then came the written word and culture and the whole beautiful and terrible mess of the past ten thousand years. During this time, a relatively short period of time, we as human beings have been actors in a play of our own creation, dancing and singing and fighting and fucking on the voiceless and soulless Earth that only forms the backdrop for our drama. We call the Earth our mother yet treat her with more contempt than the most reviled and hated whore. Perhaps even worse, we both ignore her suffering and rationalize why it must continue.

We tolerate and ignore crimes against our mother, crimes against the Earth, and then wonder why there is a global epidemic of violence against women and a general atmosphere of savagery and selfishness. While we wring our hands and wonder why men can’t stop raping, beating and murdering women, day after day machines penetrate into the Earth’s deepest recesses leaving behind toxic and radioactive sludge, all in the name of accessing cheap oil, coal and natural gas. Our rivers and streams are poisoned and defiled by chemical plants, textile factories and slaughter houses; our oceans are strewn with plastic waste and toxic waste. Thanks to our stupidity and immense sense of entitlement, marine life and many other animals are dying in record numbers during what scientists have named the sixth mass extinction.

Our energy hungry and consumer goods driven way of life depends upon violence, upon murder, upon the misery of others. Those who fly the flag and claim that the military protects our freedoms are half right – the military and the misery it spreads protects our entitlement to stable currency, world markets and cheap consumer goods. Americans in particular benefit from extreme violence perpetrated by our military, diplomacy and economic policies all over the world, but then we wonder why this violence manifests in our day to day interactions. We wonder why Nate Parker, such a seemingly nice fellow who’s always mentioning his wife and five daughters in recent interviews, could have been scummy enough to run a train on an incapacitated acquaintance while in college.

The same forces that have facilitated the rape of the Earth also facilitate the rape, assault and exploitation of women, girls, and some men and boys as well. And so we have an epidemic of rape and sexual assault not only in the United States but all over the world. Of course men know that rape is wrong. Nate Turner knew that taking a drunken woman back to his place and ravaging her body with a friend was the wrong thing to do; and yet it happened anyway. Why? Because Nate Parker is a monster who hates women? Maybe, but it’s more likely that he suffers from the conditioning that almost all men have gone through in our society where men are taught that it’s OK (and manly!) to take what you want, consequences be damned. The need in the moment, the desire that burns bright white and hot supersedes all. Satisfaction must be achieved at all costs; appetites must be fed regardless of the impact on others. And this in a nutshell is the general attitude of most modern humans towards the natural world, towards the Earth, towards our mother. We want what we want, so we take it, and we rationalize or explain away the consequences. Or we claim that we’ll die without taking what we want. Or we say that the Earth exists to fulfill our needs and desires for whatever religious, scientific or philosophical reason.

The tragic life of Nate Parker’s victim reminds us of the consequences of the sort of entitlement we see all around us. After enduring a hellish ordeal, her grades suffered and she dropped out of school. For years she battled PTSD and deep depression with psychotic features, a common occurrence with people who are struggling to process trauma threaded through with feelings of guilt and self-doubt. In 2012 a sleeping pill overdose ended her life at the young age of thirty.


Meanwhile, Nate Parker has gone on to have a successful and distinguished career. He is financially secure. He is happily married with children and is expecting the release of a critically acclaimed film he co-wrote and stars in. Life for him has been good. While his victim struggled to hold onto jobs and moved around constantly (a common problem with people suffering from depression and PTSD), his life blossomed and flourished. He extracted what he needed from his victim and moved on.

In the esoteric world there is a saying: as above, so below. This principle can be seen in the structures of our body and in plants, in the way patterns that form molecules and neurons and flower petals mimic the structures of much larger systems like hurricanes, solar systems and galaxies.



As above, so below is a truism. We are a reflection of the forces that shape us, and we in turn shape those within our sphere of influence. Knowing this, we must ask whether or not a violent and dangerous empire can produce a mentally stable, moral and healthy population.

The Nate Parker revelations should anger us and motivate us to create social change, but they should not shock or surprise us. His assault on that young woman took place at Penn State, a campus now notorious for shielding a child rapist for decades. Campus sexual assaults are common, and there are hardly any mechanisms in place to prevent or deter them. Most rapes and sexual assaults go unreported. When rapists are brought before the court they often receive lenient sentences. The process of seeking justice against a perpetrator is so costly, emotionally devastating and time consuming that many women simply don’t or can’t pursue charges. This state of affairs continues because men feel entitled to women’s bodies, and our institutions protect this entitlement. Keep in mind that not too long ago women were viewed as chattel by mainstream society; they were the property of their husbands and fathers, were subjected to strict codes of conduct and dress requirements, were not allowed to travel alone, vote, attend college, or own land. In essence, women were for many ages denied the full expression of their humanity and were viewed primarily as a resource for producing heirs, keeping a household, and as tools of pleasure.

Changing the cultural landscape and defeating male entitlement will be almost impossible until we begin to question the very foundations of our society. There are alternatives to this sick society we inhabit, and there have always been alternatives, though they were often hidden from us, or unfairly maligned. Rape culture and the cultural debasement of women was rare on this continent before the era of colonization. While European women were being burned at the stake, matriarchal societies were flourishing on this continent.

There is much more to be said about this, as we now see that Native people, especially women, are at the forefront of working to protect what’s left of our natural world from the ravages of industry.


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On Black Mesa the traditional elders who are fighting to protect their ancient way of life from the Peabody energy corporation describe coal as the “the liver of the sacred female mountain.” According to them, it must be kept in the ground where it belongs. They are not the only tribe to give female or feminine attributes to the land; the Earth and the land as our sacred mother is a common thread through many indigenous cultures. If we want a template for how we should treat each other and the Earth we depend on for survival, we would be wise to study the life ways of those who lived here before us, those who were so harshly and cruelly pushed aside and branded as savages. Ironically, they may have the answers we desperately need in these turbulent and uncertain times.




Eric McDavid’s Philly Tour Stop


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Former eco-political prisoner Eric McDavid is near the end of a speaking tour where he goes into detail about life behind bars and how he managed to make it through nine years including significant periods in solitary confinement. If Eric does another tour and comes to your neck of the woods, definitely try to make it out to see him speak, it’s worth it.

Because of security culture, I did not record the Q&A portion of the talk where he goes into detail about the disgusting piece of shit informant who entrapped him. There has been much written on that subject if you want to learn more. What you will hear from him in this podcast is how he managed day by day life behind bars, details of the case against him, and his general thoughts and feelings on what it’s like now to be free.

Watching him speak was like being in the presence of a warrior who has returned from battle. He projects strength and self control, and it’s obvious that these aspects are what helped him survive for nine years behind bars; but there’s hardly a trace of the coldness or hardness one might expect. Prison did not break him or turn him into someone else. Part of the reason for this is the support he received while he was locked down; the letters, books, well wishes and visits obviously sustained him, and we must make sure we’re providing this support to all political prisoners.

If we’re engaged in activism, eco-defense, solidarity work, or anything that challenges the power of the government and corporate interests, we must be aware that Eric’s story could easily be our own under the “right” circumstances. For me personally, this has led to a certain paralysis. When I asked him how to combat paranoia and the paralysis it fosters, his very wise answer included a suggestion that we make sure we’re having one on one conversations instead of jumping to conclusions. If there’s a problem, a disagreement, or a misunderstanding, don’t let it fester to the point where suspicions begin to thrive. Problematic people and fucked up behaviors will always be a part of any community, and of course the feds have figured out how to exploit this quite well. The way we respond to the inevitable provocations and infiltrations determines the strength of our communities and our long term effectiveness in the struggle.


The Health Impacts of Fracking

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Audio of the Clean Air Council‘s ‘Air & Health Effects of Shale Gas Infrastructure, at the University of Pennsylvania’. This recording features the presentations of Dr. Celia Lewis (Research and Communications Consultant for the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project) and Joseph Minott (Clean Air Council Executive Director and Chief Counsel). For video of the full panel, please check the Clean Air Council’s website in the coming days.

From the event description:

Pennsylvania is the second largest natural gas producing state and there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that pollution from this industry can have a serious impact on the health of those who live in the surrounding communities.

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Click here to learn about the fight against the Mariner 2 pipeline.

Could Philadelphia be the next Houston? The Oil Industry Hopes So

8 Dangerous Side Effects of Fracking That the Industry Doesn’t Want You to Hear About


UN Experts ‘Extremely Concerned’ About the State of African Americans in the US

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The findings by the United Nations’ Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent covered a broad range of topics, including police brutality, mass incarceration and the school system.

The United Nations is once again tackling racism and the human rights of black people in America, detailing several concerns, from police brutality to mass incarceration to housing crises to the school-to-prison pipeline.

In a preliminary statement to the media published last week, the United Nations’ Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent listed its concerns over its findings of racial disparity in “almost all the human-development indicators such as life expectancy, income and wealth, level of education and even food security,” which the experts maintain “reflect the level of structural discrimination that creates de facto barriers for people of African descent to fully exercise their human rights.”

Full article here

We should keep in mind that the United Nations is a very conservative organization, and usually very hesitant to speak out against its paymaster, the United States. So the situation must be dire indeed.


PSR Philly: Our Air is Not Clean



Dr. Marta Guttenberg of the Philadelphia chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility spoke with DGP about the quality of our air, the effects of pollution on the human body, and what we need to do to improve the health and well being of Philly residents. (Interview was recorded on December 8th, 2015)


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Click here to check out Philly’s air quality (updated daily).

Report: Philly is third-worst place in U.S. for asthma sufferers

Two dozen permit violations for Point Breeze Refinery


The Roots of Oppression


The Modern Education System and the Roots of Oppression

With Layla AbdelRahim

It was great to have Layla Abdelrahim on DGP once more. She has expanded our minds and horizons several times before with her analyses of, among other things, the Trayvon Martin incident, radical ecology & primitivism, and the origins of civilized racism.

She recently spoke with me about what the outrageous police attack on a school girl in South Carolina reveals about the true purpose of the modern education system. We also explored how the institutions of human civilization depend upon and thrive on brutality, hierarchies, and inequality.

For more information on Layla’s work and background, and to read excerpts from her books, click here to visit her website.


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