Certain radical environmental groups are angry and motivated enough to cause social disruption in getting their message across that our dysfunctional economy is destroying us. They claim hard scientific evidence suggests that within our current population’s lifetime, we will lose over 85% of the human population to starvation, wars and unrest, as well as the destruction of the planet’s ecosystem, because of our dysfunctional economy. Let’s, therefore, be thankful for people who are prepared to place their safety and reputations on the line to get this message placed at the top of our global agenda. That’s what’s good about these radical movements. However, we need more than doom and gloom messages; we need a plan. What and how do we change. That’s what this article is about.
In a recent interview with the co-founder of Extinction Revolution, Roger Hallam, the BBC Hardtalk interviewer, Stephen Sackur put him through his paces. In my opinion, the message Roger and his organisation wish to convey is the correct one, but they do lack the crucial element of providing solutions. He would respond by saying he is the bearer of the message, not solutions. The problem is, to get the populace onside they need to hear the gloom, but they also need to hear there is a solution. The problem with doom and gloom messages is they fill you with despair. “We are stuffed - what the heck, we may as well curl up and die now.” Hearing the gloomy message is important, but what puts the fire back into people, making them want change is the knowledge that there are solutions. Roger talks about us falling into a social abyss and the loss of 85% of the human population if we do nothing about our global economy right now. He’s probably right on the numbers, but what his message lacks is the “what and how” we change because the wheels of the economy still need to turn everyday. That’s where his message and mine coexist. He’s telling you about the consequences of doing nothing, and I’m telling you specifically what and how to change. The one thing central to both our messages is the urgent need to change our dysfunctional economy. This article explains the bleak message Extinction Rebellion paints of our future without fundamental change and my views on providing the solutions we need to stop it from happening.
Extinction Revolution is seen as an extreme environmental group, established in the UK and calling for revolutionary change, using civil disobedience and disruption to get their message across.
They have been the most successful group in highlighting the “Climate Emergency” we face. Some people disagree with the methods they use. However, it’s these methods which have got them noticed. They are not criminals or anarchists; they just want the planet and our future protected. They know that by doing nothing, governments and the wealthy elite won’t change a thing. They promote the message that we have reached the point where drastic, fundamental change is required; otherwise, we face catastrophic consequences. According to them, in the near future, we face social collapse and the loss of over 6 billion people through starvation, wars and unrest.
They argue that governments and the wealthy elite say they acknowledge the crisis and are doing something about it when that is nothing more than a pack of lies. They have done nothing about it and continue to do nothing about it. In fact, the situation is getting worse by the day. Through the actions of the government, the establishment and the wealthy elite, they are leading the world’s population and the planet’s ecosystem to its death. And, that message is irrefutable.
The truth is, we have been lied to and misled over the past 30 years. Nothing has been done to address the environmental, social and economic problems we face, despite them knowing about it, and its adverse effects. Why, then do they allow it to continue. Because, the wealthy elite benefit from our neoliberal economic system, the major culprit in this matter. They have used their wealth and power to influence political decisions. They have hijacked democracy and installed a global economic system which serves their needs, not those of the majority.
Roger Hallam claimed that “The capitalist system we use (neoliberalism) is destroying us. The reason for this is that it’s destroying the environment.” He went on to say, “If there is no fundamental, major change in the structure of the global economy in the next ten years, we are headed for a catastrophe.” I cannot agree more with the man.
Roger thinks that the government and the wealthy elite can’t get their heads around the enormity and urgency of the problem. Perhaps he’s right, and it’s also difficult to change course when you are on a winning streak. Whatever the cause, they are blinded to the reality, and the only way to bring about change is to make the populace aware of the dangers. To arouse their anger and annoyance that their government and the wealthy elite are orchestrating their imminent demise, through their selfish, myopic systems, practices and procedures. When people have had enough, they take action - they rebel. Governments, including the establishment and the wealthy elite, are not going to take any actions to address the problem, as lack of any past action proves. In the meantime, anger and hatred builds until it reaches critical mass and explodes. Then change happens overnight. This is what Extinction Revolution are predicting and working towards - creating awareness, annoyance and anger in the populace. Driving the movement to critical mass with the resultant collapse of current regimes. Their message is predicated on environmental concerns, but supporting and driving anger and resentment towards governments and the wealthy elite are plummeting social standards. They see the rich getting richer while they are getting poorer. Consequently, there is a lot of material to stoke the fires of discontent. Critical mass is, therefore, not far off once the fire is lit.
I’m in full support of the Extinction Revolution in terms of the message they push, of the need for immediate change. However, I think they are wrong in pushing us towards the abyss with no alternative plan for our global economy. We must acknowledge the need for change and change now, but we need a plan of what that future should entail. Such a transition will be less disruptive and therefore, more beneficial to all, and that’s the outcome we all seek.
It’s time for governments, the establishment and the wealthy elite to realise the only way to stop our descent into an abyss is to acknowledge the problem - our dysfunctional economy. To take control by moving it as quickly as possible to a new economic model, which serves the needs of the majority. In my previous article, I explained the five causes of our dysfunctional economy. By addressing these causes, we can turn things around.
The writing is on the wall for those who wish to read it. Wealth and influence will not save you from the imminent change and disaster we face. Only your positive and decisive action right now, in supporting calls like mine will save you. The French Revolution and other seismic uprisings are proof that the only survivors are those who saw it coming and took action to address the causes. Unfortunately, in this case, you can’t run from this uprising - it’s global.
Copyright © Adrian Mark Dore 2019.