Earth At Risk 2014 Videos Available

Earth At Risk, sponsored by Fertile Ground Institute in November 2014, featured many of today’s most important activists and thinkers in environmentalism, anti-capitalism, anti-imperialism, anti-colonialism, radical feminism, and anti-racism. With keynote speakers Derrick Jensen, Alice Walker, Vandana Shiva, Chris Hedges, and Thomas Linzey; plus multiple panels, the event was full of insightful and inspiring discussions.

Besides Derrick Jensen, Deep Green Resistance members Saba Malik, Kourtney Mitchell and Doug Zachary spoke on panels; and Dominique Christina performed two sets of her award winning slam poetry.

Will Falk wrote a report-back on the event: Earth At Risk 2014: The Proper Diagnosis. Until now his writeup was the only way to experience the event vicariously for those of us who missed it, but Fertile Ground just made all 12 hours of the presentations available.

View the videos below, or visit our member appearances page and enter “earth at risk” into the filter box to browse only the presentations involving DGR members. You can also download audio files of those panels and keynotes.

Enjoy, and please share widely!

Robert Newman’s History of Oil

Geopolitical history, though critically important to understanding real life today, is generally pretty boring. Stand-up comedy, though highly enjoyable when done well, is generally pretty meaningless. Robert Newman’s genius is in combining the best of both worlds on the subject of oil: “the terrifying 100-year history brought to life.”

In a scant 45 minutes, Newman covers a lot of ground. He starts by highlighting British and US adventurism, interference, and warmongering from WWI, through the 1953 CIA replacement of Iran’s democratic government with a dictator friendly to the US, to the present occupation of Iraq (sold by governments and corporate media to the public with a straight face and no apparent shame as “bringing democracy to the middle east.)

He also touches on peak oil, its implications on our food production, and the fact that “there is no way out.” His coverage of the problem is good, though he concludes with a plea for society to pursue widespread implementation of green technologies and renewable energy. (See the Deep Green Resistance presentation “False Solutions of Green Energy” to understand the problems with that as a solution.) It’d be great to see him instead work the strategy of Decisive Ecological Warfare into his pitch.

Though you may already know some or much of what Newman presents, he probably has some surprises for you, too. This is a very pleasant way to brush up on history, even for those who consider themselves apolitical and normally uninterested in this sort of thing. Share with your friends and family!

Myths of Biofuels presentation by David Fridley

In 2007, David Fridley of Lawrence Berkeley Labs and San Francisco Oil Awareness presented a well researched and thorough debunking of the idea that biofuels are sustainable, environmentally friendly, good for farmers, or a path to energy independence. Fridley and his audience approach the issue from an industrial-human-centric standpoint concerned about peak oil, rather than from a holistic earth-centric and anti-civilization perspective, but his presentation is excellent for what it is. This is a great way to get up to speed on the dramatic, across the board problems and limitations of biofuels.

Guy McPherson on climate chaos – Chicago March 2014

Guy McPherson: not an optimist, not a pessimist, but a realist

Dr. Guy McPherson spoke on climate change to a Chicago audience in March, from the basics to the complexities of our current predicament. He looks at the history of mainstream, conservative projections of global temperature change, the pattern of increasingly worse expectations every year, and the dozens of positive feedback loops not even taken into account in the models generating these predictions. The scientific consensus is that we must limit global temperature rise to 1°C above the predindustrial baseline to avoid triggering those feedback loops and thus catastrophic runaway climate chaos. We’re at .85°C right now and have already triggered many of these loops. This .85°C increase is the result of emissions up to 40 years ago; due to the lag time between release of carbon dioxide and its effect on temperature, we’re not yet experiencing the exponentially increasing emissions of the 1980s and 1990s, or of this century. The political target of 2°C maximum increase doubles the maximum change considered “safe” by scientists and is not being taken seriously by politicians anyway.

A study of the cooling effect of the atmospheric sulphates continually produced by industrial activity suggests that if all activity stopped today, within three days when all the sulphates have dropped out of the atmosphere, we would reach a 2°C increase. So although shutting down the industrial economy immediately is our only hope of minimizing catastrophic change, doing so would already leave us at a dangerous level of change. In short, we’re in huge trouble.

McPherson expects massive habitat die-off, as animals and especially plants are unable to adapt or migrate fast enough to cope with temperature changing ten times faster than ever experienced in the last 65 million years. Setting aside urban illusions of food coming from grocery stores and water from a tap, humans are animals dependent on this habitat, and he expects human extinction within a few decades.

Though McPherson thinks we’re already triggered too many feedback loops to avoid massive die-off of all humans and most other species, he still advocates resisting industrial civilization, fighting back, and doing our best to stop it. He points out, for example, the potential of sabotaging electrical transformers to terminate the US electrical grid. Though we know the situation is dire and that this massive die-off is in fact inevitable if civilization is allowed to carry out its endgame, we can’t fully predict the restorative potential of the earth. Life wants to live, and science does not and can not understand and foresee how the earth may recover if we can take off the pressure of further destruction and greenhouse gas release.

Watch this video, seriously contemplate our predicament, and consider how you can respond with effectiveness proportionate to the reality we face. McPherson quotes Edward Abbey: “Action is the antidote to despair,” and urges us to act. The Deep Green Resistance strategy of Decisive Ecological Warfare, and the entire Deep Green Resistance book are excellent starting points for formulating a plan.

There are many introductions by attendees; Guy’s presentation starts at 17:20.