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Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter

November 21, 2015

This week: Climate change and social change

This issue of Other Voices spotlights climate change, the escalating crisis that the upcoming Paris climate conference is supposed to address. But climate change is not a single problem: it is a product of an economic system whose driving force is the need to grow and accumulate. Nor does it affect everyone equally: those with wealth and power can buy themselves what they need to continue living comfortably for years to come – everything from air conditioning to food to police and soldiers to protect their secure bubbles – while those who are poor and powerless find their lives increasingly impossible. A serious effort to address climate change therefore means social change and economic change.

A number of resources featured in this issue address the deeper issues of climate change and social change.

We also have two articles responding to recent terrorists attacks and raising questions about causes and responses. In the Organizing section, we have reflections effective grassroots organizing by Renny Cushing, an organizer in the anti-nuclear movement in the U.S. in the 1970s and 1980s.

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Climate Justice Now

Topic of the Week: Global Climate Change

With the Paris climate conference (COP21) about to start, our focus this issue is on Global Climate Change. Connexions features a wide selection of articles, books, films, and other resources on climate change and related issues, ranging from Climate Change Denial to Ecosocialism, Tarsands to Climate Justice. As our name indicates, Connexions exists to help people explore the connexions between issues. The Subject Index page on Global Climate Change is a good place to start.

Climate Justice protest

This Week on Connexions.org

A call for a Fair Shares Agreement: Will justice prevail in Paris?

For most people the word justice conjures up images of superheroes and supreme courts. It seems a grand notion with little bearing on the practicalities of daily life. And when applied to the climate crisis it seems even less comprehensible. But the shocking thing about climate justice is that not only can it be calculated -- it can be achieved. Read More

Keywords: Climate Justice - Environmental Justice

Ecological civilization

How will we get to an ecological civilization?

Capitalism's infrastructure, which is designed to dominate nature, cannot simply be taken over and used for an ecological transformation. Only a complete, root-and-branch change will do the job. Read More

Keywords: Anti-Capitalism - Ecosocialism

Canadian Flag in tar

Lest We Forget: Tar sands and war

Over the past decade, Canada has been a war profiteer and fuel tank for the US military, who have killed well over a million people since the turn of the new millennium. Since 2003, Canada has been the primary pump for the US, displacing Saudi Arabia as the historic top exporter. Currently, 97% of crude exports from Canada go directly to the US and in 2015, tar sands exports reached over 3 million barrels per day. The US military uses 80% of the total fuel burned by the US government each year and bitumen is most easily converted to jet and diesel fuel, both used heavily by the military. Read More

Keywords: Oil Exports - U.S. Military

Women in Dongria Kondh

India's indigenous peoples organise to protect forests, waters and commons

India's neoliberal government is attempting the mass seizure of indigenous lands, commons and forests in order to hand them over for corporate exploitation with mines, dams and plantations. But tribal communities are rising up to resist the takeovers, which are not only morally reprehensible but violate India's own laws and international human rights obligations. Read More

Keywords: The Commons - Land Seizures

Painting by Pierre Soulages

After Paris

Writing about the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Kenan Malik says “some have seen the terrorism as the consequence of French foreign policy in Syria. Yet we should be wary of seeing these attacks as a response, however perverted, to French, or Western, foreign policy. The terrorists did not target symbols of the French state, or of French militarism. They did not even target tourist spots. They targeted, rather, the areas and the places where mainly young, anti-racist, multi-ethnic Parisians hang out. What the terrorists despised, what they tried to eliminate, were ordinary people, drinking, eating, laughing, mixing. That is what they hated - not so much the French state as the values of diversity and pluralism.” Read More

Keywords: Terrorism

Soldiers Paris

Why states of emergency and extreme security measures won't stop ISIS

There is little sign that the G20 leaders who recently gathered in Turkey have understood the nature of the conflict in which they are engaged. ISIS's military strategy is a unique combination of urban terrorism, guerrilla tactics and conventional warfare. In the past, many states have used terrorism against opponents, but, in the case of ISIS, suicide squads focusing on soft civilian targets at home and abroad are an integral part of its war-making strategy. Read More

Keywords: National Security - Terrorism

Out in the Union: A Labor History of Queer America

People’s History

Queer Activism in the U.S. Labour Movement

A review of Miriam Frank’s book Out in the Union: A Labor History of Queer America. By recounting this history of U.S. queer labor organizing from the 1960s to the present, Frank is uncovering a largely unknown history, in the process helping to fill a large gap in both U.S. labour and queer history. Read More

Keywords: Gay & Lesbian History - Labour History

Myles Horton

From the Archives

Interview with Myles Horton

Myles Horton was the founder of the Highlander School (now the Highlander Research and Education Center), a centre for leadership training in Tennessee. The Highlander trains organizers for unions, civil rights organizations and local citizens' groups. In this interview, Horton talks about his philosophy of organizing and his belief that the answers to the problems facing society lie in the experiences of ordinary people. Read More

Keywords: Organizing - Popular Education


Website of the Week: Desmogblog

DesmogBlog exists to clear the PR pollution that is clouding the science on climate change. It is a source for accurate, fact based information regarding global warming misinformation campaigns.

An overwhelming majority of the world's climate scientists agree that the world's climate is changing - and that the indiscriminate burning of fossil fuels is to blame.

Unfortunately, a well-funded and highly organized public relations campaign is poisoning the climate change debate. Using tricks and stunts that unsavoury PR firms invented for the tobacco lobby, energy-industry contrarians are trying to confuse the public and to forestall actions that might cut into exorbitant coal, oil and gas industry profits. DeSmogBlog is here to cry foul - to shine the light on techniques and tactics that reflect badly on the PR industry and are, ultimately, bad for the planet. Visit Desmogblog here.

Keywords: Global Climate Change - Media Coverage/Environment

Joel Kovel: The Enemy of Nature: The End of Capitalism or the End of the World?

Book of the Week: The Enemy of Nature: The End of Capitalism or the End of the World? by Joel Kovel

We live in and from nature, but the way we have evolved of doing this is about to destroy us. Capitalism and its by-products -- imperialism, war, neoliberal globalization, racism, poverty, and the destruction of community -- are all playing a part in the destruction of our ecosystem. See

Keywords: Economic Alternatives - Ecosocialism

Capitalism is Killing Us All

Film of the Week: Climate change: It’s going to take a revolution

A new video by Suhail Ilyas: The growing strength of the climate movement around the world gives us great hope, but it's going to take a revolution to make the world inhabitable for future generations. See

Keywords: Climate Change - Revolutionary Politics

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Connexions Calendar

November 25, 2015
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

November 29, 2015
International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Worldwide.

November 30 - December 11, 2015
United Nations Climate Change Summit: UNFCCC COP 21
. Worldwide

December 1, 2015
World AIDS Day
. Worldwide

The Connexions Calendar is an online calendar that exists to advertise events that support social justice, democracy, human rights, ecology, and other causes. We invite you to use it to promote your events. Adding events to the Connexions Calendar is FREE. We'll give you a username and password which you use to log on. Use the contact form to arrange for a username and password. Read more →

Seeds of Fire

November 23, 1170 BCE
The first recorded strike (but certainly not the first strike!) takes place in Egypt when necropolis workers who have not been paid for their work in more than two months sit down and refuse to work until they are paid and able to eat.

November 23, 1793
A slave insurrection breaks out in St. John, in the Danish West Indies. The rebellion turns into one of the longest slave revolts in the Americas. Akwamu slaves capture the fort in Coral Bay and take control of most of the island. The revolt ends in mid-1734 when French and Swiss troops sent from Martinique defeat the rebels.

November 23, 1837
The first major armed clash in the 1837-38 Rebellion in Lower Canada takes place.

November 24, 1859
Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection is published. It becomes the foundation of evolutionary biology, and revolutionizes our understanding of life on earth.

Thomas Berry: War against people, creatures, earth

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Copyright Connexions 2015. Contents are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License. This means you are welcome to share and republish the contents of this newsletter as long as you credit Connexions, and as long as you don’t charge for the content.

Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter, is available online here

This issue was edited by Ulli Diemer.


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