OP-ED: What Does the Climate Justice Movement's Economic Revolution Look Like?

By Cory Morningstar

Although UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki moon’s announcement that “the world's economic model is 'environmental suicide'” is important: – it is also a vital piece of what is certain to become a massive a green wash campaign - to convince the world’s citizens that ‘sustainable growth’ actually exists – and that green consumerism/green capitalism is the solution for all of our crisis which are now peaking simultaneously.


Therefore it is imperative that the climate justice movement seize this opportunity – to further advance the critical dialogue on our current economic model – recognized as the root cause of climate change. We need to bring this discussion to the very forefront and shine a spotlight on it ... a spotlight as big as the sun. 


If we don’t – we can watch the false solutions spread like terminal cancer.


Growth is not compatible with solving our climate crisis. The industrial system is predicated on economic growth without limit; economic growth is inherently unsustainable. The evidence is all around us. The same system that created our crisis cannot solve our crisis. Our movement must campaign and educate on the false misconceptions of ‘sustainable growth’ and very concisely shape/outline what such a ‘new revolutionary economy’ would look like – one that rejects and exposes the current global agenda for securing/furthering corporate domination of our planet and remaining shared commons.   


Which brings me to this question RE: Economics. 


wonder who within the climate justice movement has watched the new Zeitgeist documentary film – ‘Moving Forward’ ... and how the movement will receive it. My opinion is that it was excellent. Especially the brilliant interviews (see the list below). The ending is amazing. I found it one of most inspiring and optimistic documentary films I have ever watched.


I realize Peter Joseph’s documentary films are often framed by many as ‘conspiracy theory’ etc.  – yet I personally believe it would be most difficult to difficult to ‘debunk’ or try to rip to shreds the ideas so beautifully and articulately presented in this film. Peter Joseph has written, directed and produced the freely-distributed documentary films as public awareness expression. To my knowledge, Peter is also an activist – which makes it a bit strange - that this current film – said to be the largest non-profit independent film release in history – has not yet been discussed within the climate justice movements.   


Part 1, titled Human Nature,  begins with a must watch animated short story narrated by the brilliant visionary Jacque Presco (now 94) speaking a few minutes about his school experience and observations during the depression. (starts at 5:55 – ends at 8:35) [Here is a discovery channel video featuring Jacque’s visionary ideas:  http://youtu.be/rBH1Y6WfpVM]


I’m not suggesting everyone will embrace and agree on the ideas and visions proposed in the films. Rather, I’m suggesting why not begin the discussion on what a new economy should look like. Why not start by looking at a vision which was created by an individual gifted with intelligence and imagination – driven by deep respect of the planet and unwavering faith in humanity. A vision detailed and critiqued over decades – by a man who has devoted his entire lifetime in hopes of creating a better world for all.


          Dr Robert Sapolsky: An American scientist and author. He is currently professor of Biological Sciences, and Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, and by courtesy, Neurosurgery, at Stanford University. In addition, he is a research associate at the National Museums of Kenya.

·         Dr Gabor Maté: A Canadian physician who specializes in the study and treatment of addiction and is also widely recognized for his unique perspective on Attention Deficit Disorder and his firmly held belief in the connection between mind and body health.

·         James Gilligan: An American psychiatrist and author, husband of Carol Gilligan and best known for his series of books entitled Violence, where he draws on 25 years of work in the American prison system to describe the motivation and causes behind violent behaviour.

·         Dr Richard Wilkinson: A British researcher in social inequalities in health and the social determinants of health. He is Professor Emeritus of social epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, having retired in 2008. He is also Honorary Professor at University College London.

·         Dr. John McMurtry: A moral philosopher and ethicist who works at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. He is a firm anticapitalist and advocate of the anti-globalization movement. He was named Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in June 2001.

·         Michael Ruppert: The founder and former editor of From The Wilderness, a newsletter and website dedicated to investigating political cover-ups. He is now CEO and President of Collapse Network, Inc.

·         Max Keiser: A film-maker, broadcaster and former broker and options trader. Keiser is the host of On the Edge, a program of news and analysis hosted by Iran's Press TV.

·         Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis: A professor of Industrial & Systems Engineering and is the Director of Manufacturing Engineering Graduate Program at the University of Southern California (USC).

·         Dr. Adrian Bowyer: A British engineer and mathematician, currently an academic at the University of Bath.

·         Dr. Colin J. Campbell: PhD Oxford, is a retired British petroleum geologist who predicted that oil production would peak by 2007.




Part 2 is titled Social Pathology, part 3 is titled Project Earth and part IV is titled Rise.


If you did not like the first or second Zeitgeist – I highly suggest you throw all caution and/or pre-judgments to the wind & watch this one anyway. I’m assuming many of you reading this - have watched it as it now has over one million views in just a few days. (since January 25th 2011)


In regards to the constant criticisms the Zeitgeist films are subjected to – especially given the little time we have left to prevent major catastrophes in so many realms – is it not unfair and close minded to cast a negative shadow on a documentary which focuses on the premise/belief that it is possible to rise above our current system (that has brought us to the very brink of collapse) and thus evolve into an enlightened, non-competitive, sharing society. Jacque’s faith in human nature – after witnessing almost a century of unparalleled environmental destruction, relentless manipulation of whole societies and gross exploitation of those most vulnerable – can only be admired.


Jacque at age 94, demonstrates a mind still as sharp as a razors edge. His unwavering faith in humanity, tenacious determination and rejection of ignorant ridicule leaves one humbled and in awe. Surely the ideas, thoughts and beliefs presented by the individuals involved in this film – all demonstrating personal strength and conviction of the most fearless calibre - deserve to be taken seriously and given consideration – after all – changes of the most radical measures will be necessary to avert environmental collapse, let alone climate catastrophe.


States may not fear open conflict, but they certainly do fear the possibility of the greater threat: “room for ideological and extremist alternatives to existing forms of government”.[1]


Full Zeitgeist Moving Forward documentary:



[1] October, 2010: A senior Nato commander warns officials that climate change could lead to Arctic conflict. Global warming and a race for the worlds remaining resources could spark a new 'cold war' in the Arctic, warned the US naval admiral warns ahead of key talks on environmental security.  This could be seen as the devil himself asking the heat to be turned down in hell – to no avail.  A separate military study warns of a Potentially Drastic Oil Crisis in which "In the medium term the global economic system and every market-oriented national economy would collapse." The Bundeswehr study also raises fears that parts of the population could perceive the upheaval triggered by peak oil "as a general systemic crisis." This would create "room for ideological and extremist alternatives to existing forms of government." Fragmentation of the affected population is likely and could "in extreme cases lead to open conflict."


Cory Morningstar is climate justice activist whose recent writings can be found on Canadians for Action on Climate Change and The Art of Annihilation site where you can read her bio. You can follow her on Twitter: @elleprovocateur


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