I guess I have a millionth of an inkling of what it must be like to be a person of colour anywhere, but especially in the US, UK or Australia. Given that I am as whitebread as it comes, that needs an explanation.
One thing that comes through in reading people of colour, listening to them, is just how goddam exhausting it is to see your existence, your rights, your needs endlessly ignored, minimised. To see the work you did to improve the lot of your people hurled down memory holes while rich white people pretend to give a shit, and start each new response to a new scandal as if it was one of a kind, not part of an endlessly (?) repeated pattern of slow violence against other human beings and other species.
Put like that, it does kind of suck. And it is just so exhausting…
Where does this come from? Well, last night I turned on the news and my body froze. It was the same old talk that we have had from the Liberals about technological “responses” to climate change. Other people (hello Adam Morton, Ketan Joshi, Michael Marzengarb) will go to town on it.
And there are a couple of people (especially Lenore Taylor, Laura Tingle, Clive Hamilton) who could say what needs saying –
“Look, we are stuck in an endless cycle here. The Liberal Party policy was exactly the same in 2004-2006. Rising pressure for international action> Check. Huge support for fossil fuels? Check. Active naked hostility to renewables? Check. Culture war, lies about targets and baselines, and intimidation of opponents? Check.”
So, the braying sheep on my TV screen
Make this boy shout, make this boy scream!
And I suppose it ties into a book – “Earth Emotions: New Words for a New World” by Glenn Albrecht- that I am reading (and then reviewing). I will admit to being merely whelmed by this one (though other people may find it more useful?) It’s full of neologisms, some of which may survive, others which are as doomed to die as our civilization. The one that makes sense here is this –
“Terrafurie is the extreme anger unleashed within those who can clearly see the self-destructive tendencies in the current forms of industrial-technological society but feel unable to change the direction of such tierracide and ecocide. The anger is also directed at challenging the status quo in both intellectual and socio-political terms. Terrafurie is anger targeted at those who command the forces of Earth destruction.”
(Albrecht, 2019: 86)
I think it is time to move beyond the silliness of “accelerating transitions” and talk about failed transitions, where the contestation by incumbents was so effective for so long that the window of opportunity has closed, and it is all over bar the shouting. And the dying. Thus #failedtransitions
But while I will say that, I will of course, persist in trying to salvage something from the wreckage. What else ya gonna do?