FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Call for an Extinction Rebellion

Mexican Wolf. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

In the age of coming climate apocalypse, the narcissistic self-regard of humans in their exploitive relationship with the natural world is so disgusting, so utterly reprehensible, so vain and vacuous and unworthy of intelligent beings that it makes me want to repudiate humanism altogether and call for humans to be wiped off the goddamn planet.

The film Planet of the Apes, issued in 1968, had it right when the apes quoted their sacred scrolls:

Beware the beast man, for he is the Devil’s pawn. Alone among God’s primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother’s land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours.

There’s my rant, and enough of it.  I’m part of this absurdist cavalcade aimed at climate doom, I’m the problem as much as anyone else, and I haven’t any high horse on which to climb to judge my fellow beasts.

What I know is this: Humankind as currently organized – organized for ever-more unnecessary consumption – will burn in the hell of a climate-warmed world and will indeed make a desert of the place we called home.

Good riddance?  No way.  I have two daughters, aged 7 and 24, to think about.  Do we actually give a shit about these kids and their future?  Of course not. There are profits to be made.

Which is to say: let’s stab a knife in the back of my daughters and watch them bleed out in the street years hence.  Fuck the kids!  Let them die so we can have more and more in our imperious carbon-intensive moment of profligacy.

Like I said, it’s so disgusting, so dispiriting, that it could turn you into an anti-humanist, someone who might wish the filthy species of entitled shitheads to wipe itself out.

But then again: my daughters.  Humans, sweet and gentle and open and uncorrupted, not yet anyway, not if I can prevent it.

I want them to grow up in the world that I grew up in, a world of lovely natural rhythms, in which the biotic expressions of the complexity and richness of the other-than-human runs riot across the seasons.  Here – look, kids! – is the newness and strangeness and bewilderment of the repeating cycles of nature.   Here is the ground of our being.  Without it, we are nothing.  There is no humankind without nature.

And here, kids, is a smartphone which I smash with a hammer.  My seven-year-old, Josie, who walks the woods of the Catskills with me, finds this destructive idea at least as entertaining as tree identification.  (Note to parents: destroying phones with a hammer works – it is proven by physics.)

The point is this: whenever you feel the terrible weight of misanthropy – I feel it every time I wake up and look in the mirror – think of future generations, your love for them, your honoring of them, and try to militate against our economic system that condemns them to destruction.

I can think of one and only one political movement today that serves this purpose, and it is called Extinction Rebellion.   Check it out.  The idea behind Extinction Rebellion is that if we all get together and disobediently shut down the mad system, we might no longer have to feel ashamed at being the mere beast called man.

More articles by:

Christopher Ketcham is the author of  “This Land: How Cowboys, Capitalism and Corruption are Ruining the American West” (Viking-Penguin).  He can be reached at cketcham99@mindspring.com.

August 12, 2020
Sam Pizzigati
Within Health Care USA, Risk and Reward Have Never Been More Out of Kilter
John Perry
The US Contracts Out Its Regime Change Operation in Nicaragua
Binoy Kampmark
Selective Maritime Rules: The United States, Diego Garcia and International Law
Manuel García, Jr.
The Improbability of CO2 Removal From the Atmosphere
Khury Petersen-Smith
The Road to Portland: The Two Decades of ‘Homeland Security’
Raouf Halaby
Teaching Palestinian Children to Love Beethoven, Bizet, and Mozart is a Threat to a Depraved Israeli Society
Jeff Mackler
Which Way for Today’s Mass Radicalization? Capitalism’s Impending Catastrophe…or a Socialist Future
Tom Engelhardt
It Could Have Been Different
Stephen Cooper
Santa Davis and the “Stalag 17” Riddim
August 11, 2020
Richard D. Wolff
Why Capitalism is in Constant Conflict With Democracy
Paul Street
Defund Fascism, Blue and Orange
Richard C. Gross
Americans Scorned
Andrew Levine
Trump and Biden, Two Ignoble Minds Here O’erthrown
Patrick Cockburn
The Rise of Nationalism Has Led to the Increased Repression of Minorities
Sonali Kolhatkar
Trump’s Presidency is a Death Cult
Colin Todhunter
Pushing GMO Crops into India: Experts Debunk High-Level Claims of Bt Cotton Success
Valerie Croft
How Indigenous Peoples are Using Ancestral Organizing Practices to Fight Mining Corporations and Covid-19
David Rovics
Tear Gas Ted Has a Tantrum in Portland
Dean Baker
There is No Evidence That Generous Unemployment Benefits are Making It Difficult to Find Workers
Robert Fantina
War on Truth: How Kashmir Struggles for Freedom of Press
Dave Lindorff
Trump Launches Attack on Social Security and Medicare
Elizabeth Schmidt
COVID-19 Poses a Huge Threat to Stability in Africa
Parth M.N.
Coping With a Deadly Virus, a Social One, Too
Thomas Knapp
The “Election Interference” Fearmongers Think You’re Stupid
Binoy Kampmark
Mealy-Mouthed Universities: Academic Freedom and the Pavlou Problem Down Under
Mike Garrity
Emperor Trump Loses Again in the Northern Rockies in Big Win for Bull Trout, Rivers and the ESA
Alex Lawson
34 Attorneys General Call to Bust Gilead’s Pharma Monopoly on COVID Treatment Remdesivir
August 10, 2020
Gerald Sussman
Biden’s Ukrainegate Problem
Vijay Prashad – Érika Ortega Sanoja
How the U.S. Failed at Its Foreign Policy Toward Venezuela
Daniel Warner
Geneva: The Home of Lost Causes
Mike Hastie
The Police Force Stampede in Portland on August 8, 2020 
Jack Rasmus
Trump’s Executive Orders: EOs as PR and FUs
Rev. William Alberts
Cognitive Without Conscience
David Altheide
Politicizing Fear Through the News Media
F. Douglas Stephenson
Is Big Pharma More Interested in Profiteering Than Protecting Us From Coronavirus?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Money Plague
Howard Lisnoff
Revolutionaries Living in a System of Growing Fascism
Ralph Nader
Donald Trump is Defeating Himself
Lynnette Grey Bull
The Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women Human Rights Emergency is Not a Photo-Op for Ivanka Trump
Victor Grossman
Some Come, Others Go
Binoy Kampmark
Death From the Sky: Hiroshima and Normalised Atrocities
The Stop Golden Rice Network
Why We Oppose Golden Rice
Michael D. Knox
After Nagasaki, the U.S. Did Not Choose Peace
Elliot Sperber
A Tomos 
Weekend Edition
August 07, 2020
Friday - Sunday
John Davis
The COVID Interregnum
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail