Climate change is a serious problem because… Ferguson.
So says environmental activist Deirdre Smith of left-wing pressure group 350.org. In an editorial written for Common Dreams (“Breaking News and Views for the Progressive Community”), she claims that it “isn’t hard” to link the current tensions in Ferguson, Missouri with global warming.
When crisis hits, the underlying racism in our society comes to the surface in very clear ways. Climate change is bringing nothing if not clarity to the persistent and overlapping crises of our time.
Warming to the immense stupidity of her theme, she goes on:
Communities of color and poor communities are hit hardest by fossil fuel extraction, as well as neglected by the state in the wake of crisis. People of color also disproportionately live in climate-vulnerable areas. Similarly, state violence should concern us all, but the experience of young black men in particular in this country is unique. Those of us who are not young black men must step up to the challenge of understanding that we will likely never experience that level of demonization. That kind of solidarity is what it takes to build real people power — the kind of power that stands up unflinchingly to injustice, and helps us all win our battles by standing together.
Doing climate work takes a lot of courage, and I am endlessly inspired by my comrades’ and colleagues’ abilities hold the contradictions, complexity, and overwhelming reality it is to take on this challenge. I am excited by the deepening and aligning I’ve been seeing happening in cross-sector movement spaces over the past year especially. The more complex (and less comfortable) we allow ourselves to be, the more simple things actually become: we are in this together and our fights are connected. We don’t know everything by ourselves, but together we know enough.
I too, I’m sure, would be similarly excited by the “deepening and aligning I’ve been seeing happening in cross-sector movement spaces over the past year especially,” if only I knew what the hell this meant.
But no doubt her boss at 350.org Bill McKibben will be impressed. As will McKibben’s friend, billionaire hedge funder and environmental activist Tom Steyer. The two men’s bromance burgeoned during a 2012 hiking trip together through the Adirondack Mountains, when McKibben encouraged Steyer to become more actively involved in trying to destroy the US economy by campaigning against devilish capitalist tricks like the Keystone XL pipeline.
Although McKibben claimed in 2010 that 350.org was a “scruffy little outfit” with “almost no money”, this didn’t quite tally with its accounting records – as a recent Senate Minority Report into the left-wing Billionaires’ Club funding environmental activism revealed.
Yet, 1sky.org, 350.org’s precursor, reported expenses of over $2.6 million between October 1, 2008, and September 30, 2009, and net assets of over $2.1 million. By 2012, 350.org disclosed expenses of over $2.8 million and net assets of over $3 million. Between 2011 and 2014, 350.org separately collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Park Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, Tides Foundation, Marisla Foundation, ClimateWorks Foundation and Rockefeller Family Foundation – through grants to SMF. Accordingly, this is hardly the type of temporary fundraising relationship envisioned by the IRS when it drafted the revenue ruling.
Come the revolution, it would seem, the One Percenters will have definitely got Deirdre Smith’s and her fellow community organizers’ back.