Brief comments on this article by George Monbiot.

Even those who are aware of the emergency imposed by climate change underestimate the urgency.

Let's take the most extreme responses that have been discussed so far. In the US there's talk of a green new deal or a world war II style mobilization against fascism.

Will these be enough?

I don't think so. For one, such proposals are immediately followed by the mention of market forces and carbon taxes and how solar power is getting cheaper than coal and gas.

I think those are false, even harmful framings of the challenge before us.

Do we really think the complete overhaul of our way of life, the way we live and work, the way we move, the way we eat, the way we pray, the way we do everything is going to solved by a tax or limited state action?

I doubt it.

It's also not going to be solved by a “war effort.” Wars are limited mobilizations, both in space and in time. It took six years to defeat Hitler after which we went back to guzzling gas and minting widgets.

In contrast, what we need is a permanent change from an extractive to a regenerative society. We can't just invest $30 Trillion in carbon sucking devices and pretend as if the rest of our way of being is adequate. Geoengineering is too small an ask, WW II style mobilization is too small an ask. Neither is asking us to change the underlying system that has brought us to this pass.

What we need is a complete and total re-imagination of human life on this planet.


Every day we hear about how Republicans deny climate change and how their racism drives their immigration policies.

What if the two were one and the same? After all, since they are in power, they are privy to national security assessments of climate change related impacts – more so than the opposition – and shooting at caravans is a rational response for racists under such circumstances.

I find the division between climate deniers and science backed progressives useless at best and dangerous at worst.

A historical comparison shows why. A hundred years ago, as it became clear that industrial capitalism was here to stay and it was changing societies at breakneck speed, workers started organizing for their share of the new wealth.

At that time too, there were “deniers,” i.e., people who denied the rights of workers to organize and protest. In other words, unionize. The deniers weren't really denying the truth of the new system that had come into being; instead, their denial was really an assent of a vicious response to the needs of workers.

To be a denier in 1918 (give or take a few years) was to be a backer of fascism via Mussolini and Hitler. Why do we expect this time to be any different? Anyone who sees the world clearly recognizes that massive changes are afoot. The only question is how to react to these changes.

The election of Bolsonaro & Trump, the ubiquity of surveillance, the demonization of immigration and minorities and so on are better read as the conservative response to climate change – and world change more broadly – than as a return to some medieval or tribal values.

They are reading history as well or better than progressives are; it's just that they're choosing to respond differently.


The latest IPCC report confirms what many of us have believed for awhile: Even 1.5° warming will be hard on India and anything higher will be catastrophic. I just don’t see how we are going to stop that from happening. The west is developing systems that will help it respond to the climate crisis – and in my opinion, much of it will be shirking its responsibility for the crisis and militarizing climate response so that they can keep people who are trying to escape calamities out of their borders.

There isn’t much I can do about that right now, so I am going to be silent on that issue. However, where I believe we can do something is in imagining, implementing and scaling an Indian response to this emergency. We are ramping up a consumption driven fossil fuel economy just when it’s unsustainable and unjust everywhere and simply suicidal for us.

Historically, we are a forest and farm civilization, with reverence towards the non-human world and kindness towards all its creatures. That's one of our great achievements. Yet, here we are ripping open the earth for what, ten more packets of kurkure? This madness has brought us within a stroke of midnight with Pralaya around the corner.

If that's not a wake up call, I don't know what is.

#ClimateChange #India

Here's why I am deeply skeptical of the moral compass of the climate movement.

First order of business: ban the use of the phrases “saving the planet/good for the planet.”

Consider how the latter is used in this article (all quotes below are from the article):

“Years ago, we observed that people didn’t just want food that’s good for them, they also wanted food that’s good for the planet.”

This by a man who runs a dairy monster – 37000 cows housed in one massive five star hotel – just kidding, 37000 cows housed in god knows what circumstances though I fear the worst since their website has everything else besides the conditions of the cows themselves.

So one might ask: what does the term “good for the planet” mean when it comes with torture and slaughter. We will let that question warm some of the gas that's coming out of some human behinds.

Then comes this major vote of thanks:

“We owe much of it to our 37,000 cows. Three times a day, we collect their manure and deliver it to sealed chambers called anaerobic digesters. They effectively serve as a cow’s fifth stomach, where bacteria continue to digest the organic matter left in the cows’ waste and turn it into methane. The gas is captured and used to power the farm and fuel the trucks that take our milk to market.”

Yeah, but what happens to the cows? They have cleverly recognized that the climate first crowd cares about reducing methane emissions from cattle but don't care much about how. Here's how:

“Through gene mapping, editing and breeding, we can further improve the efficiency with which cows turn feed into milk with fewer emissions. Automation and robotics are generating billions of pieces of data that enable us to improve diets and care based on each cow’s consumption, weight, and other indicators of health and growth. Armed with these innovations, producers can increase yields and resource efficiency, build healthier and more resilient soil, shrink our carbon footprint, and measure and verify that these improvements are happening.”


“we produced a billion gallons of milk with 21 percent of the animals, 23 percent of the feed, 35 percent of the water, and only 10 percent of the land, while generating only 24 percent of the manure and 37 percent of the carbon emissions. We achieved these efficiencies before we were even measuring them. Imagine what we can do with measurable targets, financial incentives, and technological innovations.”

The headline says “cows are leading the way.” Do they have any choice in the matter? What kind of leading involves increasing the control over your body? We are just solving a problem of (rich) human making by increasing the suffering of animals you already treat as machines.

That's just intensifying the anthropocene not resisting it.

#ClimateChange #AnimalRights