Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Al Gore Interview and Derrick Jensen Interview

I ran across these two interviews today - Al Gore was on Terry Gross' Fresh Air on national public radio. His new book, Assault on Reason is out in paperback now. Listen here.

And then a link to this interview was in my mailbox:

Read It and Riot
by Linnea Due

Due interviews a modern day prophet, Derrick Jensen on the publication of his latest book, a graphic novel As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial.
Here's just a sample - go read the entire interview on the above link to ecologycenter dot org:

Jensen: "I had a long talk at the airport with a man about Al Gore. An Inconvenient Truth is great as an introduction but it's exclusionary. This is one step, but we need to do another 3,000 steps very soon.
There's this great book called The Nazi Doctors, questioning how people who took the Hippocratic oath could work at the death camps. Most actually cared about individuals in the death camps and did what they could to save them, but they didn't question the existence of the camps themselves.
We do what we can to save this or that creature, but we don't question the superstructure that's causing the problems in the first place.
I used to work at Pelican Bay. I was fully aware that I was participating in the greatest gulag on the planet, but on the other hand, the only thing keeping the inmates sane was my class. So we need it all—reform and revolution. That's the only thing that will save the planet.

"The solutions I've heard are so interesting because they're insane. They don't take physical reality as a given, but instead the given is that we must save present-day society.
We need to get back in the real world. The real world is being murdered before our eyes, like a video game that we can't back up. I sometimes wake up and think, this can't be happening. People can't really just lose the ice caps. Let's pretend you were talking to a seven-year-old: So, burning oil and coal and natural gas is causing global warming. What do you think we should do to stop global warming? Any reasonable seven-year-old can answer that question.
Here's carbon offsets: My house stinks because I keep shitting in the middle of the living room floor. I don't like it. So maybe I can pay someone to shit in his living room instead.

"I heard a radio show about the world-saving machine that can convert carbon dioxide to oxygen. The guy who runs Virgin airlines is going to give millions to develop this technology. We have it already. They're called trees.

"We need to think about what we want. I want to live in a world that has wild salmon. So the first question is what you want, and the second is what do you need for that to happen. The salmon need industrial logging to stop and the dams to be removed. And they need for industrial fishing to stop. They need industrial agriculture to stop creating giant dead zones, and they need global warming to stop, and they need the ocean not to be murdered.
Polar bears need ice and seals. Then they'll be happy.
The problem is that there's this awfully convenient worldview that presumes that you can consume a planet while you live on it.
That's why we took it out of the context of corporations and jobs and put it into the context of aliens eating the planet (in his book). These problems are not cognitively challenging. They're not amenable to rational solutions."

What is it about graphic novels these days? Howard Zinn has a good'un out too. Do Americans need pictures to hold their attention?
Call me naive, but here's one small step for mankind, a suggestion in the form of garden art:


Brenda Kula said...

I love NPR. I always listen to it in the car while I'm driving. And as for Bush, there was a bumper sticker around here (in Texas!) one time that I just loved: It proclaimed Bush as a Texas village idiot. I have apologized to bloggers in other countries when they have to suffer Bush "and his entourage" coming to their city and closing everything down. I didn't vote for him, but still feel chagrined that I am from a country that still managed to vote in "the village idiot."

Betsy said...

He sure closed down Iraq.
I have that 'village idiot' saying on a refrigerator magnet, Brenda! Although it puts idiots in a bad light and I apologize to any idiots who are offended.
I got a magnet that says 'More Trees, Less Bush' after seeing him introduce his 'Healthy Forests Initiative" in a lumber lot with a chain saw. Kinda like his 'Clean Air' and 'Blue Sky' and 'No Child Left Behind' plays on words.

Betsy said...

Oh and I forgot that incomparable "Mission Accomplished" stroke of genius.

Betsy said...

As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial by Derrick Jensen, Stephanie McMillan

Two of America's most talented activists team up to deliver a bold and hilarious satire of modern environmental policy in this fully illustrated graphic novel. The US government gives robot machines from space permission to eat the earth in exchange for bricks of gold. A one-eyed bunny rescues his friends from a corporate animal testing laboratory. And two little girls figure out the secret to saving the world from both of its enemies (and it isn't by using energy-efficient light bulbs or biodiesel fuel). As the World Burns will inspire you to do whatever it takes to stop ecocide before it's too late.
Seven Stories Press - $14.95 - 9781583227770