Sunday, October 24

The defibrillator and the climate strike

A defibrillator automatically analyzes the rhythm of a person in cardiac arrest, so that when necessary it releases an electric shock on the heart to restore its normal rhythm. These devices are often used when other options have been exhausted and it is a matter of life and death.

Faced with recurring catastrophes (fires, floods, heat waves, collapse of ecosystems such as the Mar Menor …) and symptoms of depletion (Peak Oil, shortage of strategic materials, failure in global supply chains …) begins to intuitively perceive an acceleration of the ecological crisis. This sensation is accompanied by verified scientific evidence, which we could find in the leaks of drafts from various IPCC working groups or the joint publisher of more than 230 medical journals calling for emergency measures to transform societies and limit global warming, restore biodiversity and protect health.

We are faced with an obvious dilemma of life and death. Do we use the defibrillator?

Failure to do so means avoiding the gravity and urgency of the situation, pretending that unlimited economic growth is compatible while we collide with ecological limits, as well as fantasizing that we have time for a linear transition through which, little by little, we can make our own sustainable. economy and carry out a long process of social awareness.

Although if we dare to use it, it should be remembered that a defibrillator cannot save a heartless economy, in any case it can lengthen its agony. The commitment to using it to reactivate this socioeconomic model, whose violence against people and nature seems uncontrolled, means wasting the huge and unrepeatable amount of resources that the Next Generation funds represent. As the Chinese proverb says, to get out of the hole the first thing to do is stop digging.

Having not even socialized the reality of our situation during the last decades, we find ourselves in an undesirable situation where there is no longer a way out that is not traumatic. The challenge is how to jointly avoid a political suicide in the short term, if we ignore the material living conditions of the social majorities in the present, while preventing a collective suicide in the medium term, assuming the inevitability of an agenda that exercise the safeguarding of ecosystems through a decrease and reorganization of the economic metabolism, an unprecedented process of redistribution and a deepening of democracy in the face of growing technocratic and authoritarian temptations to manage these difficult times.

In the face of market blindness and political indecision, we may have lost the opportunity that the defibrillator represented. Now we can only go to cardiac massage to revive an exhausted and depressed society. An effortless and hopeful gesture that aspires to reactivate the cycle of collective action launched by the new generation of climate movements in 2019 and that the pandemic stopped. The climate strike that is being called for September 24 It has to go well, we must conspire that this mobilization helps us regain our pulse.

A strike where the conflict is no longer between worker communities and businessmen who extract surplus value, but between capital and life. A mobilization that challenges the whole of humanity. A global appeal that is disputed in each local territory, where we have recently witnessed successes such as the fight against the lithium mine in Cáceres or the citizen effervescence against the expansion of the El Prat airport.

In the previous crisis, a phrase that some doctors dedicated to their patients with anxiety and depression became popular: what you need is not a psychologist but a union. Faced with the eco-social emergency, we need collective action. Marguerite Yourcenar used to say that you have to listen to the head, but let the heart speak. We invite you to make thousands of hearts beat together, thousands of voices shout at the same time and thousands of steps echo in the streets again.