This website and group have got me worried HERE . As any regular reader of this blog will know, I am an entrenched anti-capitalist and advocate of systemic change and am committed to assist in the self assembling evolution of an advanced economic system that measures societal success in Natural, Social and Economic Capital; a system that writes nature into the DNA of government and international policy and delivers net biodiversity gain and an end to the Sixth Extinction. Effectively this boil downs to a challenge on the global Capitalist Oligarchy and the GDP paradigm and a call for a new Oligarchy/Benevolent Ruling Class of Ethical Capitalism/Sustainability that co-ordinates systems that optimise benefits for society and nature- a more down to earth ruling class that manages systems that provide net biodiversity gain and more equality and individual empowerment. An end to the rule of the disaster and casino Capitalists, an overthrowing of their empire and the establishment of a new nature and people focused world order. (so not particularly much to ask!)
So surely low carbon birding and a call for reducing carbon emissions (global warming is one of the biggest threats to our ecosystems) amongst birders should be right up my street. Indeed it is! However this group have a different message, its a message that strongly criticises globalism. It attacks ecotourism HERE and claims that carbon offsetting is a sham HERE. Basically the group advocates staying at home and cycling to your local patch and getting the train to go birding. So what's wrong with that?
What's wrong with that is by adopting a simple life choice strategy (a 3 point plan), is what is left out from adopting a complex and advanced life choice strategy. A 3 point plan (or whatever off the shelf simple world view you like from any cult or religion or dogma including the capitalist dogma of GDP growth, free markets and small government- another 3 point retarded plan) is dangerous by it's omissions of values and things that could be embraced into a more complex world view. Simple world views and three point plans are enticing and seductive because they hack into our desires for an easy life and a shirking of responsibility, an excuse to avoid facing our fears and pushing our limits, a comfort in doing less, challenging wrong doers and an excuse to not throw ourselves into complexity and danger. By doing that we become paradoxes, enemies of what we advocate as we allow our enemies (the global capitalist oligarchs and the unsustainable systems they govern) to get on with it, while we cycle around and enjoy long train journeys wasting time as the natural world crumbles into oblivion. . That makes us Retreaters, defeated, Nietzsche's cave dwellers, doing exactly what the oligarchs want- give up, accept a lack lustre life style and believing that doing very little can have a massive impact- its a delusion. It's the biggest delusion of our time- that if we all do a little bit it will amount to a lot. Absolutely not- nothing multiplied by nothing a trillion times still equals nothing. We are all a little bit already, there are 8,000,000,000 of us on this planet. You can't get much smaller than that so as an individual (one part of 8 billion and if you include the other organisms we share this planet with we as individuals are one part of trillions- our individual lives are microscopic already) you have to change nearly every aspect of your life style to be that little bit of change and then yes all those little bits add up to something big. Doing very little as an individual and get a big return is a teenage, childish desire. A delusion. A delusion that leads to judging others that are actively engaged in their own pursuits to build the sustainable global economy- working hard and busting their bollocks in running bird tour companies, running NGOs in rainforests, purchasing reserves, building green economies, inventing new technologies etc etc.
A low carbon birder is a Capitalist lackey. A brainwashed drone, serving the will of the Captialist oligarchs, convinced that they are saving the planet rather than saving the Capitalists. Its a hack. They remind me of these slave maker ants HERE
Low carbon birding its basically saying don't support conservation NGOs, dont visit their centres (which are often remote and away from train stations), don't support eco-tourism projects in the developing world, don't explore the natural planet, don't have global adventures (how can anyone cycle to New Zealand or Australia), don't support the green economy by buying an electric car, don't lobby government for technological change in long distance travel (e.g. high speed rail networks across Africa instead of flying to nature reserves and lodges or pressurise the government for low carbon planes such as hydrogen planes or new flight technologies) , dont set up green businesses, don't provide the solutions, don't join campaigns to call for corporate responsibility and oligarchical accountability, don't look at your investment carbon and ecological footprints or the company you work for and their carbon and ecological footprints or the products you buy and the corporations you support by your consumer behaviour or your energy supplier and just obsess on retreating into a fairy tale where some simple low energy lazy and unimaginative life choices can make any difference at all to the impending doom approaching and don't go world birding, don't go Western Palearctic birding and basically, for the projects I co-ordinate, it's basically saying don't travel to the Azores, don't visit Beddington Farmlands unless you cycle there or get the train and don't travel to Eastern Europe and visit and support the birding and conservation community there.
Simple world views are ostracising and exclusive, self righteous, small minded and dangerous.
There are very tough choices and trade offs for all birders and conservationists. There is no easy 3 point plan to live by. There is nothing but an epic war of infinite complexity and extremely complex decisions that we can only make with a fired up open mind that rejects linear and binary thinking. We need to find ways of building on the established birding and nature conservation economy, evolving it and directing it in the direction of low carbon, making it less capitalist focused and more affordable for all, for profits to circulate amongst local communities instead of pseudo-capitalist bird tour company owners on their third Jag, for stringent meaningful carbon offsetting schemes, to encourage citizen science led nature reserve purchases, to lobby our governments for systemic change (we need proportional representation to block minority rule in parliament for a start) , for birders and conservationists to detach from the disaster capitalist economy (stop working for and buying from those corporations!- support local business and ethical businesses) etc etc etc. I could go on and on and on.
Embrace complexity, each one of us has an optimum state that we should seek to evolve into and that means wiring into the ecological cosmos and to avoid the comforts of, in the case of birders, much less than mediocrity. Staying on your local patch and avoid foreign birding travels and adventures is accepting being crushed by the global disaster capitalists.
Avoid the comforts of destitution and defeat.
This scheme is the kind of thing that I think is more along the right lines and direction we need to be heading in: THE INGLORIOUS BUSTARDS