There’s a war going on for your wallets, your bodies, your minds and your souls. A war to determine the future of all life on planet Earth. And at its apex is a war on women.
Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court approval is not just a threat to women, minorities, workers, migrants, Muslims, poor people, LGBTQ+ people, and the very essence of a functioning democracy; he is a de facto threat to the planet.
“As a D.C. appeals court judge, he argued against the [Environment Protection Agency] EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases, and wrote the majority opinion striking down the EPA’s attempt to regulate hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are potent climate pollutants used in cooling applications,” observes Basav Sen, director of the Climate Justice Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. “He even wrote a majority opinion overturning EPA regulation of air pollution that crosses state lines.”
Kavanaugh’s justification for opposing EPA regulation of fossil fuel emissions is because a literal reading of the Clean Air Act doesn’t allow this. He thus pushed the onus for climate action onto a specific mandate from Congress. Of course, as Sen points out:
“This is very convenient for the fossil fuel industry and other climate polluters, which have the political clout to ensure that such a directive will never happen under the present Congress.”
The result is that US inaction on climate “becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy” which “comes at a huge cost to humanity.”
And the cost to humanity is, potentially, an uninhabitable planet, within our lifetimes, by the end of this century. That, in fact, is the business-as-usual trajectory we are on right now in terms of our rate of fossil fuel exploitation, which continues to intensify, potentially toward a worst-case near 8C warming scenario by 2100.
That is why a UN report points out that countries are not meeting their proclaimed climate pledges under the Paris Agreement, meaning that at this point in time, it’s “extremely improbable” that we will be able to retain a safe climate within the 1.5C safe upper limit; let alone the fact that the Trump administration itself concedes that global warming will likely hit at least 4C.
The climate crisis, too, is overwhelmingly gendered, and racialized. Women and people of color around the world find themselves on the frontlines of the impact of environmental catastrophe.
Natural disasters resulting from climate change are on the rise. On average, natural disasters consistently kill more women than men, in some cases with 90 percent female fatalities. According to UN figures women face a risk of death from natural disasters that is 14 times higher than for men.
Women also suffer disproportionately more from the aftermath of such disasters, increasing the threat of sexual assault, preventing girls attending school, and so on. There can be many reasons for the greater vulnerability: less economic opportunities, less access to technologies like mobile phones (meaning less likelihood of receiving timely warnings), less freedom of movement due to cultural issues, and so on.
Thus, one of the main reasons that climate change disproportionately affects women is because women, especially in poorer nations, are already marginalized. This means that the impacts of climate change in terms of extreme weather, water scarcity, and crop failures, hits women, and women of color, the most.
But by end of century, if this course continues, it won’t just be women and foreigners ‘out there’ who are victims.
It will be all of us, and our children, and their children.
The Kavanaugh nomination is a bareknuckled fist in the face of those endeavouring to reverse this course.
Commander Kavanaugh is an instrument for the consolidation of a system premised on accelerating the extraction of planetary resources, for the benefit of a tiny minority of predominantly white men. This is the patriarchy. A system of white supremacism, a paradigm of planetary rape, hell-bent on its own expansion, at any cost.
And that is why Professor Ford’s testimony had to be steamrolled into irrelevance, as part of a process to consolidate the system through the subjugation of the most powerful court in the land, if not the world: thus providing an open playing field for the Deep State special interests that enabled the rise of Trump.
Professor Ford confronted Trump’s Commander, the last force between the Destroyers and rest of the planet… a lone woman, who was sexually assaulted in high school.
The approval of Kavanaugh represents a very real lurch toward the dystopian vision set out in Margaret Attwood’s extraordinary and frightening work of fiction, The Handmaid’s Tale. But in that regard, it also lays bare the stark reality of this moment.
The Destroyers think they are winning, but they have already lost. They just don’t know it yet. The system of endless extraction is dying. If it continues, it might take much of humanity with it, but it is still dying. Scientists warn that the extraction paradigm is rapidly running out of steam.
We can no longer simply keep growing our economies, accumulating, taking, raping planetary resources with no limit or boundaries; the costs of doing so are rising exponentially; and they are feeding back into the system of extraction, constraining it, disrupting it.
Within the next few decades, the system of extraction as we know it will begin to grind down in slow, protracted fashion. By end of century, as we scrape the bottom of the barrel of planetary resources in our unmitigated hunger for ‘growth’, this system will not be capable of survival.
And so, in the fear of change and loss, the Deep State’s response to this global systemic crisis is to double-down in complete denial.
This is false power. The illusion, or rather self-delusion, of power. A system that is eating itself. A snake greedily consuming its own tail. Real power belongs to the Earth, and those truly aligned with Her, who will inherit what comes after.
We find ourselves on the brink. At the point of no return.
We see before ourselves a structure and ideology that has become all-encompassing. This is the ideology of extraction.
It is an ideology that manifests the worst excesses of the human ego; a reductionist, hedonistic conceptualization of the human self as little more than a rabid consumer of narrowly-defined material pleasures; sanitized under a framework of authoritarian self-righteous fundamentalist-moralism.
It is an ideology which in many ways has become part of our neurophysiological wiring. It has surely become consciously absorbed by many, but moreso, has become embedded deep into our unconscious minds, reinforced by consumerist media memes that subliminally determine the trendline of our thoughts and emotions, perpetually dragging them in service to the extraction paradigm to maximize more material accumulation.
Rape is the ultimate logical extension of this paradigm: the power and control of completely subjugating the ‘Other’, the compassionless taking of what ‘you want’ at the ‘Other’s’ total expense.
Ultimately, Kavanaugh is a nobody, a figurehead, a convenient face, a facade, behind which a deeper system resides, and festers.
It is easy to focus on the Commander. But behind the Commander is Gilead.
And upholding Gilead are the everyday actions of each and every one of us, like cogs in the Death Machine, participating in and perpetuating often through microbehaviors we are too busy to bother reflecting on, that emerge in our relationships with family, friends, spouses, partners, in our workplaces and leisure spaces, in conversations, and in decisions, and in policies, and in institutions and structures and systems.
We don’t win on the battlefield of the Senate Judiciary Committee — we lose that battle because we’ve already lost the battle where it really counts: everywhere else. Because these institutions, the broken coopted judiciary, the broken Democrat-Republican pale male stalemate, the broken two party patriarchal-oligarchy, are part of the same broken, dying paradigm.
We will win those battles when we start fighting where it counts. Fighting where it counts means taking a stand. Challenge the bastardisation of masculinity; capture the true meaning of manhood as a trust and a responsibility to yourself, your family, your community and your planet; stand alongside women and minorities as true equals; believe victims; stand for victims; hold yourself to account and refuse to conform to a culture that glorifies violence and sexual violence; work to transform systems, structures and institutions here and now; engage relentlessly with the most broken systems that need to change, to help change them, or build new ones in solidarity with others; strive for greater representation of diverse communities, not just through personnel, but through action; find true strength in the power of love and compassion; act on that power through conscious, everyday acts of resistance through a grounded commitment to create a new pattern of behavior in harmony with the planet, based on the entirely opposite logic of the dying paradigm: sharing, coordinating, collaborating, co-creating.
It’s time to start building what comes after. There is no solace in mourning the impotent demise of the old. It’s time to start building the next system, the new.
So roll up those fucking sleeves brother, sister.
And maybe, just maybe, we will be able to reclaim our souls.
Source: the author’s page at Medium.com