A Call to Action
“In times of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act,” said Orwell. There are a lot of truth tellers in these times: Bill McKibben, David Suzuki, Sandra Steingraber, Noam Chomsky and Maude Barlow. Of course their views are marginalized or omitted altogether from the dominant media. Warning signal after warning signal goes unheeded. Buried in the back pages of the newspaper is a report: “Glacial ice in the Peruvian Andes that took at least 1,600 years to form has melted in just 25 years, the latest indication that the recent spike in global temperatures has thrown the natural world out of balance.” These are more like apocalyptic times than revolutionary ones. It is not just about cuddly animals at risk. Humankind is in danger. The magnitude of the environmental crises demands not more talk but action. Decisive action.
Robert Jensen was a professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin for many years. He is the author of Citizens of the Empire, The Heart of Whiteness, All My Bones Shake: Seeking a Progressive Path to the Prophetic Voice, and Arguing for Our Lives. He is the author, with Wes Jackson, of An Inconvenient Apocalpyse: Environmental Collapse, Climate Crisis, and the Fate of Humanity.
This is why I like Alternative Radio – it presents alternative views to the status quo, even on the Left.
I completely agree with Jensen’s premise that we are headed for big change and fighting the old fights are not going to cut it. OWS was a first step, as Jensen alluded to, and we will see more steps. However, the onus is on each of us to change how we live. The new reality is going to require no less.
David Petersen –
While we aren’t able to take in all AR speaker programs, and while we feel that all are important, to sit for an hour and listen to many of these is difficult to the point that we have come to call it (with definite exceptions) “The boring speaker program.” It’s not the topics that are boring, but just that some of these folks don’t have a dynamic presentation. Robert Jensen is a huge blast of fresh air in that respect. Absolutely riveting! I am ordering his presentation on CD and Robert also piqued my interest in Abe Osherhoff. And for something so sane and reasonable to come out of Texas! This is the second professor at UT Austin I’ve become deeply impressed with (and neither has a TX accent). Must be a very good school. Our thanks. David and Carolyn Petersen
Susan Tixier –
Jensen’s wisdom ought to be taught or proffered to every school. It is my experience that young people are living more simply perhaps indicating the evolutionary processes that is Nature’s way.
Legislation will not do it; we can “sustain” (a word I wish we enviros – I was an environmental lawyer- had never used) at this “extractive industrial/high energy” rate. Jensen is right on and I love the apocalyptic thinking which is much different than the “trouble porn” (Bruni, NYT a couple of weeks ago).
Thank you all so much.
Richard F. –
I consider myself a very environmentally conscious person, deeply concerned with climate change. But I found myself incredibly put off by Robert Jensen’s extremely condescending and at times insulting message. Rather than seeking to inspire, or provide meaningful debate, Jensen dismisses people’s feelings as “psychopathic” and “intellectually immature”. “This is why conservatives hate us” I thought. How does Robert Jensen do anything more than further entrench two groups that have already been rendered useless through political deadlock?
stopped me in my tracks and made me listen! his words are like healing waters on troubled earth.