When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez met Greta Thunberg: ‘Hope is contagious’

One is America’s youngest-ever congresswoman, the other a Swedish schoolgirl. Two of the most powerful voices on the climate speak for the first time. In the course of their conversation, Ocasio-Cortez and Thunberg discuss what it is like to be dismissed for their age, how depressed we should be about the future, and what tactics, as an activist, really work. Ocasio-Cortez speaks with her customary snap and brilliance that, held up against the general waffle of political discourse, seems startlingly direct. Thunberg, meanwhile, is phenomenally articulate, well-informed and self-assured, holding her own in conversation with an elected official nearly twice her age and speaking in deliberate, thoughtful English. Continue reading

If Trump’s the Symptom, What’s the Disease?

Never before in history has the rise and decline of imperial powers taken place in the context of the decline of the planet itself. The rising political temperature stirred by the growing populist right is taking place in the context of (and, worse yet, aiding and abetting) record global temperatures, the melting of ice across the planet, the rise of sea levels and the future drowning of coastlines (and cities), the creation of yet more refugees, the increasing fierceness of fires and droughts, and the intensification of storms. In the midst of it all, an almost unimaginable wave of extinctions is occurring, with a possible million plant and animal species, some crucial to human existence, already on the verge of departure. Continue reading

Are ExxonMobil Execs the Most Evil People in the 200K-Year History of Humanity?

CEOs of ExxonMobil such as Lee Raymond or Rex Tillerson or currently Darren Woods are banal in their evil. But they are much worse in the practical effect of their evil than Hitler or Pol Pot or any of the other genocidal maniacs we’ve seen in the past century. They deliberately wrecked a planet to make a few bucks (in Lee Raymond’s case, $400 million of them). Tens of millions of human beings will die so that they can have private planes and huge mansions. Continue reading