#188 | For Your Consent: Climate Activism & The Financialization Of Nature w/ Cory Morningstar

In this episode, I speak with independent investigative journalist Cory Morningstar. We discuss her extensive six-act exposé ‘The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg — For Consent,’ published at Wrong Kind of Green, which examines the non-profit industrial complex and its relationship with contemporary climate activism, in particular youth climate activists like 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. Youth climate activism and environmental activism, in general, has been co-opted by powerful monied interests in order to roll out the Fourth Industrial Revolution — “a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres”* — which includes the financialization of nature, part of the "New Deal for Nature" — which will “create the most spectacular opportunity for monetary gain that the financial sector has ever witnessed.”

Cory’s incredibly detailed research uncovers the complex network of capitalist-backed non-profits, tech startups, and corporations that are pushing for a radical transformation of the global capitalist system, under the pretense of saving the environment and averting the worst impacts of anthropogenic climate change. By examining the forces that surround and promote youth climate activists, Cory is able to tease out the larger agenda at play here. “Today’s climate emergency mobilization must be recognized for what it is: a strategically orchestrated campaign financed and managed by the world’s most powerful institutions – for the preservation of capitalism and global economic growth.” By using the youth, who are understandably concerned about the climate crisis, the global capitalist elite are attempting to “generate popular demand from the citizenry that will in turn support the legislation required for projects that serve to benefit industry, rather than people and planet,” including the revitalization of the stagnate global economy by unlocking “approx. 90 trillion dollars for new investments and infrastructure” in order to fund the Fourth Industrial Revolution. “We have reached the Brave New Moment where there is no longer a distinction between our “movements” and the corporate forces that have been created to further our oppression and servitude – all in compliance to economic growth and capitalism for the world’s ruling class. All of this to be achieved on the backs of the most vulnerable – our youth. Hegemonic forces are salivating over the global waves of youth mobilization demanding action on climate change.” We unpack these claims and Cory's research in this episode.

Cory Morningstar is an independent investigative journalist, writer and environmental activist, focusing on global ecological collapse and political analysis of the non-profit industrial complex. She resides in Canada. Her recent writings can be found on Wrong Kind of Green, The Art of Annihilation, and Counterpunch. Her writing has also been published by Bolivia Rising and Cambio, the official newspaper of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.

*http://bit.ly/2Z9qToU

Episode Notes:

- Begin reading ‘The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg — For Consent’ series at Wrong Kind of Green: http://bit.ly/ForYourConsent

- Read Cory’s work at her website: http://www.theartofannihilation.com

- Support Cory on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/CoryMorningstar

- This episode features audio from these sources: https://youtu.be/M7dVF9xylaw || https://youtu.be/77SPFSW9bHc

- This episode features the songs “Detroit's New Dance Show (Instrumental)” and “Scum (Instrumental)” by Black Milk from the album If There's a Hell Below Instrumentals.

#187 | Heartland Deluge: The Floods Of An Unfamiliar Earth w/ Nicholas Humphrey

In this episode, I speak with meteorologist and geoscientist Nicholas Humphrey. I ask him to detail the record-breaking flood in the Midwest United States this season, in particular the impacts this is having on the agricultural center of the country, and how this event is directly tied to the dramatic global changes associated with abrupt climate disruption as a result of human industrial activity.

As Nick and I discuss, there are numerous reasons why this year’s flooding in the Midwest has been as destructive as it has been — with estimated damage, in economic terms, of “$12.5 billion, based on an analysis of damages already inflicted and those expected by additional flooding, as well as the lingering health effects resulting from flooding and the disease caused by standing water.”* Nick’s interdisciplinary research into global climate change, especially in describing its direct impact on the hydrological (water) cycle and weather, helps us understand how this record-breaking event occurred. “Nearly two-thirds of the lower 48 states will have an elevated risk of some flooding from now until May, and 25 states could experience ‘major or moderate flooding,’ according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”** Record-breaking snowfall in the Midwest, with severe fluctuations in temperature in late-winter and early-spring, coincided with a massive “bomb cyclone” visiting the region, leading to a rapid and massive overflow of the Missouri River — inundating numerous farms, cities, and towns, as well as overwhelm much of the overall infrastructure and spread toxic waste and pollution throughout the region. This doesn’t even include the impacts this event is already having on the financially-burdened businesses in the region, and what the impacts will be for the region’s agricultural output in the future, as it is severely limiting farmers ability to grow and harvest vital agricultural products this year. Overall, the prospects don’t look good, for the Midwest region, and for the United States. Nick and I take a dive into the science and the implications of this event, and fit it within the broader ecological and climate trends currently unfolding on this planet.

Nicholas Humphrey is a meteorologist and geoscientist, with the focus on extreme weather events and their connection to our destabilizing climate. Nick’s goal is to communicate, in an interdisciplinary fashion, the serious risks from climate tipping points, extreme weather events, and ecological collapse. He graduated with a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in societal impacts of extreme weather from South Dakota State University in 2013, and earned a MS in Geosciences - Applied Meteorology from Mississippi State University in 2016. Nicholas is based in Lincoln, Nebraska.

*http://bit.ly/2Ua1N5S

**https://nyti.ms/2D2mYkw

Episode Notes:

- Follow and support Nicholas’ work: https://www.patreon.com/MeteorologistNickHumphrey

- Follow him on Facebook: http://bit.ly/2U6tf4n

- Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NTH_met

- I cite these articles in the interview: http://bit.ly/2Ua1N5S / https://nyti.ms/2D2mYkw

- The song featured in the episode is “Country Boy” by "Little" Jimmy Dickens.

#186 | Mainstream Psychology Can Go Fuck Itself: Managing Collapse Awareness w/ Holly Truhlar

In this episode, I speak with lawyer, grief therapist, and community builder Holly Truhlar. We discuss her provocatively titled essay ‘Mainstream Psychology Can Go Fuck Itself,’ which addressed the ways mainstream psychology, as it is currently practiced today, largely lacks the framework, language, and tools required to adequately counsel those that are coming into the growing awareness that the systems we are embedded within are leading to societal collapse, ecological disintegration, and abrupt climate disruption on the global scale.

Mainstream psychology “puts the onus on the individual and takes the focus off of the violent and divisive systems we’re in,”* which in turn disempowers the individual from preparing, in any meaningful sense, for what lies ahead as we begin to experience the impacts of a fraying socioeconomic and political system (mired in systemic oppression and corruption), the catastrophic loss of species (described as the Sixth Mass Extinction event), a radically changing climate system (as a result of industrialization), and the likely near-term extinction of the human species as a result of these converging crises. “As with all things capitalist, patriarchal, and committed to the growth of civilization, psychology is used mostly as a tool of the oppressor to keep us divided into individual causes rather than working in solidarity with our class structure.”* Holly, in her work, seeks to make use of the tools provided in mainstream psychology, and incorporate Radical Attunement Work (RAW), which cultivates "a deep awareness of people and systems in order to fundamentally shift exploitative ways of being towards reciprocal relationship, collective liberation, and communities of care.”** As Holly says in her essay “we don’t have time for this shit. We have a small window in which we MAY be able to learn the skills needed to co-regulate with each other and organize for the needed revolution (or end-of-life care for our species).” The stakes really are this high. We discuss this and more in this episode.

Holly Truhlar is a lawyer, grief therapist, and community builder. She’s integrated her doctorate in law with a masters in transpersonal counseling psychology to create a model for personal and collective liberation. This model, called Radical Attunement Work (RAW), moves people and groups from dominating and exploitative ways of being into attuned and transformational relationships. Her work lies at the convergence of ancestral grief, collective trauma, conscious collapse, and social justice. She’s currently practicing and researching social technologies, such as ritual and Deep Democracy work, that foster large-scale trauma resolution and collective nervous system regulation. She's been called to help hold grief in these troubled and transitional times, so she lives with her heart broken open and soul on display.***

*http://bit.ly/2Uwfyjw

**http://bit.ly/2VoS4tN

***http://bit.ly/2KcGbpJ

Episode Notes:

- Read Holly’s essay ‘Mainstream Psychology Can Go Fuck Itself’: http://bit.ly/2Uwfyjw

- Learn more about Holly and her work at: https://www.hollytruhlar.com

- Learn more about the Tending The Threshold conference: https://tendingthethreshold.com

- The song featured in this episode is “Guns Are Drawn” by The Roots from the album The Tipping Point.

#185 | The Gods Have Fled: The Home As A Site Of Defiance Against Modernity w/ Ramon Elani

In this episode, I speak with heathen writer and poet Ramon Elani — frequent contributor at Gods & Radicals. In exploring his unique prospective on how to address the converging social, spiritual, and ecological crises on this planet, we examine three essays published for Gods & Radicals, which include ‘Land, Home, and the Gods,’ ‘World’s End,’ and ‘Our Rage Against The Modern World’ — the last of which was co-written with Gods & Radicals co-founder Rhyd Wildermuth.

“Let the home and the idea of the home become a pillar of strength. Let the home become a site of defiance, a bold denial of industrial society. Let the home be made into a bulwark against the modern world.”* Often, when I try to get at the vast moral dilemma we are forced to address in the face of the global climate crisis, the extinction of human and non-human life, and the hollowing of community and connection to the land implicit in the “progress” narrative of industrial civilization — the notion of addressing these converging crises on a collective level seemed apparent and obvious. While that may be true, another truth emerges from the prose of Ramon. In this interview, I ask Ramon to expound on the themes he’s presented in three essays on the subject of modernity, and that to “reestablish humanity’s relationship with the gods is also to reconnect with the land, for the land is the gods. The present crisis, which devastates humanity and the biosphere, is defined in both material and spiritual terms.”** Ramon’s prose is intoxicating, blunt, poetic, beautiful, heartbreaking, and clarifying. Ramon doesn’t shy away from obvious truths implicit in modernity and the reality it has forged in its attempt to subject the Earth and its living systems to the logic of “progress” and endless growth. In Ramon’s work, the home and our relationship with the land becomes the center of our resistance to the life destroying forces that are despoiling the planet. Modernity is reckoned with in these terms, as Ramon has thoroughly and lucidly explored in his writing, which I have delightfully read and incorporated into my own worldview. “For hundreds of years, humanity has expanded its domain over the earth, at the enormous cost of non human life and human spiritual and physical well being. Every moment that this world continues to exist means suffering and extinction for non human life and soulless misery for humanity. We cannot stop what’s coming and it best that we do not try, for only in the death of this world is there hope for a new future to bloom.”**

Ramon Elani is an acausal, anti-modern, heathen poet and author. He holds a PhD in literature and philosophy. He lives with his family among mountains and rivers in Western New England. He follows the way of wyrd.

*http://bit.ly/LandHomeGods

**http://bit.ly/ElaniWorldsEnd

Episode Notes:

- The essays featured in this episode are ‘Land, Home, and the Gods’ (http://bit.ly/LandHomeGods), ‘World’s End’ (http://bit.ly/ElaniWorldsEnd), and ‘Our Rage Against The Modern World’ co-written with Rhyd Wildermuth (http://bit.ly/RageAgainstModern), published at Gods and Radicals: http://bit.ly/GRelani

- Ramon’s other work can be found at: https://thetigersleap.wordpress.com

- Support Ramon on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/runewhisper

- The songs featured in this episode is “Uk,” “Shell of Light,” and “Ghost Hardware” by Burial from the album Untrue.

#184 | Cycles Of Trauma: A Critical Look At The Zionist Project w/ Yoav Litvin & Rob Seimetz

In this collaborative interview with Rob Seimetz, host of Moving Forward on PRN, we speak with Yoav Litvin, doctor of psychology, photographer, and writer. Yoav's work focuses on the roots of the ideology of Zionism, in particular how trauma has informed its formation and practice, through the policies and actions of the State of Israel, and through such powerful organizations like AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) — "a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to the Congress and Executive Branch of the United States."  

In this discussion, Yoav expounds on his views and deep research into the settler-colonialist and supremacist roots of Zionism, not only from a socio-historical perspective, but from a neurological and psychological perspective as well. How has a collectivized form of post-traumatic stress disorder shaped the genocidal policies of the State of Israel, especially toward the Palestinian people and land that the State of Israel has been literally built upon? As Yoav gets into his piece in Monthly Review Online: “In response to antisemitism, Zionists embraced their fear and contempt of their abusers to produce defensive aggression, reinventing identity in a reactionary attempt to ensure survival and restore pride. The reward of violence–power-quickly enticed Zionist leaders to morph what began as a defensive strategy into an offensive one that culminated with a settler colonialist vision of a homeland in Palestine at the expense of its Indigenous population, the existing Palestinian people.”*

Along with addressing the trauma Jewish populations have individually and collectively experienced, we ask Yoav to explain the conflation between legitimate criticism of the policies Israel and Zionism with antisemitism in general. This conflation is done primarily to obscure the real and existing genocidal policies of the State of Israel towards the Palestinian people, with the direct backing of the United States government. With U.S. politicians like Rep. Ilhan Omar coming under intense pressure to apologize for her accurate criticisms AIPAC's influence in U.S. politics, the conflation between antisemitism and criticism of Zionism is no accident. It's specifically intended to shut down rightful protest and criticism of Zionism as an ideology and as a settler-colonialist project, which has lead to one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world to date (e.g. the Gaza Strip and the West Bank).

Yoav Litvin is an Israeli-American doctor of psychology, a photographer and writer. In his work, he investigates the intersections of science, the arts and politics and aims to promote creative and radical causes with a focus on urban culture, social movements and peoples. Litvin’s work has been featured in Truthout, Al Jazeera English, Mother Jones, Mondoweiss, and more.

This is the third joint interview I’ve done with Rob Seimetz, host of Moving Forward on PRN. Follow Rob’s work: http://bit.ly/PRNseimetz

*http://bit.ly/2OEgJrE

Episode Notes:

- Learn more about Yoav’s work: https://yoavlitvin.com

- Read his article at Monthly Review Online: http://bit.ly/2OEgJrE

- Read his recent piece in Truthout: http://bit.ly/2FR4VzE

- Follow Yoav on Twitter: https://twitter.com/nookyelur

- The songs featured in this episode are “Slow Country” (instrumental) and “Double Bass” by Gorillaz from their self-titled album.