Practicing Thrival in the face of Global Climate Change


root - Posted on 31 December 1969

POOR Magazine explores the impact of Global Climate change and Global criminalization on poor communities of color and launches an International Symposia on Indigenous Thrival, Global Climate Change and Criminalization for 2010

by tiny/PNN

"Recent studies predict that the polar ice caps will be melting in less than five years," the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) reporter's consonants sliced the early morning air. His "t's" were sharp and the "s's" were crisp , like the bite of an ice-cold wind on my sleep deprived face. It was 5:00 am. I shouldn't have been up, I should have been sleeping, but whenever I was struck with a late night grant deadline or a bout of insomnia, I listened to one of my favorite news reports which, unlike Fox, CNN, or Clear Channel who condescends to its viewers and listeners as though they were toddlers incapable of understanding the truth, the B.B.C. actually reported the facts of the story, no matter how bloody, terrifying or foreboding they might be.

The US government under Bush has long been pretending there was no "real problem" of global warming, and corporate US media has been, for the most part, covertly supporting this dish of disinformation while independent and alternative media producers have been reporting the opposite, that not only did we have a problem but it would hit us much sooner than a vague number of years in the future, but this recent assertion that at least in Summer months the poles will be all "black water" (a watery mush of dirt and melted ice) within less than five years terrified me to the core.

As a poor single mama and poverty scholar with POOR Magazine my mind is always consumed with the struggle of poor children and families locally and globally so with this news my mind became consumed with what will become of individuals and families like mine in an increasingly criminalized, increasingly scarce world reality. Our access to stable and healthy sources of food, clean air, healthcare and housing are already at a crisis level so when food and water becomes even scarcer than it already is due to the increase of global warming related weather like more tornadoes, massive flooding, fires and land loss what will we do? When our air becomes virtually un-breathable due to non-stop fires and inhumanly rising temperatures, (this is the worst fire season in California's history and temperatures in many places around the globe refuse to drop to under 105 degrees), what will children and elders who already have asthma and breathing problems due to rampant environmental racism in poor communities of color do?

As I sat with these fears while nervously clutching at my blanket, the BBC signed off for the night only to be replaced by my favorite local Pacifica station's Morning News reporting that a special house subcommittee hearing chaired by Rep Anna Eschu was being presented with a special 48 page classified report created by Homeland Security on the "security impact of global climate change."

Like a magnet collecting disconnected chards of metal into one clump, my mind put it all together, all the forms of criminalization already being created to incarcerate and penalize poor folks of color for the sole act of being poor and of color are currently being readied to deal with us, that is, to handle the impending "security threats" of poor people in crisis such as: the local gang injunctions put in place by cities across the U.S. that criminalize our youth of color, the border fascism intensified due to nationally increased ICE raids and the "community" courts being built in cities across the US for the sole purpose of adjudicating crimes of poverty and houselessness not to mention the proposed thought crime bills from the patriot act which would make it illegal to assemble and march, to the constant building and expansion of more prisons, and the local contracts for private security firms like Blackwater and Halliburton

So when the terrifying results of Global warming come into full crisis level with food shortages increasing and we follow the lead of our sisters and brothers in Haiti and South America and begin to riot for food or water, or when more and more of us are trapped on less and less land due to the loss of land due to the oceans expanding and the increase of severe weather, floods and fire, policies have been put into place to incarcerate us with ease.

What can we do? As poor people, indigenous people, conscious people, all people, we need to recognize the scholarship of earth's survival and human thrival that has nothing to do with government or corporations. Thrival strategies that are not based only based on western science but based on the lessons learned and practiced by indigenous communities locally and globally for thousands of years, strategies like growing and creating our own medicines and food, developing our own irrigation and water systems, and then un-like the in-human cult of independence and consumerism so encouraged by western capitalist standards share the resources with each other, practice interdependence, real community.

As well, as poor people already being criminalized for the sole act of being poor we must study the resistance movements of MOVE Africa over 20 years ago in Philadelphia who successfully moved off the grids of local and corporate municipalities including water, electricity and gas while living in the middle of a large urban city before the local mayor deemed their independence from corporate and civic municipalities a threat to capitalist, I mean, national security.

This is why POOR Magazine is hard at work launching HOMEFULNESS, an extremely revolutionary and sustainable model for housing,interdependence, community and equity sharing for very poor families and individuals that is not tied to a families lack of financial resources.

It is possible for us as humans to re-learn values from our indigenous ancestors, elders, histories and herstories and create and practice sustainable, interdependent life models in the face of this changing planet that lead us to thrival not just survival.

Tiny aka Lisa Gray-Garcia is preparing to celebrate Inter-Dependence Day with family and community from POOR Magazine, a holiday that she launched as the executive Director of POOR Magazine/PoorNewsNetwork as a resistance to the cult- of independence that is celebrated on July 4th. currently working on an International Symposia on Indigenous Thrival in the face of Global Climate Change and Criminalization for 2010.
If you are interested in working on the planning committee for the symposia please call POOR at (415)863-6306

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