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Open Letter
Creating Environmental

By Punkerslut,
To EarthShare

From RadicalGraphics.org
Image: From RadicalGraphics.org,
in the "Earth" Gallery

Start Date: September 30, 2009
Finish Date: September 30, 2009

"Will ecologically oriented groups and the Greens become a movement that sees the roots of our ecological dislocations in social dislocations -- notably, in the domination of human by human which has produced the very notion of dominating nature?

"Or will ecology groups and the Greens turn the entire ecology movement into a starry-eyed religion decorated by gods, goddesses, woodsprites, and organized around sedating rituals that reduce militant activist groups to self-indulgent encounter groups?"
          --Murray Bookchin, 1988
          "The Crisis in the Ecology Movement," from Green Perspectives


     After hearing some of your public service announcements on the radio, I decided to look up your website and see what your organization is about. Then, I discovered that it's not actually an organization that plans to organize and act; it is a charity that is seeking volunteers to throw more money in your direction.

     Consider environmental decay as a social ill. It is produced not by the masses, as Smokey the Bear would have you believe. Environmental decay, from beginning to end, is the cause of private control of the industries. Or, more specifically: Capitalism. Those who can afford medical treatment and whatever stretch of land on this earth obviously don't care if that means everyone else is going to become poisoned. This has been the exact pattern of industrial development over the past few hundred years, whether you're looking at it in France, Britain, Russia, or the United States.

     The destruction of the earth's ecosystem was a profit decision. It costs less to dump oil into a river than it does to properly dispose of it -- let alone switch to a system that doesn't produce waste. Where environmental protection ends is where profit begins; and we are living in an economy where self-interest dominates the decisions of every individual. Where the living conditions of the workers end is where profit begins. Wages, which support families and communities, are curtailed by the same exact interest and cause as that which multiplies global warming and ecological decay.

     In short, your "set up a giving campaign at work" is ridiculous. You are taking from the workers who must suffer in an environment poisoned by carcinogens -- they must watch their elders pass away from an incurable cancer, painfully and slowly. They are the ones, by the billions, who must breathe in air contaminated by lead dust and smog. Aside from the animals on the planet, the evils of environmental destruction fall most heavily on the common people.

     But relying on the common to solve their own problems, without antagonizing the established order, is impossible. Did Civil Rights ever come into existence, except by breaking the law several hundred thousand times -- except by fights with police, except by organizing against the law! Martin Luther King's movement prevailed because he was willing to organize against the interests of the few, against the prejudices of a very few. The right to unionize, the right to a discrimination-free environment -- the eight-hour day, the right to vote for women, improved living standards.

     NONE of these things were accomplished by people coming together and saying, "Let's raise money for some isolated few who consider our interests." No, that was the strategy of the Bolshevik Party in Russia, of the Labor Party in Britain, of the Democratic Party in the United States. And yet, none of these organizations have fulfilled their promises to the people. Upon gaining their wealth and power, all they did was abandon their slogans and betray those who followed them.

     What is it that you do by gathering donations? You're taking all the people who were interested in changing society, in cleaning the planet, and you pacify them. In seeing your organization, and finding themselves to be doing their best, they are cease. They have done their part, as much as they could in their minds, and now they rest and relax.

     These eco-activists form a collective fund, but never antagonize those who cause the destruction of the environment -- never organize or act against those whose profits depend on oil spills, ploughed down rain forests, or drilled nature preserves. And likewise, your legacy will be the same as those of the past. The workers who tried to form a collective or cooperative way, without attacking Capitalism, never created the right to unions. The civil rights activists, who tried to improve their own condition, never did anything for the condition of the masses. And you, too. You rake in a few bucks so that someone can clean ducks off of a contaminated bay, while every year over ten billion animals are slaughtered by US industries. You will never be able to effect social change, except by organizing and directly acting against those who create and profit by earth's devastation.

Andy Carloff

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