Sons and Daughters (of Robin Hood) by Damh the Bard
We all watched you on our TV,
Right honourable gentleman, apparently.
Different voices with only one aim,
To win my vote, and to win the game.
Now some have died to pave the way,
So we can vote come polling day,
X marks the spot that gives us our voice,
But how do we vote when there isn’t a choice.
If you thought that we would do nothing,
For we are the Sons and Daughters,
of Robin Hood!
See I remember exclusion zones,
At Solstice time around the Stones,
And the poll tax riots of Trafalgar Square,
The rich they got richer, the poor were stripped bare,
Building new roads with no thought for the land,
And the blood of the Beanfield is still on your hands,
Now drilling of Shetland will do you just fine,
And you wanted to sell of our forests,
Like you closed down mines.
There’s nothing to see, there’s nothing to see, there’s nothing to see here,
There’s nothing to see, won’t you just look away, there’s nothing to see here.
England’s green and pleasant land,
Is not there to put cash in your hands,
I see you symbol is the English Oak Tree,
Is that your idea of irony?
Now millions of eyes have turned upon you,
And each one is watching what you will do,
And all are ready to spoil your game,
For the blood of an outlaw it flows in our veins!
This is an extract from ‘Nettle Eater’ by Tom Hirons. Published in Dark Mountain Vol 3.
Look at the world beyond your door. Your life is on fire. Run. Dive in, though it surely means death. Taste the streams, the heather and the gorse and the broom. Hold the river stones. Sleep with the waterfall as your pillow. Braid yourself to the horse’s mane. Sing the great lament of your own lost life. In time, scar yourself with fire and stone. Immerse yourself in such immovable darkness that the lightening cracks you in two. You were never more lost than you are now, if you cannot reach out, touch the wild earth and weep.
Run! It is not yet too late, but soon it will be. Run! Do not sit there, wondering. I have told you the truth. Your own folly will become the death of us all.
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Environmental activist and author, Naomi Klein (who some say has ‘sold out’ to corporate green by joining forces with 350.org – but that’s another story…) wrote a stunning piece in the Guardian recently, titled “The giants of the green world that profit from the planet’s destruction”.
In essence, she writes about a new environmental movement that has started, mainly at colleges and universities in the USA, demanding that their public interest institutions divest their holdings from fossil fuels. The movement is now spreading to the UK and other countries.
The Fossil Free movement has already claimed some victories, with institutions changing the portfolio of their endowments away from fossil fuels.
Their mission statement is clear and impressive: ”If it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage. We believe that educational and religious institutions, city and state governments, and other institutions that serve the public good should divest from fossil fuels.” I for one, will not argue against that.
This year, Fossil Free UK launches with the same aims, and even before things has started, University College London has already started to divest.
But, as Naomi explains, there is one group of organisations that should also be targeted – environmental organisations! On the face of it, environmental organisations should have a good handle on climate change and the relationship to fossil fuel use. And indeed the very companies who are mining/drilling/extracting etc fossil fuels are the ones those environmental groups have their campaign eyes on.
The problem is that those environmental groups raise vast sums of money each year to fund their campaigns, and whilst they amass money, they often invest spare funds in endowments which are often linked to the very same fossil fuel industry they campaign against.
The sums of money are not insignificant. In the USA, Nature Conservancy has £900 million invested in public traded securities. The Wildlife Conservation Society has a £240 million endowment, and WWF (World Wide Fund-US) has £125 million.
Some groups are clean though and specifically don’t invest in fossil fuel, including Greenpeace, 350.org, Friends of the Earth, and Rainforest Action Network.
Although strictly speaking not an environmental group per sé, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has around £620 million in ExxonMobil and BP, companies that through their actions are causing or accelerating many of the problems the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are supposed to helping.
It is shameful that many of the worlds largest conservation and environmental organisations are being run by accountants and bean-counters. I appreciate that in this day and age, you do need money to run campaigns, but it is crazy beyond belief to be getting into bed with the very organisation you are supposed to be fighting. How does it work when you want your enemies to continue to be successful so your investments give a good return.
These environmental groups cannot hide behind pathetic excuses of investment managers and not really knowing what’s going on. It must be easy to set criteria (as other groups do) that prohibit investment in certain industries.
Just another example of the crazy world we live in.
See the full article on The Guardian.
Image is copyright free from Flickr.
Our time here looks like it may be coming to an end. The greatest irony in the history of our planet may be the anthropogenic extinction of our species.
We have raped and pillaged Earth – the oceans have been fished to the point of emptying them, we have polluted the water, land and air; driven countless species to extinction and yet more to the precipice of extinction; we have changed the chemical balance of the atmosphere causing climate upheaval; our relentless pursuit of cheap energy has polluted and destroyed vast areas of the planet; our relentless pursuit for cheap protein has caused habitat destruction, species displacement and loss whilst raising billions of animals in vile conditions to meet a gruesome end to gratify our appetites; billions of us live in poverty whilst the mega rich get ever richer; the grain and soy we could feed to the hungry instead goes to animals raised for food; our population is increasing exponentially and pushing out others.
Our greed and stupidity seems to know no end, our arrogance and self importance propelling us to the point of no return.
Is there hope? I would like to say yes….I am a dreamer, a visionary, and I know there are others like me. We need change on a massive scale and now. I want a world where we live in peace and harmony with the natural world and the other species that share this beautyfull planet with us, where we are not mortgage slaves, where justice and equality abound, where there is no poverty or famine, where we do not drive other species from their homes or to extinction but live in balance with them, where we do not enslave any sentient being for our own ends, where war is a thing of the past and humanity lives in peaceful co operation with one another, where we do not take the food that could sustain us and feed it to animals as we want to eat their flesh, where we do nor squander Earth’s precious abundance but use them wisely, where all life on Earth is seen as sacred and given the respect it deserves.
Can we do this…only time will tell. We may only have decades left (if that) Earth cannot carry us as we are much longer… We cannot carry on this way. Let’s do something for the sake of our children and our children’s children, for the sake of all life on this planet. Let’s do it soon, let’s do it now!
Words by Andrew Jones