Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Kurdish response to climate change

From an article "A Kurdish response to climate change" found here:

Historically, two key opposing trends have run through environmental movements. The first is reformist and favours environmental engineering. This approach still views nature in terms of how it can serve human needs through “environmentally-friendly” reforms and technologies. For the Kurdish movement, this avoids the question of who has profited from environmental damage and delays an effective solution to the problem. The second is a deep ecology approach, which tends to be anti-technological and anti-human. This is also limited because like it or not, it is humans who have, over time, developed most capability to shape nature. This power can be used to renew and protect nature, or to destroy it. So when a deep ecologist says “humans are responsible for everything” they imply that the chiefs of the fossil fuel industries are no more guilty than our Kurdish grandmothers who live in their villages tending the land.

To move beyond these two approaches, we need to understand the positive role human technologies have played – and could play again – in the reciprocal relationship between biological nature and human society. Do we really need to have a bird inside a cage in our house to show our love to it, when it is its nature to fly outside?

We also need to understand the roots of today’s climate crisis. How did the idea of controlling nature arise in the first place? Can humans control ‘external’ nature if they don’t first create structures of domination among themselves? Our views on this are based on studying our 5000-year history. Imprisoned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ă–calan has written about how hierarchy began to be institutionalised for the first time in the temple complexes of ancient Mesopotamia, beginning with the rise of the male priest and the institutionalisation of patriarchy. From here followed the state, slavery, the standing army, private property; features of many societies we know even today.

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