Yesterday Chris Hedges posted his weekly column over at TruthDig, This Hero Didnâ€™t Stand a Chance, where he interviewed Tim DeChristopher.Â And very true to form, his piece didn’t stray too far from what I’ve come to expect from himÂ and respect about his writing. He doesn’t mince words. He doesn’t fuck around. Time for that bullshit has long since passed.
For those who are unaware â€” it’s getting ridiculous, borderline criminal, how much news fails to be reported in the media these days â€” Tim is an environmental activist who, in the dying days of the Bush Administration, was successfully able to disrupt a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) auction of over 100,000 acres of federal land, in Iowa in December 2008, to the oil and gas industries for drilling. But it wasn’t until the Obama Administration came into office, who saw fit to “invalidate” the auction for reasons other than Tim’s participation â€” locking the public out of the decision to sell public land, for instance â€” took it upon themselves to charge Tim with a crime.
Long story short, he was found guilty ofÂ violating the “Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act,” in March of this year â€” seeing how the administration took nearlyÂ 2 month’s, after the auction was cancelled to charge him, I imagine it took prosecutors that long to find that provision to charge him with. And he’s facing a $750 000 fine and up to 10 years in prison. Even though he was able to subsequently raise the funds to pay for the land he had won, andÂ offered payment to theÂ BLM, they rejected it claiming Tim didn’t bid “under normal circumstances,” so they couldnâ€™t accept. A somewhat valuable piece of information his jury conveniently wasn’t allowed to know.
And he’s still awaiting sentence…
But what I found most urgent was what Tim said during Chris’ interview;
A lot of folks […] admit it off the record, but wonâ€™t say it publicly, that it is actually too late for any amount of emission reductions to prevent some sort of collapse of our industrial civilization. That certainly doesnâ€™t mean all is lost. It means we are in a position where we are definitely going to be navigating the most intense period of change humanity has ever seen. What that means for us is that it really matters who is in charge during that intense period of change. It means that things are going to be desperate..
This is not anything I haven’t heard before, nor was my criminal crack earlier directed at the media, exclusively â€” the media are merely providing the public with “news” they want to hear, and are willing to pay for with their attention (a simplistic assertion, I know) â€” but let’s be real. It’s acts such as Tim’s that will end up making a difference. You’ll notice I said “a” and not “the.” It’s too late for that. It’s no longer about stopping our destruction, it’s about mitigating it.
But instead of grinning and bearing it â€” adaptation has it place, and we’re gonna need it â€”Â but depending on an ability we think we possess (no-one knows, for sure, if we’ll be able to adapt) is insanity (no offence to the clinically insane).Â Civil disobedience is all we, as responsible citizens of this planet, have left. Nothing I’m writing today is new, or hasn’t been said before, by any stretch of the imagination. In fact Chris Hedges has and continues to write, rather extensively, about this very thing. But, if nothing else, Tim’s case proves our “democratically elected,” or more accurately, our “corporate owned” heads of state aren’t taking these issues anywhere serious enough. Again, change won’t come from the top down, it never has, it has to come from the bottom up.
Time has come and gone. So my question is what the fuck are we waiting for?