Saturday, August 26, 2017

Suzuki Asks If We Are Embarking On a New "Dark Age"?

I know that David Suzuki isn't alone in asking if we're entering a new Dark Age.

Lately it seems so. News reports are enough to make anyone want to crawl into bed and hide under the covers. But it’s time to rise and shine; to resolve the crises humanity faces, good people must come together.

It’s one lesson from Charlottesville, Va. It would be easy to dismiss the handful of heavily armed, polo-shirted, tiki-torch terrorists who recently marched there if they weren’t so dangerous, and representative of a disturbing trend that the current U.S. president and his administration have emboldened.

Racism, hatred and ignorance aren’t uniquely American. Fanatics acting out of fear — of anyone who holds different political or religious views, of losing their real or imagined privilege, of change itself — are everywhere.

The effects spilled into Canada, most notably with  the implosion of the far-right (and misnamed) media outlet The Rebel. The online platform, born from the ashes of the failed Sun News Network, is a good illustration of the intersection between racism, intolerance and anti-environmentalism.

Rather than learning from Sun News’s failure that racism and extremism are unpopular and anti-Canadian, Rebel founder Ezra Levant ramped up the bigoted and anti-environmental messaging, with commentators ranting against feminists, LGBTQ people, Muslims and Jews (Levant is Jewish), along with rejecting climate science and solutions to environmental problems.

Canada and the U.S. have checkered racist and colonialist pasts, but for all our faults, we’ve been evolving. Thanks to many people with diverse backgrounds from across the political spectrum who have devoted themselves to civil rights, feminism, Indigenous causes, LGBTQ rights, the environment and more, we’ve made many gains.

We have a long way to go, but we must keep on and not let fear, hatred and ignorance block our way.

If we, and our children, and their children are to survive and be healthy in the face of crises like climate change and terrorism, we must stand together — in unity and solidarity, without fear. Like the many who gathered in Barcelona the day after recent horrendous terrorist attacks, the people who stood up to racists in Charlottesville, those who reject the anti-human agendas of media outlets like The Rebel, and the many people worldwide who march and speak up for climate justice, we must come together to shine a light on the darkness.

We must use our voices, actions and humour to confront these anti-human undercurrents. We must confront our own prejudices and privilege.



Scotty on Denman said...

We've barely ended the last Ice Age, and still there are good grounds to suggest we never really left the last Dark Age.

Anonymous said...

Anyong.....It goes on and on. When you have ruthlessness men for example Truman and his henchmen who wanted to drop two bombs on Japan at the end of WWII when the Japanese were really to sign off as long as their Emperor was left alone, and, they understood if they didn't comply with the Allies, Russia was ready to drive into Manchuria. Yes...but Truman wanted to know just how powerful those bombs would be while bringing Japan to its knees. So....Truman bombed the shiq out of Japan, Russians marched right into North Korea and Bob's your uncle. The question doesn't need to be asked, We are already in a "Dark Age"! Stupid men ..sorry Mound..with money to burn think they have the right to push their beliefs for almighty power. Nazism is not dead and it is ready to raise its ugly head again. Problem is...there isn't a place one can escape it this time. If you think the name Adolph is dead think again. Their are lots of them living in Alberta.

Anonymous said...

Where have you been? The new dark age started decades ago.

Dana said...

Jane Jacobs told us this in 2004.

"In this indispensable book, urban visionary Jane Jacobs--renowned author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities and The Economy of Cities--convincingly argues that as agrarianism gives way to a technology-based future, we stand on the brink of a new dark age, a period of cultural collapse. Jacobs pinpoints five pillars of our culture that are in serious decay: community and family; higher education; the effective practice of science; taxation, and government; and the self-regulation of the learned professions. The corrosion of these pillars, Jacobs argues, is linked to societal ills such as environmental crisis, racism, and the growing gulf between rich and poor. But this is a hopeful book as well as a warning. Drawing on her vast frame of reference–from fifteenth-century Chinese shipbuilding to Ireland’s cultural rebirth–Jacobs suggests how the cycles of decay can be arrested and our way of life renewed. Invigorating and accessible, Dark Age Ahead is not only the crowning achievement of Jane Jacobs’ career, but one of the most important works of our time."