The first meeting of the DGR Santa Barbara book club was held on Sunday, March 12th at the Eastside Library. We discussed Chapter 1 of Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet. Some questions were posed to inspire discussion: 1) What was your favorite part of the reading? 2) How does this relate to what’s happening in the Santa Barbara area? 3) How can you apply this to your activism? 4) Do you believe this culture will undergo a voluntary transition to a safe and sustainable way of living?
One of the first remarks about this chapter was the disturbing realization that all the statistics mentioned (the average female polar bear’s weight before hibernation has dropped from 650 to 507 lbs, plastic in the Pacific outweighs plankton 48 to 1, etc.) are probably much worse now that is it 2017 (the book was published in 2011).
The group discussed the question of whether or not technology will save us–the implication was that “us” means “humans” and not “the planet.” The following question was posed: is technology serving us or are we slaves to technology? One attendee commented that we are living in a time where some people are talking about humans going extinct in the next 50 years, while others are talking about becoming immortal by uploading their consciousness onto a computer.
The conversation later turned towards the issue of what sustainability means. It was pointed out that the word “sustainable” has become practically meaningless in the mainstream because of its widespread use to describe things like mining & asphalt corporation’s “environmental stewardship.” If humans were to truly live sustainably, that way of life could look something like the way our ancestors lived before the advent of agriculture. The vision for a better way of life will vary from person to person, and some do not necessarily include humans in that vision. However, if humans are to survive after industrial civilization has ended, how would we culturally reproduce?
All of those who attended appeared to agree that the clarity of the writing inspires us to action. We wondered how anyone could read something like this and not agree that this destructive way of life must end immediately.
A discussion of this chapter will be continued through email. If you would like to be on that email list, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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