Blockadia

“Blockadia” is where the climate action is, these days.

Where’s that? Nowhere, everywhere, “wherever extractive projects are attempting to dig and drill.” Or frack, or lay pipe, or in some other way disrupt and despoil local lands and communal traditions. It’s a “roving transnational conflict zone” immediately focused on environmental integrity but ultimately about democratic control of vital resources by those whose lives and livelihoods depend on them.

Who are the Blockadians? Increasingly, everyday people. Professors, students, grandmothers, all kinds. Increasingly not stereotypical activists. Klein travels the globe in this chapter, finding Blockadians in Greece, Russia, China, Canada, Texas, “the middle of nowheres” that become “centers of everywhere.”

All of this is so heartening, so encouraging of hopefulness that a critical mass of concerned citizens might actually begin not just to hold invasive corporate marauders and their government sponsors accountable for damages but actually to anticipate and prevent home invasion before it happens.

But, remember the 2010 BP oil spill? It was such a horror, now it’s another old news story nearly forgotten. Do we have collective memory enough to make Blockadia a permanent place? Wendell Berry says we all just need to recommit ourselves to the concept of home, making global thinking the unforced flower of local action and “affection.” “If each of us loved our homeplace enough to defend it, there would be no ecological crisis, no place could ever be written off as a sacrifice zone.”

He’s surely right, if we can see and value the sweetness of home wherever anyone hangs a hat. “Look again at that dot…” We may not get it right in the first several drafts, but if we persevere we may endure.

6 am/6:37, 66/93, 6:42

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