Thoughts On Naomi Klein’S Essay, “Let Them Drown: The Violence Of Othering In A Warming World”

Thoughts On Naomi Klein'S Essay,

hey everybody. I was going to try to figure out how to do this on an audio version because I kind of blows being on camera but unfortunately I I was not able to do that. I’m pardon my awkwardness or nervousness I apologize in advance and I am mildly dyslexic. reading off paper is kind of hard for me but I gotta do the best I can and forgive me if I’m looking down at my notes um. I decided to do a presentation on IME Klein’s paper which is titled let them drown the violence of other in a warming world I picked this one because it’s something that just really interests me quite a bit the combination of other ring which will go on to kind of discuss with which he means by that but and the concept you know of tying that together with environmentalism and in the environmental crisis that we’re experiencing now and how people in marginalized societies definitely take kind of a heavier brunt a heavier portion of the results of our dependence on fossil fuels. in this paper she ties together two seemingly unconnected subjects which really are inherently connected this essay that she wrote was actually kind of a transcription of a speech that she did a talk that she did in London from recalling correctly and it was at a kind of a function that was an honor of Edward Sayid and just for some background Edward Sayid was he he passed away not too long ago but he was a very active the world is suddenly escaping my mind he was a big supporter of I was an activist for social justice especially for the palace Janene people and she begins the you know talk by basically saying that you know he was not really an environmentalist and that’s true he had a very negative look on environmentalism in general and considered it to be an indulgence and Klein points out that kind of the reasoning for that is that the areas that are heavily impacted by global warming in the Middle East you know they definitely do have a big impact from climate change but there are. many other issues in that area that kind of take the forefront in political action and activism of course we we know what those are in our modern society here with you know the war in Iraq and of course the conflict between Israel and Palestine. she she definitely points out that his his perspective Edward Seitz perspective was a not really one of negligence. much as that there are other issues that are also very important there which he tended to focus on more. one way that she shows that is she discusses the state-run environmental program in Israel which she says kind of has and this is my air quotes for Givi air quotes but no other way to really quote. she considers it you know a green veneer and she discusses the Jewish National Fund which according to her is the largest private landowner and they you know actively sponsored the planting of trees oftentimes trees that weren’t actually you know native to the area as a way to green up the desert but the kind of other side of that coin is that the Jewish National Fund does not rent or support the they refuse to support the Palestinian people they won’t rent land to them. it’s kind of like they’re they’re cutting off they’re cutting off kind of a fundamental human right is basically what she’s trying to say and she says that green colonialism the conversion of the land you know for conservation purposes oftentimes winds up having that unintended or sometimes possibly intentional effect native native inhabitants are cut off of the land that they really should have had access to you all in that attempts to you know create mm-hmm an environmental benefit. anyways back to her papers. she talks about the separation barrier in Israel and she discusses how you know that also kind of created a trigger for I think a lot of Palestinian people because when the you know the barrier was first discussed and was first put up some people in Israel environmental activists in Israel got upset about the barrier but they kind of did it for for a strange reason it was that they were reared that the animals that were living on one side or and others of the fence would not be able to freely move back and forth which would be you know an environmental disaster from their perspective but what they kind of skipped over was that it was also an environmental disaster for the palestinian people who were being kept from their livelihoods from their jobs from their family members. that’s kind of a really poignant way I think of her basically saying and making her point Edward Sayid focused on the people not. much the environment but nonetheless she goes on in her paper to explain how those two things really are tied together. let’s get to that. she speaks about tying social justice environmentalism together and how they really are kind of two parts of the same whole as we discover the potential effect of climate change not some of the world’s most marginalized communities there really is a connection those who will be most impacted by climate change our Dustin’s really to become refugees and a new the concept of you know of climate refugees. much like Palestinians many people are being forced to leave their homes and are trying to decide whether or not they should leave or stay in low-lying coastal regions they have to choose whether or not to leave and create a new home somewhere else where they very well may not be welcome yet again another concept of other ring you know if they if they leave and go to a new land a new country with a different culture to live you know they’re oftentimes going to I imagine and definitely according to cry and you know be facing other hanging in a whole new way which she goes on to discuss they can either choose to leave or they can choose to stay and fight a battle that you really it looks like we might not win. she talks about a term that was made very popular and used frequently by Sayid in that in the term is that an Arabic world called salud which means according to client to stay put or to hold on. the fight for one’s right to stay in their ancestral land their ancestral home despite attempts by external forces to make them leave. an example of that would be the Palestinian people being forced on one side of a wall when in the past they’re there people live you know in the whole region. that’s the way that that that’s ií’d édouard site used that phrase and she’s going to kind of talk about using that phrase that word in a different way. when it’s applicable to climate you know she uses examples Louisiana the Marshall Islands Fiji and Tuvalu you know all of those different areas are in low-lying areas where they’re going to experience flooding first that’s where we’re really gonna see the effect of climate change in that particular way. she’s basically saying that that is climate. moved that’s that’s an option of do we do we choose to stay in fight and a lot of those nations and a lot of those regions are making you know at least for some people that decision you know we’re not going to give up just because you know it seems like the world might be against us we’re gonna stay and we’re gonna fight and we want your help you know. and this I mean this whole paper really is a rallying cry for for action not just for the places that are going to theoretically you know experience the worst of it at the beginning but for those of us who have this kind of illusion that that it won’t affect us. how why should we act you know. other inge you know is a concept that Syed was very passionate about Edward Syed and you know he did a lot of research and and speaking about the concept of Orientalism which basically is making another core culture seem foreign to make them the other you know them versus us and that’s a talk that’s been used for a very long time in human culture and it’s a way of kind of making an unjust action towards them or the other somehow excusable you know oh it’s okay because it’s not us it’s them. Klein says this is a quotation the other doesn’t have the same rights same humanity as those making the distinction. I think that that’s a very important point that she makes nations and their political forces have used with this whole climate change discussion have used now you need to take kind of as an excuse for their lack of action we saw that a lot in you know the 2000s when research really started to come in and for a long time many governments were just like oh yeah but that’s just theory it hasn’t been proven yet and we’re past that point is basically what she’s saying in this next section of the paper this excuse is no longer applicable it does not work it’s not legit client sites institutional racism as a form of uttering that really is a main contributor which enables this inaction and she discusses you know that we do that now and we used to do that we did that when we first started digging up fossil fuels and continue to do that you know the places that the fossil fuels are the richest the Middle East obviously being one of those places that’s definitely a place that at this point most of Western civilization has other dinh some way or another and you know she says that fossil fuel extraction has historically been in places with marginalised citizens people of color people of different race people of different religion. she talks you know in the states in the United States the concept of national sacrifice areas and the first thing that she cites is the Appalachian Mountains and that’s actually where I live my whole extended family is from this region and I did not grow up here but I definitely have kind of a connection to it I had a lot of in my past you know my great-great-grandfather and into people from his generation they were all coal miners and you know Appalachian West Virginia. I definitely feel this part for sure she discusses you know that those people that’s that’s a really good example of uttering in American culture not just like you know it’s not just it’s not people of color that are being targeted it’s not people from completely outside cultures it was really just like Hillbillies the concept of the hillbilly was was created kind of almost as an excuse you know oh it’s okay if we go and cut the tops off these mountains and and use these people to extract this extremely toxic you know clogs up your long substance and destroy their their whole you know region environmentally because they’re hillbillies they’re not that bright who cares you know and that’s still something that’s still it still happens here it’s still kind of a it’s a concept that even now we can’t seem to get away from generations later. it’s it’s a great example chooses a lot of other examples as well she talks about how power plants and refineries in the states or other areas are oftentimes you know in the poor communities which are often places where there are a lot of people of color that live and it’s that whole concept that you know like we don’t want it here we’re gonna put it over here with with these marginalized communities instead and that reminds me personally of a great example of that I don’t know if any of you recall this but there was this whole thing this whole community kind of like backlash I saw it a lot in Vermont where I’m from about 10 15 years ago the whole not in my backyard campaign that basically said like you know we don’t want these nuclear power plants or we don’t want you know these these not-so-pleasant things to be here in our backyard we wanted our people to put them in their backyards but we still want to gain from them we still want that power it’s still our power we just don’t want it here where we have to deal with it and that’s a perfect example honestly of other hanging in the u.s.. Chuck’s a lot about indigenous peoples rights which of course does tie in you know to you know what something that’s very close to her heart and also Edward cite there were you know treaties that were made a long time ago the one that she uses as an example is you know Canada they have you know the right the indigenous people of Canada had the right same here in the States according to you know the English government the English crown to hunt and fish and inhabit those lands and we’re still saying that those are legitimate but yet at the same time if you look at Canada the example she uses is that the tar sands those are on indigenous lands a lot of the time and if you destroy the land you’re robbing those people of what right you originally promised you would give but you know of course the issue is that what what value is the land if it’s been destroyed by fossil fuel extraction because you’re leaving nothing to live in. people in these places she also talks about the Niger River Delta diamond mining they’re given the the choice to either stay or leave and she explains that in order for there to be sacrificial and sacrificial area there have to be sacrificial people that’s the concept of other ring and there are lots of intellectual theories throughout you know the last few centuries that have kind of backed that up like I guess the one that comes to mind which I bet we’re all familiar with is manifest destiny and then of course or you know Orientalism which you know she also uses as an example because that was something that Edward Sayid was very passionate about and she says that the the things in modern day society that still back those old concepts up are capitalism colonialism and patriarchy and she says that you know. long as we keep those systems in place those old things that came with it are gonna continue to to happen and she says that you know climate change is not really the result of human nature I think my interpretation of what she’s saying is basically that it’s the result of human inaction and it’s our decisions conscious or not to uphold you know these backward belief systems kind of as a way of enabling other ring. back to fossil fuels she says in her next section that the more desperate we are to extract fossil fuels the more destructive methods we’re going to continue to use fracking and tar sand extraction are the two ones that she mentions frequently throughout the paper and she explains that you know even people who thought that they were safe from that you know it doesn’t happen here we’re fine she cites you know the rural UK as an area that is experiencing more and more areas are experiencing tracking and more and more people are finding themselves somehow and surprisingly other in their own way and she wants to really you know make that point that there is no environmentally safe clean way for human existence to rely on fossil fuels there’s there never was one that there never will be one and I really think that’s the heartwood of what she’s trying to say here and it’s no coincidence you know there’s biggest richest concentrations of fossil fuels and other countries there there are other countries you know they they’re not here they’re not in Canada they’re not the UK and those are really three nations that she tends to focus on you know as kind of like that us part of this equation um. I guess the big question has always been and is still today how do we us how do we get access to their resources and what she’s basically saying is that you know at this point in in the game it’s war you know we have to take control and wage war if our interests are compromised and she kind of ties that into you know the unrest that’s happened in the Middle East and the war that’s happened in the Middle East over the last few decades she also uses as an example specifically with regards for IO I don’t know if I’m saying his name right or possibly her name Eyal Weisman the book is the conflict shoreline and basically what this person is saying is that you know the aridity line where it’s just enough moisture to farm just enough moisture to grow food it moves you know as as climate change progresses and it moves you know through the seasons and this book basically one of the things that they point out is is there’s this map that’s that you can see in her talk that she has there and the drone strike concentrations are almost all along that aridity line which you know she was saying in her in her talk that you know water is a resource that’s just as valuable really as oil is in that area of the world and she says you know that the that the this is a quote the bombs follow the oil the drones followed the drought. all of these actions that have happened in the Middle East are creating huge numbers of refugees who are trying to leave the region and then they wind up coming up against powers that are you know almost just as challenging you know we’ve got political forces and government kind of like this nationalist attitude and lots of different nations she specifically mentions you know the EU with people that crying across the Mediterranean you know refugees political refugees and then also you know in Australia one of the things that she mentions is an island called now Roo I think I’m pronouncing it right I sure hope. where people are actually setting themselves on fire to try to just be like hey see what’s happening here you know human injustice there’s not there’s not enough resources for people that are on these islands they haven’t actually been brought into Australian society they’re on the outskirts literally on an island and the thing the point that she makes at the end of that one section is that you know now not only have they faced the effects of you know the political crisis which she directly ties to fossil fuel extraction and the desire to control the oil in the Middle East now it’s not only that you know they also have been put on an island that is now you know one of many of the areas in the you know Pacific that is likely to flood very soon according to scientific studies. it’s a new source of other Aang that you’re trading in you know for your old one which is actually quite tragic um. she goes on to say you know yet again she’s hammering it and that the connection is clear if we can commit other Aang to people to steal their resources then we shouldn’t think that it’ll stop there you know people that are facing climate change are going to fall that’s you know they’re gonna fault that same fate. she talks a little bit about the Paris agreement towards the end of her speech and she talks about how you know the goal basically that was set at the Paris agreement was two degrees Celsius or less and a lot of those nations with you know the very immediate threat of sea level rise their slogan is 1.5 to stay alive and what she’s pointing out and that this last section of the piece is that you know even with the two degrees it’s still not enough and we’re still not even taking actions in many nations that agreed in the Paris agreement to actually stop fossil fuel extraction that’s still happening no matter how liberal or how progressive governments may seem she actually talks about the new prime minister in Canada and like think she refers to him as hunky which is pretty funny but you know even she says even he’s still pushing for tar for tar sand extraction. the actions that are being taken our not enough and I agree with her um let’s see. she talks quite a bit about the UK towards the end as well and explains you know how they’ve had quite a bit of flooding recently and people are saying hey you know if we don’t have enough resources here in the UK to deal with our own flooding why would we put all this money and time and resources into fixing other people’s flooding far away across on the other side of the planet and and she she brings it all back full circle and says you know that you know the UK has been burning fossil fuels longer than any other nation creating the burden of climate change and kind of starting that that spark that has led to all of this in the first place. yes you know we are responsible the whole point that she’s trying to make here is that we are all responsible regardless of whether or not we’re going to actually face any immediate impact we all still have an obligation to do something to fix it um and she says you know that there’s an option for climate change to be a catalyst and she says that it can go one of two ways it can either be a catalyst that creates even more conflict and more evil or it can be a catalyst that creates healing and that creates solutions and action and I think that that’s a beautiful way of her putting it and then the very last section of her speech she just returns back to Edward Sayid and says that you know even though he wasn’t really known as being an environmentalist before he passed away he did make that connection that she makes here in her paper and says that you know it really is all tied together that the that the fight of social justice and human rights is also the fight of environmental justice they’re the same fight.

I think that she’s spot on I mean I think that her perspective and the way that she went about you know this this speech I think it’s poignant and I think that it’s very effective because it’s very easy for us we sit I know maybe not all of us live in the States but I imagine a lot of us you know in our classes to you you know we sit here and we think to ourselves hey you know everything’s cool everything is okay it looks good where I am. I’m not too worried but really the point she’s trying to make is that we’re all in this together we all need to realize we’re in it together and we may not be confronted with the actual reality that many people face in places that are going to create that are going to start not create that are going to experience a much heavier burden of climate change right off the bat you know soon like within the next few decades as opposed to centuries but you know she’s really making that point that it’s it will affect us in one way or the other and we are all responsible for taking action to stop it. anyways that’s my talk thank you for being. patient for 25 minutes I apologize it’s. long and thanks. much guys all right I