Dispatches from a Warming Planet

Stephen F. Eisenman

Joe Biden and Dorothea Lange: Politics and Art Revealed!

January 1, 2024

Not all art seeks to persuade. Some is simply itself and nothing else, providing a brief and salutary respite from a global capitalist order that seeks at every turn to sell, coerce, persuade, dominate, and sometimes even kill us.

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We Need a Working-Class Environmental Movement

October 13, 2023

The following is an amateur’s observations about the U.S environmental movement intended to rock the boat while not completely tipping it over. I’ll proceed by: 1) briefly describing past and present movements; 2) discussing one of the chief weaknesses of the current environmental movement — excessive inward directedness or “prefiguration”; and 3) concluding with some ideas about how to build a new, working-class movement grounded in politics and nourished by “necessity and desire.”

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A Picturesque Tour of Toxic Waste Sites in Georgia and Alabama

May 13, 2022

Including examination of the racism that helped create them, conversations with residents and activists, and brief observations about the history, politics, music, art, architecture, and scenery of the region, illustrated with historic artworks and original photographs by the author.

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Filthy Lucre: Or, How Non-Profits Get Money but Lose their Souls

February 10, 2022

Until recently, the only thing I knew about non-profits was that they are poison for radicals. To paraphrase Gil Scott-Heron: The revolution will not be led by a 501(c)(3). Once you start hunting for filthy lucre (aka foundation support), militancy is out; it offends funders and alienates the leaders of other non-profits with whom you must collaborate. Your politics drift toward the center. And, while your table manners and dressing style might improve, your sex life will not. If you’re single and hoping for a date with a hot anarchist-atheist-vegan, you’re out of luck.

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Port Arthur and the Sublime

December 12, 2021

The most amazing place I saw during a recent tour of flood damaged towns and cities on the Gulf Coast, was Port Arthur, Texas. The ruin of its downtown, combined with the fury of its petrochemical infrastructure, can only be called sublime.

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The Streets of New Orleans

November 21, 2021

After 18 months of lockdowns and travel restrictions, we decided it was time to hit the streets and visit some of our “environmental justice communities” on the Gulf Coast. Environmental Justice Communities (EJC) are non-white or working-class neighborhoods that have been flooded, burned, poisoned, or impoverished by the petrochemical, biomedical, transportation, real estate, timber, animal agriculture, or financial service industries.

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The Coronavirus Crisis is a General Strike!

March 30, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is a de facto General Strike against a political and social order that privileges the few over the many. But this has been a largely leaderless strike in which almost no one has issued demands. Now, in the midst of the pandemic, there remains an opportunity for working people and their political representatives to challenge the health and environmental policies that created the crisis, and forge a more humane and sustainable future.

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Letter to the New York Times

March 8, 2020

For the many disappointed Bernie Sanders supporters (including me), we need to keep our eyes on the ball: saving human civilization (and myriad animal species) from extinction. Here’s how: Bernie must call up Joe Biden now and tell him that if he will publicly and enthusiastically endorse a Green New Deal, Bernie will quit the race and work to unite the party.

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Un-natural Disasters

January 15, 2020

The frequency and severity of most so-called “natural” disasters in the United States – excessive heat, fires, drought, and floods — have increased significantly in recent decades. The reason is that there is nothing natural about them. They are the result of higher levels of global greenhouse gasses (GGGs) in the atmosphere leading to higher temperatures. In the past decade, record high readings in the U.S.

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Global Disclaimer

June 19, 2019

Capital in the current class struggle enabled congressional Republicans and the president to pass a tax cut in 2017 which further enriched the wealthy, while reducing incomes for the poor. And whatever modest economic stimulus the tax cut may initially have had, it’s now clearly worn off, and the resulting budget deficit become a damper on the economy and a threat to the modest, social welfare net.

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Image top: NASA solar system exploration. Sun photo. November 22, 2020.