About to hop on down to the fun at Peabody today (starting at 11 at Kiener Plaza ... you can still make it!). Here's a personal statement I was asked to write up for the occasion. You can read the rest of the personal statements at the RAMPS website. They'll cover both Tuesday's Arch Coal action, and today's action(s) at Peabody.
No doubt that there will be lots of media coming out from MORE, RAMPS, BMIS, and some local news sources during the day. Check all that out and have fun on this moderately warmer day.
Here's the personal crap:
I came to Saint Louis for graduate school, hoping to do research that
would bring about technological solutions to climate change.
Underlying this standard graduate student naivete was the far more
ubiquitous and far, far more dangerous overreliance on and faith in
technology. In the context of our world, where global industrial
Capitalism reigns supreme and demands continuous growth and
exploitation, the question "which technology will save us from climate
change?" is moot. There is no fancy solar cell, or wind turbine, or
nuclear whatever that could ever hope to address the crises of
On this day I'm going off to participate in the rally at Peabody to
stand in solidarity with everyone in Appalachia, the Navajo and Hopi
Nations, Saint Louis, and every other living community. I want to draw
attention to the decades of exploitation that the Navajo and Hopi
nations have endured due to Peabody's role in this repugnant system. I
want to draw attention to the way we exploit our planet, and how that is
driving us to the brink.
Will today's actions significantly stop emissions, or stop Peabody?
No, probably not. Will this give people who work at Peabody or the lines
upon lines of police that will inevitably be protecting Peabody's
headquarters any time to pause and really consider what it is that
they're defending? Almost certainly not. Will it bring a renewed sense
of hope and ease and invigorate the ongoing struggle? That would be nice
and I hope that happens. This is just one action and one day.
We're steadily marching towards a future that will see a 4 degree
Celsius rise in global temperature, if not more. This scenario at least
ensures a global level of suffering and death that we've never witnessed
before and can hardly imagine. At worst it means there won't be a human
species any more, let alone countless other species.
The actions that I and everyone else take on this day should be
judged in this context. Is today's action enough? Of course not. Is it
too rash or radical? Give me a break. We will all learn from the
experiences of today, and we will experience the mounting pressures, and
There is no hope for an environmentally just world as long as giant
fossil fuel companies such as Peabody are allowed to exist. I hope that
others will join in the fight against this corporation and all that it
represents. Standing on the sidelines will not ensure our safety or the
safety of those we care for.