Sunday, December 15, 2019

Agamben, Lovelock, Greta Thunberg, coluna da ANPOF (de 30/12/2019), Planet of the Humans & Covid-19






For more potlatch invitations and photography, see here;
Greta Thunberg SOS Amazonia; 
"La crise écologique crée la crise sanitaire" (Hugo Clément, Serge Morand/France 5);
#ActForTheAmazon
#ExtinctionRebellion
#GretaThunberg
#GreenNewDeal
#BoycottBrazilianMonocultures

"Choqué, à ce qu'il disait, du mauvais goût des anciens édifices, du peu de largeur et de l'irrégularité des rues, il fit metre le feu à la ville, e si ouvertement, que plusieurs consulaires, surprenant dans leurs propriétés des esclaves de sa chambre, avec des étoupes et des flambeaux, n'osèrent pas les arrêter..."
Suétone (traduction Théophile Baudement)
"Et je trouvai les Tarahumaras désespérés, au moment où j'arrivai dans la montagne, de la destruction récente d'un champ de Peyotl par les soldats de Mexico."
"Je lui dis aussi que je n'étais pas venu chez les Tarahumaras en curieux mais pour retrouver une Vérité qui échappe au monde de l'Europe et que sa Race avait conservée."
A. Artaud (Le Rite du Peyotl chez les Tarahumaras)
"Et tout cela, pourquoi? Pour une danse, pour un rite d'Indiens perdus qui ne savent même plus qui ils sont, ni d'où ils viennent et qui, lorsqu'on les interroge, nous répondent par des contes dont ils ont égaré la liaison et le secret... Certes, je verrai les sorciers exécuter leur rite; mais en quoi ce rite me profiterait-il? ... La danse du  Peyotl est dans une râpe, dans ce bois trempé de temps, et qui a profité des sels secrets de la terre. C'est dans cette baguette tendue et repliée que repose l'action curative de ce rite tellement complexe, tellement reculé, et qu'il faut poursuivre  comme un bête dans la forêt."
A. Artaud (D'un voyage au pays des Tarahumaras)
"I always feel myself very much indebted to your Indians. Without the study of their civilization, I never would have been able to find a larger basis for the Psychology of the Renaissance."
Letter from Aby Warburg to James Mooney (May 17, 1907, written in English)
"Vocês por acaso sabem o que significa a palavra Ibirapuera em guarani? Ibirá = árvore, puera = lugar onde havia. Ou seja: lugar onde havia árvore. Os índios previram essa catástrofe e vocês foram lá aplaudir."
Charles Fenley Jones
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A crítica que saiu ao texto "Sulla Fine del Mondo" do Agamben em coluna da ANPOF de 3 de dezembro (por Jelson Oliveira e Tiago Vasconcelos) é trucada por dois simples motivos: 
(1) primeiro, Agamben não nega a base real das previsões de catástrofes climáticas (em nenhum nível, nem quanto ao alcance nem quanto à causa antropológica): 'Deve essere chiaro che queste considerazioni non intendono prendere posizione quanto alla realtà del problema dell’inquinamento e delle trasformazioni deleterie che le rivoluzioni industriali hanno prodotto nelle condizioni materiali e spirituali dei viventi. Al contrario...'
(2) segundo, Agamben é MAIS (e não menos) crítico com relação ao estado de coisas atuais, porque ele chama à sua crítica a responsabilidade que a própria ciência tem quanto à situação atual catastrófica de deterioração do meio ambiente (alguém pode, de sã consciência, negar isso?): 'Il fenomeno è tanto più inquietante, in quanto la scienza non ha mai annoverato l’escatologia fra i propri compiti ed è possibile che l’assunzione del nuovo ruolo profetico tradisca la consapevolezza della propria innegabile responsabilità nelle catastrofi di cui predice l’avvento.' 
O que o texto do Agamben exige é uma reflexão mais atenta sobre a situação e um posicionamento político que implique no reconhecimento da responsabilidade histórica da própria ciência, em conluio com o monopólio do dinheiro, na depredação do planeta (remonta a Feyerabend a ideia de que a ciência precisa sim de freio político tanto quanto a religião, visto que ambas estão sujeitas ao dogmatismo e podem conduzir a catástrofes). Essa exigência faz todo o sentido e é completamente legítima. Agamben está colocando sim sob suspeita a figura da Greta Thunberg, mas isso não significa que esteja desautorizando-a totalmente. O ponto que ele toca diz respeito aos limites do próprio saber científico (que diante da própria desmedida agora assume uma dimensão profética, num momento em que deveria, antes de mais nada, reconhecer o que tem de precário e dogmaticamente perigoso). E esse ponto vale ainda mais pra crítica, muito acertada, feita por Agamben, a Lovelock, que defende como antídoto pros problemas gerados pelo tecnicismo exacerbado não menos, mas mais tecnicismo!

Texto de Agamben:
"Sulla fine del mondo
Il tema della fine del mondo è apparso più volte nella storia della cristianità e in ogni tempo sono comparsi profeti che annunciavano come prossimo l’ultimo giorno. È singolare che oggi questa funzione escatologica, che la chiesa ha lasciato cadere, sia stata assunta dagli scienziati, che si presentano sempre più spesso come profeti, che predicono e descrivono con assoluta certezza le catastrofi climatiche che porteranno alla fine della vita sulla terra. Singolare, ma non sorprendente, se si considera che nella modernità la scienza si è sostituita alla fede e ha assunto una funzione propriamente religiosa – è, anzi, in ogni senso la religione del nostro tempo, ciò in cui gli uomini credono (o, almeno, credono di credere). 
Come ogni religione, anche la religione della scienza non poteva mancare di un’escatologia, cioè di un dispositivo che, mantenendo i fedeli nella paura, rafforza la loro fede e, insieme, assicura il dominio della classe sacerdotale. Apparizioni come Greta sono, in questo senso, sintomatiche: Greta crede ciecamente in quel che gli scienziati profetizzano e aspetta la fine del mondo nel 2030, esattamente come i millenaristi nel medioevo credevano nell’imminente ritorno del messia a giudicare il mondo. Non meno sintomatica è una figura come quella dell’inventore di Gaia, uno scienziato che, concentrando le sue diagnosi apocalittiche su un unico fattore – la percentuale di CO2 nell’atmosfera – dichiara con stupefacente candore che la salvezza dell’umanità sta nell’energia nucleare. Che, in entrambi i casi, la posta in gioco abbia carattere religioso e non scientifico, si tradisce nella funzione centrale che vi svolge un vocabolo – la salvezza – tratto dalla filosofia cristiana della storia.
Il fenomeno è tanto più inquietante, in quanto la scienza non ha mai annoverato l’escatologia fra i propri compiti ed è possibile che l’assunzione del nuovo ruolo profetico tradisca la consapevolezza della propria innegabile responsabilità nelle catastrofi di cui predice l’avvento. Naturalmente, come in ogni religione, anche la religione della scienza ha i suoi increduli e i suoi avversari, cioè gli adepti dell’altra grande religione della modernità: la religione del denaro. Ma le due religioni, in apparenza divise, sono segretamente solidali. Poiché è stata certamente l’alleanza sempre più stretta fra scienza, tecnologia e capitale che ha determinato la situazione catastrofica che gli scienziati oggi denunciano.
Deve essere chiaro che queste considerazioni non intendono prendere posizione quanto alla realtà del problema dell’inquinamento e delle trasformazioni deleterie che le rivoluzioni industriali hanno prodotto nelle condizioni materiali e spirituali dei viventi. Al contrario, mettendo in guardia contro la confusione fra religione e verità scientifica e fra profezia e lucidità, si tratta di non farsi dettare acriticamente da parti interessate le proprie scelte e le proprie ragioni, che in ultima analisi non possono essere che politiche.
18 novembre 2019"

["Concerning the end of the world
The idea of the end of the world has emerged several times along the History of Christianity, and in all its periods there were prophets announcing the imminence of the last day. It is curious how this eschatological vocation finally surrendered by the church has now been assumed by scientists, which increasingly present themselves as prophets, who foretell and describe with absolute certainty the climatic catastrophes leading to the end of life on earth. Curious but not surprising, if one takes into account that science replaced faith in modernity, assuming truly a religious role: it is, indeed and in every aspect, the religion of our time—what people believe in (or at least what they think they believe in). 
As any religion, the religion of science wouldn't be bereft of an eschatology, that is, of a device through which to keep the faithful in fear while, at the same time, securing the domination of the priestly class. Apparitions like Greta are, in this sense, symptomatic: she blindly believes in what scientists prophesy and awaits the end of the world to 2030, exactly as medieval millennialists believed in the imminent return of the messiah and the following last judgement. No less symptomatic is the figure of the inventor of Gaia, a scientist who reduces his apocalyptic diagnose to a single factor (CO2's percentage in the atmosphere) and declares—with the utmost candor—that the salvation of humanity lies in nuclear energy. That in both cases what is at stake is rather religious than scientific is betrayed by the central role played by the word salvation, taken from the Christian philosophy of history. 
The phenomenon is all the more disturbing because science has never included eschatology among its proper subjects, and it is possible that this assumption of a new prophetic task betrays the awareness of science's own responsibility in the catastrophes whose advent it predicts. Undoubtedly, as with any religion, the religion of science has its own unbelievers and adversaries, that is, the partisans of the other great religion of modernity: the religion of money. But the two religions, apparently in disaccord, are secretly united. For it was certainly the increasingly intimate alliance among science, technology and capital that determined the catastrophic situation that scientists today denounce. 
It must be clear that through these few paragraphs one is not committed to any stand concerning the reality of the problem of pollution and the deleterious transformations that industrial revolutions brought to the material and spiritual fate of living beings. Much on the contrary, by warning against the confusion between religion and scientific truth, prophecy and lucidity, the point is to avoid that the very interested parties now keep uncritically dictating what are our choices and reasons, which in the final analysis can only be political. November 18, 2019 (translation and emphasis by A/Z).]
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NEW (01/17/2020): Piaraçu Manifest 


"Nós, representantes de 45 povos indígenas do Brasil, somando mais de 600 participantes, fomos convocados pelo cacique Raoni, para nos reunirmos entre os dias 14 e 17 de janeiro de 2020 na aldeia Piaraçu (Terra Indígena Capoto Jarina), com o objetivo de juntar as nossas forças e denunciar que está em curso um projeto político do governo brasileiro de genocídio, etnocídio e ecocídio."
"O Estado brasileiro tem de entender que tem uma dívida histórica com os povos indígenas. Nós somos os primeiros habitantes de nosso país. Não apenas defendemos o meio ambiente: somos a própria Natureza. Se matar o meio ambiente está matado [a] nós. Sempre queremos floresta em pé, não porque a floresta é bonita, mas porque todos esses seres que habitam a floresta fazem parte de nós e correm no nosso sangue..."
["Representing 45 different indigenous people of Brazil and totalling more than 600 participants, we were summoned here in the village Piaraçu (indigenous land Capoto Jarina), from January 14 through 17, 2020, by chief Raoni, so as to gather our forces and denounce that the Brazilian government is carrying out at the present a political program of genocide, ethnocide and ecocide./ The Brazilian State should understand it has a historical obligation towards indigenous people. We are the first inhabitants of our country. It is not merely that we defend the environment: we are Nature itself. By killing the environment one kills us. We want the forest bustling, not because the forest is beautiful, but because all these beings that inhabit a forest are part of us and run inside our veins..." (translation by A/Z)] (see here the entire document in Portuguese, signed by Raoni and other indigenous leaderships); 
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The Planet of the Humans controversy:


- "Jeff Gibbs said in a statement: “This attempt to take down our film and prevent the public from seeing it is a blatant act of censorship by political critics of Planet of the Humans. It is a misuse of copyright law to shut down a film that has opened a serious conversation about how parts of the environmental movement have gotten into bed with Wall Street and so-called “green capitalists”" (Michael Moore film Planet of the Humans removed from Youtube, The Guardian, 26/05/2020);
- "Occasionally, the film lands a punch on the right nose. It is right to attack the burning of trees to make electricity. But when the film’s presenter and director, Jeff Gibbs, claims, “I found only one environmental leader willing to reject biomass and biofuels”, he can’t have been looking very far. Some people have been speaking out against them ever since they became a serious proposition (since 2004, in my case). Almost every environmental leader I know opposes the burning of fresh materials to generate power... But this is by no means the worst of it. The film offers only one concrete solution to our predicament: the most toxic of all possible answers. “We really have got to start dealing with the issue of population … without seeing some sort of major die-off in population, there’s no turning back.” Yes, population growth does contribute to the pressures on the natural world. But while the global population is rising by 1% a year, consumption, until the pandemic, was rising at a steady 3%. High consumption is concentrated in countries where population growth is low. Where population growth is highest, consumption tends to be extremely low. Almost all the growth in numbers is in poor countries largely inhabited by black and brown people. When wealthy people, such as Moore and Gibbs, point to this issue without the necessary caveats, they are saying, in effect, “it’s not Us consuming, it’s Them breeding.” It’s not hard to see why the far right loves this film." (George Monbiot, How did Michael Moore become a hero to climate deniers and the far-right? The Guardian07/05/2020);
- "“One of the most dangerous things right now is the illusion that alternative technologies, like wind and solar, are somehow different from fossil fuels,” Ozzie Zehner, one of the film’s producers, tells the camera. When visiting a solar facility, he insists: “You use more fossil fuels to do this than you’re getting benefit from it. You would have been better off just burning the fossil fuels.” That’s not true, not in the least — the time it takes for a solar panel to pay back the energy used to build it is well under four years. Since it lasts three decades, it means 90 percent of the power it produces is pollution-free, compared with zero percent of the power from burning fossil fuels. It turns out that pretty much everything else about the movie was wrong..." (Bill McKibben, A Bomb in the Center of the Climate MovementRolling Stones, 01/05/2020);
- "Michael Mann, a climate scientist and signatory to Fox’s letter, said the film includes “various distortions, half-truths and lies” and that the filmmakers “have done a grave disservice to us and the planet by promoting climate change inactivist tropes and talking points.” The film’s makers did not respond to questions over whether it will be pulled down" (Climate experts call for 'dangerous' Michael Moore film to be taken down, The Guardian, 28/04/2020);
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Corona Virus, Politics & Environmental Issues: 


"... s'il faut  un fléau majeur pour faire apparaître cette gratuité frénétique et si ce fléau s'appelle la peste..."
A. Artaud

- "... la mort, cette limite ultime de l’expérience humaine, se trouve occultée dans nos sociétés sécularisées... cette déferlante virale que nous venons de vivre, nous a révélé la vulnérabilité inerrante à la condition humaine, par-delà le grand âge. Je parle ici de la vulnérabilité qui est en nous, qui nous habite et que notre idéologie de la performance, et du gagnant/gagnant s’avère incapable d’assumer... Cette crise sanitaire fait basculer, dit-on, le néocapitalisme libéral dans un capitalisme numérique, ce qui voudrait dire qu’il faudrait organiser le soutient budgétaire direct de l’Etat et trouver des outils numériques capables de faire du « sur mesure » pour baisser les coûts, tout en revalorisant les rémunérations de certaines professions sous-estimées, notamment dans la santé, l’éducation ou la sécurité. Etc… Mais le désastre humain qu’entraine la pandémie me semble tel, qu’il ne pourra pas se résoudre avec les seules mesures politiques, économiques et sanitaires aussi indispensables soient-elles. Nous devons de façon urgente changer de paradigme et mettre la personne au centre de notre logiciel. Aux niveaux essentiels du pacte social : éthique, éducatif, cultuel, politique... Evoquant les limites, nous nous rendons compte aujourd’hui combien l’acharnement technologique, consumériste et sans limite a mis notre planète à mal,"  ("C'est le for intérieur qu'il s'impose de sauver dans l'état de guerre en cours," L'Arche, Mai/Juin 2020);
- "What I find especially annoying is how, when our media announce some closure or cancellation, they as a rule add a fixed temporal limitation: the “schools will be closed till April 4” formula. The big expectation is that, after the peak which should arrive fast, things would return to normal. In this sense, I was already informed that a university symposium is just postponed to September… The catch is that, even when life eventually returns to normal, it will not be the same normal we were used to before the outbreak: things we were used to as part of our daily life will no longer be taken for granted; we’ll have to learn to live a much more fragile life with constant threats lurking just behind the corner" (Žižek, Monitor and Punish? Yes, please/The Philosophical Salon, 03/29/2020);
- "Ce qui autorise l’enchaînement des deux crises, c’est la réalisation soudaine et douloureuse que la définition classique de la société – les humains entre eux – n’a aucun sens. L’état du social dépend à chaque instant des associations entre beaucoup d’acteurs dont la plupart n’ont pas forme humaine. Cela est vrai des microbes – on le sait depuis Pasteur –, mais aussi d’Internet, du droit, de l’organisation des hôpitaux, des capacités de l’Etat, aussi bien que du climat. Et bien sûr, malgré le barouf autour d’un « état de guerre » contre le virus, celui-ci n’est que l’un des maillons d’une chaîne où la gestion des stocks de masques ou de tests, la réglementation du droit de propriété, les habitudes civiques, les gestes de solidarité, comptent exactement autant pour définir le degré de virulence de l’agent infectieux"  (Bruno Latour, La crise sanitaire incite à se préparer à la mutation climatique/Le Monde [a Portuguese translation of this text is available in the site of Instituto Humanistas] 03/25/2020);
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More General Clipping:

"Farmers associations and environmental groups in Germany are increasingly warning of a new strategy pursued with increasing transparency by the country’s new right: to use the enduring popularity of organic lifestyles and a burgeoning green movement as a step into the mainstream... “We discovered a significant number of environmental groups who had contact with far-right ideologues,” said Daniela Gottschlich, one of the political scientists who conducted the survey for the Diversu thinktank. “We discovered many felt unable to cope with the challenge and ask for support.” As such, attempts to use green issues to smuggle far-right ideas into respectable society are not new, said Yannick Passeick, a spokesperson for Farn, a government-sponsored body against radicalisation among environmentalist groups," "German far-right infiltrates green groups with call to protect the land" (Philip  Oltermann/The Guardian);
"As Brazil’s confirmed overall death toll from Covid-19 passes 50,000, the virus is scything through the country’s indigenous communities, killing chiefs, elders and traditional healers – and raising fears that alongside the toll of human lives, the pandemic may inflict irreparable damage on tribal knowledge of history, culture and natural medicine," "'We are facing extermination': Brazil loosing a generation of Indigenous leaders to Covid-19" (Dom Phillips/The Guardian)
"For the last three decades, the amount of carbon absorbed by the world’s intact tropical forests has fallen, according to the study from nearly 100 scientific institutions. They are now taking up a third less carbon than they did in the 1990s, owing to the impacts of higher temperatures, droughts and deforestation. That downward trend is likely to continue, as forests come under increasing threat from climate change and exploitation," "Tropical forests losing their ability to absorb carbon, study finds" (Fiona Harvey/The Guardian);
"Bolsonaro has frequently made racist remarks about the country’s indigenous people, recently commenting that they were “increasingly becoming human beings just like us”. Critics say he is bargaining indigenous lives for political support from the powerful evangelical lobby, just as his attacks on environmental agencies have appeased wildcat miners and farmers in the Amazon," "'Genocide' fears for isolated tribes as ex-missionary named to head Brazil agency"  (The Guardian);
"“This is a big step forward, but it will face pressure from environmentalists,” Bolsonaro said in a speech. Bolsonaro has long alleged that Brazil’s indigenous people occupy too much land – 13% of the country – and hinder economic development of untold mineral resources, from gold and diamonds to niobium and rare earths. But leaders of most of Brazil’s 300 tribes oppose mining on their reservations and say that allowing commercial mining would undermine their communities and wipe out their cultures, which are already threatened by increasing invasions by illegal loggers and wildcat miners," "Brazil's Bolsonaro unveils bill to allow commercial mining on indigenous land"(The Guardian);
"A panel of experts advising Japan's government on a disposal method for radioactive water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant has recommended releasing it into the ocean, a move likely to alarm neighbouring countries. The panel, under the industry ministry, came to the conclusion after narrowing the choice to either releasing the contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean or letting it evaporate – and opted for the former. Based on past practice, it is likely the government will accept the recommendation,"  "Fukushima radioactive water should be released into ocean, say Japan experts" (The Guardian);
"“I now put all my efforts into the activism, into addressing Brazil’s political situation,” Andujar says as she prepares a retrospective at the Fondation Cartier in Paris, which shows a selection from a personal collection that runs to several thousand photographs. “I no longer take photographs, but use my archive to show how I saw the Yanomami. This present government has no respect for them. They have no understanding of who they are as people”...  despite legal protections, Kopenawa estimates 20,000 illegal gold miners are operating in the Yanomami Park with the tactic permission of Brazil’s government," "Shamans, Spirits, Survival: how Claudia Andujar fought for the Yanomami tribe" (Oliver Basciano/The Guardian);
"... the tornadoes made of fire lifting up fire trucks weighing tonnes, of nightmarish dashcam footage of flames coursing through a fire truck with people in it, of vast fire fronts meeting up that are too big too fight (and the forests, lit up at night, look like when you’re on a plane, flying low over a metropolis)... Transformation is recognising the facts: Australia is a climate vandal, led by wreckers. We are ranked the worst of 57 countries on climate policy," "This apocalyptic Australian summer is our Sandy Hook moment – if we don't take climate action now we never will"  (Brigid Delanay/ The Guardian)
"'If 800 million sounds a lot, it’s not all the animals in the firing line,' he added.That figure excluded animals including bats, frogs and invertebrates. With these numbers included, Dickman said, it was 'without any doubt at all' that the losses exceeded 1 billion. 'Over a billion would be a very conservative figure,' he said... Critically endangered species, including the southern corroboree frog and mountain pygmy-possum, could be wiped out as fires ravage crucial habitat in Victoria’s Alpine National Park and New South Wales’s neighboring Kosciuszko National Park," "Number of Animals Feared Dead in Australia's Wildfires Soars To Over 1 Billion" (Josephine Harvey/ Huff Post);
"Tout d’un coup, l’électricité et les réseaux téléphoniques ont été coupés. Puis le ciel est devenu totalement noir. Et il y a eu ces bruits épouvantables : le rugissement du feu, le sifflement du vent, les hélicoptères. C’était une atmosphère surréaliste, terrifiante," "Ce n’est pas un feu de brousse mais une bombe atomique" (Isabelle Dellerba/Le Monde,  1/4/2020)
"There are real concerns entire species of plants and animals have been wiped out by bushfires following revelations almost 500 million animals have died since the crisis began... Harrowing scenes of kangaroos fleeing walls of fire, charred bodies of koalas and cockatoos falling dead out of trees have horrified the world as it tries to take in the scale of the unfolding disaster," "Huge loss of animal and plant life expected due to bushfires" (Marnie O'Neill/News Corp Australia)
"Australia today is ground zero for the climate catastrophe. Its glorious Great Barrier Reef is dying, its world-heritage rain forests are burning, its giant kelp forests have largely vanished, numerous towns have run out of water or are about to, and now the vast continent is burning on a scale never before seen... Flames leaping 200 feet into the air. Fire tornadoes. Terrified children at the helm of dinghies, piloting away from the flames, refugees in their own country... The prime minister, the conservative Scott Morrison, went on vacation to Hawaii," "Australia is Committing Climate Suicide" (Richard Flanagan/ The New York Times);
"He told me the temperatures they were facing near the blazes in Celsius, and I couldn’t quite compute, but I remember thinking, 'Wow, that’s 10 degrees hotter than Midnight Oil said The western desert lives and breathes.' Fifty-five degrees Celsius is 131 degrees Fahrenheit... during the night, the fires surrounding us had heaped so much smoke into the air that the sun was not visible in the sky. In fact, nothing was visible beyond 50 meters," "The Banality of Apocalypse: Escaping From the Australian Fires" (Eric Byler/ The Intercept);

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