the irresistible fleet of bicycles

where to go for good thinking on climate change! — guernica mag & techno-utopianism

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Bill Mckibben

Image courtesy of 350.org

“It’s the greatest fight in human history, one whose outcome will reverberate for geologic time, and it has to happen right now.”

That’s Bill McKibben, who will be in New York City this weekend to present at the Techno-Utopianism & the Fate of the Earth conference, quoted in an interview he gave to Guernica Magazine in 2012.

In the interest of preparing for this conference, I want to give a plug for Guernica, an online magazine based in New York City. The subtitle that Guernica has given itself is ‘a magazine of arts & culture,’ which is true, but it is much more than this unassuming title suggests. Guernica is interested in engaging with the most pressing issues of our time, including mass incarceration, class divisions, and late capitalism. Alongside in-depth social and political commentary, the magazine publishes short stories, poems, and visual art. It puts out issues twice-monthly, and supplements these with daily posts and special issues.

Even better, everything that Guernica publishes is FREE on their website, so the insight of their contributors is accessible by everyone!

In particular, Guernica has lately been a prime source for subtle and forward-thinking work on climate change. Simply searching the tag “climate change” turns up more than fifty articles on their website. Anne McClintock’s work about visualizing the effects of climate change is extremely relevant. Because of the apocalyptic caste to the problems being confronted this weekend, I also highly recommend Ira Chernus’s essay on apocalypses. Other relevant essays include Aaron Larabee on capital’s complicity with global warming and, on a more hopeful note, Jay Walljasper on how communal living can curb climate change.

At its best, Guernica has a practical caste. Rather than looking down their noses at the misguided and disconnected, they put forward tentatively optimistic programs. “Only great movements, only collective action can save us now,” writes Rebecca Solnit in her recent article on the New York City climate march. “The world has changed again and again in ways that, until they happened, would have been considered improbable by just about everyone on the planet. It is changing now and the direction is up to us.”

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