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Upstate Renegade Productions, Derry 2009 AGM Press Shot. Left to right: Diarmuid McGowan, Louis P. Burns aka Lugh and Andrew West. Shot 01. © Upstate Renegade productions 2009. All Rights reserved.

Upstate Renegade Productions AGM - Derry, Ireland. January 2009. Left to right: (L) Admin Assistant, Co-Director, Editor & technician: Diarmuid McGowan. (C) Administrator, Media Producer, Owner of Upstate Renegade Productions, Promotor, Publicity Consultant, e-Publisher & Writer: Louis P. Burns aka Lugh. (R) Global A&R / 1st Music Director / Soundtrack Specialist & Marketing Manager - UK: Andrew West. This image is subject to international copyright law. all rights reserved.

 

 

 

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Welcome to: Sensitize © Arts E-Magazine by Upstate Renegade Productions © Edition One - November 2008. Editor - Louis P. Burns aka Lugh © All rights reserved..

The BlueGreenEarth Experience (1, 2, 3, 4)
An extensive interview with Tim Barton of BlueGreenEarth by Louis P. Burns aka Lugh © 2008. (This is a copyleft interview) Some rights reserved.

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Lugh: If BlueGreenEarth had the power to stop anything that is a serious threat to the environment right now. What would it be?

Tim: "I would seek to stop global climate change that threatens life on the planet, whether the changes are down to us or whatever.

To do this implies the demolition of consumer capitalism and the demotion of Money to the status of a tool we use (unless we simply banish it completely) rather than having the status of a God where we are it's tools, and it's value is always greater than ours. After all, an aggressive cancer will often only die back once it has killed its host, and the capitalist meme's host is the biosphere. Ditto any anti-reality religious viewpoints."

Lugh: Would BlueGreenEarth say that the wars being fought today are detrimental to the environment?

Tim: "War has always been detrimental to local and regional environments. From an environmental perspective the wars that matter are those that create irreparable damage to the biosphere and to biodiversity. Wars involving nuclear weapons are a clear example of that. Wars over resources, to feed the death throes of consumer capitalism, the attempts of developing countries to join the party, etc are a clear example of that. Wars use more fossil fuels etc themselves than many activities (which is a reason for their being perceived as the heart of the military-industrial complex – ie, whether free-market capitalist or state capitalist, a war economy is a resource intensive get rich quick scheme for a minority, unfortunately the minority with the power and control most of the time).

You could say that capitalist consumerism is a war against life on Earth. See my response to Q9 for more on our position on this."

Lugh: Do BlueGreenEarth believe politicians should be penalised for not working effectively to lead-by-example when it comes to the environment's wellbeing?

Tim: "I cannot speak for all of the members of our 'collective', or for all contributors on such specific matters. However, I can elucidate my own views.

This is a tricky area. In a way, yes. If politicians are seen as democratic representatives of the people, in a fairly direct and representative way, and if the 'will of the people' is to support green measures, then I guess hypocrisy should be punished – if you accept the assumed superiority of such assumptions as the peoples will being useful or informed, etc, which is an ongoing dodgy debate with little honesty or sense spoken. If you see the UK version of democracy as a bit of an insult to 'democracy' as an ideal, as I do, then you will not see representation on policy, and certainly not proportionate representation, as being offered by our system – so whether those that choose to play this game by our establishments rules should or should not work for the benefit of the environment may be an open question.

So, in the "best of all possible worlds" (in democratic terms), sure politicians should be penalised, as in such a world it would be reasonable to expect "representative" to actually mean "represent and share the views (broadly at least) of their constituency members."

Personally, I think decision making at a local level, through libertarian municipal assemblies, would be the best forum for beginning representative governance, with, perhaps, representatives returned from these assemblies to regional, national and intra-national assemblies – the commune of communes, if you will. This, of course, still would be a compromise on the ideal of direct democracy, and a compromise too for individualist anarchism, but that is one of the reasons why I see the nexus of valid political debate to be where left and anarchist meet (and where they also converge with green consciousness, for the reasons that I hope are apparent elsewhere in my answers here) – negating the 'other' just means vicious swings from extreme to extreme, and the status quo as a balance point is currently about established entrenched power, not common sense and the future (which I think deserve more of a profile)."

Lugh: Do BlueGreenEarth see planet Earth as a living, breathing organism and we (humanity) as its maintainance crew?

Tim: "Deep ecology types will conflate all humans with this disease, and advocate eradicating us all to save the cockroach (stereotype alert!). Usually this view is accompanied by a view of human nature as by definition deterministic and negative (even whilst those who cleave to such a view often see themselves as individuals apart from that, and/or embrace smug worthless lifestyle anarchism / activism where "yoga can cure the world"). Despite cynicism and 'pessimism' (the optimist's interpretation of realism?), I do not share this view of our 'nature', believing that we are more malleable and less determined than that. It is however a race against time.

The skills and traits we evolved to survive very different times have become our downfall – we need to take cognizance of that, as, I think, it is very clear that we have also evolved tools and intelligence that allow the real possibility of us not acting to that script: it is a choice.

But, as resources, especially fossil fuels, deplete, we will surely find most of our species stranded like fish on a beach when the tide goes out, but the tide will only return after sufficient time has passed for a whole new Carboniferous period to come and depart – we have sorely misused this fast conversion energy source, and it has financed our explosion from a billion or so population in the mid-nineteenth century, through 3 billion the year I was born (1964) to close to 7 billion today. Even a cursory look at population dynamics, whether for yeast, rabbits, or humans, reveals the 'limits to growth' all too vividly.

However, should we choose to use the knowledge accrued through centuries of struggle in the sciences and philosophy as good means for good ends, rather than allowing them to be the tool (and fall-guy) for capitalistic ideologues, then I think that we have the capacity to be stewards of the earth and to break the cycle. I give it long odds, but nonetheless do believe this to be so. In this sense, then, yes, we could be seen as the Earth's maintenance crew.

I read Lovelock's ideas, summarised possibly unhelpfully by Laurence Durrell as "Gaian" after a greek goddess, and am sympathetic to what he wrote. Vernadsky's The Biosphere is also a key text here. Neither thinker portrays the Earth as "a living breathing organism", though some that read them have done. These 'deep ecologist' thinkers are, I think, pushing the metaphor too far. However, I do see the biosphere as a holistic entity with an implicate order that renders the whole as more than merely the sum of it's parts – just as the parts of a motorcycle engine laid out on a garage floor are in sum a random pile of bits, yet when properly put together becoming by definition more than merely that pile (and the ID brigade's reading of this as requiring a designer is where the analogy breaks down, as succinctly explained by Richard Dawkins in his Blind Watchmaker). Reading a supernatural consciousness into it, or divinity, or even a mundane consciousness is too much.

As a species capable of stewardship, I believe that humans are unique. This doesn't mean that I believe that we are a peak of evolution in a hubristic sense, with no responsibility or care for 'lesser' lifeforms; or that no other species could ever feasibly gain such status, or that there may not be many links to the great chain of being above us. But I do believe that we are from, at least some perspectives, a 'higher' species. It is precisely because of our embeddedness in a web of life upon which we are ultimately wholly dependent, that I do not think this evolutionary hierarchy makes appropriate the lack of care that we have for our environment – in fact, those behaviours that imperil the wider ecology are exactly the things that may render us worthless and indeed extinct, unless we rethink our relationship with nature.

* A note on 'capitalistic ideology', as referred to throughout this interview – I see the traditional Left as being as mired in the same nineteenth century viewpoints as the conservatives: Newtonian determinism; Cartesian solipsism; scientistic positivism that naively equates science with a magic wand; support for, indeed a requirement for, industrial productivism and planet rape… And the difference? The Left will share the proceeds of planet rape more fairly than the right."

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healingherbs

^ Click the Healing Herbs' banner directly above to watch a medical cannabis information film by Upstate Renegade Productions and members of Sensitize ©

Upstate Renegade Productions produced the animated banner for the Mark Thomas Info website to say thanks for their assistance with the post production of Healing Herbs. Please note that by clicking or double-clicking the animated banner directly above, you will be taken to the Mark Thomas Info website.

Please note that by clicking or double-clicking the banner up above you will be taken to the bluegreenearth.com domain and homepage which is facilitated by Tim Barton and colleagues. Why not bookmark us in your favourites folder and visit us again?

Upstate Renegade Productions adapted the above animated banner from an original by Tim Barton for Bluegreenearth (BGE). This was to say thanks for their assistance with the post production research of Healing Herbs. This is also to say thanks to Tim for taking time out of his heavy schedule to be interviewed for the Sensitize e-magazine. Click here to read the BlueGreenEarth Experience