The Weather

Bum Logic: Empire of the Summer Moon

This is the third installment in Peter’s “Bum Logic” series, about his investigation into our inadvertent complicity in climate change, continued from last week’s post, Sinful Stock.

Audre Lorde once authored an epigraph of her own to vie with the hunger strike-inclined Indian’s, The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House. To this I say, “Bullshit.” I’ve held a hammer. I’ve pulled nails from planks. It’s work, but it’s rewarding.

I’ve just read Empire of The Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne. That text chronicles the Union’s subjugation of the Comanches, the most powerful of the “horse indian” tribes. Initially the Comanches controlled the field of battle. Their superior weaponry and equine guerrilla tactics allowed them to rape and pillage whatever attracted them or drew their ire. But just as the Europeans learned how to farm this land from the natives, so too did they learn how to kill natives from the natives. The revolver was invented to imitate the rapid-fire fury of the bow and arrow. If you’re getting your ass handed to you by an enemy, examine their tactics and look for ways that you can improve upon them. Worked pretty well for the Japanese after the last Great War.

Corporations manipulate us via our representative politicians with threats of divestment. Nothing else can explain Obama’s shift from a reformer of campaign finance to a man with an open hand and a Super PAC to prove it. He felt he was being made an offer he couldn’t refuse. He was. What we need to realize is that we too can wield that wand and make corporations offers they can’t refuse.

There is another distinction to be made between the apartheid divestment and the present divestment from dirty energy companies. At the time of the South African turmoil, a couple of politicians of the Progressive Federal Party, Helen Suzman and Harry Schwarz, criticized the economic withholding, arguing it caused financial hardships for black people and put strain on the political climate of negotiations. Schwarz aptly noted that “morality is cheap when someone else is paying.” Well, with climate change, every human is paying now, so we can all be moral, indignant.[1]

So what do I think is an action that should be taken? Demonstrate and demand wherever decisions are made that they be ethical ones, in the environmental sense of Aldo Leopold, who wrote, “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”

So I’m writing Don an email asking for an audience with the Finance, Investment and Audit Committee as well as their advisers at Angeles Alliance Investment L.L.C. I want to give them a piece of my mind. I think Don will help me out. I think he’ll answer with an answer; he is after all a man of remarkable intellectual acuity and interpersonal empathy.

Know that you are powerful, you could be doing this, and you can if you do…


Bum Logic will continue next week in The Weather.


[1] Yes, problematic parallels can be extrapolated, but that’s the point of this whole essay: shit is real problematic and it must stop.

Peter Nichols is a poet, rock climber, and vagabond originally from Toledo, Ohio.