‘The most inconvenient truth of all’

Brazilian Indigenous chiefs of the Kayapo trib...
Brazilian indigenous chiefs of the Kayapo tribe

“Measures to stop global warming risk being as harmful to tribal peoples as climate change itself, according to a new report from Survival.

The report, ‘The most inconvenient truth of all: climate change and indigenous people’, sets out four key ‘mitigation measures’ that threaten tribal people:

1. Biofuels: promoted as an alernative, ‘green’ source of energy to fossil fuels, much of the land allocated to grow them is the ancestral land of tribal people. If biofuels expansion continues as planned, millions of indigenous people worldwide stand to lose their land and livelihoods.

2. Hydro-electric power: A new boom in dam construction in the name of combating climate change is driving thousands of tribal people from their homes.

3. Forest conservation: Kenya’s Ogiek hunter-gatherers are being forced from the forests they have lived in for hundreds of years to ‘reverse the ravages’ of global warming.

4. Carbon offsetting: Tribal peoples’ forests now have a monetary value in the booming ‘carbon credits’ market. Indigenous people say this will lead to forced evictions and the ‘theft of our land’.” (Survival International)


Which is Your Favorite Thunderword?

Cover of "Finnegans Wake (Penguin Twentie...

‘Joyce described [Finnegans Wake] as a downwards parabola into sleep, or as a tunnel going through a mountain. As HCE moves through the dream, the “thunderwords” track his movement. There are 10 thunderwords, the first 9 of 100 letters each, the last of 101, for a total of 1,001–tales of a thousand and one nights, appropriate for this book of sleep.

As each thunderword leads into another part of the book, it fits into Joyce’s usage of Vico‘s philosophy to tell the story. Each thunderword leads to a new cycle and a deeper part of sleep, and a deeper, more muddled state in HCE’s mind (where the “mudmound” of his body fades from view and even the acrostics for HCE become muddled, as hec, ech, etc.). Thunder itself was important in Vico’s philosophy as a motivating force and a symbolic marker of events in history.

“There are ten thunders in the Wake. Each is a cryptogram or codified explanation of the thundering and reverberating consequences of the major technological changes in all human history. When a tribal man hears thunder, he says, ‘What did he say that time?’, as automatically as we say ‘Gesundheit.’ ” — Marshall McLuhan.’ (FinnegansWiki)

Here are the ten thunderwords, hyperlinked to their places in the FW text: