Kurt Cobain would have turned fifty years old today had he not committed suicide on April 5th, 1994. At the height of Nirvana’s fame, I was in my early teens living in the heart of the USA grunge scene in Washington State. I loved the mosh pits, stage diving and the shock on my parents’ faces as I wore baggy pyjamas and old men’s flannel shirts to school. I reveled in the rebelliousness and anger of Kurt Cobain’s screaming vocals and the anti-establishment ethos Cobain reluctantly represented.
Two decades later, I can’t help but wonder what Kurt Cobain would have thought of the world now if he were still alive.
Twenty-four years ago, I was brought to tears of joy as saxophone-playing Bill Clinton was inaugurated as the 42nd President of the United States, believing he represented the needs of my generation. Today, the neoliberal polices of lower regulation, more competition and free trade agreements promoted by every U.S. president in my lifetime have dismantled social institutions and democracy, making the 1% wealthier while the 99% are squeezed to the point of near-collapse.
Twenty years ago, I thought becoming an educated woman would allow me to “have it all” thanks to feminism. Now, I realize the opportunity women’s liberation gave me was to become a "double-shift employee", working by day to make countries and corporations rich and by night as a guilt-stricken caregiver trying to make up for lost time with her child. Where did those twelve years I spent in university get me? They’re becoming worthless fast as so many ivory towers join the market economy to become degree supermarkets for those who can afford to pay their premiums.
There's good in all of us and I think I simply love people too much, so much that it makes me feel too fucking sad.
To me, that one fix comes in the form of a low-carbon transition, transforming society away from the fossil fuel dominated energy production that powered our Industrial Revolution toward clean, renewable energy production as part of a Technological Revolution.
We will endeavor to halt the Industrial Revolution before it is too late, to regulate population at a reasonable point, to eventually replace quantitative money with qualitative money, to decentralize, to conserve resources. The Industrial Revolution is primarily a virus revolution, dedicated to controlled proliferation of identical objects and persons. You are making soap, you don't give a shit who buys your soap, the more the soapier. And you don't give a shit who makes it, who works in your factories. Just so they make soap.
- Increases employment
- Takes people out of extreme poverty
- Improves heath, including decreasing obesity and incidence of respiratory disease
- Revitalises towns and villages
- Alleviates fuel poverty through energy efficiency
- Reduces likelihood of migration of climate refugees
- And is an essential part of feminism, as women are disproportionately victims of climate change and traditionally perform the “low carbon” duty of caregiving.