JFK’s Paradigm

Sept. 20 was the “climate strike” during the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

Climate movement leaders urge a “World War II” mobilization to address the countless challenges of climate chaos. I appreciate the intention but also like Albert Einstein’s caution that a problem cannot be solved by the mindset that created it.

World War II gave birth to this country’s Military-Industrial-Intelligence-Congressional-Financial-Media-University-Entertainment-Complex, including “three letter agencies” that are extrajudicial additions to government. Whatever mitigation is still possible for climate chaos, peaked everything, overconsumption, overpopulation and overshoot would require unprecedented cooperation.

The Manhattan Project to invent atomic bombs is not a good role model for living without toxic, depleting fossil fuels considering nuclear waste and our nuked democracy.

On Sept. 20, 1963, President Kennedy offered a different approach, speaking at the United Nations — “Why should man’s first flight to the moon be a matter of national competition?” — offering to convert the Moon race to a cooperative effort with the Soviets.

JFK called off the Cold War, converting militarism to address global poverty, public health, ecological agriculture and conservation, and using satellites for communication and weather information. Visit jfkmoon.org for the audio and text.

Mark Robinowitz


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