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Posts Tagged ‘Bolivia’

Published February 17th, 2011 by Political Context under the headline: 2011 | The Race to the Bottom Accelerates

By Cory Morningstar

This piece is the latest in Cory Morningstar and Gregory Vickrey’s hard-hitting critique of corporate environmentalism, part of their book and multimedia project due out in 2011.


Illustration courtesy of Stephanie McMillan | CODE GREEN

“The Earth isn’t dying, it’s being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.” – Utah Philips

As we now stand firmly on the precipice – staring irreversible climate catastrophe and natural resource depletion squarely in the face – the world accelerates its pace in a mad race to the bottom. Running with the baton are the world’s largest environmental NGOs – non-profit organizations. Although the industrial non-profit complex claims to speak for civil society, in reality these groups are the sanctioning agents of a planet which is rapidly becoming completely dominated by corporate control. These groups have been integral to lending legitimacy and credibility to the very corporations hell bent on destroying and commodifying what little remains of our increasingly fragile planet. What we are now witnessing is a race for the last remaining shared commons. Commons which should be protected and held ‘in trust’ for future generations – if only our governments were not mere puppets of corporate power and control.

WTF WEF: “Defining Civil Society, Once and For All”

We are blinded, enchanted and finally enslaved by spectacle.– Empire of Illusion, Chris Hedges

In the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting of 2005 one topic of significant importance was ‘Defining Civil Society, Once and For All’. The moderator Bassir Pour cited there was a 15 minute delay as many of the participants had been listening to the panel titled ‘The G8 and Africa: Rhetoric or Action? ‘ This panel had highlighted an example of ‘civil society in action’ in the form of a demonstration by Greenpeace, which Pour said put a smile on her lips because it was so peaceful. To be sure, there is nothing that makes a corporation or corporate-controlled government happier than a passive, unthreatening demonstration with no fighting spirit. Mind you, the same corporate entities do not uphold such similar peaceful ideologies for themselves to abide by. For example, in Columbia and other developing countries, Coca-Cola has murdered hundreds of union leaders. Dole has had no qualms in knowingly exposing banana workers to toxins resulting in sterilization. On December 26, 2009, Dora “Alicia” Recinos Sorto, age 32, was assassinated. Dora was the second anti-mining activist killed that week in the small community of Nueva Trinidad. Recinos Sorto was eight months pregnant and carrying her two-year old child when she was shot on her way back from doing laundry at a nearby river. Canadian Mining Company Pacific Rim has come under fire for these accelerating assassinations which continue today. In vulnerable countries such violence has become a daily part of life. Activists are targeted and become the invisible victims of the murderous economic system. Demonstrations have morphed from the fierce unwavering determination witnessed in the sixties to the ‘acceptable’ demonstrations now recognized today which are overwhelmingly ineffective. Such assembly line ‘protests’ undoubtedly inspire reactions from the global elite such as, “look at the cute proles who believe they can make a difference – adorable.  Now let’s get back to business.” Touching on today’s ineffective movements, on 3 February 2011, Mr. Fish of truthdig.org asks the question: “What do we have now? An anti-war movement that is so gutless and so savagely unimaginative that, rather than gaining purpose and momentum in the face of our government’s ever-increasing disdain for peace in the Middle East, it has proved itself to be too lazy, even too cowardly, to face down the very disease of oligarchy that it had concocted itself to cure.” This statement can easily be applied to today’s environmental movement.

Pacific Rim Corporation: Above: Anti-Mining Activist Recinos Sorto – Assassinated

WEF: Organizing Their Dream World

One response to the question of ‘how to define civil society’ was that since big business foundations are incentivized by the tax code, corporations are not civil society, but foundations are. Therefore it should be no surprise the ‘big green’ groups who claim they receive no corporate funding can legitimately do so, merely because foundations serve as corporate front groups. The big greens are funded by the very foundations set up by the corporations who essentially serve as a money laundering service in what the elites proclaim as philanthro-capitalism. Others questions in the WEF discussion were: “Could an NGO formed by a corporation be part of civil society? Does acceptance of government contracts make an NGO an extension of government? Are the big NGOs still members of civil society?” In the summing up period, Pour said, Kofi Annan’s advice was the main point: to keep “organizing our dream world.” Read the rest of this entry »

Exposé | The 2º Death Dance – The 1º Cover-up

Part two of an investigative report. http://bit.ly/gZ0prF (Part 1: http://bit.ly/fqm0BI)

By Cory Morningstar

Above: Courtesy of Stephanie McMillan | CODE GREEN

Bolivia Versus the World

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable …” George Orwell

11 December 2010. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) 16 in Cancún, Mexico.

Bolivia repeatedly opposes attempts to pass the text. Bolivia’s UN Ambassador, Pablo Solon, objects on the grounds that the draft proposals are far too lax to stop global warming. Solon stands his ground until conference chair Patricia Espinosa bangs the gavel at 3:31 a.m. saying: “The objections and complaints will be noted duly.”

A key clause of United Nations rules is that all agreements must be reached in harmony. However, Espinosa seems to have a very broad interpretation of this rule. Harmony, Espinosa stated, does not necessarily mean unanimity. Despite the lack of unanimity, Espinosa approves the text, which includes a deadly 2-degree limit for global warming. The negotiators and heads of state cheer like ravenous hyenas, drowning out Bolivia with rapturous applause. Bolivia stood alone, strenuously opposing the pyrrhic victory.

The overruling of Bolivia’s position demonstrates the clear disdain and callous disregard for vulnerable countries who refuse to be coerced – reflected clearly by the jettisoned UN principle of consensus. This clear abuse of the framework agreement on climate protection would never have been attempted or tolerated if the state in opposition had been a rich, powerful state such as the United States or the European Union (EU). (One may recall COP13 in Bali – American resistance stood in the way of an agreement. Papua New Guinea had to suggest that they “lead or get out of the way” before the US would join the consensus.) Bolivia, the world leader in the battle on climate change, has vowed to file a complaint with the International Court of Justice against the text approved in Cancún.

A primary reason why Bolivia opposed the so-called Cancún “agreements” was the fact that the 2ºC target – identified as extremely dangerous – completely disregards the climate science as well as the accelerating climate impacts and climate feedbacks already happening today. Another very revealing component to this document is the language: “4) … with a view to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions so as to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and that Parties should take urgent action to meet this long-term goal ….” The word “should” in policy does not demand commitment. In legal documents, “shall” is considered mandatory. If I tell my son he “should” clean his room rather than he “will”, “shall” or “must” clean his room, I know damn well it is never going to happen. A future binding or non-binding agreement, one that parties “should” take urgent action on, demands no accountability whatsoever. The word “should” appears in the document 38 times. In stark contrast, the word “must” appears only four times.

The fact that the Cancún Agreements passed without consensus (the UNFCCC consensus rule is adoption by virtue of no objection or unanimity – meaning all 192 members voting in favour) is revealing. On 7 December 2009, at COP15 in Copenhagen, Papua New Guinea proposed that, rather than descend to the lowest common denominator, the parties should strive for consensus with a fallback of 75%. This proposal was summarily dismissed by the Chair. [1]

21st Century Suicide Pact

SOLD. Our Earth’s shared atmosphere. A catastrophically dangerous 2ºC temperature rise, as well as the commodification of Earth’s final remaining natural resources, was accepted by all countries save Bolivia. Over 70% of atmospheric space (the US is historically responsible for 29% of greenhouse gas emissions; the EU, 27%) has been designated to the wealthiest 20% of the world, thus denying developing and vulnerable countries the opportunity to achieve the fundamental development necessary in order to meet their basic needs and transition to zero carbon societies. This leaves 80% of humanity competing for the less than 30% remaining interest. The suffering and devastation that will result from the greatest heist in history is unparalleled desperation, starvation and death on a massive scale.

SOLD. Life itself. During the last days of the Cancún climate summit, 5,000 Latin American campesinos blocked the main (and only) highway leading in and out of Cancún. In stark contrast, the rich of the wealthy obstructionist states lit a candle in the window of their warm, comfortable homes. How will citizens react when they finally realize – after wading through the rubbish heaps of corporate media propaganda – that the value of human life was tossed on the garbage heap in Cancún in order to protect the global economy? It is true that those in the Pacific Ocean, the vulnerable atolls, Bolivia and Africa will be burying their children and loved ones before the wealthy, obstructionist states, such as my own, must bury theirs. But make no mistake. Very few people, if any, will escape nature’s final performance. Without urgent emergency action, rapid climate shifts resulting from runaway climate change are practically inevitable with the suicide pact that was passed – without consensus – in Cancún.

The art of propaganda has been nothing less than brilliant. The deceit is so thick – you need a knife to cut through it. The corruption and greed so deep you need wings to stay above it and thigh high boots to wade through it.  An alluring tapestry of luminous lies, interwoven with finely textured deception and silk-like corruption – as smooth and seductive as freshly churned butter. The pursuit of man’s mind by way of domination has been the greatest and most successful experiment – the manipulation of man’s mind has resulted in a massive erosion of empathy, which has allowed status quo “business as usual” to continue uninterrupted with little resistance. Capitalism effectively bred a contempt for our Earth that multiplied like a virus. The pollution of mind mutated into narcissism with inflicted self-hatred to form a suicidal Molotov cocktail. Those who have succumbed now hold hands in a circle and taunt the very planet that gives us life. The ugly side of humanity continues to violently pierce our Earth Mother with drills and slash her beautiful skin with razors. She is losing breath. She is dying. Yet, when she lashes back, it will be with an Armageddon deathblow against which our own actions will resemble childish prattle. And perhaps not until this time will global society finally recognize that our shared purpose was not to compete with one another and claim dominance and superiority over our Earth Mother – but rather our role was to protect, defend and nurture. The human family – under the arm of its EuroAmerican “big brother” – will have finally succeeded in conquering our shared planet, only to find that we have destroyed ourselves.

Climate Genocide

Major greenhouse gas (GHG)-emitting developed states continued to dominate the climate talks in Cancún as the Earth burned. Corporate media continued to pander to those who own them, those who control the system. The major GHG-emitting developed states have and will continue to coerce, bribe and bully the strong developing states such as Bolivia and the vulnerable states such as Tuvalu. Such vulnerable states, as well as Africa, will be decimated if temperatures are allowed to rise by 2ºC. In reality, we are now looking at 3ºC to 5ºC. Further, a global temperature rise of 3ºC to 5ºC will mean much higher temperature extremes for Africa – a furnace for African agriculture. Certain death. The harsh history of the continued exploitation, the raping and pillaging of beautiful Africa and her people, will finally be complete. There will be nothing left for rich nations to steal except for the sun’s energy falling on an empty landscape void of life – and there is little doubt the world’s wealthiest, ethically-bankrupt states will steal this, too.

Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group. While a precise definition varies among genocide scholars, a legal definition is found in the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG). Article 2 of this convention defines genocide as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.” Because of the influence of Joseph Stalin, “this definition of genocide under international law does not include political groups.”

It should. This genocide is being carried out openly by the world’s wealthiest – individuals and corporations alike – in collusion with the governments of the obstructionist states, with full knowledge of the consequences.

Agriculture | The Disappearing Bread Basket

Strangely and eerily absent in scientific papers and IPCC reports is any reference to protection of agriculture. This is not an oversight. In 1987, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee noted the threat to agriculture in particular, and stated its belief that “global warming is a potential environmental disaster on a scale only exceeded by nuclear war.” Once the United Nations Advisory Group on Greenhouse Gases (AGGG) low risk temperature rise of 1ºC was dismissed and essentially buried, the emphasis on protecting agriculture disappeared as well.

When global temperatures increase by more than 1ºC, approximately half of the world’s agricultural regions will experience crop decline. But due to the ocean heat lag effect, that 1ºC of increase will commit us to more than 1.5⁰C, which is food catastrophe for low latitude (the most climate change vulnerable) nations and disastrous for food security and agricultural productivity in other regions. Above 2⁰C is global food catastrophe with agriculture in decline globally, taking civilization with it.

Keep in mind that scientists believe the “agreements” from Cancún represent a real life 3⁰C to 5⁰C temperature rise this century (as early as 2040-2050) and a global 7⁰C if even the paltry commitments are not honoured.

This coming loss of agriculture – known yet ignored – will amount to certain mass genocide as millions, becoming billions around the world, will be left without food. There will be no sharing of food as even wealthy countries will be hard pressed to feed their own people. Importing for wealthy countries will be a thing of the past as vulnerable countries struggle to feed their own people. And all the while the Monsanto’s of the world will be salivating over the potential profits of genetically engineered foods, which could come to dominate and control the entire remaining food chain. An economy – no matter how strong – cannot provide nourishing soil, nor the right conditions to grow food. An economy – no matter how strong – cannot magically create water. Bolivians will lose access to water and, following, Africa will lose the ability to produce food. And all of the money in the world will not make this not so. [2]

Read the rest of this entry »

Published in Huntington News, November 25th, 2010 | http://bit.ly/hQM4rI

By Cory Morningstar: Canadians for Action on Climate Change and Joan Russow: Global Compliance Research Project

The world’s most vulnerable atolls in the Ocean Pacific are slowly disappearing below the rising oceans and have been for a long time. Pleas for those on the front lines of climate change have been ignored:

“Two South Pacific islands have disappeared beneath the waves, as climate change raises sea levels to new heights. They are Tebua Tarawa and Abanuea – which ironically means “the beach which is long-lasting” – in the island state of Kiribati.”BBC News, June 14th, 1999

“Kiribati’s President: Our Lives Are At Stake”ABC News, April 2nd, 2007

“Tiny atoll in Pacific cries out for help”The Times of India, June 6th, 2008

“Paradise lost: climate change forces South Sea islanders to seek sanctuary abroad”The Independent, June 6th, 2010

The Tarawa Climate Change Conference (TCCC), took place from November 9th -11th in Tarawa, Kiribati, a highly threatened atoll in the Ocean Pacific. It concluded with the release of the Ambo Declaration that was endorsed by Australia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Fiji, Japan, Kiribati, Maldives, Republic of the Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, and Tonga. Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, attended the conference as observers, yet did not sign the declaration. With observer status states are able to participate in the deliberation process.

On November 17th, 2010: a new study published by Maplecroft, rated 183 countries on their CO2 emissions from energy use and identified Australia (#2), USA (#3), Canada (#4) as three of the top six nations guilty of the worst performance in relation to CO2emissions. Furthermore the group of 6 are the only countries rated as ‘extreme risk’ by Maplecroft on the basis of their high CO2 emissions from energy use. The tons of carbon emissions per capita for these countries are as follows: Australia: 20.82, United States: 19.18 and Canada at 17.27. Compare these amounts to the drowning citizens of Kiribati whose per capita emissions are a mere 0.3 tons.

The speaker of the Kiribati parliament called for the 18 countries taking part in the Tarawa Climate Change Conference to reach a consensus and agree on common goals. But how do vulnerable countries whose goal is simply to survive, find common ground with the participating major Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emitting countries that demand economic growth be allowed to continue under the current economic system – that being the capitalist system – the root cause of climate change in the first place? Such conferences which have the mandate to seek common ground through consensus, more often than not, lead to the lowest common denominator with the voice of those most vulnerable being crushed.

Behind the Veil

Given that Canada, Australia and the United States are three of the highest per capita GHG emitters in the world, as well as being the leading climate change obstructionists within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) processes, it seems reasonable to assume that these three states were in attendance to ensure the vulnerable states would not present a declaration reflecting strong demands at the upcoming climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico. While Canadians understand the consequences of climate change for the world’s most vulnerable, the Canadian Harper minority Government nonetheless muses that climate change is a great opportunity to expand economic growth by further exploiting natural resources in a melting North.

Why was it that the world leaders on climate change such as Bolivia and Tuvalu were not in attendance? The non-participation of Tuvalu, which is one of the most threatened island states, and of Bolivia, which has been at the forefront of climate change negotiations should raise red flags and alarm bells. The fact that these world leaders on climate change were either not invited, or they made a conscious decision not to participate, begs the question if one critical purpose of this conference, in the eyes of the major GHG emitting developed states, was an opportunity to undermine Bolivia, as well as, further isolate Tuvalu’s position.

Relocation Offsets

Kiribati Relocation to Nuclear Fall-out Haven?

Remains of gun built by Japanese, who occupied parts of Kiribati

The small island nation of Kiribati is made up of 33 small atolls, most of which are no more than 6.5 feet above the South Pacific, and it is only a matter of time before most of the country is submerged by the rising sea. “For Kiribati, the tipping point has already occurred,” Schneider said. “As far as they’re concerned, it’s tipped, but they have no economic clout in the world.” – Stanford University climatologist Stephen H. Schneider, June 29th, 2006 – Washington Post

Media reports the conference as ending on a ‘high’. This euphoria could be considered somewhat delusional. [See 18 point declaration with recommendations below]

Prior to the conference, the president of Kiribati had indicated he hoped for a legally binding declaration. He also indicated he rejected the notion of environmental refugees.

“While I always make the point that I reject the notion of environmental refuges I think we want to be prepared for all possible eventualities one which may be the need to reallocate our people.” – President Tong of Kiribati

Yet, given that the declaration is neither legally binding nor does it demand strong percentage emission reductions with strong trajectories and timelines, Kiribati may be left with no other alternative than relocation.

Thus there is a dangerous new precedent: To absolve major GHG emitting states from fulfilling their obligations under the UNFCCC thus leaving no other option but to relocate citizens at risk.

Through their intransigence in refusing to prevent climate change major GHG emitting states have given the vulnerable and developing states an unconscionable option. Is this a modern day revival of the middle age practice of ‘trail by ordeal’? In the middle ages to determine if a person was guilty or innocent – the citizen in question would be thrown into a deep body of water. If the citizen drowned – the citizen was deemed innocent as it was believed that God had received the citizen. If the citizen floated it was believed God had rejected him/her, therefore, the citizen was innocent. In both cases however – the citizen was dead.

A dilemma is imposed upon Kiribati: Either the state of Kiribati accepts that its citizens disappear into the ocean due to fact that major GHG emitting developed states have refused to reduce their GHG emissions under UNFCCC obligations or Kiribati citizens are relocated to the highest point of Kiribati, Christmas Island, where there has been irreversible damage caused by the fallout from the nuclear test explosions. Read the rest of this entry »

PEJnews – Joan Russow | Global Compliance Research Project

What was significant in the Cochabamba conference was that there was a final comprehensive People’s Agreement,  emerging from the seventeen group discussions. In a recent release, the Council of Canadians has misrepresented the Peoples Agreement by asking the Canadian government to do less than was asked for at the conference, and by cherrypicking parts of the agreement.

www.pej.org

While in the section in the COC release, “What happened in Cochambamba”, the Council of Canadians reported the following:

On April 1719, [April 19 – 22] 2010 in Cochabamba, Bolivia, the Bolivian government hosted a conference called The World Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and Rights of Mother Earth, bringing together more than 34,000 participants (with 10,000 registered from countries outside of South America) for a dialogue on alternative proposals to the climate crisis. Government representatives from 147 countries were present, and at least 45 were active participants. The process included 17 working groups that met and discussed key issues relating to climate justice. There were also main plenary panels and working group events.”

What was significant in the Cochabamba conference was that there was a final comprehensive People’s Agreement,  emerging from the seventeen group discussions. The Council of Canadians has misrepresented the document by asking the Canadian government to do less than was asked for at the conference, and by cherrypicking parts of the document.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ongoing News Reports from the Cochabamba, Bolivia Climate Conference
 
Interested in following the happenings in Cochabama?  Global Justice Ecology Project is devoting our Climate Connections blog http://climatevoices.wordpress.com to multiple daily updates from participants at the Climate Conference.

About the Cochabamba Climate Conference:
 
People from around the world are attending the Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia this week as a follow up to the failed UN Climate Talks in Copenhagen, Denmark last December.
 
Social movements have converged in Cochabamba to rally opposition to the push by the world’s leading carbon emitters to promote unjust and false solutions to climate change such as carbon offsets, and to make a collective push for stricter binding carbon reductions, reparations for industrial-driven environmental destruction, and a human rights approach to climate policies.
 
From North America the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance http://www.ggjalliance.org -Indigenous Environmental Network http://www.ienearth.org delegation is attending with the aim of amplifying the perspectives of frontline communities resisting the impacts of climate change. Global Justice Ecology Project http://globaljusticeecology.org/ is providing a media support role for this delegation and for Indigenous Peoples and other representatives from the Global South to link reporters and media outlets in Bolivia and internationally with the voices of representatives of communities impacted by and in resistance to climate change, fossil fuels and false solutions to climate change.
 
Stay tuned to Climate Connections blog http://climatevoices.wordpress.com/ for reports from Cochabamba.
 
If you would like to grab content from Climate Connections and post it elsewhere, this is absolutely great.  The only thing we ask is that people please reference our blog in these posts with “source: Global Justice Ecology Project’s Climate Connections blog http://climatevoices.wordpress.com/
 
Other recommended sites:
 
Blogs focused on Indigenous Peoples:  Censored News http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/ and
EarthCycles http://www.earthcycles.net/  (web streaming)
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Photo courtesy: Jeff Conant


cross-posted from Global Justice Ecology Project Climate Voices:
From Thirty Thousand Feet Above Mother Earth

by Jeff Conant

En route to Bolivia – that is, somewhere 30,000 feet above Mother Earth – I crossed paths with Alberto Saldamando, the legal council for the International Indian Treaty Council, and a member of the Indigenous Environmental Network delegation to the Cochabamba climate summit. As we stood in the aisle of the airplane, raising the hackles of the flight crew, I asked him his vision of the week ahead. Alberto is a friend, someone I’ve worked with in the past, so he may have been more candid with me than he might be in public; when I asked his opinion on the state of the climate negotiations and his hopes for Cochabamba, he said, “I’m pessimistic. You know, greed has no bounds.”
Read the rest of this entry »

April 21st, 2010 will Mark the fall of the Mainstream Environmental ‘Movement’

For many in the climate justice movement, the growing trend of cozy alliances between many of the mainstream ENGOs with multinational corporate partners has been a toxic recipe; the price of which may be nothing less than complete ecological devastation. The result of these unscrupulous relationships is undeserved legitimacy for transnational corporations, as compromised NGOs run hand in hand with CEOs and executives in a race to the lowest common denominator. The common denominator is money and the finish line is paved in gold – but at what cost? Species extinction is happening at a scale of epic proportions, droughts and storms are happening at unparalleled magnitude; irreversible climate change catastrophe now stares at us in the face. The most inconvenient truth of all – that today – we now stand on the cusp of epic collapse of civilization. Has Earth Day become nothing more than a day of greenwash opportunism and will it mark the fall of the mainstream environmental movement.

Creating Climate Wealth Summit

Invitation from the ‘Earth Day Network’:

“Please join Earth Day Network and the Carbon War Room on April 21, 2010 from 6:00 p.m.-10:00p.m. at the Ronald Reagan Building for a celebration on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day! Join Sir Richard Branson, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and celebrities. Join attendees from the Creating Climate Wealth Summit, our keynote speakers Richard Branson and Lisa Jackson, and enjoy a night conversing with other professionals that are making a difference in the climate change market! Held at the beautiful Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Washington, D.C., this night will not only bring together those that are making a difference in the climate marketplace, but it will provide superb dining, excellent entertainment and a night of networking not to be missed! Seats are limited and will sell out; tickets will only be available in advance. Purchase before March 31, 2010 and receive a 10% discount! Ticket prices: $450 – Full Ticket, $295 – Non-profit and Academic, Please contact us regarding government rates. Leadership Celebration Dinner Guests include Richard Branson; Founder and Chairman, Virgin Group Denis Hayes Honorary Chair, Earth Day Network Organizer, Earth Day 1970 Lisa Perez Jackson Administrator, EPA.”

Executive board members of the ‘Carbon War Room’ include CEO of Virgin Unite and former CEO of Richard Branson’s Virgin Mobile (partner of original Havas tcktcktck campaign), and George Polk; currently leading a new $1 billion initiative by George Soros to invest private equity in climate change business models.

Richard Branson is ubiquitous. His corporations Virgin and Virgin Atlantic are partners in ‘The Climate Group’ (comprised of corporations and government) and he has worked with tcktcktck in the past. In 2007, HSBC announced that The Climate Group, along with WWF, Earthwatch, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, would be a partner in the HSBC Climate Partnership, and donated US$100 million to the group – the largest-ever single corporate donation. As of December 2008, The Climate Group coalition includes more than 50 of the world’s largest corporations and sub-national governments, as well as several partner organizations. The Climate Group also works on other initiatives, one being that of the ‘Voluntary Carbon Standard’, a new global standard for voluntary offset projects.

‘Sir’ Richard Branson is presently working with the New Royal Society initiative on ‘solar radiation management’ with “the right stakeholders” to “create a strategic roadmap for governance and regulation” in the geoengineering “battle area.” As well, Branson is fervently developing “tourism ventures into space”. You can book your place in space on Richards “sexiest spaceship ever” at your earliest convenience, because, according to Richard, “Everybody should have the chance to experience space travel one day”. Branson also has massive investments in biofuel research including palm and soy – both of which have had devastating consequences.

Turning food and Displacement into Corporate Profits

Read the rest of this entry »

By Joan Russow, Ph.D., Global Compliance Research Project

Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” has successfully raised the profile of climate change. After almost 50 years of unheeded warnings, the human-generated causes of climate change are finally being taken seriously.

At Gore’s presentation in Victoria, in 2008, Gore issued a series of admonitions: “It is a planetary emergency and we have to act”… we are in a crisis – a crisis of danger and an opportunity”, “we have heard the alarm bell and it is time to act”, “we have to get over denial and moral cowardice”, it is important for individuals to be part of the solution, but it requires the changing of laws and politics.

These announcements are not new: what would be new, however, would be an announcement that he is going to produce another film, “An Even More Inconvenient Truth: Nuclear Power is Not the Answer”, and another “The Most Inconvenient Truth: Exposition of the Full Impact of Militarism on Greenhouse Gas Emissions”.

YEARS OF UNHEEDED WARNINGS AND SPURIOUS SOLUTIONS

Al Gore is right. Laws have to be in place to compel governments to end years of procrastination and finally implement their obligations and fulfill their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve carbon sinks.

In 1988, scientists, politicians and non-government organizations (NGOs) at the Changing Atmosphere Conference in Toronto acknowledged the following:

“the stabilizing of the atmospheric concentrations of CO2 is an imperative goal. It is currently estimated to require reductions of more than 50 per cent from present [1988] emission levels. Energy research and development budgets must be massively directed to energy options which would eliminate or greatly reduce CO2 emissions and to studies undertaken to further refine the target reductions.”

They warned that:

“Humanity is conducting an unintended, uncontrolled, globally pervasive experiment whose ultimate consequence could be second only to a global nuclear war and that it is imperative to act now.”

Governments, coerced into inaction by industry, industry-front groups, industry-funded academics and industry-controlled states, have failed to address the urgency of the crisis through their reluctance to enact effective legislation.

If citizens are willing to do their part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, their governments, must stop subsidizing the fossil fuel and military industries; must redirect military expenses; and must discontinue the promotion of nuclear energy – the most hazardous and expensive form of energy known – as the solution to climate change.

Corporations and policy-makers are talking openly about nuclear energy as the solution to climate change. However, in 1991, a Canadian parliamentary committee, issued a report, “Out of Balance: the Risks of Irreversible Climate Change”, which affirmed the principle that a solution that is worse than the problem it is intended to solve is not a solution. Nuclear energy, with its radioactive footprint and its inextricable link to the development of nuclear arms, including depleted uranium in weapon systems, is not a solution. Gore must not be ambivalent about nuclear energy.

IMPACT OF MILITARISM ON CLIMATE CANNOT BE IGNORED

At a 2007 UN conference on climate change, several representatives of the NGO community involved in the militarism/nuclear matters and in the Peace Caucus drafted a declaration expressing concern about the failure of international bodies to address the impact of militarism on climate change.

This Declaration was presented at the end of the plenary to the Dr. Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: If leaders are to address the “challenge of climate change” they cannot ignore the impact of militarism on climate change. The statement called for the following:

Read the rest of this entry »

March 23rd, 2010

The article ‘A Necessary Reflection on the MEETING ON CLIMATE CHANGE IN BOLIVIA’ (http://accionyreaccion.com/?p=216) is not supportive of the Bolivian government’s Cochabamba conference initiative to move the international climate change agenda forward. Instead it casts doubt on the conference based on the Bolivian government’s energy development plans.

The first is discouraging when the world badly needs to see a possible way out of the current global  climate change global dead end. By all accounts from all parties we are to expect nothing out of the Mexico COP at the end of this year. Are we to placidly accept that nothing can be done to head off global environmental meltdown from changing the climate?

The latter (doubt) is a strangely disingenuous reflection. Bolivia is one the poorest and most climate change vulnerable nations. It contributes 0.03% of global heating emissions. This is mainly from extremely rapid deforestation by logging, mining and energy corporations, including a huge carbon offsetting scam. The Bolivian government is now developing community based reforestation. Bolivia’s vital glaciers are literally disappearing before their eyes and Bolivia no doubt knows that the private water corporations will be seeing it as a great free enterprise opportunity promising their return to profit from Bolivia’s economic weakness.

Remember? Cochabamba and Bechtel. (If not check out Leasing the Rain. http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/bolivia/ )

The refusal of the industrialized nations to meet their clear commitments to supply all manner and means of resources to developing nations for their industrial development with the best non fossil fuel energies under the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, has predictably led to the global tragedy of all developing nations going the fossil fuel route. The Bolivian climate  conference seeks to find a way out of irrational continued fossil fuel industrial development based on the irrational perverse free market capitalist economic model, that is now so clearly a global suicide pact. Only the most climate change  blind could fail to see this. The Stern Commission’s 2006 Review of the Economics of Climate  found that global climate change is the greatest and most far reaching market failure ever. That is economic- speak that our economics is the cause of the looming global climate catastrophe- a catastrophe that in 2006 Sir Nicolas Stern said was almost beyond our grasp to prevent. Stern has attributed the disappointing Copenhagen result (non) on the arrogance of the rich nations.

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December 21, 2009

April 22, 2010: International Day of Mother Earth

CHUQUISACA, Bolivia, December 20 — Bolivian President Evo Morales announced today that a world conference of social movements is to take place in Bolivia, as a response to the failure of the 15th Summit on Climate Change, recently held in Copenhagen.
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Vote for Mother Earth here

In view of the profound differences found between presidents and continents in the Copenhagen climate summit, Bolivia’s President Evo Morales proposes to conduct a referendum with the peoples of the world for an agreement that could save Mother Earth from the abuses of capitalism.

Because we have deep differences from president to president, lets ask the people and do what they say

Evo Morales Ayma President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia

Referendum here

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