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FLASHBACK | When Capitalism Goes Green

NaoAoCapitalismoVerde

 

A former member of the Encyclopedie des Nuisances discusses the current reformist environmentalism of capitalism, the fashionable support for “curtailing economic growth”, and the growing role of the State and NGOs in enforcing a new framework for the continued survival of capitalist social relations, and concludes that “a libertarian society can only be created by way of a libertarian revolution”.

When Capitalism Goes Green – Miguel Amorós

Presentation delivered at La Mistelera (Dènia) and Casa els Flares (Alcoy) on December 28 and 29, 2007.

Ever since capitalism made its appearance on this planet it has done nothing but destroy the natural environment in order to forge its own environment where it has evolved and forced individuals to adapt to it. Science and technology acquired a decisive impulse and were fully developed thanks to the resistance offered to this adaptation, so that capitalism not only has been able to overcome all obstacles but these obstacles have been systematically transformed into opportunities for its own expansion. Growth, deeply ingrained in its nature, will not cease as long as exploitable humanity exists, and that is precisely the new challenge that capitalism is facing. As the productive system expands it becomes more and more destructive. The colonization by the commodity of land and life, of space and time, cannot be stopped without a questioning of its fundamental principles, nor can it continue without endangering the existence of the human species itself. As a result, the ecological crisis leads to the social crisis. Capitalism must continue to grow to prevent this from happening, but must do so without allowing the degradation that accompanies this growth from penetrating the consciousness of those affected by it. To accomplish this it must improvise economic, technological and political measures that simultaneously dissimulate its outrages and allow people to live with and make the best of them. Production and consumption, as the experts would say, face a “paradigm shift”. Consumption habits, along with business and political activity, must be carried out in a different way, not, obviously, to save nature, or even to preserve the species, but to save capitalism itself. This is why the politicians’ hearts have turned green. This is why capitalism is going environmental.

Institutional Control of Social Struggles – Miguel Amoros

 

“For real protest, the institutionalized opposition is the problem, the enemy and the main threat.”
“…any struggle that does not challenge the model of capitalist society is condemned to reinforce it.”
Institutional Control of Social Struggles - Miguel Amorós

Transcript of a lecture delivered at a presentation-debate held at the pirate university of Viladecans, December 9, 2009.

Translated in August 2013 from the Spanish original available online at: http://charlaspoliticarabanchel.blogspot.com/2013/01/el-control-insitucional-de-las-luchas.html

Miguel Amorós argues that the traditional mechanisms of social control and integration (parties and trade unions) have been undermined by capitalist development itself; that “the real crisis is the one that derives from the radical incompatibility of capitalism with life on Earth”, the crisis of the “external limits” of capitalism; that the “social question” thus assumes the form of the “defense of territory”, of “a different way of life”, and “the rural world” against the depredations of “sustainable development”; and that, “for real protest, the institutionalized opposition is the problem, the enemy and the main threat”.

WATCH: Capitalism as Pathology: The Guise of the Illusory “Green Economy”

 

 

“… for the Annex 1 nations, the UK and for Manchester the choice is the same. To begin immediate and deep reductions in emissions at the same time as transitioning towards a steady-state economy … Alternatively, we could continue with the eloquent rhetoric of green growth and win-win opportunities; reject integrity, placate our paymasters and embrace cognitive dissonance — but ultimately renege on our responsibilities to both the current and future generations.” Professor Kevin Anderson, November, 2012

 

“The World Bank Group will continue to be a strong advocate for international and regional agreements and increasing climate financing. We will redouble our efforts to support fast growing national initiatives to mitigate carbon emissions and build adaptive capacity as well as support inclusive green growth and climate smart development. Our work on inclusive green growth has shown that—through more efficiency and smarter use of energy and natural resources—many opportunities exist to drastically reduce the climate impact of development, without slowing down poverty alleviation and economic growth.” – Turn Down the Heat, World Bank Report, November 18, 2012

“without slowing down poverty alleviation and economic growth”

Delusion. Delusion. Delusion. Lies.

Growth: Capital has only one imperative, and that is to grow. Under the current economic system, the ultimate measure of success is profit. Corporations exist to maximize profits while externalizing costs. Waste, pollution, and ecological destruction are built into the system. A system that requires infinite growth cannot last forever on a finite planet defined by ecological and social limits. Market-driven growth is driving us, at unprecedented speed, toward collapse.

Poverty Alleviation: The very industrialized capitalist system which ensures global monetary wealth and power stay securely in the hands of the oligarchy is absolutely dependent upon, and cannot succeed without, continuous expanding raping, pillaging and degradation to our Earth and relentless exploitation of those most vulnerable.

The number of “urgent” reports/announcements to address the climate crisis in the month of November, 2012 by those who dominate (whereby we are assured, solving the crisis is compatible with continued growth) — appear to be a “signal” amongst the elites that the illusory “green” economy is hereby underway and officially launched.

Such reports (some well over 100 pages) with state-wide and global campaigns now unfolding (that have been strategically developed to further the ushering in of and global acceptance of “green capitalism”) do not happen overnight. Such documents, securing of funds, etc. take months to complete. One can safely assume that the ruling elite, in tandem with the non-profit industrial complex and the corporate-media complex having been working on rolling out the “green economy” onto the world stage since the Rio summit. What we witness now is the strategy being released, in waves in order to resonate.

What we are about to witness will be the greatest psyops of the 21st century.

Capitalism and humanity. Till death do we part.

http://wrongkindofgreen.org/2012/11/21/oligarchy-sends-signal-to-usher-in-the…

This video includes interviews with Yvonne Yanez, Edagardo Lander, Pablo Solon and Silvia Ribeiro. [For the original video in its entity please see: http://bit.ly/SY4tx9]

 

Oligarchy Sends Signal to Usher in the Illusory “Green Economy”

November 21, 2012

WKOG

“… for the Annex 1 nations, the UK and for Manchester the choice is the same. To begin immediate and deep reductions in emissions at the same time as transitioning towards a steady-state economy … Alternatively, we could continue with the eloquent rhetoric of green growth and win-win opportunities; reject integrity, placate our paymasters and embrace cognitive dissonance — but ultimately renege on our responsibilities to both the current and future generations.” Professor Kevin Anderson, November, 2012

 

… it is difficult to envisage anything other than a planned economic recession being compatible with stabilisation at or below 650ppmv CO2e.” Anderson & Bows 2011

 

… the 2015-16 global peaking date (CCC, Stern & ADAM) implies … a period of prolonged austerity for Annex 1 nations and a rapid transition away from existing development patterns within non-Annex 1 nations.” Anderson & Bows 2011

“The World Bank Group will continue to be a strong advocate for international and regional agreements and increasing climate financing. We will redouble our efforts to support fast growing national initiatives to mitigate carbon emissions and build adaptive capacity as well as support inclusive green growth and climate smart development. Our work on inclusive green growth has shown that—through more efficiency and smarter use of energy and natural resources—many opportunities exist to drastically reduce the climate impact of development, without slowing down poverty alleviation and economic growth.” Turn Down the Heat, World Bank Report, November 18, 2012 | 

“without slowing down poverty alleviation and economic growth”

Delusion. Delusion. Delusion. Lies.

Growth: Capital has only one imperative, and that is to grow. Under the current economic system, the ultimate measure of success is profit. Corporations exist to maximize profits while externalizing costs. Waste, pollution, and ecological destruction are built into the system. A system that requires infinite growth cannot last forever on a finite planet defined by ecological and social limits. Market-driven growth is driving us, at unprecedented speed, toward collapse.

Poverty Alleviation: The very industrialized capitalist system which ensures global monetary wealth and power stay securely in the hands of the oligarchy is absolutely dependent upon, and cannot succeed without, continuous expanding raping, pillaging and degradation to our Earth and relentless exploitation of those most vulnerable.

The number of “urgent” reports/announcements to address the climate crisis in the month of November, 2012 by those who dominate (whereby we are assured, solving the crisis is compatible with continued growth) – appear to be a “signal” amongst the elites that the illusory “green” economy is hereby underway and officially launched.

Such reports (some well over 100 pages) with state-wide and global campaigns now unfolding (that have been strategically developed to further the ushering in of and global acceptance of “green capitalism”) do not happen overnight. Such documents, securing of funds, etc. take months to complete. One can safely assume that the ruling elite, in tandem with the non-profit industrial complex and the corporate-media complex having been working on rolling out the “green economy” onto the world stage since the Rio summit. What we witness now is the strategy being released, in waves in order to resonate.

What we are about to witness will be the greatest psyops of the 21st century.

Capitalism and humanity. Till death do we part.

 

Videos: Part I: Capitalism as Pathology: The Guise of the Illusory “Green Economy” – This video includes interviews with  Yvonne Yanez, Edagardo Lander, Pablo Solon and Silvia Ribeiro. Filmed at the Rio Summit, 2012. Part II | Capitalism as Pathology: The Illusory “Green Economy” vs People Solutions.

Video: Dr. William Rees: Are Humans Inherently Unsustainable? The Myth of the “Green Economy” as the Solution to Our Accelerating Crisis

 

SumOfUs are Corporate Whores | Some Of Us Are Not

By Cory Morningstar

 Feb 1, 2012: SumOfUs posts a popular image used by media outlets today to reflect the worker conditions at Chinese “sweatshops.” “Ethical capitalism” is a fantasy embraced and fetishized by the liberal/professional left.

New Delusion for 2012: SumOfUs

 …Like all good Imperialists, the Philanthropoids set themselves the task of creating and training an international cadre that believed that Capitalism, and by extension the hegemony of the United States, was in their own self-interest…. In the United States, as we have seen, corporate-endowed foundations spawned the culture of NGOs…. — Arundhati Roy, Capitalism: A Ghost Story

New to the growing spiderweb of the interconnected non-profit industrial complex is SumOfUs. Behind this web you will find the most notorious players within the so-called movement – an array of bright green “climate wealth” opportunists, believers of the illusory “green” economy.

“SumOfUs is a global movement of consumers, investors, and workers all around the world, standing together to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable and just path for our global economy. It’s not going to be fast or easy. But if enough of us come together, we can make a real difference.”

On the twitter account (first “tweet” November 14, 2011), SumOfUs goes one step further, stating:

“We are a movement of consumers, workers and shareholders speaking with one voice to counterbalance the growing power of large corporations.”

SumOfUs states:

“We’ve witnessed again and again what happens when powerful corporations get their way: Environmental and health catastrophes like Fukushima and the BP oil disaster; A global financial crisis that destroys entire economies; Rising food prices and starving children; Families from Kalamazoo to Timbuktu losing their houses and land; Poisons pouring into our air and water. You name it, corporations are behind it. But rather than being held accountable – their CEOs are often walking away with bonuses. And these injustices are largely left to continue unabated. But the world doesn’t have to be this way. And here’s the secret: We own the corporations that are causing all these problems. They rely on us to buy their products. They count on us to buy their stock. They need us to work for them. They need us to continue to elect governments that let them get away with murder. We are SumOfUs, and we’re not going to take it anymore.”

So rather than campaign on citizens divesting, that the rights for corporations be abolished, that private companies become nationalized, that citizens work together to form their own co-operatives, and that society must unite in one goal of starving the corporate machine, SumOfUs believes we further our power as “consumers” by feeding the very system that is destroying us.

All while exclaiming “We’re not going to take it anymore!” SumOfUs would have us believe that “we” – collectively, as “consumers” continuing to purchase the corporations’ products, continuing to purchase their stock, continuing, indefinitely, to work for the corporations destroying us, continuing to re-elect politicians (all controlled by a ruling hierarchy) – that we can, in fact, make the corporations “do the right thing.” This is not only a false premise, it is an assertion of complete grandiose delusion. Further, we have been hearing “we’re not going to take it anymore” from the environmental “movement” for over three decades. In this time, emissions have increased over 40% while we stand on the precipice of irreversible, cataclysmic, accelerating environmental collapse of epic proportions. 

SumOfUs states it is “a new world-wide movement for a better global economy” that stands for: Fair treatment of workers and the right of every human being to make a living, safely and ethically, for themselves and their family; The right of ordinary consumers to products that are produced and marketed ethically, sustainably and transparently; and “Business models that put people and the planet first instead of being driven by shortsighted greed.” They then tell the “consumer”: “Yeah, take that deep breath, close your eyes and imagine what kind of a world that could be – and then crash back to this one.”

What SumOfUs doesn’t tell you and never will tell you, is that 1) this vision is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to achieve under the global industrialized capitalist economic system, and 2) our current economic system is absolutely dependent upon the exploitation of both people and planet to simply continue its existence. SumOfUs wishes to convince you that this suicidal economic system can be reformed. That, like Obama, corporations can be made “to do the right thing” if only we ask nicely. Yet, let’s be clear and cast all denial aside – one cannot reform an abomination.

SumOfUs, along with all the rest in the non-profit industrial complex, is banking on your hopeful ignorance, hoping you will continue to swallow their lies and join them in the game of delusion where fantasy reigns.

“Capitalism is going through a crisis whose gravity has not revealed itself completely yet. Marx said, ‘What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers.’ Capitalism is in crisis. Trickledown failed…. Capitalism’s real ‘grave-diggers’ may end up being its own delusional Cardinals, who have turned ideology into faith. Despite their strategic brilliance, they seem to have trouble grasping a simple fact: Capitalism is destroying the planet. The two old tricks that dug it out of past crises—War and Shopping—simply will not work.” — Arundhati Roy, Capitalism: A Ghost Story

The first campaign for SumOfUs sounds suspiciously familiar.November 29, 2011, “SumOfUs: Petition urges Google to quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce” Excerpt: “[SumOfUs] correctly point out that in 2009 Apple quit the Chamber over environmental concerns, while Nike quit the board of the Chamber shortly after, and Yahoo recently quit over internet censorship legislation.”

The “U.S. Chamber Doesn’t Speak For Me” (http://chamber.350.org/) was spawned from 350.org’s attempt to capitalize on and recruit business. The poster available for 350.org business partners states:

“Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis – to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet. Our focus is on the number 350 – as in parts per million CO2. If we can’t get below that, scientists say, the damage we’re already seeing from global warming will continue and accelerate. But 350 is more than a number – it’s a symbol of where we need to head as a planet.”

“… Make a product with a 350 logo and educate people on the science of 350 – how Camelback did it.

Yet, the “science” of 350 ppm put forward by 350.org is made irrelevant. That 350.org/1sky/Chamber350 refuses to acknowledge that infinite growth, the integral pivotal component of the global industrialized capitalist economic system is not compatible in any way with reversing atmospheric concentration of CO2 is somewhat beyond belief. And yet, we are expected to embrace such illusion. Common sense dictates that industrialized production, most instrumental to the global capitalist economic system, can only further destroy our shared environment. The above Camelback “success,” which 350.org/1sky/Chamber350 highlights as one such “solution” to climate change, clearly demonstrates the outright denial of the very root causes of our multiple escalating crisis by such liberal left “leaders.”

What 350.org/1Sky or the new SumOfUs has never, nor will ever, state is the truth – that 350 ppm (and definitely the pre-industrialized levels of 280 ppm called for by the People’s Agreement and the State of Bolivia) can never and will never be achieved under the global industrialized capitalist system. Further, ethics and the global industrialised capitalist system – whereby violence is inherently built into the system – by way of decimation to the planet and exploitation of those most vulnerable, can never, and will never, co-exist. To believe so is to believe in fairy tales.

The fact is, aside from good publicity for these corporate monoliths, quitting the Chamber of Commerce “over environmental concerns,” in real life, means absolutely nothing. After Apple quit the Chamber of Commerce (considered by 350.org a great victory), the company has continued to break their own records in profits. (January 24, 2012: “Apple profit doubles, thanks largely to 37 million iPhone sales in three months. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company flew past all profit expectations as it reported net income of $13.1-billion (U.S) on revenue of $46.3-billion in its first quarter ended Dec. 31.”) Africa continues to be raped and pillaged for Coltan and other vital components of such technology, which has left approximately up to or more than right million Africans dead. (Top censored story of 2003: American Companies Exploit the Congo; top censored story of 2007: High-Tech Genocide in Congo.)

And while millions continue to anguish over tragic atrocities such as the Holocaust, the Congolese genocide continues unabated. Organizations such as SumOfUs don’t touch upon such uncomfortable truths, especially when the victims are non-white. In the world of RINGOs [1], the continuous and relentless plunder of liberating nations by Imperialist states is simply par for the course. Certainly not a reason to stop consuming items we have lived without for approximately 100,000 years.

The questions SumOfUs will never put forward is this: Would you rather consume beyond your most basic needs, or would you rather live? Would you rather consume beyond your most basic needs, or would you rather your children have a future? Which do you value more – your iPhone or the life of an African? Which do you value more – your iPad or the life of an exploited Chinese worker, whose distress is so great they prefer death over life?

SumOfUs asks “followers” (“consumers”) to demand Joe Trader pays 1 cent per pound more to the farmers who toil in the fields to produce our food, while SumOfUs “followers” purchase $700.00 iPhones. SumOfUs represents a clear division – those who benefit (be it short-term or long-term) by the capitalist system and those who are on the receiving end of the capitalist system: the exploited who reap the fall-out. It is understood, and even embraced as natural, that those who may be so lucky to receive a 1 cent pay increase, thanks to the goodwill on behalf of the white-saviour complex, will never have the means to shop at Joe Traders, let alone purchase an iPhone. Perhaps SumOfUs will have the exploited send SumOfUs members thank you cards at Christmas time, just like World Vision. After all, those who spend their lifetime simply trying to provide the next meal to their family are in no position to decline a 1 cent per hour/per pound pay increase.

The SumOfUs organization/campaign is more than insulting. If it is not bad enough for citizens to be referred to as a “movement of consumers and workers” (why not just refer to the majority of society as proles?), in an authoritative manner the message conveyed is that “consumers” have an important role within the capitalist system – equivalent to that of an investor or shareholder. The message conveyed is that the industrialized global capitalist economic system is one in which we are, and must remain, a partner.

In short, SumOfUs promotes an ideology that stands in stark contrast to our current reality – the absolute imperative of starving/abandoning the industrialized capitalist system, before it systematically kills us.

Excerpt from the SumOfUs “LOCOG: Partner with a Sponsor the Whole World Can Celebrate” campaign:

 LOCOG has promised to stage the greenest games in Olympic history. They are the first games organizing committee to be certified to a sustainability standard called British Standard 8901. Yet, while LOCOG tells us that the London 2012 Olympics will be the greenest games ever, they have accepted the sponsorship of a company that refuses to clean up the pesticide factory in Bhopal where 400 tons of toxic chemical waste remain near a children’s play area. Dow Chemical expects that its $25 million per year Olympic sponsorship will give it a $1 billion dollar sales boost by 2020. Don’t let Dow profit off the “greenest Olympics ever” while they refuse to take responsibility for the worst industrial disaster in human history. Send a message to the London Organizing Committee that if it is committed to sustainability, they have to drop Dow as a sponsor of the games.” (Emphasis in original)

Newsflash: There is no such thing as a “green” Olympics. There is no such thing as a “sustainable” Olympics. There never will be. The “greenest Olympics ever” is perhaps the greatest attempt to greenwash the public under the guise of sustainability. SumOfUs has no intention of educating citizens on the vast social impacts and environmental consequences of an event like the Olympics; rather SumOfUs asks us to join the “Whole World” in the Olympic celebration.

This campaign must be considered an endorsement of the Olympics themselves as “the greenest ever.” One could even consider SumOfUs as advertisers of a new breed. Consider the language behind the “Apple: Is the new iPad made illegally?” campaign. SumOfUs states:

If it is anything like Apple’s past products, the new iPad will be a sleek, gorgeous gadget … Apple says it cares about workers and requires its factories to follow the law. Well, we want to give Apple a chance to prove it. As Apple customers and potential customers, we deserve to know whether the new iPad was manufactured illegally and unethically like past Apple products. (Emphasis in original)

SumOfUs states they “want to give Apple a chance to prove” it cares about workers and requires its factories to follow the law, all while acknowledging in the same paragraph that its products have consistently been made illegally and unethically. Of course, the “consumer” isn’t urged to make the simple decision to not purchase a new iPad, instead, he/she is asked to convey a message to Apple: “We deserve to know whether workers making the new iPad were forced to work illegal and dangerous amounts of overtime.” Of course, Apple workers were forced to work illegal and dangerous amounts of overtime. Anyone with a brain understands that this has been and continues to be the case along with a multitude of other human rights abuses. Further, Apple will never share their monetary wealth with those they exploit. For this is the way of the capitalist system. The SumOfUs petition serves as an instrument to eradicate guilt by simply “clicking” and being made to feel one has performed their ethical duty. Further, under the petition, there is a survey collecting data regarding your patronage of Apple products. It would be interesting to know where this data ends up.

SumOfUs allows society to feel good about their role in the capitalist system. SumOfUs allows one to feel vindicated for one’s purchases and participation in corporate patronage. Like a confession or a prayer prior to or after a bad deed, SumOfUs eradicates guilt, makes one feel heroic, and – most importantly – protects the current economic system and thus the current power structures that exist today.

“You know, I’m an iPhone user myself, I’m an Apple consumer. I love their products. I want to be able to buy their products with pride and not feel like I’m complicit in these abuses that are taking place.” — Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, the executive director and president of the consumer advocacy group SumOfUs, speaking to Keith Olbermann, February 14, 2012

Ignoring Reality | Feeding the Denial Machine

In the March 26, 2012 article, Climate scientists: It’s basically too late to stop warming, the author writes: “Here’s what happens next: Natural climate feedbacks will take over and, on top of our prodigious human-caused carbon emissions, send us over an irreversible tipping point. By 2100, the planet will be hotter than it’s been since the time of the dinosaurs, and everyone who lives in red states will pretty much get the apocalypse they’ve been hoping for. The subtropics will expand northward, the bottom half of the U.S. will turn into an inhospitable desert, and everyone who lives there will be drinking recycled pee and struggling to salvage….”

In the March 26, 2012 article, West Antarctic Ice Shelves Tearing Apart at the Seams, the author writes: “A new study examining nearly 40 years of satellite imagery has revealed that the floating ice shelves of a critical portion of West Antarctica are steadily losing their grip on adjacent bay walls, potentially amplifying an already accelerating loss of ice to the sea.”

Flashback to 2003. From the paper The Discovery of Rapid Climate Change: “How fast can our planet’s climate change? Too slowly for humans to notice, according to the firm belief of most scientists through much of the 20th century.” “Today, there is evidence that severe change can take less than a decade. A committee of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has called this reorientation in the thinking of scientists a veritable ‘paradigm shift.’ The new paradigm of abrupt global climate change, the committee reported in 2002, ‘has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policymakers.’ ”

The question must be asked, where the hell do ethical iAnythings fit in a world of total chaos, collapse, death and starvation? We understand the Earth’s resources are finite. So why do we refuse to comprehend, thus ignore, the root cause of our multiple crises, that being the global industrialized capitalist economic system? The non-profit industrial complex protects the interests of their funders – this is a given to be expected. Yet the tragedy is this: today, intelligent citizens are choosing to embrace delusional ideologies that reinforce what they have been conditioned to “want” by the very corporate interests many claim to oppose, instead of choosing to protect their very future and the future of their children by facing our realities dead-on.

SumOfUs fails (purposely) to educate on the fact that corporations are bound by law to increase profits for their shareholders first and foremost. SumOfUs allows “consumers” to continue consuming while eradicating any guilt they may be feeling as the world crumbles beneath our feet. Hey, I signed the petition; I did my part, what more can I do? Truthfully, no sane person can possibly believe that any petition in 2012 can truly change the cataclysmic path we have placed ourselves on. Ten thousand signatures or 10 million, these petitions are meaningless. They are not intended to provoke any meaningful change. Rather their purpose is to influence, sway, and shape and mold public perception. This is understood between the corporate funders (via funding funneled through tax exempt foundations) and the “leaders” at the helm of the global NGO matrix: Avaaz and the Avaaz-affiliated organizations, 350.org/1Sky, and other corporate greens such as Rockefeller-founded WWF.

The Sycophants at the Helm

“… Corporate-endowed foundations administer, trade and channelise their power and place their chessmen on the chessboard, through a system of elite clubs and think-tanks, whose members overlap and move in and out through the revolving doors. Contrary to the various conspiracy theories in circulation, particularly among left-wing groups, there is nothing secret, satanic, or Freemason-like about this arrangement. It is not very different from the way corporations use shell companies and offshore accounts to transfer and administer their money—except that the currency is power, not money.” — Arundhati Roy, Capitalism: A Ghost Story

And of no surprise, this group of elite “leaders” are predominantly white and wealthy. SumOfUs reads like a big tub of dirty laundry, the same names that are continually recycled from one group to another, churned over and over again under a multitude of NGO names that just keep expanding and growing like a cancer. The bulk of foundation money funneled into these entities originates primarily from George Soros foundations, whereas the bulk of foundation money funneled into 350.org/1Sky originates primarily from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation and the William J. Clinton Foundation.

“Two of the minds behind the global advocacy platform Avaaz.org and Australia’s social action network GetUp! are taking what they learned in the non-profit online organizing space and applying it to the world of consumerism.” — TECH PRESIDENT website, May 24, 2010

SumOfUs’s Executive Director and Founder, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, is a dual Australian-American citizen with online organizing on four continents and at the global level, including at Avaaz.org, GetUp.org.au, MoveOn, AccessNow, 350.org, Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection and others. She was born in Australia, and currently lives in Washington, DC.

MoveOn.org is the founder of Avaaz (along with Res Publica). MoveOn is the US version of the Australian GetUp! AccessNow is affiliated with Avaaz co-founders. AccessNow.org is endorsed and supported by Avaaz, MoveOn.org, Witness.org, Blue State Digital and GetUp!

The AccessNow International Advisory Board includes Andrew MacLaughlin, vice president of Tumblr; Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook and director of online organizing for Obama’s Presidential Campaign; Joe Rospars, new media director for Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign and founding partner of Blue State Digital; Scott Heiferman, CEO and co-founder of Meetup; and many other prominent technologically savoir-faire “leaders” in the world of social marketing.

SumOfUs is a 501c(4) non-profit incorporated in Washington, DC, with a 501c(3) fiscal sponsorship arrangement through the New Organizing Institute Education Fund (a George Soros entity).

SumOfUs’s Treasurer, Tate Hausman, is the director of management at MoveOn.org. Previously, he has directed a number of other national political operations such as Vote Today Ohio, a voter mobilization effort that helped swing Ohio to Barack Obama. In tandem with working on congressional campaigns, Hausman has consulted for high-impact organizations like CREDO Mobile/Working Assets and many non-profit organizations.

SumOfUs’s Secretary, Keith Goodman, founded the Repower at Home program at Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, and developed and managed the acclaimed online Neighbor-to-Neighbor program for the 2008 Obama campaign.

The U.S. Advisory Board includes bright greens such as Bill McKibben, co-founder of Rockefeller’s 350.org and Eli Pariser, co-founder and president of the board at MoveOn.org.

The U.S. Advisory Board also includes Betsy Taylor, president of Breakthrough Strategies and Solutions. Taylor is an adviser to several donors and foundations and is on the advisory board of 350.org. Taylor was co-founder and board president of 1Sky, an incubator project of the Rockefellers, partnered and funded by in part by the Clinton Foundation. Taylor also founded and served as president of the center for yet another Soros organization, New American Dream (NAD), which “helps Americans live and consume wisely for a better world.” During her tenure, NAD was featured in the media over 1,000 times, built a network of over 100,000 citizens, and launched the “Responsible Purchasing Network,” an association representing over $50 billion in buying power. She has a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government (where Avaaz co-founders Ricken Patel, David Madden and Jeremy Heimans also attended). At the 2007 Clinton Global Initiative, President Clinton announced and personally congratulated the 1Sky team. Rockefeller Brothers Fund president Stephen Heintz, Betsy Taylor, 1Sky chair, and Jesse Fink, Mission Point Capital Partners, joined President Clinton on stage in recognition of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund commitment to 1Sky.

In 2011 1Sky officially merged with 350.org – which was most instrumental in the 1Sky creation. This union, now official, was deemed the “NEW 350” (350/1Sky) in which Rockefeller interests sit on the 350.org board of directors with the likes of McKibben, Naomi Klein, Jay Halfon and Jessy Tolkan. [350.org staff, 350.org international advisory council, 350.org U.S. advisory council].

The SumOfUs EU Advisory Board includes:

  • Paula Hannemann, social media manager, WWF Germany
  • Paul Hilder, former campaign director of Avaaz and Oxfam Great Britain, vice president of global campaigns for Change.org
  • Alice Jay, campaign director, Avaaz.org (Spain)

The SumOfUs Australian Advisory Board includes:

  •  Jeremy Heimans, CEO & co-founder of Purpose, co-founder of GetUp.org.au, Avaaz.org and AllOut.org
  • Brett Soloman, formerly with Avaaz, executive director of AccessNow.org, former executive director of GetUp,org.au.

 “I’d like to use the funds to promote the idea of movement entrepreneurship and to incubate a couple more movements. We’ve been talking in a broader way about the future of consumer activism, of organizing people not as citizens but as consumers.” — Avaaz co-founder, Jeremy Heimans

And of course no organization with the sole duty of promoting green capitalism would be complete without the corporate kiss-ass, Kumi Naidoo, head of the notorious corporate creation, TckTckTck, and Greenpeace International. Naidoo also sits on the International Advisory Council of 350.org, along with Avaaz co-founder and Imperialist puppet, Ricken Patel.

SumOfUs is currently offering an “Operations Fellowship.” Applicants should, among other things have “experience in social change, whether it’s organizing a Save Darfur rally on campus or volunteering for the Obama campaign” while “Big Pluses” are listed as “Grant-writing experience; Experience managing funder relationships; Experience as an office manager or executive assistant; Basic familiarity with 501(c)3/(c)4 election law; Familiarity with the MoveOn/Avaaz model of organizing.”

And like all big greens that make up the non-profit industrial complex, SumOfUs assures us that it is an equal opportunity employer …  Minorities and women are strongly encouraged to apply for this fellowship.” This all sounds good in theory, yet for all the rhetoric thrown around by the big greens supporting “indigenous” rights, values and leadership, try to find one big green NGO with an Indigenous person at the helm. For that matter, try to find one big green that officially supports and refuses to undermine the People’s Agreement (Cochabamba, Bolivia, April 2010) or any other Indigenous declaration.

SumOfUs – A new organization to greenwash the corporations destroying our shared planet. SumOfUs wants you to not only accept the liberal left assertion that corporate power will always dominate, they want you to show respect to the corporate powers destroying us.

Remix: March 28th, 2012

Sum of Selling Out

From the April 18, 2011 article Rockefellers’ 1Sky Unveils the New 350.org | More $ – More Delusion:

 “At the same time of the 10:10:10 launch, 350.org revealed its first order of business – that of business. In 2011, the Green Market website published an article titled “350.org and Business.” The website promotes the 350 campaign to ask businesses to leave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in response to climate change; however, it neglected to critically analyze why such a campaign can only fail. The reality is that incrementalism in the face of a planetary emergency dooms humanity to failure. No amount of justification excuses any organization, large or small, to play politics in the face of our daunting climate reality. Yet 350.org is doing exactly that. Many may consider this a strong step and the greenwashing cabal will applaud; after all, if you have the token voice of the climate movement praising sweat-shop driven, mining-dependent Apple, you’ve won the day. However, the reality is this: No matter how many businesses leave the Chamber, they will still be doing what they do. Apple continues to abuse those most vulnerable while simultaneously destroying the environment for the sake of profit. Nike still manufactures shoes in China. A campaign such as this will never extricate these corporations from the business model they worship that enables several barrels of oil to be burned for the sake of the Swoosh through symbolic campaigning and the mighty victory this campaign seeks. No amount of symbolic campaigning will accomplish anything remotely close to a solution to the current planetary emergency. Such a campaign makes for good press for the times; however, in terms of outcomes, it will provide nothing of consequence to the solution set. It’s nothing less than delusion, if not a crime against humanity, that those who understand the science actually believe such campaigns are helpful beyond our psyches. Tragically, this undoubtedly will become more obvious rather soon.”

So, no thanks, SumOfUs. Some of us consider ourselves citizens – not consumers. Some of us are not interested in participating in your delusional dreams of “ethical” and “green” capitalism. Some of us, in the real world, prefer to deal with the realities that you, hand in hand with your funders, continue to deny.

Round and round the delusion goes. Where it stops nobody knows.

The new SumOfUs campaigns urge us to send a message to LOCOG, Apple, Starbucks, Novartis, corporate media conglomerates, Walmart, Carlsberg, Verizon, Microsoft, Google, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Yoplait, Lowes, Trader Joes and Johnson & Johnson. Below are my sentiments in regards to these corporate psychopaths.

Fuck Apple.

Fuck Bank of America.

Fuck Carlsberg.

Fuck Coca-Cola.

Fuck corporate media.

Fuck Google.

Fuck Johnson & Johnson.

Fuck Lowes.

Fuck Microsoft.

Fuck Novartis.

Fuck Starbucks.

Fuck the Olympics.

Fuck Trader Joes.

Fuck Verizon.

Fuck Walmart.

Fuck Yoplait.

And most of all, SumOfUs – fuck you.

 

 

References:

[1] Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, spoke March 19, 2010 at Innovative Philanthropy for the 21st Century: Harnessing the Power of Impact Investing: In this second phase of philanthropic innovation, our Rockefeller Foundation predecessors helped establish the non-governmental organization sector as the missing middle between giving and direct impact. This included support for entities we call them RINGOS, Rockefeller Foundation Initiated NGOs.

 

How Many ‘Big Greens’ Endorsed the People’s Agreement of Cochabamba?

How Many ‘Big Greens’ Endorsed the People’s Agreement of Cochabamba?

Answer: None.

From April 19th – 22nd 2010 the first World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, was in held in Cochabamba, Bolivia. It brought more than 35,000 people from around the world, the majority of them being Indigenous. In the first democratically written agreement on climate change, written by the people themselves, proposals for real solutions to climate were unveiled to the world under the document titled the Cochabamba Accord. It is also known as The People’s Agreement of Cochabamba.

It must be remembered that 350.org/1Sky, WWF, Sierra Club, NRDC and most all other “big greens” have rejected the People’s Agreement of Cochabamba rather than unite behind it, in favour of the false illusion of “green” capitalism. Because of this, even although the document was finally recognized by the United Nations, due in most part to the efforts of Pablo Salon (Bolivia’s former ambassador to the United Nations), this agreement has been ignored, marginalized and disregarded by the most powerful voices in the faux environmental movement. Instead of the movement and world uniting behind this agreement – in an attempt to mitigate a 6th extinction – this agreement has been buried and essentially forgotten so the champagne circuit can continue to relish in delusion.

The agreement follows the organizations listed below.

The partners, listed below, can be found on the People’s Agreement website. (It must be noted that some of the larger organizations, listed as partners, did not endorse the final document.)

  1. Via Campesina (Austria)
  2. JS-APMDD – Jubilee south – Asia /Pacific Movement on Debt and Development
  3. FOCO – Foro Ciudadano de Participación por la Justicia y los Derechos Humanos (Argentina)
  4. Human Nature (U.S.)
  5. Climate Change Study Program?Society for Wetland Biodiversity Conservation (?Nepal)
  6. Global Exchange (U.S.)
  7. Canadians for Action on Climate Change (Canada)
  8. PMCC – The Peoples Movement on Climate Change
  9. CDP – Coastal Development Partnership – (Bangladesh)
  10. GreenHearth Education (Canada)
  11. Society for Wetland Biodiversity Conservation (Nepal)
  12. Climate Change Emergency Medical Response
  13. Jubilee Debt Campaign (UK)
  14. Living Green, Living Well (Canada)
  15. The Corner House (UK)
  16. A World to Win (UK)
  17. Ethiopian Society for Consumer Protection (Ethiopia)
  18. APC – Asian Peasant Coalition (Asia)
  19. JVE – Jeunes Volontaires pour l’Environnement (Togo)
  20. O.W.N. – Organic Wellness News (Canada)
  21. Movimiento Patriótico Manuel Rodriguez (Chile)
  22. ADAY – Asociación por los Derechos de los Animales en Yucatán A.C. (México)
  23. ATTAC España
  24. Tibet Justice Center (U.S.)
  25. Coopera TV Asturias (España)
  26. O’Dam ONGD – Cooperación Asturiana para el Desarrollo (España)
  27. Ecoportal.Net (Argentina)
  28. APWLD – Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (Tailandia)
  29. AEADO – Asociación de Escritores y Artistas del Orbe (España)
  30. GAIA – Alianza Global Anti-Incineración (Filipinas)
  31. Rainforest Action Network (U.S.)
  32. ONG Social Indigena (Chile)
  33. Cooperativa de Provisión de Servicios “Reciclando Sueños” (Argentina)
  34. ATTAC (Chile)
  35. ABIDES – Associação Brasileira de Integração e Desenvolvimento Sustentável (Brasil)
  36. WRM – Movimiento Mundial por los Bosques Tropicales (Uruguay)
  37. Fundación Armonía Global (Venezuela)
  38. Movimiento Ecologista CANTO VIVO (Perú)
  39. Central de Trabajadores de la Argentina
  40. CISAS – Centro de Información y Servicios de Asesoría en Salud (Nicaragua)
  41. Energy Ethics (Denmark)
  42. JCI Empresarios La Paz (Bolivia)
  43. Kallawayas Sin Fronteras (Bolivia)
  44. STP – Society for Threatened Peoples (U.S.)
  45. ICEPH – Instituto Cordillerano de Estudios y Promoción Humana (Argentina)
  46. APMM – L’association des Populations des Montagnes du Monde – Paris (France)
  47. Amigos de la Tierra Internacional (Holland)
  48. ATTAC (Argentina)
  49. Organización Autolibre (Uruguay)
  50. Iniciativa Cuba Socialista (Belgium)
  51. CSCIB – Confederación Sindical de Comunidades Interculturales de Bolivia
  52. CSUTCB – Confederación Sindical Única de Trabajadores Campesinos de Bolivia
  53. CONAMAQ – Consejo Nacional de Ayllus y Markas del Qullasuyu
  54. CNMCIOB “BS” – Confederación Nacional de Mujeres Campesinas Indígenas Originarias de Bolivia “Bartolina Sisa”
  55. CIDOB – Confederación de Pueblos Indígenas del Oriente, Chaco y Amazonía de Bolivia
  56. Portal amerika21.de (Germany)
  57. Foro de Ecología Política (Argentina)
  58. Proyecto Tierra, ONG “Por una Cultura Ecológica” (Argentina)
  59. Fundación Mundo Puro (Bolivia)
  60. Re@l Bolivia Nodo Cochabamba
  61. Plataforma Boliviana Frente al Cambio Climático
  62. Jubileo Sur
  63. 350.0rg – Campaña Internacional frente el Cambio Climático (UK)
  64. MOCICC – Movimiento Ciudadano frente al Cambio Climático (Perú)
  65. CoC – Council of Canadians (Canada)
  66. Belarusian Party of Greens (Belarus)
  67. Asociación Inti Illimani (Bolivia)
  68. Agua Sustentable – Centro de Apoyo a la Gestión Sustentable del Agua y Medio Ambiente (Bolivia)
  69. Fundación PACHAMAMA – (Ecuador)
  70. Frente de Lucha Mapuche y Campesino (Argentina)
  71. Fundación Kawsay – Lucha por la Vida
  72. Noam Chomski (U.S.)
  73. Ala Plástica (Argentina)
  74. AMAR – Asociación Amigos del Arbol (El Salvador)
  75. ECOCULTURA – Centro para la Promoción de la Cultura, el Patrimonio y el Desarrollo Local (Argentina)
  76. ANA – Acción por los Niños de los Ande (France)
  77. ANROS – Asociación Nacional de Redes y Organizaciones Sociales (Venezuela)
  78. CIPSI – Solidaridad y Cooperacion (Italy)
  79. Consejo Regional de Desarrollo Sustentable de Tarapacá
  80. Radio El Arka (Argentina)
  81. PAU ER – Public Academic University “Evolution of Reason”
  82. DP – Dialogo de los Pueblos (Africa – Latin America)
  83. IBASE – Instituto Brasileiro de Análises Socais e Econômica (Brazil)
  84. Forum Social d’AUBERVILLIERS (France)
  85. Centro Bolivariano de Residentes Extranjeros de Latinoamérica y el Caribe (Argentina)
  86. LIDEMA – Liga de Defensa del Medio Ambiente (Bolivia)
  87. REDNAVA – Red Nacional de Voluntarios Ambientales (Bolivia)
  88. Centro para el Desarrollo Sostenible Molle (Bolivia)
  89. Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Argentina)
  90. Action Solidarité Tiers Monde
  91. ANEEJ – Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (Nigeria)
  92. Africa Trade Network
  93. African Biodiversity Network (Kenia)
  94. African Women’s Economic Policy Network (Uganda)
  95. Alba Sud (España)
  96. AMAN – Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara – Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago (Indonesia)
  97. Alianza Mexicana por la Autodeterminación de los Pueblos (México)
  98. Amigos de la Tierra (España)
  99. ANND – Arab NGO Network for Development
  100. AIPP – Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (Tailandia)
  101. Asia Pacific Research Network
  102. AIWN – Asian Indigenous Women’s Network (Filipinas)
  103. Asian Network of Indigenous Lawyers (Filipinas)
  104. Asociación de Desarrollo Integral San Miguelense (Guatemala)
  105. Asociación Jalisciense de Apoyo a los Grupos Indígenas
  106. Asociación Solidaria de Artesanas Pachamama (Bolivia)
  107. ATTAC Hungary (Hungría)
  108. Bia´lii, Asesoría e Investigación, A.C (México)
  109. Both ENDS
  110. BMP – Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (Filipinas)
  111. Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale
  112. Campaña Ningún Hogar Pobre en Argentina
  113. Canadian Union of Postal Workers
  114. CEE Bankwatch Network Central and Eastern Europe
  115. Center for a World in Balance
  116. CWIS – Center for World Indigenous Studies (Estados Unidos)
  117. CAMV – Centre d’Accompagnement des Autochtones Pygmées et Minoritaires Vulnérables (Congo)
  118. Centro de Estudios Sociales y Culturales
  119. Centro de Iniciativas para el Desarrollo
  120. CADPI – Centro para la autonomía y desarrollo de los pueblos indígenas (Nicaragua)
  121. China Youth Climate Action Network
  122. Christian Aid
  123. CCDD – Citizens Concern for Dams and Development (India)
  124. Coastal Development Partnership (Bangladesh)
  125. Colectivo Voces Ecológicas
  126. Comercializadora Agroforestal del Istmo SPR
  127. Comisión de Apoyo a la Unidad y Reconciliación Comunitaria (México)
  128. Comisión Ecológica Ituzaingo
  129. Comité Nacional para la Justicia climática
  130. Community Development Fund (Bangladesh)
  131. Community Empowerment and Development Association (Namibia)
  132. CONGCOOP
  133. Consumers Association of Penang (Malasia)
  134. Convergencia de Movimientos Populares de América Latina
  135. Coordinadora Civil (Nicaragua)
  136. COPEVI
  137. Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance (Filipinas)
  138. Council of Swaziland Churches
  139. Diálogo 2000
  140. ESAFF – Eastern and Southern Africa Farmers Forum (Tanzania)
  141. Ecological Alert and Recovery (Tailandia)
  142. Ecological Society of the Filipinas (Filipinas)
  143. Ecologistas en Acción
  144. Economic Justice Network (Sudáfrica)
  145. Ecos, voces y acciones, A.C.
  146. ECOT – Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism
  147. EED Task Force Indigenous Peoples (Filipinas)
  148. EQUATIONS (India)
  149. Equity and Justice Working Group (Bangladesh)
  150. Farmer’s Legal Action Group (Sudáfrica)
  151. Flemish Centre for Indigenous Peoples (Bélgica)
  152. Forum for Indigenous Perspectives and Action (India)
  153. Forum maghrébin pour l’environnement et le développement
  154. Foundation for Grassroots Initiatives in Africa – Grassroots Africa (Ghana)
  155. Freedom from Debt Coalition (Filipinas)
  156. Friends of the Earth England, Wales and N. Ireland
  157. Friends of the Earth International
  158. Friends of the Earth (Malasia)
  159. Fundacion IEPALA (España)
  160. Fundación Solon (Bolivia)
  161. Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance
  162. Global Exchange
  163. Grupo Tacuba, A. C.
  164. INSAF – Indian Social Action Forum (India)
  165. INESC
  166. AAI – Iniciativa contra los Agronegocios (Centroamérica)
  167. Iniciativa Radial
  168. Iniciativa Radial (Argentina)
  169. Institute for Sustainable Development (Etiopia)
  170. Instituto de Investigación y Desarrollo NITLAPAN-UCA (Nicaragua)
  171. IFG – International Forum on Globalization
  172. INFID – International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (Indonesia)
  173. International Rivers Network
  174. ITEM – Instituto del Tercer Mundo (Uruguay)
  175. JSAPMDD – JS-Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (Asia-Pacífico)
  176. Jubilee South
  177. Jubileo Perú (Perú)
  178. Jubileu 2000
  179. Jubileu 2000 Angola (Angola)
  180. KALAYAAN (Filipinas)
  181. Kanak Agency for Development (Nueva Caledonia)
  182. KOALISI ANTI-UTANG (Indonesia)
  183. KPML – Kongreso ng Pinagkaisang Maralitang Tagalunsod (Filipinas)
  184. KRUHA Water Coalition (Indonesia)
  185. Labour, Health and Human Rights Development Centre (Nigeria)
  186. Land for Peace SA
  187. Least Developed Countries Watch
  188. Lelewal Foundation (Camerún)
  189. MAMA AFRICA
  190. Marea Creciente
  191. Media Bebas
  192. Missionnaires Xavériens
  193. MOCICC – Movimiento Ciudadano frente al Cambio Climático (Perú)
  194. Movimiento Social Nicaragüense Otro Mundo es Posible (Nicaragua)
  195. Nadi Ghati Morcha (India)
  196. National Civic Forum (Sudan)
  197. National Forum of Forest Peoples and Forest Workers (India)
  198. NUBE – National Union of Bank Employees (Malasia)
  199. Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities
  200. Observatorio Politicas Sociales y Ambientales (Argentina)
  201. Office of the People’s Committee of Ha Giang (Vietnam)
  202. OLSSI – Ole Siosiomaga Society Incorporated (Samoa)
  203. Otros Mundos Chiapas
  204. Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (Pakistán)
  205. PACJA – Pan African Climate Justice Alliance
  206. Pasumai Thaayagam – Green Motherland (India)
  207. GARPU – People’s Alliance for Debt Cancellation (Indonesia)
  208. PAPDA – Plateforme Haïtienne de Plaidoyer pour un Développement Alternatif (Haiti)
  209. Prensa Ambiental (Argentina)
  210. PRRM – Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (Filipinas)
  211. Rainforest Action Network
  212. Red Costarricense de agendas locales de mujeres
  213. RMALC – Red Mexicana de Accion frente al Libre Comercio (México)
  214. Red Sinti Techan – Costa Rica (Costa Rica)
  215. Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology
  216. River Basin Friends (India)
  217. RRN – Rural Reconstruction Nepal
  218. SANLAKAS (Filipinas)
  219. SSM – Secretariado Social Mexicano (México)
  220. Solidaritas Perempuan (Indonesia)
  221. Solidarity Workshop (Bangladesh)
  222. SOCDA – Somali Org. for Community Dev. Activities (Somalia)
  223. SAAPE – South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (Nepal)
  224. SUPRO (Bangladesh)
  225. Tebtebba Foundation (Filipinas)
  226. Thai Working Group for Climate Justice (Tailandia)
  227. Third World Network
  228. Titlalli – Grupo Ecologista (México)
  229. Tourism Investigation & Monitoring Team (Tailandia)
  230. Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development (Uganda)
  231. UNES – Unida Ecológica Salvadoreña (El Salvador)
  232. Unión Popular Valle Gómez (México)
  233. Unnayan Onneshan (Bangladesh)
  234. VOICE Bangladesh
  235. WALHI – Friends of The Earth Indonesia (Indonesia)
  236. Women Environmental Conservation Project (Uganda)
  237. Women for Change
  238. World Development Movement
  239. Xiamen Greencross Association (China)
  240. Yonge Nawe – Friends of the Earth Swaziland (Suazilandia)
  241. Young Green Woman (Sierra Leona)

World People’s Conference on Climate Change

and the Rights of Mother Earth

April 22nd, Cochabamba, Bolivia

PEOPLES AGREEMENT

Today, our Mother Earth is wounded and the future of humanity is in danger.

If global warming increases by more than 2 degrees Celsius, a situation that the “Copenhagen Accord” could lead to, there is a 50% probability that the damages caused to our Mother Earth will be completely irreversible. Between 20% and 30% of species would be in danger of disappearing. Large extensions of forest would be affected, droughts and floods would affect different regions of the planet, deserts would expand, and the melting of the polar ice caps and the glaciers in the Andes and Himalayas would worsen. Many island states would disappear, and Africa would suffer an increase in temperature of more than 3 degrees Celsius. Likewise, the production of food would diminish in the world, causing catastrophic impact on the survival of inhabitants from vast regions in the planet, and the number of people in the world suffering from hunger would increase dramatically, a figure that already exceeds 1.02 billion people. The corporations and governments of the so-called “developed” countries, in complicity with a segment of the scientific community, have led us to discuss climate change as a problem limited to the rise in temperature without questioning the cause, which is the capitalist system.

We confront the terminal crisis of a civilizing model that is patriarchal and based on the submission and destruction of human beings and nature that accelerated since the industrial revolution.

The capitalist system has imposed on us a logic of competition, progress and limitless growth. This regime of production and consumption seeks profit without limits, separating human beings from nature and imposing a logic of domination upon nature, transforming everything into commodities: water, earth, the human genome, ancestral cultures, biodiversity, justice, ethics, the rights of peoples, and life itself.

Under capitalism, Mother Earth is converted into a source of raw materials, and human beings into consumers and a means of production, into people that are seen as valuable only for what they own, and not for what they are.

Capitalism requires a powerful military industry for its processes of accumulation and imposition of control over territories and natural resources, suppressing the resistance of the peoples. It is an imperialist system of colonization of the planet.

Humanity confronts a great dilemma: to continue on the path of capitalism, depredation, and death, or to choose the path of harmony with nature and respect for life.

It is imperative that we forge a new system that restores harmony with nature and among human beings. And in order for there to be balance with nature, there must first be equity among human beings. We propose to the peoples of the world the recovery, revalorization, and strengthening of the knowledge, wisdom, and ancestral practices of Indigenous Peoples, which are affirmed in the thought and practices of “Living Well,” recognizing Mother Earth as a living being with which we have an indivisible, interdependent, complementary and spiritual relationship. To face climate change, we must recognize Mother Earth as the source of life and forge a new system based on the principles of:

  • harmony and balance among all and with all things;
  • complementarity, solidarity, and equality;
  • collective well-being and the satisfaction of the basic necessities of all;
  • people in harmony with nature;
  • recognition of human beings for what they are, not what they own;
  • elimination of all forms of colonialism, imperialism and interventionism;
  • peace among the peoples and with Mother Earth;

The model we support is not a model of limitless and destructive development. All countries need to produce the goods and services necessary to satisfy the fundamental needs of their populations, but by no means can they continue to follow the path of development that has led the richest countries to have an ecological footprint five times bigger than what the planet is able to support. Currently, the regenerative capacity of the planet has been already exceeded by more than 30 percent. If this pace of over-exploitation of our Mother Earth continues, we will need two planets by the year 2030. In an interdependent system in which human beings are only one component, it is not possible to recognize rights only to the human part without provoking an imbalance in the system as a whole. To guarantee human rights and to restore harmony with nature, it is necessary to effectively recognize and apply the rights of Mother Earth. For this purpose, we propose the attached project for the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth, in which it’s recorded that:

  • The right to live and to exist;
  • The right to be respected;
  • The right to regenerate its bio-capacity and to continue it’s vital cycles and processes free of human alteration;
  • The right to maintain their identity and integrity as differentiated beings, self-regulated and interrelated;
  • The right to water as the source of life;
  • The right to clean air;
  • The right to comprehensive health;
  • The right to be free of contamination and pollution, free of toxic and radioactive waste;
  • The right to be free of alterations or modifications of it’s genetic structure in a manner that threatens it’s integrity or vital and healthy functioning;
  • The right to prompt and full restoration for violations to the rights acknowledged in this Declaration caused by human activities.

The “shared vision” seeks to stabilize the concentrations of greenhouse gases to make effective the Article 2 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which states that “the stabilization of greenhouse gases concentrations in the atmosphere to a level that prevents dangerous anthropogenic inferences for the climate system.” Our vision is based on the principle of historical common but differentiated responsibilities, to demand the developed countries to commit with quantifiable goals of emission reduction that will allow to return the concentrations of greenhouse gases to 300 ppm, therefore the increase in the average world temperature to a maximum of one degree Celsius.

Emphasizing the need for urgent action to achieve this vision, and with the support of peoples, movements and countries, developed countries should commit to ambitious targets for reducing emissions that permit the achievement of short-term objectives, while maintaining our vision in favor of balance in the Earth’s climate system, in agreement with the ultimate objective of the Convention.

The “shared vision for long-term cooperative action” in climate change negotiations should not be reduced to defining the limit on temperature increases and the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but must also incorporate in a balanced and integral manner measures regarding capacity building, production and consumption patterns, and other essential factors such as the acknowledging of the Rights of Mother Earth to establish harmony with nature.

Developed countries, as the main cause of climate change, in assuming their historical responsibility, must recognize and honor their climate debt in all of its dimensions as the basis for a just, effective, and scientific solution to climate change. In this context, we demand that developed countries:

• Restore to developing countries the atmospheric space that is occupied by their greenhouse gas emissions. This implies the decolonization of the atmosphere through the reduction and absorption of their emissions;

• Assume the costs and technology transfer needs of developing countries arising from the loss of development opportunities due to living in a restricted atmospheric space;

• Assume responsibility for the hundreds of millions of people that will be forced to migrate due to the climate change caused by these countries, and eliminate their restrictive immigration policies, offering migrants a decent life with full human rights guarantees in their countries;

• Assume adaptation debt related to the impacts of climate change on developing countries by providing the means to prevent, minimize, and deal with damages arising from their excessive emissions;

• Honor these debts as part of a broader debt to Mother Earth by adopting and implementing the United Nations Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth.

The focus must not be only on financial compensation, but also on restorative justice, understood as the restitution of integrity to our Mother Earth and all its beings.

We deplore attempts by countries to annul the Kyoto Protocol, which is the sole legally binding instrument specific to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by developed countries.

We inform the world that, despite their obligation to reduce emissions, developed countries have increased their emissions by 11.2% in the period from 1990 to 2007.

During that same period, due to unbridled consumption, the United States of America has increased its greenhouse gas emissions by 16.8%, reaching an average of 20 to 23 tons of CO2 per-person. This represents 9 times more than that of the average inhabitant of the “Third World,” and 20 times more than that of the average inhabitant of Sub-Saharan Africa.

We categorically reject the illegitimate “Copenhagen Accord” that allows developed countries to offer insufficient reductions in greenhouse gases based in voluntary and individual commitments, violating the environmental integrity of Mother Earth and leading us toward an increase in global temperatures of around 4°C.

The next Conference on Climate Change to be held at the end of 2010 in Mexico should approve an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol for the second commitment period from 2013 to 2017 under which developed countries must agree to significant domestic emissions reductions of at least 50% based on 1990 levels, excluding carbon markets or other offset mechanisms that mask the failure of actual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

We require first of all the establishment of a goal for the group of developed countries to achieve the assignment of individual commitments for each developed country under the framework of complementary efforts among each one, maintaining in this way Kyoto Protocol as the route to emissions reductions.

The United States, as the only Annex 1 country on Earth that did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol, has a significant responsibility toward all peoples of the world to ratify this document and commit itself to respecting and complying with emissions reduction targets on a scale appropriate to the total size of its economy.

We the peoples have the equal right to be protected from the adverse effects of climate change and reject the notion of adaptation to climate change as understood as a resignation to impacts provoked by the historical emissions of developed countries, which themselves must adapt their modes of life and consumption in the face of this global emergency. We see it as imperative to confront the adverse effects of climate change, and consider adaptation to be a process rather than an imposition, as well as a tool that can serve to help offset those effects, demonstrating that it is possible to achieve harmony with nature under a different model for living.

It is necessary to construct an Adaptation Fund exclusively for addressing climate change as part of a financial mechanism that is managed in a sovereign, transparent, and equitable manner for all States. This Fund should assess the impacts and costs of climate change in developing countries and needs deriving from these impacts, and monitor support on the part of developed countries. It should also include a mechanism for compensation for current and future damages, loss of opportunities due to extreme and gradual climactic events, and additional costs that could present themselves if our planet surpasses ecological thresholds, such as those impacts that present obstacles to “Living Well.”

The “Copenhagen Accord” imposed on developing countries by a few States, beyond simply offering insufficient resources, attempts as well to divide and create confrontation between peoples and to extort developing countries by placing conditions on access to adaptation and mitigation resources. We also assert as unacceptable the attempt in processes of international negotiation to classify developing countries for their vulnerability to climate change, generating disputes, inequalities and segregation among them.

The immense challenge humanity faces of stopping global warming and cooling the planet can only be achieved through a profound shift in agricultural practices toward the sustainable model of production used by indigenous and rural farming peoples, as well as other ancestral models and practices that contribute to solving the problem of agriculture and food sovereignty. This is understood as the right of peoples to control their own seeds, lands, water, and food production, thereby guaranteeing, through forms of production that are in harmony with Mother Earth and appropriate to local cultural contexts, access to sufficient, varied and nutritious foods in complementarity with Mother Earth and deepening the autonomous (participatory, communal and shared) production of every nation and people.

Climate change is now producing profound impacts on agriculture and the ways of life of indigenous peoples and farmers throughout the world, and these impacts will worsen in the future.

Agribusiness, through its social, economic, and cultural model of global capitalist production and its logic of producing food for the market and not to fulfill the right to proper nutrition, is one of the principal causes of climate change. Its technological, commercial, and political approach only serves to deepen the climate change crisis and increase hunger in the world. For this reason, we reject Free Trade Agreements and Association Agreements and all forms of the application of Intellectual Property Rights to life, current technological packages (agrochemicals, genetic modification) and those that offer false solutions (biofuels, geo-engineering, nanotechnology, etc.) that only exacerbate the current crisis.

We similarly denounce the way in which the capitalist model imposes mega-infrastructure projects and invades territories with extractive projects, water privatization, and militarized territories, expelling indigenous peoples from their lands, inhibiting food sovereignty and deepening socio-environmental crisis.

We demand recognition of the right of all peoples, living beings, and Mother Earth to have access to water, and we support the proposal of the Government of Bolivia to recognize water as a Fundamental Human Right.

The definition of forests used in the negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which includes plantations, is unacceptable. Monoculture plantations are not forests. Therefore, we require a definition for negotiation purposes that recognizes the native forests, jungles and the diverse ecosystems on Earth.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples must be fully recognized, implemented and integrated in climate change negotiations. The best strategy and action to avoid deforestation and degradation and protect native forests and jungles is to recognize and guarantee collective rights to lands and territories, especially considering that most of the forests are located within the territories of indigenous peoples and nations and other traditional communities.

We condemn market mechanisms such as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and its versions + and + +, which are violating the sovereignty of peoples and their right to prior free and informed consent as well as the sovereignty of national States, the customs of Peoples, and the Rights of Nature.

Polluting countries have an obligation to carry out direct transfers of the economic and technological resources needed to pay for the restoration and maintenance of forests in favor of the peoples and indigenous ancestral organic structures. Compensation must be direct and in addition to the sources of funding promised by developed countries outside of the carbon market, and never serve as carbon offsets. We demand that countries stop actions on local forests based on market mechanisms and propose non-existent and conditional results. We call on governments to create a global program to restore native forests and jungles, managed and administered by the peoples, implementing forest seeds, fruit trees, and native flora. Governments should eliminate forest concessions and support the conservation of petroleum deposits in the ground and urgently stop the exploitation of hydrocarbons in forestlands.

We call upon States to recognize, respect and guarantee the effective implementation of international human rights standards and the rights of indigenous peoples, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples under ILO Convention 169, among other relevant instruments in the negotiations, policies and measures used to meet the challenges posed by climate change. In particular, we call upon States to give legal recognition to claims over territories, lands and natural resources to enable and strengthen our traditional ways of life and contribute effectively to solving climate change.

We demand the full and effective implementation of the right to consultation, participation and prior, free and informed consent of indigenous peoples in all negotiation processes, and in the design and implementation of measures related to climate change.

Environmental degradation and climate change are currently reaching critical levels, and one of the main consequences of this is domestic and international migration. According to projections, there were already about 25 million climate migrants by 1995. Current estimates are around 50 million, and projections suggest that between 200 million and 1 billion people will become displaced by situations resulting from climate change by the year 2050.

Developed countries should assume responsibility for climate migrants, welcoming them into their territories and recognizing their fundamental rights through the signing of international conventions that provide for the definition of climate migrant and require all States to abide by abide by determinations.

Establish an International Tribunal of Conscience to denounce, make visible, document, judge and punish violations of the rights of migrants, refugees and displaced persons within countries of origin, transit and destination, clearly identifying the responsibilities of States, companies and other agents.

Current funding directed toward developing countries for climate change and the proposal of the Copenhagen Accord is insignificant. In addition to Official Development Assistance and public sources, developed countries must commit to a new annual funding of at least 6% of GDP to tackle climate change in developing countries. This is viable considering that a similar amount is spent on national defense, and that 5 times more have been put forth to rescue failing banks and speculators, which raises serious questions about global priorities and political will. This funding should be direct and free of conditions, and should not interfere with the national sovereignty or self-determination of the most affected communities and groups.

In view of the inefficiency of the current mechanism, a new funding mechanism should be established at the 2010 Climate Change Conference in Mexico, functioning under the authority of the Conference of the Parties (COP) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and held accountable to it, with significant representation of developing countries, to ensure compliance with the funding commitments of Annex 1 countries.

It has been stated that developed countries significantly increased their emissions in the period from 1990 to 2007, despite having stated that the reduction would be substantially supported by market mechanisms.

The carbon market has become a lucrative business, commodifying our Mother Earth. It is therefore not an alternative for tackle climate change, as it loots and ravages the land, water, and even life itself.

The recent financial crisis has demonstrated that the market is incapable of regulating the financial system, which is fragile and uncertain due to speculation and the emergence of intermediary brokers. Therefore, it would be totally irresponsible to leave in their hands the care and protection of human existence and of our Mother Earth.

We consider inadmissible that current negotiations propose the creation of new mechanisms that extend and promote the carbon market, for existing mechanisms have not resolved the problem of climate change nor led to real and direct actions to reduce greenhouse gases. It is necessary to demand fulfillment of the commitments assumed by developed countries under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change regarding development and technology transfer, and to reject the “technology showcase” proposed by developed countries that only markets technology. It is essential to establish guidelines in order to create a multilateral and multidisciplinary mechanism for participatory control, management, and evaluation of the exchange of technologies. These technologies must be useful, clean and socially sound. Likewise, it is fundamental to establish a fund for the financing and inventory of technologies that are appropriate and free of intellectual property rights. Patents, in particular, should move from the hands of private monopolies to the public domain in order to promote accessibility and low costs.

Knowledge is universal, and should for no reason be the object of private property or private use, nor should its application in the form of technology. Developed countries have a responsibility to share their technology with developing countries, to build research centers in developing countries for the creation of technologies and innovations, and defend and promote their development and application for “living well.” The world must recover and re-learn ancestral principles and approaches from native peoples to stop the destruction of the planet, as well as promote ancestral practices, knowledge and spirituality to recuperate the capacity for “living well” in harmony with Mother Earth.

Considering the lack of political will on the part of developed countries to effectively comply with commitments and obligations assumed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, and given the lack of a legal international organism to guard against and sanction climate and environmental crimes that violate the Rights of Mother Earth and humanity, we demand the creation of an International Climate and Environmental Justice Tribunal that has the legal capacity to prevent, judge and penalize States, industries and people that by commission or omission contaminate and provoke climate change.

Supporting States that present claims at the International Climate and Environmental Justice Tribunal against developed countries that fail to comply with commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol including commitments to reduce greenhouse gases.

We urge peoples to propose and promote deep reform within the United Nations, so that all member States comply with the decisions of the International Climate and Environmental Justice Tribunal.

The future of humanity is in danger, and we cannot allow a group of leaders from developed countries to decide for all countries as they tried unsuccessfully to do at the Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen. This decision concerns us all. Thus, it is essential to carry out a global referendum or popular consultation on climate change in which all are consulted regarding the following issues; the level of emission reductions on the part of developed countries and transnational corporations, financing to be offered by developed countries, the creation of an International Climate Justice Tribunal, the need for a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, and the need to change the current capitalist system. The process of a global referendum or popular consultation will depend on process of preparation that ensures the successful development of the same.

In order to coordinate our international action and implement the results of this “Accord of the Peoples,” we call for the building of a Global People’s Movement for Mother Earth, which should be based on the principles of complementarity and respect for the diversity of origin and visions among its members, constituting a broad and democratic space for coordination and joint worldwide actions.

To this end, we adopt the attached global plan of action so that in Mexico, the developed countries listed in Annex 1 respect the existing legal framework and reduce their greenhouse gases emissions by 50%, and that the different proposals contained in this Agreement are adopted.

Finally, we agree to undertake a Second World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in 2011 as part of this process of building the Global People’s Movement for Mother Earth and reacting to the outcomes of the Climate Change Conference to be held at the end of this year in Cancun, Mexico.

http://pwccc.wordpress.com/support/

An Open Letter to The Nature Conservancy

An Open Letter to The Nature Conservancy

Image courtesy of Unsuitablog

Dear TNC people:

This is a letter I sent to my lists some months ago. I would ask you to consider distributing it among yourselves and to the conference planners.

I just read of your October conference where business leaders will once again pretend to address the global ecological crisis. I do understand your dilemma: how to defend and perpetuate the industrial consumer society that relies on endless economic growth, i.e capitalism. Susan George of the Transnational Institute wrote a quite wonderful book, The Lugano Report, on this very subject.

We in the environmental community fully understand your plight. But we understand more: we understand the problem. The business community does not yet understand it. It is simply this: economic growth in a finite planet cannot continue and in fact it has ended for all intents and purposes. Economic growth as traditionally understood is OVER.

The power that be will of course continue to throw money at it and hold high level conferences like yours and come up with imaginary “solutions” that only conceal the problem and thus allow it to grow larger. Some of you may actually believe that growth is compatible with preserving wildlife and ecosystems. Let me disabuse you of this view. As long as humans overbreed, overproduce and overconsume, they will necessarily infringe on and eventually destroy the other species on this planet and their ecosystem. Dave Foreman’s book Man Swarm makes this quite clear.

We have a choice: stop overpopulation, consumption and growth, or destroy the planet on which we depend. There is NO middle way to grow AND save the planet. You MUST accept this fact as the premise of your conference and all your plans. Do I make myself clear?

No amount of media hype, government subsidy, financial sleight of hand or regulatory manipulation will change this. Anyone who believes the contrary is whistling in the darkening dark. We are witnessing the convergence of several crises, none of which will disappear. Some flimsy temporary tinkering with monetary or fiscal policy and other icing on the cake may provide some temporary relief in one of the crises, but the others will proceed apace, uncontrolled and uncontrollable. And so it will continue.

If you want the full honest truth, then let me suggest some names: Richard Heinberg as first choice, James Kunstler, Yuri Orlov, the Post-Carbon Institute, maybe Dave Foreman himself, and for some side “entertainment”, you can screen Dave Gardner’s documentary “Growthbusters”, which will premiere in October. This of course assumes you are open to hearing things that are at odds with your faith in growth and consumerism.

Sincerely,

Lorna Salzman

Dear friends in business, arts and culture:

Some of you will be annoyed at this message. I apologize for the intrusion. However, for those of you with an open mind, I ask that you read this short statement from two highly informed and credible activists, one Canadian and one American.

For those of you in the business community, let me beseech you to read and absorb this message. It is not unique nor is it new. It comes on the heels of reports from Canada indicating that despite the broad public concern over climate change, the Canadian government and environmental NGOs continue to refuse to inform the public as to the real extent and gravity of the climate change threat. This withholding of information is echoed here in the United States, replaced by reports and studies on the topic of renewable energy, as if this were a solution to the problem, or even an option at this point in time.

If you are not already worried about what kind of world your children or grandchildren face, then let me appeal to you on strictly economic and financial terms. Very shortly, probably before another decade passes, the developed world that is hooked on fossil fuels and economic growth will experience major energy and environmental constraints and obstacles which will in turn disrupt society and economies across the world and cause social chaos on an unprecedented scale. While the overpopulated less developed world will bear a large part of the brunt of this eco-collapse due to its impact on food crops and drinking water, industrial societies may actually be more adversely affected because they have more to lose in the way of infrastructure, transportation, energy supplies, and food supplies for large cities.

The crisis will first appear in the form of higher prices for energy and goods, followed by scarcities and maldistribution, followed by a forced contraction of commerce and business, especially in construction, maintenance and repair. In my opinion, the economic recession we are in today will not ease up before the new crisis of contraction begins. In other words, we face a global recession of indefinite duration, not a recovery.

It is long overdue for businessmen, entrepreneurs, corporations, investors, financiers and especially government to develop and implement a Greenprint for Survival. I say Greenprint, picking up on the 1972 “Blueprint for Survival” published by The Ecologist in Great Britain and its late founder/editor Teddy Goldsmith, a man of great foresight and insight. The original Blueprint, endorsed by dozens of leading scientists and others from all over the world, analyzed all the trends and sectors of the world economy and environment, and stated clearly and forcefully the impossibility of continued economic growth, the necessity for moving quickly to a steady-state society rather than one based on a continued through-put of energy and resources, and a redesign of human settlements to allow maximum political and economic decentralization.

The necessity for a relocalization of our economy, in terms of food, energy, transportation, commerce and industry, has now become a major subject of discussion but not one that is widespread because business, government and financiers still grasp onto the hope that economic growth and consumption can and will resume to their original extent and form. It is clear that as long as even some environmental groups withhold the truth about climate change and related issues (loss of biodiversity, destruction of ocean fisheries, diminution of fresh water supplies as glaciers disappear, etc.), neither government nor the business community will take any steps commensurate with the threat. For them, the laws of nature and inexorable drive towards eco-collapse have no importance. The sound of denial is deafening.

Some of you have written me in anger and disbelief, quoting pseudo-scientists and studies that have never been peer reviewed or published in any credible scientific publication. Most if not all of these are produced routinely by those with ties to special interests, especially those in energy, such as Exxon, the coal companies, and the nuclear industry (at least what remains of it). As such they have no more credibility than the front page of the National Inquirer. Perhaps it is comforting to the doubters and deniers that some scientists purvey good news. Their comfort, however, is shortly to disappear. The question they need to ask themselves, if they are honest and have any shred of compassion for their descendants, is this: What if the deniers are wrong?

Greed, self-interest and economic hegemony are powerful motivators but not for the good. If the deniers manage to suppress the bad news and twist the facts, they must be regarded as subversives, even terrorists, determined to impose their view of Business As Usual on the rest of us, with all the suffering, deprivation and societal catastrophe that this will bring. Those of you in the corporate or business world who still have an open mind and are willing to hear the truth may represent the last and best hope that our country has of shaking our government awake and instilling common sense into it. If any of you are up to this urgent responsibility, you should not delay but should reach out to others in the business community and demand that they open their ears and eyes to what is really happening. Please give this serious thought.

Lorna Salzman

+++

The following is an excerpt from the article From the Non-Profit Industrial Complex with Love | Explosive Climate Report Kept from Public:

2010 marks a significant new direction in the climate negotiations. The People’s Agreement, agreed upon during theWorld People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth on April 22nd, 2010 (Cochabamba, Bolivia) is by far the best position to date. It is also the first position to state the necessary targets as well as the realities based on climate science. Climate justice advocates now have a legitimate position paper, critical text of which is now being recognized for the first time by the UNFCCC. Climate justice groups across the world, including Canada’s Council of Canadians; Canada’s largest citizens organization, have endorsed and campaign on this powerful agreement. Surely now is the time to pull together and work harder than ever. Solutions do exist. Therefore, the question that must be asked is this: Why is the climate crisis being abandoned by many and why has an incredibly powerful report been kept from the public – when the public wants action?

It is important to note that all big greens including 350.org, RAN, Greenpeace, CAN Canada and CAN International have thus far declined to endorse the People’s Agreement. CAN-International has roughly 500 members in over 80 countries.

Friends of the Earth groups in Africa; Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda endorse the People’s Agreement. You can read their press release here:http://bit.ly/962OZE

They Know – And Have Known for a Long Time

On 18 April 2007, Ken Ward of Grist writes:

The deliberate decision a decade ago to downplay climate change risk in the interests of presenting a sober, optimistic image to potential donors, maintaining access to decision-makers, and operating within the constraints of private foundations has blown back on us. By emphasizing specific solutions and avoiding definitions that might appear alarmist, we inadvertently fed a dumbed-down, Readers Digest version of climate change to our staff and environmentalist core. Now, as we scramble to keep up with climate scientists, we discover that we have paid a hefty price. Humanity has <10 years to avert cataclysm and most U.S. environmentalists simply don’t believe it.

If we did believe it, we would be acting very differently. Why do we continue, in our materials and on our web sites, to present climate as one of any number of apparently equally important issues? Why, if we really believe that the fate of the world will be decided within a few years, haven’t our organizations liquidated assets, shut down non-essential program[s] and invested everything in one final effort? Why, given the crushing circumstances, is there essentially no internal debate or challenge to our inadequate course of action? Why, for that matter, aren’t environmentalists all working weekends?

These are not gratuitous questions. Environmentalists are not immune from the social and cognitive barriers that make it difficult for almost every individual, institution, society, and nation to come to terms with the threat of cataclysm. However, the whole point of environmentalism is to anticipate precisely the conditions in which we now find ourselves. The purpose of the precautionary principle is to encourage the long view, “out even to the 7th generation,” and the ethos of environmentalism is a fundamental challenge to the dominant paradigm. Our values and principles are supposed to buck us up when, as individuals, we lose our way.

A must watch 2009 video of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ross Gelbspan is riveting. Seldom does anyone have the conviction or courage to speak so boldly, so bluntly. Gelbspan reveals that what began as an initial response of many institutions – denial and delay – has now grown into a crime against humanity. Based on his investigative reporting, Gelbspan speaks of how politicians, big oil and coal, journalists, and the irresponsibility of the big greens have fueled a climate crisis. Gelspan has an interesting theory about why the environmental movement, downplaying the risks and avoiding talk of climate catastrophe, has communicated the climate crisis to the public with unrealistic “optimism.” He suggests that perhaps they are emotionally traumatized deep down by what they really know about the terrible extent of the risks of catastrophic climate change.

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.4605171&w=425&h=350&fv=videoId%3D62732198001%26playerID%3D51061328001%26domain%3Dembed%26]

“It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing.” – Elizabeth Kolbert, Field Notes from a Catastrophelsas

Bill McKibben. Eaarth: reviewed by Javier Sethness

August 18, 2010

Earth has died … but Eaarth offers few solutions

Bill McKibben. Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. Times Books, 2010. 272 pages. ISBN: 978-0-8050-9056-7

reviewed by Javier Sethness

According to North American environmental activist Bill McKibben, planet Earth has died.

Its replacement does not, however, constitute dialectical progress toward a higher or better state: the new-born planet, named Eaarth by McKibben in his book of the same name, follows instead from the brutality and thoughtlessness engaged in by much of humanity since its historical emergence.

In McKibben’s estimation, the Holocene geological epoch — characterized by a narrow range of fluctuation in average global temperatures that has allowed for humanity’s rise and development on Earth over the past 12,000 years — can no longer be said to exist, as a result of human interference with planetary climate systems and human-induced environmental destruction generally conceived. Eaarth, referred to elsewhere as the Anthropocene, jeopardizes the survival of much of humanity and the continuation of a great deal of life itself.

Such-world historical regression is “pretty outrageous,” as a climatologist McKibben quotes in the work has it; for McKibben, indeed, it represents “the deepest of human failures.” In light of such challenges, though, McKibben suggests that “we must keep fighting, in the hope that we can limit [the] damage” visited by constituted power on humanity and the planet. Like Noam Chomsky, he sees no legitimate alternative to struggle.

As an academic concerned with environmental studies, McKibben is cognizant of the dire nature of the present state of affairs. On the new Eaarth, he mentions that billion-person famines could be regular events by the middle of the present century, that the flow of the Euphrates and Nile rivers could decline significantly in the near future, and that glacier retreat in the Himalayas and Andes could cause the water supplies of billions to dwindle within decades.

In light of the various horrors climate catastrophe could visit upon us, McKibben suggests that humanity recognize limits to what Max Horkheimer terms its seemingly “boundless imperialism” — as Meadows et al. have emphasized since the publication of Limits to Growth in 1972— and jettison “the consumer lifestyle” altogether, instead adopting a “Plan B” characterized by the sharing of resources between Northern and Southern societies within the context of a joint effort to thoroughly re-arrange global society on rational-ecological grounds.

McKibben here re-affirms the goal of attaining an atmospheric carbon-concentration of 350 parts per million (ppm), noting that carbon-concentrations higher than 350 ppm jeopardize the capabilities of human society to function. Toward this end he endorses what he calls a “clean-tech Apollo mission” and an “ecological New Deal,” arguing that such thoroughgoing changes be accompanied by a return to small-scale organic agriculture on the part of humanity generally conceived. This final recommendation, it should be said, is not terribly different from those made by Via Campesina.

Despite the critical and important perspectives made by McKibben in Eaarth, in the end much of his argument offers little more than platitudes that reinforce existing power-arrangements.

McKibben blames the regression to Eaarth and for future catastrophes on “modernity,” which he defines as “the sudden availability” of “cheap fossil fuel” in the eighteenth century CE. There is no recognition at any point in the work, of the processes which resulted in the onset of the capitalist mode of production during this period of human history, and there is no critique of the highly destructive nature of capitalism in general.

It should not be surprising, then, that his present recommendations do not include a call for the abolition of capitalist social relations.

Furthermore, he rather bizarrely seems, against all evidence, to view the current U.S. president as some sort of messianic figure worthy of devotion, claiming Obama to be “a president using centralized power to good ends” who is working “aggressively” toward the creation of a global climate-change accord.

Such highly irrational views, of course, are typical of liberal environmentalists. By presenting the accession of Ronald Reagan to the U.S. presidency in 1981 as the onset of a markedly irresponsible socio-environmental regime — one he would have us believe as being dramatically different from that overseen by his predecessor, Jimmy Carter— McKibben once again betrays his ties to hegemonic politics.

Unsurprisingly, he also endorses the imperial scheme presently being considered to erect vast solar plants in North Africa for use by European consumers and seems to support the maintenance of existing dams and the building of new ones for the development of “clean” hydropower.

McKibben presents these reactionary perspectives while attributing responsibility for the current socio-environmental predicament to an amorphous ‘we’-as though the impoverished, the young, and other excluded groups have had any sort of choice on climate policy, let alone the course of history.

This contrasts significantly with views advanced by Chomsky, who in June 2009 suggested a thought-experiment by which North-Americans 50 years ago were to have been given the choice of directing resources either toward the development of “iPods and the internet” or instead the creation of “a livable and sustainable socioeconomic order”— a false choice, as Chomsky points out, for no such offer has ever been made.

Indeed, McKibben’s assertion of a vague collective responsibility has more in common with comments made in March 2010 by world-renown Earth scientist James Lovelock, who then alarmingly claimed humanity not yet to have “evolved” to the point at which it is “clever enough” to deal with climate change. That McKibben claims at one point in Eaarth that “[w]e don’t pay much attention to poor people” should need little comment.

In words, McKibben recognizes the catastrophes we face, but his solutions — a return to small-scale agriculture coupled with a “green Manhattan project” — fall far short of the challenge. And even then, Eaarth includes little reflection on the terrifyingly repressive actions that capitalists and their defenders may well take to attempt to maintain their privileges in a climate-destabilized world, as Gwynne Dyer does in Climate Wars (2008).

McKibben fails even to systematically examine the alarming impacts climate change could have on future agricultural production-considerations that may well prove important for the viability of his ‘back to the land’ project!

Though Bill McKibben is no Walter Benjamin, we can perhaps hope that parts of Eaarth can help move humanity towards Benjamin’s concept of revolution— the “attempt by the passengers” on a metaphorical train “to activate the emergency brake” before it plunges into the abyss.

Javier Sethness is a libertarian socialist and rights-advocate. He maintains the blog Notes toward an International Libertarian Eco-Socialism.

http://climateandcapitalism.com/?p=2991&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+climateandcapitalism%2FpEtD+%28Climate+and+Capitalism%29

VIDEO | Green is the Color of Money

Jan Lundberg Attacks Sierra Club’s Support for “Clean Cars”

Our good friends The Sierra Club are at it again – this time with regards to motor transport. The Sierra Club believe you can have “clean cars” as demonstrated by this press release, emanating from the new radical Executive Director, Michael Brune (didn’t take long for him to become a member of the establishment, did it?):

New Global Warming and Fuel Economy Standards for Autos a Major Win for America

Washington, D.C.—The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation today finalized important new combined global warming emissions and fuel economy standards for autos for the years 2012-2016. The new standards will bring fuel economy to 35.5 miles per gallon and carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced to 250 grams per mile. The efficiency gains in the autos sold under these standards will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil. This is the first time the Clean Air Act has been used to directly tackle global warming emissions and is also the first significant increase in fuel economy standards since the original 1975 CAFE standards.

Statement of Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director

“These standards are a grand slam: billions of dollars in consumer savings at the pump, a huge reduction in oil use, significant cuts in pollution, and they will help a more sustainable domestic auto industry thrive. Sierra Club pushed hard to pass the California law that set the stage for these standards, our members pushed for the Calfornia standards to be adopted in more than a dozen other states across the country, and we defended them all the way to the Supreme Court. The ambitious standards being finalized today were made possible by these years of hard work and we are delighted to see them become the law of the land.

“Today’s new national standards are the result of state leadership and the leadership of President Obama and his cabinet, including EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. Driving vehicle standards forward to 35.5 miles per gallon in 2016 is a result of President Obama’s work to bring together automakers, state leaders, environmentalists, and labor unions to secure a win for the nation.

“The new tailpipe standards, promulgated under the Clean Air Act, demonstrate the Act’s power to spur innovation, fuel economic growth, protect our air, make America more energy independent, and fight global warming. Instead of using this and other important tools in the Clean Air Act to accelerate our transition to a clean energy future, some in Congress want to slam on the brakes and actually shift the country into reverse by gutting the Clean Air Act. We cannot allow this happen. It would be bad for the environment, bad for the economy, and bad for America. The only people it would be good for are Big Oil, big polluters, and America’s enemies overseas who continue to profit from our dangerous dependence on oil.”

Consumer savings? Helping the auto industry thrive? Fuel economic growth?

Not surprisingly, those people who have their hypocrisy detectors switched on, are furious at the double (triple) standards being shown by Sierra Club in this latest industrial-political love-in. Jan Lundberg, editor-in-chief at Culture Change, and expert on the oil industry wrote the following on a climate change forum which deserves to be published – with his permission – as widely as possible:

The Sierra Club is the quintessential “Liberals in Volvos with bumper stickers” imagining that reforming the system will fix inconvenient crises. I don’t mean to minimize good work, especially by Sierra Club chapters. But nationally the Club would not join our Alliance for a Paving Moratorium all through the 1990s because they thought that their anti-sprawl campaign could somehow be effective when more roads were allowed to be built or widened! And if the Club ever opposed a road project, the “solution” was to have the roadway plan relocated so as not to damage a sensitive ecosystem quite so much (as if a nearby ecosystem could be sacrificed instead).

What can you expect from a magazine, Sierra, that has had full page ads from Honda and Toyota for decades? That’s money in the pockets of nonprofit staffers who probably have cars too (and refrigerators, TVs, computers, etc., all of which trash the Earth when an overpopulated society is participating in consumerism).

You and I probably waste our time with these inquiries. In my experience the response is polite and gently defensive, as if the good an organization does makes any deficiencies insignificant.

The idea of 200,000,000 cars replaced in this country by slightly more efficient technology is the height of hypocritical idiocy, both on ecological grounds and from a peak oil standpoint. And as for the 1,000,000 animals smashed to death on U.S. roads every day by clunker and Prius alike — John Muir would not approve for one minute. David Brower did not either, which is one indication of why he was previously sacked as too aggressive for defending Mother Earth.

Jan

http://thesietch.org/mysietch/keith/2010/04/08/jan-lundberg-attacks-sierra-clubs-support-for-clean-cars/