Let’s Not Manifest(o) the Wrong Thing!

Let’s Not Manifest(o) the Wrong Thing!

I honestly don’t know what to do when the people who are supposed to be on “our side” (those who care about the planet and the children) don’t keep up with the science and the people’s movement — or perhaps don’t want to go out on a limb, even if it’s a limb that could safeguard the future.


A manifesto is “a public declaration of principles and intentions, often political in nature.” Just as we must be careful what we wish for, for we might get it, so we must be careful what we put into a manifesto. What if it manifests?

Someone over at has written “Manifesto: The Case for 1.5º Celsius,” in response to the developed nations “targeting” a global average temperature increase of 2.0ºC.

But 1.5ºC is simply too high! We must call for an absolute limit of 1.0ºC and no higher.

This manifesto says in part: “Acts of inhumanity come about as a result of bad decisions made by a small number of political leaders, carried out by their employees and followers, and accepted without challenge by millions of people at large….”

With all due respect to the writer, how can political leaders be blamed for today’s climate change acts of inhumanity when so many environmental NGOs insist on insisting on a limit (target???) of 1.5 degrees C, instead of the potentially lifesaving 1.0 degrees agreed to at the World People’s Conference in Cochabamba? If “the people” refuse to back “the people’s call” for a limit of 1.0 degrees, then why would governments back it? I’ll say it again: 1.5 is too high. Look at the carbon feedbacks already kicking in at 0.7!

To quote from the piece above: “I would prefer to say, ‘Let’s stop the rise at no more than 1°C.’ But I fear that it may be too late to aim for 1° now.”

NO, NO, NO. First, we must NOT “aim” for *any more* global heating. We cannot use that word! What we want is to go back down to where we started, not accept a warmed world (where carbon feedbacks are already starting). We must use the word “limit.”

Second, morally and ethically, and on behalf of all the children of all species, we must NEVER use “it may be too late” as an excuse to not demand the right thing.

And if it’s all about strategy, well then, let’s remember that “the people” have no voice in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations. Only governments have a voice and a seat at the table — and if we can get the G-77 (actually about 130 countries now) to see that a 1.0 degree limit could save those who are the most climate change vulnerable (Bangladesh and other coastal nations, small island states, glacier-dependent countries, drought- and flood-prone regions, especially in Africa), then they will want to back Bolivia’s position (1 degree limit, 300 ppm limit (no, NOT 350), zero carbon emissions, etc.), which supports the People’s Agreement, which speaks for all the people, including future generations.

The only thing that will frighten developed nations into doing the right thing (heading toward zero-carbon energy technology at war-time speed, investing in non-commercially viable technology that sucks CO2 out of the atmosphere, and sharing those technologies with developing nations) is NUMBERS (as in, millions if not billions of people turning on them). And that means that “all the people” have to get together and ask, not for what we think we can get, but for what we need to get in order to safeguard our children’s future.

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