From the September-October 2014 issue of News & Letters
The People’s Climate March will be hitting the streets of New York on Sept. 21. It will precede the Sept. 23 Climate Summit called by the UN supposedly to “mobilize action and ambition on climate change.” The march will call for “a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities.”
Activists will also hold a Climate Convergence alternative summit. Recognizing that the UN process is captive to corporations and the governments that represent them, the convergence urges the movement to address root causes of global warming.
The official summit of government, “business, finance, civil society and local leaders” is a tacit reaction to the hollowness of 20 years of UN climate conferences. All participants agree that the 2015 Paris conference has “no chance” (in a U.S. climate negotiator’s words) of meeting the long-stated goal of limiting warming to 2°C (3.6°F). Now they are trying to manage expectations by telling us the question we should be asking is “Are all the major emitters participating?”
How the emissions-control programs of the “major emitters” work tells all. This year, Kenyan police burned 1,000 more homes of the Sengwer, an Indigenous forest people, continuing a seven-year genocidal campaign. In countries like Kenya, Indigenous people are accused of degrading forest and driven out, then the state replaces forest with plantations, applying for carbon offset credits for its “reforestation.” Profiting by adding emissions in the name of decreasing them!
How many times do the powers that be have to prove their bankruptcy before no one takes them seriously? The momentum of globalized capitalism is going to drag humanity down with it unless we can toss it out and build a society on new human foundations.