Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Hopenhagen? Plan B for Planet A
We are everywhere
Ten years ago on the 30th November 1999, tens of thousands of people shut down the World Trade Organisation summit in Seattle showing the world the power of globally coordinated people power. The word on the streets of Seattle and in the minds of people struggling against profit driven greed was 'Another World is Possible'. Ten years on, as we collecively teeter on the brink of climate chaos the word on the streets of Auckland and in the minds of those on the front lines of Climate Chaos is 'Another World is Neccesary'. Socialist Aotearoa would like to say good on you for joining in solidarity with the billions of people all over the world who are standing up for action on Climate Change at this historic point in the history of humanity!
a Plan B for Planet A
Fortunately, we can do a lot better than this – history has shown that changes can be made by ordinary people doing extraordinary things. As our politicians fail us, we need deeds and not words. We need to step up and fight for future generations. We need to do this ourselves - and that means YOU!
Real solutions to the climate crisis are being built by those who have always protected the Earth and by those who fight every day to defend their environment and living conditions. Our best chance lies in supporting the struggles of oppressed people, workers and participatory movements from below. Movements have the ability to be infectious. They have changed the world before – and can do so again. We need to globalise these solutions and work for a just transition towards a zero-carbon future, not in 2020 or 2050 but right here, right now!
In China, the State reports around 50,000 protests annually on pollution related issues, which have forced industrial factories to close. In South America, indigenous communities are mobilising strongly around environmental attacks on their land. It could be these kind of actions, sometimes leading to the closure of important greenhouse-related infrastructure, that makes the difference in preventing temperature rises that lead to runaway climate change.
We are no closer to reducing greenhouse gas emissions than we were when international negotiations began fifteen years ago: emissions are rising faster than ever, while carbon trading allows climate criminals to pollute and profit, many anticipate a “business as usual” approach that will yield little more than giveaways to corporations and a continuation of the failed Kyoto Protocol. This year's Copenhagen Climate Summit is set to be the fifteenth international talkfest on Climate Change thus far. It is now clearer than ever that the UN climate talks are incapable of solving the climate crisis.
No more false solutions
We cannot trust the market [emissions trading schemes] with our future, nor put our faith in unsafe, unproven and unsustainable technologies. Contrary to those who put their faith in “green capitalism”, we know that it is impossible to have infinite growth on a finite planet. Instead of trying to fix a broken system, we should be:
* leaving fossil fuels in the ground
* organising in our workplaces for climate justice
* pushing for free and frequent public transport
* socialising and decentralising energy
* relocalising our food production
* recognising and repaying ecological and climate debt
* respecting indigenous peoples’ rights
* regenerating our eco-systems
Millions of people around the world are not sitting back quietly, politely asking people like John Key to act on their behalf and they're not sitting down and putting up with environmental and economic injustice. We should try and work with them: their struggles are ours too. There is potential for a climate justice movement to follow in this tradition. But this will only happen if we trust one another, rather than people like John Key and the corporate polluters that put them in power.
Join the Red Block on the Climate Change March
this Saturday 12 noon, Albert Park, Auckland.