December 20, 2009

System Change - its has started

'El sentido del momento historico es cambiar todo lo que debe ser cambiado'.

Translation: 'The meaning of the historic moment is to change all that needs to be changed'.

The Copenhagen Climate Conference should have been cancelled. After all they have had 20 years to sort out the issues – the meeting should have been merely to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. This sloppy approach of not doing the preparation on so important an issue as the collective future of the human race makes us wonder just how thorough our leaders are in their approach to any other issue.

Copenhagen was not a complete loss. If you read between the lines it is possible to see that change is in the offing. The smaller nations have begun to find their feet; the African nations have at last found common ground and have spoken with one voice; the South American nations have discovered their strength and will not grind under the bidding of their northern continental counterparts. No longer will these groups tolerate the wilful injustice of unfair trade agreements and the absurdly patronising behaviour of the developed world – developed, of course by the sweat and blood of disempowered peoples who have only seen themselves get poorer on the back of aid, the World Bank, the IMF and the rest of the corporate scavengers.

Around the world people who once looked (misguidedly) to the US for inspiration or support are taking matters into their own hands. No one is waiting for the US to save or even support them anymore. The signs are everywhere, but particularly in Copenhagen, where smaller nations and a more organised global NGO community are standing up to the old powers with unprecedented force.

However, nobody in Copenhagen actually mentioned the cause of the problems humanity faces – poverty, or any real solutions such as interest-free loans for all forms of productive capacity.
It is lamentable to see that not one country is prepared to re-route their budget for war and armaments to sustainable energy development aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

There are also interesting signs surround the conflict in the Middle East. The European Union is suddenly asserting its diplomatic weight by demanding Israeli recognition of East Jerusalem as Palestinian, and refusing to support unilateral Israeli border-drawing in the West Bank. Palestinians are slowly taking responsibility for resistance back into their own hands, literally taking apart sections of the Separation Wall piece by piece rather than waiting for Hamas or the Palestinian Authority to make yet another ineffectual move.

Such a multi-layered, often disorganised collection of movements will remain too amorphous and hard to define ever to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. But if this new and subtle attack on the old and outdated systems finds the strength to continue, it just might usher in the paradigm shift that is necessary.

Today's climatologists are fighting major interests such as the oil, gas and beef industries in much the same way physicians were fighting the tobacco lobby in the 1960s. The evidence that nicotine caused lung diseases such as cancer was overwhelming, but the tobacco industry's strategy was to discredit scientists as "uncertain and greedy and full of junk science,"

Many of the most prominent climate sceptics are not climatologists themselves. Steve Milloy, who runs the popular website Junk Science, has ties with the oil, tobacco and pharmaceutical industries. Craig Idso, the founder of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, is a geographer partially funded by energy interests; and the glutinous and patronising Lord Monckton is a business consultant in the UK who studied classics and journalism at university.

Despite the worldwide media attention, however, many of us are still stuck on a very basic question: Is global warming real; and if it is, have humans caused it? Ideology and big industry money fuels much of the popular debate. We only know that humans are fouling the planet on a massive scale, and that this is wrong.

In the scientific community, the consensus is nearly unanimous. Nearly all of the world's scientists say decades of careful study show that climate change is, indeed, a fact, and that it has been driven by human activity.

Delegates may have ‘taken note’ on the Copenhagen Climate outcome, but many would be advised to take note of the change in attitude of the developing nations.

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