Cop21 Part III; Civil Society Groups Trying to Bring the Truth, & a Few Other Bits and Bobs
(cross-posted at Café Babylon.net)
Given that France has cancelled all outdoor public demonstrations near the conference, civil society groups may never be allowed in the conference doors, nor be seen or heard nearby. Some groups have been going to great lengths to get their messages to the Oligarchs. The Deciders. Never mind the plethora of Fossil Fuel Lobbyists. I love this:
Brandalism at COP21 Paris 2015: Press release
“Over 600 artworks critiquing the corporate takeover of the COP21 climatetalks were installed in advertising spaces across Paris this weekend -ahead of the United Nations summit beginning Monday 30 November.
Amidst the French state of emergency banning all public gatherings following the terrorist attacks on 13 November in Paris, the’Brandalism’ project has worked with Parisians to insert unauthorised artworks across the city that aim to highlight the links between advertising, consumerism, fossil fuel dependency and climate change.
The artworks were placed in advertising spaces owned by JC Decaux -one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising firms and an official sponsor to the COP21 climate talks.Other prominent corporate sponsors of the climate talks such as AirFrance, GDF Suez (Engie) and Dow Chemicals are parodied in the posters -whilst heads of state such as Francois Hollande, David Cameron, BarackObama, Angela Merkel and Shinzo Abi also feature.
The artworks were created by over 80 renowned artists from 19 countries across the world including Neta Harari, Jimmy Cauty, Banksy-collaborator Paul Insect,Escif and Kennard Phillips – many of whom featured at Banksy’s Dismalandexhibition in England this summer.
Joe Elan from Brandalism said, “By sponsoring the climate talks, major polluters such as Air France and GDF-Suez-Engie can promote themselves as part of the solution – when actually they are part of the problem.”
Their art gallery.
From IndigenousRising.org: Indigenous Peoples:UN Paris Accord could end up being a Crime against Humanity and Mother Earth’ press release:
“November 30, 2015 (Paris) – Indigenous Peoples from the Americas attending the United Nations World Climate Summit in Paris warn that the Paris climate accord will harm their rights, lands and environment and do nothing to address climate change.
“We are here in Paris to tell the world that not only will the anticipated Paris Accord not address climate change, it will make it worst because it will promote false solutions and not keep fossil fuels from being extracted and burned. The Paris COP21 is not about reaching a legally binding agreement on cutting greenhouse gases. In fact, the Paris Accord may turn out to be a crime against humanity and Mother Earth,” according to Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of Indigenous Environmental Network based in Minnesota on Turtle Island also known as the United States. Goldtooth recently won the Gandhi Peace Award.” [snip]
After railng against all carbon market solutions, this:
“According to the Global Alliance against REDD, “Instead of cutting CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions, the UN, the US, the EU, China, Norway and climate criminals like BP, Total, Shell, Chevron, Air France and BHP Billiton are pushing a false solution to climate change called REDD.”
According to Nnimmo Bassey, co-coordinator of the No REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation), in Africa Network, “REDD may result in the largest land grab in history. It steals your future, lets polluters off the hook and is new form of colonialism. We demand that states and corporations stop privatizing nature!”
Their COP21 solgan is: ‘No War, No Warming – Build an Economy for People and Planet’ (an excerpt)
“Climate justice seeks to address much more than greenhouse gas emissions, but the root systemic causes of climate change itself. Climate justice is about social and economic justice, and how democratic, peaceful and equitable solutions, not military violence, best serve the interests of humanity. The fossil fuel economy is a driver of this multi-faceted crises facing the world: causing resource wars; polluting our air, water and land; creating illness and death to people and of ecosystems; privatization of nature; economically exploiting Indigenous communities, communities of color and the working poor; forcing mass migrations; and, depriving millions of adequate food, access to water, housing, healthcare and healthy and safe employment.
As part of a global climate justice movement, we oppose the bombing of Syria. Over many decades we have witnessed that Western militarism has only increased the instability of the Middle East and other regions. This militarism abroad has also escalated the military complex at home in the United States, where communities resisting the industries causing climate change, have been heavily policed and targeted by police violence”.
- Establish mandatory–not voluntary–emissions cuts at the source
- Leave fossil fuels in the ground
- Reject Fracking, Nuclear Power, Carbon Markets, and other dangerous technologies and false solutions
- Strengthen the inclusion of human rights and particularly the rights of Indigenous Peoples
- Support Community-Rooted Solutions; including regional and local economic structures that support the production of renewable energy
As to #3 and nulclear power, I’d provided a link in part I that claimed renowned climate scientist James Hansen would be at COP21 advocating for an increase of nuclear power plants. Curious to discover the logic of that, given the many inherent dangers, I found this at the website he shares at Columbia in a section toward the end in which he claims to debunk science myths:
“If we care about climate, a “carbon-free portfolio standard” would make more sense than RPS. However, the best approach is a rising carbon fee that allows efficiency, renewables, nuclear power, and carbon capture to compete fairly.
Nuclear waste and nuclear safety: killing nuclear in the U.S. would make a safer world. Conventional nuclear reactors fission only about 0.6% of the mined nuclear fuel. The rest remains as very long-lived radioactive “waste”. In fact this waste can be used as fuel for “fast” reactors, which combined with recycling facilities can raise this figure up to about 99%. Fast reactors have the potential to leave a significantly smaller amount of waste which is dangerous for a few hundred years rather than tens of thousands of years.”
Referencing “beliefs” rather than “evidence, and Helen Caldicott:
“Caldicott’s assertions were nothing more than her belief. George Monbiot, a respected British journalist, explored in detail the sources of Caldicott’s assertions. The resulting article that he wrote begins:
“Over the past fortnight I’ve made a deeply troubling discovery. The anti-nuclear movement to which I once belonged has misled the world about the impacts of radiation on human health. The claims we have made are ungrounded in science, unsupportable when challenged and wildly wrong. We have done other people, and ourselves, a terrible disservice.”
His math on ‘saved lives’, nukes v. smog, is noteworthy as well, but he doesn’t really address ‘quality of life’ so much, and as to the big three nuclear reactor meltdowns notes that ‘Sure, there were some airline accidents while the technology was being perfected’, or close. Apparently birth defects due to radiation poisoning are also ‘just a belief’. Perhaps he and George should study the horrific effects that depleted uranium bombs have had on the babies in Iraq and other theaters of war that ‘belief-based scientists’ say is already proving to be multi-generational.
His carbon-taxing plan confused me, so if this is the same carbon taxing plan, the CBO says while there would be pros and cons, one big con would be that it would hit the low-income Rabble classes the hardest.
As to ‘Climate justice is about social and economic justice, and how democratic, peaceful and equitable solutions, not military violence, best serve the interests of humanity’ above, Kate Aronoff writing at Jacobin gave me the shivers the other day in her ‘The War on Climate Change; Framing climate change as a national security threat risks inviting the conventional response: more militarism.’, including:
“A truly comprehensive agreement to take on climate change at the international level would bring about a more peaceful world — eventually — by greatly diminishing the possibility of massive land loss and a rise in temperatures that is, as climate scientist Kevin Anderson has said, “incompatible with organized global community.” It’s impossible to imagine any peaceful vision for the future without serious mitigation. That so many are now raising the question of the relationship between global warming and national security, rather, begs the question: should a climate strategy also be a counterterrorism strategy?”
She rightly points out that the bombing of Syria continues apace, including the vengeful Hollande’s, outdoor demonstrations and protests have been cancelled, multiple thousands of police are evident, European xenophobia is on the rise, and of course, the Pentagon has been hatching plans since at least 2003 to ‘weather climate change storms’. They cast their role almost as the National Guard ‘helpers keeping civil order’:
“Their 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap envisioned that, as climate change accelerates, “the Department’s unique capacity to provide logistical, material and security assistance on a massive scale or in rapid fashion may be called upon with increasing frequency.” The roadmap laid out a plan for confronting climate change’s “threat multiplier” as it relates to national and military interests at home and abroad, where rising sea levels put coastal bases at risk, wildfires might disrupt training activities, and drought-induced food shortages could require more boots on the ground to handle the armed insurgencies and mass migrations that appear to follow them.”
There’s loads more, of course, some I agree with, some…not so much. But she’s indeed correct that given the West’s huge panic over Daesh/IS, it’s entirely possible that that subject is being discussed far more than carbon emission targets, especially since the framework had pretty much been agreed on before the first world leaders jetted in to meet, greet, and exhibit maximum bonhomie with one another.
The Guardian wrote ahead of the conference:
What is likely to be agreed in Paris?
We know already what the biggest emitters have committed to. The EU will cut its emissions by 40%, compared with 1990 levels, by 2030. The US will cut its emissions by 26% to 28%, compared with 2005 levels, by 2025. China will agree that its emissions will peak by 2030.
Nations responsible for more than 90% of global emissions have now come up with their targets – known in the UN jargon as Indended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs . These include all of the major developed and developing countries, though their contributions vary: in the case of developed countries, actual cuts in emissions, but for developing countries a range of targets including limits on emissions compared to “business as usual”, and pledges to increase low-carbon energy or preserve forests.”
I’ve read different and much longer time frames, so who knows? But Michael Hoexter writing at Naked Capitalism says that no one will think to analyze any changes from the Kyoto protocols among even the signatory nations, and his answer was: Pfffffft.
It was a little bit fun to read that as Barack Obama has been designated as ‘the leader’ of COP21, he has been urging that “…parts of Paris climate deal must carry legal force; President offers apparent compromise over the periodic review of emission reduction targets as Hillary Clinton goes on attack against Republicans back in US’
And of course, he knows that the US Congress will never, ever, approve any treaty that might come out of COP21, as it never did for the Kyoto protocols, as one of the top global ‘leaders’ of greenhouse gas emissions, ha ha.
Well, goddam; I give up. It turns out that Ralph Nader was right: Only the rich can save the world.
— #COP21 News (@COP21_News) December 2, 2015
*Bonus material: At the end of oneCOP21 parts I’d mentioned that Edward Bernays was chuckling from his grave. He was, of course, the creator of modern propaganda and ‘public relations’, using the psychoanalytical theories of his uncle Sigmund Freud and others in what he claimed was a necessity given the danger and ‘irrationality’ of the herd instinct in the human sphere. From Nov 11, 2015 ‘Controlling Consciousness’, from the Public Good Project. You don’t have to like it or agree, but considering it is better than never having been introduced to the idea, I think.
“The role of public relations (PR) in producing ‘discursive monoculture’ is currently in vogue with communication scholars. As an instrument of social control, the goal of PR is to dominate discourse, and to keep out alternative views.
Using PR, the donor elites in the US — MacArthur, Ford and Open Society foundations — set the civil society agenda. Human rights indicators — set by governments, NGOs and civil society — thus reflect the interests and bias of ‘the power elite’.
Access to communication technology and services is one obstacle to democratic renewal; overcoming the obstacle of communication gatekeepers requires that they be recognized as such. There are no neutral players in the netwar of ideas about privatization.
Consumers remain largely unaware that investigative journalism in mainstream media is extinct. Corporate and government public relations agents have filled the void with propaganda posing as news.
Wall Street’s vertical integration of controlling consciousness is based on five components: ownership of media, fabrication of news, integration of advertising with state propaganda, financing of foundations and brokerages, and co-option of NGOs and grassroots groups.”