Thursday, March 11, 2010

Global Climate Change Conference Coming to Bolivia in April

Here is my nightmare, and it should be the nightmare of everyone of my generation.

It's two decades from now and my life is approaching an end. The realities of global climate change are no longer debated. They are clear, enormous, and worsening with great speed. Draught and rising seas are converting millions into climate refugees. Whole regions lack basic access to water and others are battered by increasingly erratic weather patterns, from deadly hurricanes to chilling blizzards.

And it is now too late to take the actions we could have taken to prevent the much worse conditions that are now coming. My seven-years old daughter will be a young adult, and along with the rest of her global generation she will be looking at a lifetime marked by a planet in deepening disarray. Nothing she and they can do at that point will prevent it. We will have failed them all, and their children even more so, because when there was still time, we denied and dawdled.

In Copenhagen last December we learned that the governments of the world are unable to reach a binding agreement to address this crisis. Blame it on whatever you care to – nationalism, corporate influence, blindness, extremism, resistance to compromise, grandstanding, or anything else. The point here is that we can't count on those with the authority to act to do so and we don't have time to wait and hope they change their minds.

That is why I welcome the fact that, in the aftermath of the failure in Copenhagen, many of the organizations that were left on the outside of that process will gather themselves here in Cochabamba next month (April 19-22), in a new global meeting on climate change initiated by President Morales. The meeting bears the official title: The First World Conference of the People on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth.

The Criticism

Let’s begin with the criticism that will be aimed at this meeting, much of it certainly valid.

From one perspective the meeting will be labeled as a gathering of the left – an assortment of environmentalists, capitalism-haters, indigenous peoples, so-called socialists, and others who will only marginalize themselves more by engaging in a process so disengaged from the places where actual policy decisions and agreements are made. True enough. The Cochabamba conference is not a forum that will take any action that binds anyone to any concrete change of the system. The only agreements that it can reach will be about clearer goals for the climate change movement and clearer strategies for how to go after those goals. But those are both not only good things, they are essential things and worth the effort to aim for.

From yet another perspective, the meeting will be looked at as just one more gathering of the professional NGO crowd, leaving behind little more than a massive new carbon footprint to fly people in and out of Bolivia and never really addressing the fundamental change in consciousness required to save the planet. Some of those with this view will actively criticize the event, others will just ignore it entirely. But however valid the criticisms might be, we still have to find a unified way forward. Self-righteous memories of being more pure will be of little value to our children a generation hence. To be clear, there are some real charges to be discussed about how some leading environmental groups have intertwined corporate financing into their genetic code, about the role of compromise, and real conversations about equity and power. I hope those conversations also happen in Cochabamba next month.

Lastly, more than a few Bolivian eyes have rolled upwards at the new image of Evo Morales as an environmental crusader and "spiritual protector of la Pachamama." Morales has never, until Copenhagen, made the environment a centerpiece of his political agenda. And if one looks to extraction issues in particular (oil and gas, iron, silver, lithium) the Morales government has clearly made getting the wealth out of the ground the real priority and protecting the environment as secondary at best. On this score Bolivia, an impoverished nation, falls into the same trap impoverished people do when faced with an Income vs. Earth tradeoff. Income wins. It's the same reason people clear-cut land here in Tiquipaya. You can't eat trees.

There will certainly be some Bolivian environmental groups who will seek to use the conference to confront the Bolivian government with these contradictions between word and action. They should. But all that said, it is still a valuable thing that Morales has done, to use his clout on the global stage to convene this meeting. Climate change is an issue larger than Bolivia and larger than Morales and the meeting in April remains a critical opportunity to not be lost.

It is also appropriate that Bolivia host such a meeting, given that it is already one of the planet's first serious victims of climate change, with its glaciers melting fast (see the Democracy Center's video report here.)

How the Meeting will be Organized


The Bolivian government's invitation to the meeting is open. Anyone can register and attend. Most of the participants, however, are expected to come from NGOs and social movements in Bolivia, South America, and other regions of the world. Official estimates began at 15,000 foreigners were coming, then shrunk to 10,000, and now seem to have settled at 5,000 (though it could easily be less). What governments will be formally represented besides Bolivia's remains unclear, thought no one expects it to attract any real engagement by the world's wealthier nations, whose actions on the climate issue are so critical.

For those considering coming to Cochabamba for the meeting, here is a preview of how the conference will be organized.

1. Workshops and Events Organized by Participants: This is likely to be the real soul of the conference, with more than 30 of these two-hour sessions are already registered and new ones being added until the deadline for submission on March 15th. These sessions will range from ethereal ("Conversations with Mother Earth") to hard-edged ("Compromising and Caving In: The Nemesis of Climate Change Justice").

2. Working Groups: The conference will also include an ongoing thread of 17 working groups organized around specific issues. These include (among others): the structural roots of climate change, indigenous peoples, and plans for a global referendum on climate change issues.

3. Mass Gatherings: While much of the conference will take place in smaller groups, there will also be a few events that will seek to assemble all the participants together, culminating in an event in the Cochabamba soccer stadium on the evening of April 22.

Additional information about the meeting can be found (in English) here.

What the Democracy Center Will be Doing at the Conference

The April meeting on climate change is taking place, almost literally, on the Democracy Center's doorstep. And we plan to be deeply involved in it. Here are a few of the things we'll be doing:

1. Taking Strategic Action Against the Corporations Damaging the Earth's Climate

If we look behind both the damage being done to the Earth's climate and at the inability of governments to take aggressive action, it is obvious that some of the most onerous actors are multinational corporations that have put profit above the planet. The Democracy Center and other groups will be putting together a workshop to look at how we can take the most strategic action possible to stop dangerous corporate actions.

2. Global Trade Courts: A Threat to the Planet's Health

One of the most important tools that corporations use to undermine government protections of the environment is the system of global trade courts, such as the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes at the World Bank, where Bechtel filed its $50 million case against Bolivia following the Cochabamba Water Revolt. In another workshop the Democracy Center and its allies will help people understand more about the tribunal system and offer a chance to engage in the debate over how the system needs to be changed. This builds on our work with the Network for Justice in Global Investment.

3. Bolivia and its Lithium: Will Electric Cars Lift a Nation out of Poverty?

The Democracy Center is just wrapping up work on an extensive study of Bolivia's plans to develop its vast lithium reserves, a study which has included multiple visits to the region and interviews all of the key actors involved. We'll be releasing our report during the climate change meeting, and announcing it and posting it on-line as well.

4. Reporting from the Conference

If you are interested in the conference but can't come, have no fears. The Democracy Center team is preparing to offer our readers a wide range of coverage from the meeting, including many of the voices and ideas you might not otherwise hear.

Stay tuned here to the Blog for additional information and analysis about the climate change conference as the date approaches. And if you are headed this way, let us know, by sending us an email here.

54 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

IF global warming is happening; when are the potential POSITIVE effects going to be studied?

6:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoping to make it, otherwise keep us posted. Thank you.

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you should concentrate on investigating the hoax behind so-called man-made "climate change". First we were headed for another ice age in the 80's. Then it appeared the earth warmed some on its own so Al Gore and the fear mongers turned to "global warming". Then for the last 3 years the earth has cooled a little (a fact supported by science and the satelite readings, and covered up by inscrupulus "scientists" and exposed by Climategate), and the fear mongers changed to "climate change". But isn't that just "weather"? If not, what is you definition of weather? First the global warming was caused because of slash and burn in the Amazon (Bolivia, Ecuador, Brasil, etc.). Not enough trees to absorb CO2 and producing more CO2. Now it is the US's fault - too many cars, polluters, etc. BUT scientific readings also show the number of polluting gases has DROPPED since 1975. So the hypocrital Evo wants the US to pay for something originally identified as a problem of HIS country.

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simple fact is that God is in charge - not humans not Pachamama. Here's something to chew on - Pachamama does NOT exist!! GASP!! GASP!! Jim just fainted!! There is only one God and the Bible is clear that worshipping and sacrificing to other gods is against the one true God's will. Climate change, global warming, pachamama worshiping - whatever you want to call it - is a religion pure and simple. Yes, glaciers have disappeared in parts of the world - and others have grown and thickened - why not report that? That is weather. That is the cyclical change that has been happening since the beginning of time. How arrogant to think that humans can destroy the world by changing a fraction of a percentage of a gas that only makes us 3% of the greenhouse effect. How hypocritical to spend millions and pollute the earth more by traveling all over the globe to complain about other people polluting the earth. Very, very sad.

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya hearing, Ringling Bros? Yo, Apple Circus! Circo Aparicio Dos Estrellas! Hiring time! The biggest lot of clowns ever assembled will descend in Cochabamba.

As in Copenhague, a totally useless and wasteful event that pumped more CO2 than Morocco in a year, thousands of tree hugging, anticapitalist, and preColumbus wannabes will land in their CO2 spewing airplanes and be chauffered in government owned SUVs to participate in another mindless and numbing event that will only produce more trash and CO2 than Argentina or Venezuela in a city that has chronic trash containment problems and whose atmospheric problems rival that of Mumbai. Hey, at least the city's prostitutes will be thankful. Thanks, Evo!

Hey, Jim, wake up and smell reality! Climate changes. Always has, always will. Global warming science is not absolute. There are doubts. There are mistakes. That's why the IPCC --the same bozos who with Al Gore say global warming is an absolute certainty -- have been forced to set up an independent panel to find out why they have been so mistaken lately.

Good luck with your participation in the "Cochabamba Clown Summit." Careful with your carbon footprint!

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, looks like the clowns, and the religous zealots (hard to tell the difference) are right here on the comments section.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Tony Phillips said...

Jim,

Tony here in Buenos Aires. Friends of the earth and various others shall be travelling by bus to Cochabamba to participate (see you there). For more details on the argentine participation see Http://www.cochabamba.org.ar/ a site I put up for communication on the topics. What a bunch of idiots you have commenting on your message I would delete them their "opinions" are embarrasingly purile.

Cheers man,
Tony

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you don't have arguments, it is easy to delete your adversary...

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Andrew said...

So the same rightwing conspiracy theorists still have no better place to hang out. I can't bothered to waste time with people who don't think human-caused climate change is happening so will focus on the substance of Jim's piece.

Firstly it is good that the Democracy Centre is supporting the conference. There are of course political contradictions in both the Bolivian government and amongst movements, but I think we need to remember that the conference is much bigger than any one government and is a response to the huge popular disappointment at the failure of Copenhagen summit and a keen desire to find more just effective solutions to the climate crisis.

I was disappointed at the lack of analysis of the failures of Copenhagen: putting it down to leaders just not acting as they should means we don't identify the real blocks on action and what is needed to make progress. The reality is that Copenhagen was essentially about carving up the atmosphere (see http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2009/12/courage-say-no) rather like neoliberals did with water in countries like Bolivia in the 1990s, with the industrialisd countries completely unwilling to take any necessary action to cut carbon emissions, and obsessed with using market methods for tackling climate change even when these exacerbate the problem (see http://www.tni.org/carbon-trade-fails). You talk about capitalism-haters, but how can you avoid the question that a system whose very genetic code is about growth and one in which corporations externalise as many costs as possible is obviously going to lead to environmental damage in a finite planet.

I hope Democracy Center in its reporting will either deepen its analysis or at least focus on the many community leaders attending the conference who are on the frontlines of the struggles against climate change - people such as low-income communities fighting against pollution of refineries in Northern cities, Nigerians fighting the pernicious effects of gas flares and militarised occupations by companies like Shell, indigenous communities being moved off their land for market-based offset schemes.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ignorance of the comments written by the real bozos is just as expected. If they would just realize that scientifically the world climate is changing so rapidly due to human actions, specially in the last fifty years they would realize that their children will suffer the burden of the parents stupidity and ignorance.

Human actions, not only China, USA, Europe but all humans on earth. That means bolivians, brazilians, malasians. Naturally some countries destroy more than others, and that is the problem; greed and super profit today rather than accepting that afluenza is a disease that can be controled or prevented. The consumer mentality of capitalist countries and developing countries as well are motivated by the same marketing companies who brain wash everyone regarthless of race, nationality or income.

The share of burning trees, is as destructive as the millions of cars, trucks or industrial fosil energy used in USA or China. Feeding pets using animal protein consumes more energy and resources than needed.

I wish that the Bolivian Climate change conference includes in their discussions; the fact that is not just the powerful but that it is also us the middle class of the world, and the poor burning forests who are in need of culture and behavior change. (Haiti for anyone) Africa desertification? Amazon depletion? Trash in mexico city? Old obsolete cars burning gas everywhere?

Too bad we have the right wing idiots claiming their ignorant comments that science is wrong; they need to o back to elementary school; even little children understand the science concepts better than the Rush Limbaughs, Glen Becks lovers and other idiotic rednecks who comment in this page.

Treat this planet as if it was yours, the way we behave now is as if earth was a rental or "del estado".

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That bus from friends of the earth better be electric, running on biodiesel or better yet, being pulled by llamas. But then making batteries for electric cars contains magnesium, which is a major no-no for Pachamama. Biodiesel requires machines made of stainless steel, which is made of iron ore and its chemical components, major polluters. Heck, at least 25% of the bus parts must be made of oil products such as plastic and rubber.
If you don't want to contaminate momma earth, have your bus pulled by llamas. Now then friends of earth wouldn't be friends of animals.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So the same rightwing conspiracy theorists still have no better place to hang out. I can't bothered to waste time with people who don't think human-caused climate change is happening so will focus on the substance of Jim's piece."
Of course you can't be bothered because you have no answers for the "conspirators."

1:27, k'anka. Your mere action of owning and your computer and all other capitalist luxuries you possess is a contradiction in itself. How many trees were destroyed to create it? How much trash created by the companies that made the thousands of its components? How large will your "carbon footprint" be just traveling to Cochabamba?

More importantly, what have you or Andrew on top have ever done to improve the environment besides complain?

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok - let's do this - list your top 5 "facts" why you think man-made global warming exists and let's go from there.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:26 am
Reality Check: "At the time of the spring equinox, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is just myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked the idea in an earlier post about hooking up Cochabamba with a decent system of trash cans. It may not cause global warming, but trashed piled up on streets and alleys never reached by garbage trucks probably isn't only an eyesore... diseases, toxins in the air? Actually most Bolivian cities have terrible garbage recollection practices, how about an NGO to go where no mayor has gone before (to take out the trash).

I'd like to here about what local indigenous groups are doing to build up momentum and get coverage of issues which the government would rather not entangle with its pro-Pachamama rhetoric (hydropower dams, open earth mining, roads and pipelines through National Preserves). It makes little sense for Evo to try to play an international role as defender of the environment if there isn't a national consensus including environmental groups.

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Opinions (from both sides) are good. But where are the facts? Global warming is a theory, not science. Please, won't someone present facts from BOTH sides? What is the evidence? What might be the benefits? This may prove more civilized than a blog shouting and insulting match.

6:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ROFL @ Reality Check 7:48 PM - gonna be one heck of a reality check for you at the end times - and that's not the climate change end time.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Umbagog said...

The problem not properly addressed is the fact that the poles on Mars are melting. The sun's other satellites are also warming. The question to be answered is how much climate change is caused by sun spots, and how much is caused by man. We must bear in mind that the "cap and trade" scheme was originally cooked up by Ken Lay, the guiding hand of Enron.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Jim Gonzalez said...

Hi Jim,

as always the world, and its issues of conscience, find you in Bolivia at critical junctures in the struggle for progressive public policies.

Please visit our website www.reapinfo.org- I wrote an article re:the Cochabamba Climate Conference.
I hope to visit with you next month.
warmest regards, Jim Gonzalez (your friend from San Francisco and Sacramento)

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 1:27 almost had it, but s/he missed it by trying to blame capitalism. In fact, it won't matter if humans adopt socialism, communism, socialism 2.0. If humans don't renounce their desires for better food, shelter, clothes, things will continue to deteriorate. Things will not change while most humans want to live like people in the 1st world do. That is the sad truth, even if the US were to fall tomorrow and Evo take over the world tomorrow, we will be only literally rearranging the chairs on the deck of this Titanic. Humanity needs to become enlightened, give up on their desires and return to a more primitive standard of living....in the meanwhile, only free markets and capitalism will ensure that total welfare is maximized.

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course climate change is going on in our world, but I laugh that Evo is the new Captain Planet.

1.) He only embraces this role to blame the US and capitalism for all the world's problems.

2.) He wouldn't dare admit that his beloved cocalero base is also a part (albeit small in the global scope of things) of the problem. Slash and burn forests to grow coca, plus the chemical runoff from drug manufacturing which is enabled by all of this excess coca.

Nope, the cocaleros love the Pachamama.

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evo Morales appears to think he is some sort of God.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Gonzalez is the grim reaper.

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim - what's up?!?!?! You've been hitting the coca-caine too much. Your nightmare is "Draught and rising seas are converting millions into climate refugees. Whole regions lack basic access to water and others are battered by increasingly erratic weather patterns, from deadly hurricanes to chilling blizzards."

This sounds familiar - it was predicted right after Katrina - but never materialized. Blizzards happen - sure. Hurricanes - them, too. Been happening for centuries - probably 1000's of years - but there's nobody still around to verify that. Maybe Chacaltaya and a few other glaciers weren't around then either. Certainly the thickening of the western Antarctic wasn't happening like it is now ... was it???
First a new ice age in the 80's, then global warming, then snow again - so it becomes climate change. What is it? Ice age? Global Warming? Make up your mind. Don't tell me it is just weather and I must be saved from it. Chicken Little - Chicken Jim - Chicken Little - Chicken Evo - Chicken Little - which is it?????

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still haven't seen the 5 "facts" proving human-caused Global Warming/Climate. Why can't Jim or his supports post them? Do they exist? Hmmm.......

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW - it IS the cocaleros that are causing global warming:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/03/03/cocaine-users-making-global-warming-worse-115875-22081755/

And who is the head of the cocaleros??? hmmmm....

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7437016/UN-climate-change-claims-on-rainforests-were-wrong-study-suggests.html

Enough said.

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eco clowns silent.
Bliss.

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop harrasing Jim, he may delete us all...
Jim is a nice person...
He is the typical liberal who wants to save the world, stand by the ignorant(Evo), legalize marihuana??? Jim you may be a nice person but when you are wrong we have to make you see the light...

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Legalize marihuana and all drugs! Make fun of the Cochabamba Clown Summit!

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Aidan R. Rooney, C.M. said...

The theory of the impact of human-activity-caused climate change has been well demonstrated (the comment that juxtaposes "theory" vs. "science" is just laughable -- science is about the repeated testing of theories which produce probabilities that may be compared. The probability that human activity is responsible for the phenomona of non-natural fluctuations in global temperatures and the resultant impact on sea-levels, accelerated glacial and ice-cap melting, unpredictability of annual rain and dry seasons, to name but a few, is now at approximately .999. For most of human experience, that constitutes a "fact." Just the other day, the US government's National Science Foundation documented another impact (http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=116532&org=NSF&from=news). Let's stop debating this issue. No longer is anyone "entitled to their opinion" when there opinion is not scientific argument, but irrational ranting.

I will be attending the Bolivian conference because of my concern that the morals ethics of these issues are often ignored. Too often, only the economics and politics are addressed. Jim said, "...the meeting will be looked at as just one more gathering of the professional NGO crowd, leaving behind little more than a massive new carbon footprint to fly people in and out of Bolivia and never really addressing the fundamental change in consciousness required to save the planet. Some of those with this view will actively criticize the event, others will just ignore it entirely. But however valid the criticisms might be, we still have to find a unified way forward. Self-righteous memories of being more pure will be of little value to our children a generation hence." I heartily agree. I hope, as a member of the working group on "Vision," to bring some of these issues to the table, as we struggle to find a unified vision for this global effort. The issues -- moral/ethical, economic and political -- are of crucial importance to the Aymaran people with whom I live on the Altiplano. There are suggestions already proffered on the moral/ethical level. For example comprehensive change in reasonable expectations of living standards and development rates is one of the things that we must address. Evo Morales' counsel to choose "living well" which implies an upper limit, over "living better," the modern concept of open-ended development, has much merit and should be discussed. I look forward to being there, with advocates and skeptics, with the deeply religious and the ardently secular, all of us mustering our best rational faculties to propose tactics and strategies to influence governments and to open individual. It is possible, in this spirit, to achieve something that will indeed be of "...value to our children a generation hence."

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Aidan R. Rooney, C.M. said...

Reasonable information can be found at: http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/degree/how_do_we_know.jsp

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear brother Aidan:

As a fellow Catholic, allow me to say you are .999 nuts.

Lots of snow? Blame global warming. Lots of rain? Blame global warming. Hot as hell? Blame global warming. Colder than a monkey's tit? Guess. A llama spitting on your face? I bet it's global warming. No matter how the global warmongers spin it, it's always global warming. How convenient!

Anyway, let's leave your ".999" to the experts, shall we? An expert on the global carbon cycle answered your little NSF article. The expert's response debunks your alarmism.
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/03/arctic-methane-on-the-move/?wwparam=1268825418

Face it. Global warming is not an absolute (even the UN admits it screwed up) and it's only people like you, who attend huge climate conferences that achieve nothing than pollute more than entire African nations, who are making global warming alarmists rich.

So spare us your own irrational ranting. Your ideology just increases poverty and hunger around the world. Probability of 1.000.

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"living well" vs "living better" implies that there will be an agent who will determine what is "well enough" and who gets to afford this standard of living. I don't think you can get the 6 billion people in the planet to agree to a government, or an "Evo," who will limit their individual freedoms in exchange for better climate conditions far into the future. Letting individuals keep their freedom to chose, is what "living better," capitalism and free markets allow the individual to do and to a lesser degree modern socialism.

Evo does not advocate "living well" because he cares about the Earth (Bala, Madidi, cocalers, mining, gas, etc.,) but because it is convenient political posturing. The MAS likes it, because helps draw a line against the US/EU/Modern Societies, not because the care for the Pachamama. This idea of "living well," for them is simply another way to centralize power and put THEIR government structure over the rights of the individual. Something that, according to Evo et al, is at the core of their "communitarian" philosophy: Community over the person.

I don't deny global warming, but I don't necessary think of it as being evil. Evolution is not evil, and may be global warming is simply Gaia getting a slight fever in order to rid itself of a a virus and life on Earth will continue.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow i never knew that people were making so much money doing the NGO´s scheme aruond the world, nice websites with photoshoped poor people on the front and everything. To me, this kind of work was always strictly voluntary, something you did not get paid for, something you did out of the kindness of your heart. But here we go... most NGOers just complaining and telling us what is wrong with the world even playing God trying to scare people.

I am an enviornmentalist and I can´t stand all the BS politics even NGo´s now involved with enviornmental concerns. Once my Anthropology professor said, "Somethings happening, there has been an awakening of conciousness about the enviornment within the last 5 years." But really I think enviornmentalism has just been hijacked by popular culture and new marketing schemes. Jim´s comments about the enviornment are on par with Christian radicals that tell us we are going to hell becuase they understand god better than us. Why not concentrate on the things we can control instead of threats about the weather??? seriously...

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The comments here have been instructive, an insight into the odd mentality of climate change deniers: so what about science, don't screw with God's will, etc.

So much for the myths that the neanderthals went extinct. They are alive and well and evidently devoting their time to commenting on this Blog.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Diego said...

Thanks Jim ;-)

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Buffy said...

"So much for the myths that the neanderthals went extinct. They are alive and well and evidently devoting their time to commenting on this Blog".

Fantastic! One of the most enlighting comments this blog has had.

12:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

are neanderthals catholic or environmentalsits?

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Patty said...

Very interesting post, will you be posting the highlights of this meeting on this blog?

12:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"an insight into the odd mentality of climate change deniers: so what about science". Hmmm, I think that about sums up the climate change fear-mongers - the science isn't important!! That's obvious since NOT ONE of them has posted a single fact supporting the climate change THEORY. Just opinions. Then call people names like "neanderthals" when they have no scientific proof. Not opinion - SCIENTIFIC PROOF. Spreading fear and calling names is not a proper argument nor should it be the basis for a world-wide polluting conference.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:30 or perhaps you were just too illiterate to read the links to scientific data that were posted here by others. Do you enjoy being an idiot?

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a climate change scientist at M.I.T. and have been following the debate here about the absence or presence of scientific evidence on global climate change. Because of the importance of this topic, several months ago we prepared a brief summary of that evidence on a new Web site for that purpose. For those interested in can be accessed here:
http://www.terrisfp.com/bev1/global.html

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok 3:38 pm - time to put up or shut up. You said "perhaps you were just too illiterate to read the links to scientific data that were posted here by others". Show me any scientific links with facts supporting climate change posted here except Aiden. And that one was debunked by another link! So in the absence of such links - I guess it is you who enjoying being an idiot. There are probably 3 to 1 articles posted here debunking climate change - and no one has been able to respond to one of them. Makes you look rather foolish - just like the climate change theory. But it's not too late - come over to the correct side and leave your emotions with pachamama. Although I will say that 5:49's website is hard to argue with - thinking Evo wears the latter :-)

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyon 9:27

I never said I did not believe in climate change or I turn a blind eye to it because it is ¨gods will¨.

you can´t debate can you? lay off the pipe

7:47 AM  
Anonymous carolina said...

Saludos Jim and co., thank you so much for posting this thoughtful and informative piece. I am glad to know you all will be there to contribute to the process and to report on it to those of us who can't attend. President Morales is a visionary who is able to see beyond the standard and irreparably failed "free" market model and not be satisfied with the pathetic and wholly inadequate outcome of Copenhagen. I applaud his initiative in holding this follow-up climate change summit to pick up where Copenhagen left off, to give another global platform for the civil society actors who had worked hard to generate dialogue around and durable solutions for this pressing and difficult issue. It was not just NGOs who were ignored during the official Copenhagen deliberations, but grassroots actors from around the world who had expended great effort and expense to participate, only to be shut out and shut up.

It will be neither "governments" nor "markets" (I use quotes because both modern concepts are fabrications based on ideology and not true entities) that will ultimately determine the fate of the changes occurring right now on our planet. It will be individuals and collectives, acting in small and large ways, locally, regionally, and internationally, that will influence how this earth will be treated now and in the future. Who knows if we are too late to avert the severe consequences of climate change that have been set in motion by the corruption and greed -- and yes, the innocent behavior of multitudes -- that pervade our political economic systems.

It is not just capitalism or socialism that is to blame -- there are too many permutations that have existed over time and in different places, and each has contributed in its own way to the current crisis. But I would say that European colonialism (with its insidious manifestation in the US) kicked it all into high gear, and we still have not managed to end that sick and intolerable system of exploitation, manipulation, domination, and violence. These are the enduring characteristics of "free market globalization," and these are the qualities of international policy and trade that must be changed if social and environmental justice are to be achieved -- whether you believe in climate change or not.

I wish we could launch onto another planet all the naysayers and people who only know how to spew hate and ignorance to allow them to practice their reactionary ideology that allows them to continue doing nothing. They clearly wish to isolate themselves from the movements that are organizing democratically around principles of social and environmental justice. If they do not want to participate, then they at least should not interfere with the efforts underway to change the injurious nature of our current political economic system that produces wealth and luxury for a few but extreme poverty, misery, repression, and environmental destruction for many.

1:36 PM  
Blogger carolina said...

This post has been removed by the author.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carolina you said "I wish we could launch onto another planet all the naysayers and people who only know how to spew hate and ignorance." But isn't that exactly what YOU are doing? Wanting to launch someone to another planet because they disagree with you? How hate-filled and ignorant is THAT?
Then you say "If they do not want to participate, then they at least should not interfere with the efforts underway." That's the problem Carolina - millions don't agree with you or this theory - so leave US alone because, no, we do not want to participate. So quit trying to force your religion and your rules on us. Practice what you preach. Do you little protests if you want, and have your polluting meetings while you globetrot around the world at others expense. Evo is all about the "free" enterprise system - it IS what runs Bolivia. It IS what brings in money for all of the Cholas selling their wares on the streets, in the markets, etc. That is not socialism - that is FREE enterprise and it is what feeds Bolivia - no nationalization.

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If they do not want to participate, then they at least should not interfere with the efforts underway to change the injurious nature of our current political economic system that produces wealth and luxury for a few but extreme poverty, misery, repression, and environmental destruction for many."

Should not "interfere?" My, my.

Tell you what, carolina. Put up or shut up. Otherwise, you're just foaming. You want no part of the "injurious nature bla, bla wealth and luxury for a few?" A good start would be for you to stop injuring nature and disposing of your capitalist computer, which was created by exploited masses in sweatshops as a luxury item for the wealthy.

7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those who are denying man-driven climate change seem authentic cavemen. They only showing how ignorant, fanatic and hateful a person can be.

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two weeks - and still no facts supporting man-made climate change have been posted. The silence is deafening! From Algore to the fear mongers here. MAN-MADE GLOBAL WARMING DOES NOT EXIST - PERIOD!!!

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the overview of the conference - very insightful.

In response to a few of the posts: Yes, it can be difficult to get clear information on Climate Change. I spent years of my life doing a science degree at university to get my head around it all.

I pulled together a few links in an attempt to represent the thousands of peer-reviewed papers that have measured and documented human-induced climate change. These links should be of interest to those who are genuinely trying to learn more.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA): Global Climate Change
- A diverse and collection of information, satellite imagery, pictures, graphs and scientific evidence from many of the world’s leading climate scientists. Clearly states the indicators, evidence, causes, effects, uncertainties, solutions…

http://climate.nasa.gov/


Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Sciences
- A collaboratively researched guide to understanding the principles of the Earth’s Climate System

http://www.globalchange.gov/resources/educators/climate-literacy


Climate Institute: Climate Change
- An overview of climate change summarized in six-well documented key findings

http://www.climate.org/topics/climate-change/science-in-six-findings.html


World Resources Institute Climate Analysis Indicators Tool
- A comprehensive compilation of charts, facts and figures about global climate change

http://cait.wri.org/figures.php?page=ntn/


Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Forth Assessment Report

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_ipcc_fourth_assessment_report_synthesis_report.htm


I hope that is helpful.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're kidding, right? You expect all us amateurs to waste our time choosing each of your many links? Maybe you could briefly summarize each one and then we can decide if they're relevant or not.

Or maybe you could explain the many climate changes throughout earth history, much before humans or the satanic gases caused by industrialization existed.

No warm monger has ever been ever to explain that to me.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Ceckis said...

CLIMATE GATE!!

Is climate change really happening because human activity? If not, then just stop pushing any tax to 3rd world countries!

6:00 PM  

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