A Climate Change Summit Comes to Bolivia

Last December, leaders and negotiators from more than a hundred countries went to Copenhagen for a global summit that was supposed to produce a set of actions to aggressively tackle the crisis of climate change. The summit failed. No binding agreement was forged and a global response to the crisis was set adrift once more.

This coming week here in Bolivia, a very different sort of global climate summit will be convened. This one will be a “People’s Summit”, drawing what is expected to be more than 7,000 climate justice activists from at least 100 countries, along with four heads of state, and a handful of high profile celebrities.

The People’s Summit called by Bolivian President Evo Morales is actually going to be held here in Tiquipaya, the tiny village of cows and corn where my family and I live. I’ll have the good fortune to walk or ride my bike to the meeting. City leaders have been doing there best to spruce things up. An alcohol ban is supposedly in place during the time of the meeting, which will certainly have no impact whatsoever on drinking here. A local taxi driver told me last night that he and the other drivers will all be wearing neckties next week. That will be a big change for sure (and a goofy one).

Here is a preview of what is to come, and of how the Democracy Center and I will be providing live coverage here on the Blog.

Hot Air or a Strategic Plan?

When I mentioned the coming of the summit to my older brother in Southern California he replied, “Great, more hot air to make things worse.” He is not without reason in his skepticism. Any meeting of this size that brings together people who basically have the same perspective is likely to be full of self-righteous noise. That’s true if it is one of the recent giant right-wing gatherings in the U.S. (“Drill baby drill, you betcha!”) or a group of climate activists sitting down in rural Bolivia.

But given the failure of the world’s governments to take aggressive action against a crisis that is already real and shoving us toward events far worse, it is essential for climate activists to get together in a forum that is not about pushing at authorities in the room next door but getting a whole lot more strategic in its actions and plans. There is not more time to waste time on actions and strategies that take us nowhere other than making us feel like we are doing something.

The bottom line on climate change is that the people of the planet need to move quickly in three directions at once:

First, we need to take action to reduce the carbon emissions that are trapping the sun’s heat into the atmosphere and raising the Earth’s temperature. We are already going to have a hell of a time dealing with emissions that are there now following a century of oblivious industrialization. The more we keep adding the worse things will get, much worse.

Second, we need to start on adaptation projects now. No matter how aggressively we address future carbon emissions the fact is that climate change has already begun. Here in Bolivia glaciers that have existed for thousands of years are already melting with huge effects on the people who live here (see our video). In a few years the water supply for Bolivia’s largest urban area, La Paz/ El Alto, will be severely diminished. We need to deal with these impacts, worldwide, now.

Third, global policies on climate change need to address the stunning inequalities involved. The fact is that it is the wealthy nations of the world that have created this crisis and it the poorest countries that will suffer the soonest and the most. There has to be a viable and real system under which wealthy nations address the damage they have done and finance the changes that need to be made.

How will this summit, and the climate justice movement in general, address these three key challenges?

It reminds me of a story, the one about the three blind men who run into an elephant. One of them grabs the leg and declares, “It is like a huge tree!” Another grabs its tail and yells back, “No, it is like a snake!” The third grabs the elephant’s ear and announces to the others, “No, it is like a giant leaf!” The strategies we need to employ to combat climate change are not one thing but several. It won’t do the movement, or the planet, any good to waste time arguing which of them are the true path to change. They all are:

1. Public Education and Consciousness Raising: Al Gore aside, there is still a lot of education that needs to be done not only about the scientific proof of climate change, but about the actions we must all take to make a difference.

2. Policy Change: It is a fact that if you want to change the behavior of masses of people quickly (which is what we must do on climate change) then the most certain way to do that is policy change. If carbon taxes raise the cost of gasoline that will affect the car-driving choices people make more certainly than anything else we can do, for example. But policy change inherently pulls us into a world where compromises get made and compromise is something that some movement activists can’t tolerate at all.

3. New Technologies: While it is certainly true that technology has played a leading role in getting the world into this mess, it is also true that new technology has a crucial role to play in getting us out of this mess. Whether it is new solar panels to generate clean electricity or devices that clean-up factory emissions, we need to see technology as an ally not just a threat, and wealthy nations or going to have to finance both its development and global application.

4. Resistance and Direct Actions: The less radical in the movement may not approve, but the fact is that with a planet in peril there are going to be many instances where direct action and resistance are going to be needed, legal or not, to stop the damage in motion. As Martin Luther King wrote in his famous Letter from the Birmingham Jail nearly half a century ago, ” Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored.

That’s what we’ll be looking for at the People’s Summit and what we will try to support – real conversations that are about thinking strategically and making plans for action that have a chance to make a real difference.

What the Democracy Center Will be Doing at the Summit

First, if you are coming to Bolivia for the meeting, please join us for two workshops we are hosting:

Taking strategic action against the corporations damaging the climate: Thursday April 21, 4:30-6:30, Univalle Room: AV Soc 1:Multinational corporations cause some of the worst damage to the Earth’s climate, through both their economic acts and their political ones. Join us for a forum and discussion that will look at the lessons learned from some of the major global anti-corporate campaigns (Bechtel, Chevron and others) and how we can take the most effective action possible.

Internatio
nal Trade Tribunals: A Threat More Powerful than Nations:
Thursday April 21, 2:30-4:30, Univalle Room: AV Soc 1:Trade tribunals in institutions such as the World Bank are a powerful tool for multinational corporations to overrule the will of the people and even of national governments. It is through this system that Bechtel tried to sue Bolivia for $50 million after the Cochabamba Water Revolt, and that the cigarette giant Phillip Morris is now suing the people of Uruguay to overturn important health protections. It is also going to be a process through which corporations can challenge new rules to curb global climate change. Learn about the threat this system poses and what we can do about it.

And if you are coming, please drop us a note so we can get connected: contact@democracyctr.org

If you aren’t coming, have no fears, the Democracy Center will be reporting daily on the key events. The entire Democracy Center team will be there – from Bolivia, Australia, the U.S. and Denmark – scouting out the stories and people we find of interest and that we think you will as well. Starting Monday, each night we will post a new Blog, including written reports and a new video capturing some of the voices from the conference you might not otherwise hear. We are very interested in knowing what you’d like us to cover, so if you have suggestions, please post them here in the comments section!

Following the meeting we’ll be producing a series of analysis articles, both her on the Blog and for publications including the NACLA Reporter, Foreign Policy in Focus, YES Magazine, In These Times, and others.

Voices from the People’s Summit

In advance of the meeting here we asked some of our friends who are coming to tell us why:

“I am coming to Cochabamba both to celebrate its historic struggle against water privatization and also to take part in the creation of another world centered on the rights of the Earth and all her people.” -Vandana Shiva, environmental activist, eco-feminist, author, and physicist, Delhi, India

“The Copenhagen climate talks proved those who gain most from ‘business as usual’ find it very difficult to stand up against the pillage of Mother Earth. Greed gets in the way. So, now it’s up to us all. Bring on Cochabamba, for a chance to work strongly together from here on in, for Mother Earth and all her good folks. – Steve Denshire, Rising Tide Australia and Naomi Hogan, Climate Action Newtown, Australia.

“As we saw in Copenhagen, many governments are unwilling to commit to changes that are needed to avoid a truly catastrophic future for our children and theirs. I hope that in Cochabamba we will be able to strengthen the global climate movement that will make it impossible for governments to avoid change. I’m especially interested in the proposed global referendum on climate change, which could be a valuable organizing and educating tool for movements around the world. -David Kane, Associate for Latin America and Economic Justice, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Washington, USA

We have to bring together our voices and come out with a clear and coordinated plan of action, with mobilizations in the streets and strong proposals in the negotiations, for COP-16, which will be held in Cancun in December of this year. La Via Campesina in Mexico hopes to receive the social movements of the world at this event, and we must come out of Cochabamba with a plan and with agreements with Evo and other friendly governments.”-Alberto Gomez, co-coordinator of the Via Campesina for the North America region, and a member Union Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas Autonomas (UNORCA), Mexico.

“For me, the main reason for going is to connect with and learn from the other social movements that will be present, so we can collectively explore how to build an effective global movement for climate justice. Also, it is important to communicate to those on the front line of the struggle that there are others from more affluent parts of the world who are working towards the same goals, who understand that climate change is a symptom of a crisis within our political and economic systems, and that capitalism is a fundamental part of the problem.”-Chris Kitchen, independent climate justice activist involved with Climate Justice Action network and Camp for Climate Action UK, England

“In Copenhagen, the ALBA countries resisted the imposition of a non-solution. This showed that Latin America was not afraid to speak the truth to power, water is important, food is important, the climate and biodiversity must be protected. These are simple truths that even my grandmothers would understand were they still alive. I am still hopeful in spite of the mining, the oil and gas exploitation and the genetically modified monocultures in the Argentine pampa and the plains of Southern Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia that South America can show some leadership in protecting Planet Earth.”-Tony Phillips, Friends of the Earth Argentina, Project Allende Argentina

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34 Responses to A Climate Change Summit Comes to Bolivia

  1. Anonymous says:

    This whole summit thing is a complete (albeit colorful and folkloric) sham. Let's be adults for a moment and pretend there's "global warming" going on.

    First, this gathering is a purely ideological event. There are very few climatologists, if any, attending. "Climate activists" don't count as being knowledgeable in the subject, Jim.

    Second, as in Copenhagen, hosting and transporting thousands of treehuggers and Avatar wannabees using capitalist and imperialist products will cause more pollution than African countries and render the stinky K'ara K'ara dump even worse.

    Third, and most important, is the total nonsense from the so-called "Climate Tribunal." So the developed world is supposed to tax its people to hand over trillions to those without as many polluting cars and industries on the belief that impoverishment in Latin America is due to oppression, neo-colonialism, and economic imperialism rather than endemic corruption, tribalism, ethnic and religious strife, gender apartheid, the lack of legal protection for property and the individual, and statist bureaucracies. “They,” not “we,” did it to “us.”

    Besides, never mentioned is the uncomfortable corollary of the Cochabamba clown summit: wealthy countries produce the steel, plastics, and information-based knowledge that poor countries use: paying Bolivia billions for using less carbon would be as asinine as charging them billions for R&D full costs for the cars, industries, pharmaceuticals, eyeglasses, and technology their people use, but have not invented, fabricated, and in most cases maintained and repaired.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I agree with the first post. The chances that a serious and workable resolution, or line in the sand be drawn, are far smaller compared to the chance that the summit will be used by Evo, Chavez, Correa, and the like to score political points. What is worse, this summit will only serve to perpetuate the 'victimhood,' 'us vs them,' and 'rich vs poor' culture that populists and socialist love to exploit for their own personal gain.

    I agree that a global carbon tax could potentially be a starting point. But do you seriously believe that people in, or better said the leaders of, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador will be willing to pay market prices plus carbon tax for fuel? Governments in the region have fallen due to far more mediocre attempts to end fossil fuel subsidies. So this proposal will fall for the same reason Coppenhagen failed: people don't want to bear the cost.

    So, I'm not holding my breath. These NGO types need to face the reality that the cost of climate change will be borne mostly by the poor, simply because they spend most of their income in energy, they need to update most of their machinery, and they are the ones where most of the growth is going to be. But like I said, Tiquipaya will most likely become a place where you can expect a lot of rants, a lot of self-righteousness, a lot of finger pointing, but I do not forsee anyone stepping up and asking the "pueblos" for sacrifice and to look themselves in the mirror.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if they'll consider talking about the polution in Bolivia, like for example how the Cocaine industry is polutting all over the country, or are legally established industries the only ones labled as polluters. Why doesnt venezuela start paying a carbon tax since they extract the oil that pollutes the world. If Chavez would really like to stop glpbal Warming he should stop selling all that oil.

    I think these #activists have been drinking too much coca colla energy.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The summit has not started yet, but the locals have decided to kick Sumitomo out of St. Cristobal….so Jim, pray tell what your fellow NGOs folk think about that??

  5. The Veins of Latin America says:

    Copenhagen adequately demonstrated that we cannot leave it to politicians to tackle the climate change crisis. By offering a "People's Summit" alternative, Morales is providing a much needed impetus to the formation of a coherent worldwide grass roots movement to save the planet. I'm sure the summit will receive much criticism but I personally see it as a positive step in the right direction. And there is a lot the world can learn from traditional Andean culture when it comes to respecting the environment.

  6. Anonymous says:

    with the leardership of Evo, I am sure the peoples summit will be a great success, don't forget to consume a lot of coca colla to energize your sessions, and legalize all drugs too… why not??? and wear clown suits…
    after all what is the kilo of cocaine going for in Cochabamba?, Evo must know, my guess is 750 dollars per kilo…

  7. Anonymous says:

    There is nothing the world can learn from Evo the Andean Clown

  8. Anonymous says:

    Great to see the nutters are back.
    Let's see…global warming is a scam; Evo sells cocaine; colonialism has had no impact on latin american poverty; noone respects private property there; the holocaust is a jewish lie; the US govt themselves brought about 911.
    Keep up the good work, loons.

  9. Anonymous says:

    You all must be out of your selfish mind or you belong to any of the multinational that are trying to ruin this meeting which is done by the people not by the rich selfish governments. This event should bring some sence to people and the world, and should make them have inmediate response because our world belongs to all of us. therefore, we must get hands on it unless we have a special place in the space where we can hide.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Go go Evo. Don't mind these lunatic talk who are provably themselves in drugs. Bolivian people do not consume as much drugs as some american people do. Cocaine is marketised because some american people widely demand for it or else it wouldn't be a market for it. Bolivia produces one of the lowest amounts of cocaine in the south american region not as Colombia who is the best friend of USA. Let me also teach you that these presidents have not being exactly clowns governing their countries since they were able to produce growth rather than debt to their countries.

  11. Anonymous says:

    You liberals should stop inhaling drugs before blogging, good news for you, thanks to Evo the price of kilo of cocaine has gone down in Cochabamba, so you will have a blast at the people's clown summit…
    ps, where is lococo the non "white" bolivian? I think I miss his support for Evo the Clown… the genious is spending 300 million in a chinese sattelite, 80 million on personal planes, 100 million in Russian guns…what an idiot…

  12. Anonymous says:

    :And there is a lot the world can learn from traditional Andean culture when it comes to respecting the environment"

    Give us a concrete example, Veins. Illuminate us.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Traditional Andean culture utilized complex irrigation systems and ingenious inclined plot designs to farm productively in the barren Altiplano and steep mountainous areas. Traditional Andean culture traded fairly with the lowland areas to develop a rich variety of home-use and social products. While it was interrupted by genocide and conquest before any modern plastic/carbon emitting/river polluting substances became used, this basically means that Andean culture respected the environment 100%. Zero carbon footprint.

    Greed, corruption, disregard for the environment, all are European concepts, imported by the very gold-seeking adventurers that started it all. Now this is kind of tricky, but an understanding and recognition of Native American people's harmonious economic relationship with the Earth does not mean everyone is a primitivist, much less our President. The contradictions between a Pachamamist environmental discourse and a drive for industrialization and large-scale mining and hydropower development are part of the process: local communities are affected more directly and sometimes devastatingly by a project which will hurt the environemnt but ideally create revenue for the State which is the benefactor of all Bolivians, but should especially be so to the local community.

    Our natural resources have been owned by foreign, or local, alienated hands for so long, that taking ownership of them is a complex task. A definition of responsibilities, rights, and priorities involving the exploitation of natural resources, their industrialization, and distribution of the revenue between national, departmental, regional, municipal, and communitarian scopes, are all literally in process now. The laws of Autonomy, Constitutional Tribunal, Electoral Organ, will all be passed before July to outline the process.

    Missing from the dialogue about these last three, is the environmental component. If our State is taking ownership of the natural resources, it must also take ownership for their preservation, assigning a value to biodiversity, clean air and waters, which, case by case, may or may not be greater than that of a certain development project, or may go beyond a limit of negative effects to the local community/biodiversity which is Constitutionally unacceptable.

    The Northern countries policy is basically one of not assuming responsibility for obvious effects of their actions, it's ridiculous but the best way to show it is for Bolivia to take control of its environmental actions, the difference is not to stop development of industry-that is a necessity- but to do so taking into account the knowledge and tecnology available today that was not in 1850 when the North began massively polluting the Earth.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Traditional Andean culture utilized complex irrigation systems and ingenious inclined plot designs to farm productively in the barren Altiplano and steep mountainous areas. Traditional Andean culture traded fairly with the lowland areas to develop a rich variety of home-use and social products. While it was interrupted by genocide and conquest before any modern plastic/carbon emitting/river polluting substances became used, this basically means that Andean culture respected the environment 100%. Zero carbon footprint.

    Greed, corruption, disregard for the environment, all are European concepts, imported by the very gold-seeking adventurers that started it all. Now this is kind of tricky, but an understanding and recognition of Native American people's harmonious economic relationship with the Earth does not mean everyone is a primitivist, much less our President. The contradictions between a Pachamamist environmental discourse and a drive for industrialization and large-scale mining and hydropower development are part of the process: local communities are affected more directly and sometimes devastatingly by a project which will hurt the environemnt but ideally create revenue for the State which is the benefactor of all Bolivians, but should especially be so to the local community.

    Our natural resources have been owned by foreign, or local, alienated hands for so long, that taking ownership of them is a complex task. A definition of responsibilities, rights, and priorities involving the exploitation of natural resources, their industrialization, and distribution of the revenue between national, departmental, regional, municipal, and communitarian scopes, are all literally in process now. The laws of Autonomy, Constitutional Tribunal, Electoral Organ, will all be passed before July to outline the process.

    Missing from the dialogue about these last three, is the environmental component. If our State is taking ownership of the natural resources, it must also take ownership for their preservation, assigning a value to biodiversity, clean air and waters, which, case by case, may or may not be greater than that of a certain development project, or may go beyond a limit of negative effects to the local community/biodiversity which is Constitutionally unacceptable.

    The Northern countries policy is basically one of not assuming responsibility for obvious effects of their actions, it's ridiculous but the best way to show it is for Bolivia to take control of its environmental actions, the difference is not to stop development of industry-that is a necessity- but to do so taking into account the knowledge and tecnology available today that was not in 1850 when the North began massively polluting the Earth.

  15. Monus says:

    Hi Jim,
    I'm coming to the summit from La Paz. Is Vandana Shiva going to give any talks? I saw her once at my university in California, would be awesome to get my "Stolen harvest" book signed. I'll be checking your blog. I hope the conference at least would make Evo Morales walk the talk, there is a lot of rethoric and a good image outside, but in Bolivia we have mine waste pollution like Coro-coro, possible state oil drills in the Amazonic north and coca being planted in National Parks like Isiboro. I'll make it for sure to the workshops the Democracy center is hosting.
    Saludos,
    Gilber Mamani

  16. Anonymous says:

    "Traditional Andean culture utilized complex irrigation systems and ingenious inclined plot designs to farm productively in the barren Altiplano and steep mountainous areas. Traditional Andean culture traded fairly with the lowland areas to develop a rich variety of home-use and social products. While it was interrupted by genocide and conquest before any modern plastic/carbon emitting/river polluting substances became used, this basically means that Andean culture respected the environment 100%. Zero carbon footprint."

    Wow! Zero "carbon footprint?" Centuries before the Industrial Revolution? Go to the head of the class, genius! With that eco-warrior spirit of yours, I'm surprised you didn't respond via the environmentally friendly quipus.

    And regarding the "traditional" Andean irrigation system: big deal. The Romans had their aqueducts a thousand years before them. The Egyptians learned to irrigate the desert alongside the Nile thousands of years before that.

    No matter how you slice and dice it, the Cochabamba Clown summit exposes the monumental hypocrisy of its participants and supporters, not the least being trashing the only system that allows them to obtain all the luxury capitalist goodies they daily enjoy.

  17. Anonymous says:

    "Traditional Andean culture traded fairly with the lowland areas to develop a rich variety of home-use and social products."

    written by someone with absolutely no knowledge of pre-columbian history. Of course there was no civil war in the Inca Empire, of course they never conquered any territory, and of course even nowadays highlanders do no discriminate against lowlanders….

    This is exactly the type of ignorant folly we can expect from this summit. I'm pretty sure most of the attendants are well intentioned, but Evo and his mob of ignorant hater mongers (a la tea party) will hijack the event.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hey,be nice to the tea party folk!

  19. Anonymous says:

    it seems these people want us to go back to the cavemen lifestyle hwere the only global footprint was caused by volcanoes and asteroids

  20. Anonymous says:

    I think it is a bit silly that some people (especially the person who is calling folks clowns in this blog) get so hung up the two words "Global Warming" for their talking points. What is your problem with clowns buddy, they make out children smile and laugh? You should go take a hike, you might have a bright idea or two about the world around you. You are part of the earth brother.

  21. Anonymous says:

    the road to hell is paved with good intentnions and it starts in Cbba

  22. Anonymous says:

    The same fellow who wants us (the peasants) to have a reduced lifestyle just bought himself a $38 million luxury jet?

    Hypocrisy reigns!

  23. Anonymous says:

    I am skeptical of someone expresses his love for Pachamamma, while opening up Madidi and other Bolivian protected areas to oil exploration as well as promoting land invasions.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I occasionally check this blog, but I’ve never actually posted a comment here. I do believe in global warming and the importance of changing our habits and technology. However, I don’t know that I can really get behind giving my tax money to countries who claim damages while basing their economies largely on selling fossil fuels. If cheap energy through fossil fuels is a drug, then is the responsibility at least somewhat shared between the drug dealer and the addict? In a way, they have already been compensated when they were paid for the product. I’d probably make some exception for one of those third world countries where the vast majority of the oil/gas money goes to a corrupt and authoritarian few. The populace of those countries never saw much of the profit while it was being skimmed off by the few. However, many of these countries pumped money out of the ground for decades to pay for social programs and infrastructure investment. I would be willing to donate willingly to help poorer nations overcome environmental challenges, but I chaff at being told that I am legally obligated to if they have also contributed the pollutants.

  25. Anonymous says:

    "Traditional Andean culture traded fairly with the lowland areas to develop a rich variety of home-use and social products".

    Your kind of an idiot are you not? Does the word Cacique ring a bell?

  26. Anonymous says:

    This is kind of like when the Maya called for human sacrifices during the eclipses so that the Sun would come back.

  27. Anonymous says:

    "Wow! Zero "carbon footprint?" Centuries before the Industrial Revolution? Go to the head of the class, genius!"

    The question was: "And there is a lot the world can learn from traditional Andean culture when it comes to respecting the environment"

    Give us a concrete example, Veins. Illuminate us."

    So there you go, Andean culture did not pollute, period. Pretty good example, don't you think? Obviously, Evo is not advocating that we go backwards in technology or development, because obviously he is advocating industrialization. So you can't have it both ways, on the one hand criticize him for wanting to backtrack, which is not true. And on the other hand, you criticize his industrialization plans because they hurt the environment. Make up your minds.

    "This is exactly the type of ignorant folly we can expect from this summit."

    Was any part of the statement you quoted inaccurate? The issue is the environment, not whether or not the Inca empire conquered other peoples (did they pollute while doing so). Apples and oranges, guy.

    "it seems these people want us to go back to the cavemen lifestyle hwere the only global footprint was caused by volcanoes and asteroids"

    Why, because they plan to industrialize steel, other minerals, gas, and lithium? Doesn't your statement sound stupid even to you, given that the government has clearly outlined its plan to develop industrially?

    "I am skeptical of someone expresses his love for Pachamamma, while opening up Madidi and other Bolivian protected areas to oil exploration as well as promoting land invasions."

    So am I, but the fact is, we need to industrialize. We need the profits in order to provide basic services, lift people out of poverty. And, as a part of the world, we need to do it in an environmentally conscious manner.

    6:37, the point is that global warming was and is caused by the massive industries of the US, Europe, more recently China and India. If these countries did not pollute at all, the rest of the world could go crazy trying and not cause one bit of global warming. So yes, the responsibility belongs to your governments, and its not Bolivia's problem if that money comes out of your tax dollars. It would be about time the rest of the world was compensated for the disastrous actions of your governments, which if I'm not mistaken, are elected by you.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the reply because more than anything it shows the complete stupidity, ignorance, and lack of logic that has become the trademark of Evo's supporters, who by now are becoming more clearly differentiated from your "normal" progressives. First of all, you can't say that the Inca empire had a zero carbon footprint. All that gold did not appear by itself. Second, the Inca did not live in "harmony," with their neighbors. They invented the mita long before columbus set foot, and yes they quite bloody in their conquest of Bolivia (fyi bolivia=aymara, inca= quechua, not the best of friends by a long shot.) I'm not going to go into more detail, because it is clear that you have absolutely any knowledge of history, specially pre-columbian history.

    So yes, this is nothing but folly, half-truths and hypocrisy from you. Evo is no friend of pachamama. He fought tooth and nail against developing eco-tourism and alternative crops in the chapare. His plan for Bolivia is based on nothing but extraction of natural resources. Absolutely zero spend on human development (unless you count paying UMSA students to be thugs).

    Evo's proposal is simply ridiculous and it DOES imply a drastic reduction of the world's economic output, and trust me the world elites are not going to suffer nearly as much as the poor. That is a fact. In the short run nothing will be done. People, specially leaders in the third world were MOST of the opposition for a workable agreement comes, will need to see some extreme disasters. However, I still don't see why a little global warming will be bad. Specially for Bolivia and specially for the Altiplano, a more humid, wet, warm altiplano could be the break Bolivia needs.

  29. Anonymous says:

    "First of all, you can't say that the Inca empire had a zero carbon footprint"

    Yes, I can. Cars, factories, aerosols, cause carbon emissions. Gold mining, especially that done before the 1500's does not. Feeling silly now?

    "and yes they quite bloody in their conquest of Bolivia"

    what does that have to do with the environment? Remember, cars emit carbon dioxide, kimsa charanis do not.

    "Evo is no friend of pachamama" yes he is, he has her on facebook.

    "His plan for Bolivia is based on nothing but extraction of natural resources"

    Umm, his plan is industrialization= added value = not just extracting natural resources. The plan may be debatable and improveable, but to claim it is exactly the opposite of what it is, is, well, silly.

    "and it DOES imply a drastic reduction of the world's economic output" a drastic reduction of the North's pollution, because it is their fault.

    "People..will need to see some extreme disasters" Who gets to choose who "sees" some disasters, and who carries on with their consumerist existence, involved in fictional crap like reality TV and video games, when billions of people suffer? The Northern governments want to choose, and they want to screw us over again, not gonna happen.

  30. Anonymous says:

    "First of all, you can't say that the Inca empire had a zero carbon footprint"

    Yes, I can. Cars, factories, aerosols, cause carbon emissions. Gold mining, especially that done before the 1500's does not. Feeling silly now?

    The simple act of breathing emits co2…feeling silly? It seems that you are implying that the Spanish empire had cars, factories, et al…feeling silly?

    The bloody conquest has nothing to do with global warming, but everything with your premise that somehow s. america was eden but for the spanish.

    The problem is not in industrialization, but industrializing by betting on the most polluting industries known to man, when you have far better alternatives in organic farming, eco turism, and simply investing in people, not oil, mines, coca.

    ""and it DOES imply a drastic reduction of the world's economic output" a drastic reduction of the North's pollution, because it is their fault."

    it is a drastic reduction for ALL…but more for the poor. your so much hated north at least have the advantage of having technology and capital to produce more efficiently. And that is the hypocrisy Evo, they want a free ride. I'm not going to waste any more time with a racist, xenophobe like you. Clearly you are more interested in being an ideologue than coming with a workable solution.

  31. Anonymous says:

    "The problem is not in industrialization, but industrializing by betting on the most polluting industries known to man, when you have far better alternatives in organic farming, eco turism, and simply investing in people, not oil, mines, coca."

    Huh?

    Neither organic farming, eco turism[sic], nor simply "investing in people" made your computer and the internet you're communicating your Dark ages wishes with. It didn't produce Morales' ultra luxurious presidential plane and vehicles. Oil, metal, plastics, rubber, and other resources that you consider damage the earth allow you to have your capitalist goodies and increase the standard of living of all.

  32. Paul Heppleston says:

    Your commentators, Jim, seem rather shy; virtually all the negative comment is hidden behind anonymity to criticise what can only be seen as an alternative group trying to do their best. So sad. I wonder if they live in Bolivia – or maybe they live elsewhere, like me here in the UK with relations living in CBBA. If these post-ers feel strongly, why do they not sign their names? I sign mine openly because I am committed to alternative approaches replacing traditional styles which fail (like Copenhagen). This summit seems to offer 'a' way forward (not necessarily 'the' way), and so I support the efforts that are being made. Surely it is worth giving it a chance rather than condemning it before it's even really got going.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I think you last name is made up. too weird.