Holyrood 350 — H35O

4 Action Points For Holyrood To Avert Climate Chaos

After Copenhagen: What next? 4 initial abolitionist suggestions

December 23rd, 2009 · No Comments

That was an even more mis­er­able result than expect­ed for those of us who at least thought the politi­cians would agree on unfair, unam­bi­tious, inad­e­quate but at least legal­ly bind­ing emis­sion cut­ting tar­gets. For those who expect­ed noth­ing of them, their expec­ta­tions are ful­filled.

For us all, after a mis­er­able Copen­hagen: What next?

The sug­ges­tion here is that we have to be unre­al­is­tic. The abo­li­tion­ists were told it was com­plete­ly unre­al­is­tic to expect an end to slav­ery, the eco­nom­ic sys­tem was built on it, the pow­er­ful would nev­er agree, it was in human nature, etc — the abo­li­tion­ists didn’t play those games, slav­ery was wrong.

If being real­is­tic means abid­ing by the cor­po­rate pow­er con­trol­ling gov­ern­ments, con­trol­ling the media and our sense of what is human­ly pos­si­ble, then we need to be com­plete­ly, imag­i­na­tive­ly, insis­tent­ly unre­al­is­tic — in a way that can bring about a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent real­i­ty.

Soci­eties have always changed, change is who we are — the only cer­tain­ty about human nature is our abil­i­ty to cre­ate (whether we cre­ate heav­en, hell or some­thing entire­ly dif­fer­ent is up to us), the only cer­tain­ty we can hold onto in life is uncer­tain­ty itself — and that is good news!

Peo­ple know the bankers have tak­en our mon­ey and run, they sense gov­ern­ing politi­cians refusal to face up to this, to act fair­ly, with imag­i­na­tion and in a way which cre­ates a fair local, nation­al and glob­al soci­ety out of the abun­dance around us.

This is a moment to seize (because there will not be a bet­ter one).

So, 4 ini­tial sug­ges­tions:

this is Eve Morales call for “an inter­na­tion­al cli­mate court of jus­tice to pros­e­cute coun­tries for cli­mate “crimes.” (see the rel­e­vant 3 para­graphs from Albert Beales blog below) — in effect, a judi­cia­ry; [JK sug­ges­tion would be to focus this on cor­po­ra­tions as much as coun­tries, and to focus boy­cotts on cor­po­ra­tions — gov­ern­ing politi­cians are shooed in and out by cor­po­ra­tions].

draw­ing on Stel­lan Vinthagen’s pro­pos­al to estab­lish a Pan­el on Cli­mate Jus­tice (see below) — in effect, a leg­is­la­ture or, bet­ter, a pro­pos­er; [JK sug­ges­tion would be to trans­form this from an aca­d­e­m­ic pan­el into an activists par­lia­ment — ‘activist’ in the widest sense].

draw­ing on Lille­more Thy­berg and Eva Schonveld’s pro­pos­al that the next Cli­mate Sum­mit is sur­round­ed and ‘lead­ers’ are not allowed to leave until they reach an agree­ment that saves the cli­mate and humans, which nec­es­sar­i­ly would involve cor­po­ra­tions and most politi­cians being made to relin­quish their pow­er (see Stellan’s para­graphs below). [JK sug­ges­tion: this is in effect a gath­er­ing of the peo­ples par­lia­ment first in Bonn in June 2010 then in Mex­i­co in Novem­ber 2010 — in effect, a people’s action].

draw­ing on Kevin Mason’s ideas (see below) we need to not just deal with the so-called ‘lead­ers’ (as above) but build local trans-local alter­na­tives to defuse the pow­er of the cor­po­ra­tions dri­ving cli­mate change, and return pow­er to peo­ple. These actions take dif­fer­ent forms depend­ing on where you are locat­ed: so for some it may focus more on build­ing boy­cott cam­paigns, for oth­ers more on build­ing alliances between the glob­al north and south, between those peo­ple being crushed by this eco­nom­ic sys­tem and those des­per­ate to stop the destruc­tion of eco-sys­tems, for oth­ers build­ing Tran­si­tion ini­tia­tives, eco-vil­lages, and more — in effect, recog­nis­ing our­selves as a peo­ple. [JK sug­ges­tion: as the eco­nom­ic melt­down and ener­gy cri­sis inten­si­fies, this will need to focus on cre­at­ing safe­ty and sur­vival, not only for those suf­fer­ing now but for the rapid­ly expand­ing cir­cle of those mar­gin­alised by the sup­pos­ed­ly trick­le-down but actu­al­ly drag­ging-wealth-up-to-the-top mod­el].

Ok, those are a few sug­ges­tions. This is a moment we (we mean­ing humans as a whole, not some seg­ment) need to seize to return our­selves our future and so return the present to those whose present is being destroyed as we speak.

Be sup­pos­ed­ly ‘unre­al­is­tic’, and seek to trans­form the human world.

Or be real­is­tic, and watch as we drag the non-human world down with us.

In sol­i­dar­i­ty, in despair, and in grat­i­tude for all those who insist on act­ing NOW.

re 1. A CLIMATE COURT OF JUSTICE: (http://culturechange.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=577&Itemid=1)
ALBERT BEALE: “Boli­vian Pres­i­dent Evo Morales called on the world lead­ers to raise their ambi­tions rad­i­cal­ly and hold tem­per­a­ture increas­es over the next cen­tu­ry to just 1C. In the most provoca­tive state­ment yet made at the cli­mate sum­mit, Morales demand­ed rich coun­tries pay cli­mate change repa­ra­tions and pro­posed an inter­na­tion­al cli­mate court of jus­tice to pros­e­cute coun­tries for cli­mate “crimes.”

“Our objec­tive is to save human­i­ty and not just half of human­i­ty. We are here to save moth­er earth. Our objec­tive is to reduce cli­mate change to [under] 1C. [Above this] many islands will dis­ap­pear and Africa will suf­fer a holo­caust,” he said.

“This came the same day that the Unit­ed States announced it would accept the pro­pos­al Morales advanced more than two years ago, of pay­ing Bolivia and oth­er coun­tries to keep their forests stand­ing and their resources in the ground. At the time, Morales’ pro­pos­al was scoffed at as total­ly out­ra­geous. The time may come when cli­mate crimes are also not con­sid­ered out­side the bounds of legal process. Are you lis­ten­ing, Barack?”

STELLAN VINTHAGEN: “We need a Pan­el on Cli­mate Jus­tice (or a Pan­el on Social Change…): a glob­al coop­er­a­tion between schol­ars from polit­i­cal sci­ence, soci­ol­o­gy, anthro­pol­o­gy, eth­nol­o­gy, inter­na­tion­al polit­i­cal econ­o­my, gen­der stud­ies, devel­op­ment stud­ies, phi­los­o­phy, etc. — who are pre­pared to devel­op (1) a polit­i­cal mod­el of how to orga­nize our soci­eties dif­fer­ent­ly, and (2) a polit­i­cal strat­e­gy of how we make that dif­fer­ent world pos­si­ble.”

STELLAN VINTHAGEN: “Strat­e­gy pro­pos­al for the next Cli­mate Sum­mit: “The Pope mod­el”, built on how the car­di­nals’ elect the new Pope: Lock them in until they agree on a rad­i­cal Cli­mate Treaty that is good enough for human sur­vival.

“We sug­gest that we for­mu­late a draft of The People’s Cli­mate Char­ter with our fun­da­men­tal demands, give it to the politi­cians before the meet­ing, and then lock them in through mas­sive demon­stra­tions with one mil­lion peo­ple mak­ing a cir­cle-block­ade around the con­fer­ence area. We don’t let them out until they have for­mu­lat­ed a deal and signed it, in the same way as dur­ing the papal elec­tion in Rome. As in Rome, peo­ple will be wait­ing out­side the church in antic­i­pa­tion of an agree­ment. And, we will let no one out until the deal is done. The politi­cians are sup­pose to show when there is a deal, like when the agree­ment of a new pope is announced through white smoke from a small chim­ney at the Sis­tine Chapel. In a sim­i­lar way our impris­oned politi­cians need to send out a sig­nal when they have a deal. When the politi­cians at the con­fer­ence area have reached an agree­ment, we demand that it is copied, dis­trib­uted and read out load for the wait­ing crowd. If we are not accept­ing the deal we don’t let them out. Then they have to try again…

“This is a strat­e­gy that should be pos­si­ble to attract all kinds of groups. This strat­e­gy demands, if it is going to work, the coop­er­a­tion between all move­ments, NGOs and groups in order to cre­ate enough of mas­sive par­tic­i­pa­tion. It is only through our num­bers we would make this hap­pen.”


KELVIN MASON: “CJA is look­ing for feed­back [on the civ­il soci­ety actions in Copen­hagen — Cli­mate Jus­tice Action http://www.climate-justice-action.org]. Per­haps, although our resis­tance is always cre­ative and emo­tion­al­ly pow­er­ful, for COP16 in Mex­i­co we should con­sid­er more rad­i­cal­ly chang­ing real­i­ty? As crises deep­en, which they will, fol­low­ing the cir­cus of cap­i­tal­ism and its road-show of pseu­do democ­ra­cy around the world becomes increas­ing­ly unpro­duc­tive. Draw­ing on all our knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence, maybe we should go to any­where but Mex­i­co. If we mobilised 100,000 peo­ple to act more local­ly in trans-local sol­i­dar­i­ty, to pro­vide much need­ed help to eco-vil­lages, social cen­tres, low-impact devel­op­ments, refugee camps, and oth­er projects that could stand out as good exam­ples of just envi­ron­men­tal and social prac­tice, well, what a won­der­ful world it could be.”

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