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(Blogpost nine): Th!nking back

Published 03rd January 2010 - 2 comments - 2066 views -

Starting out this blogging project I planned nine posts. This was the requirement for staying in the competition. Three months, 37 articles and one award later I feel like reflecting a bit over what happened. How I felt about all the things COP15.

Tibet and Palestine will never be free

Probably the main reason I ended up in TH!NK ABOUT IT #2 was my regular blog: Ecowar. “At this blog I take notes on links between conflicts of all sorts and the natural resources we all ultimately depend upon,” I've written in an about-box there. I've already taken note of several stories from Israel and the Palestinian territories. But shortly before entering TH!NK I found out China is also exploiting the water resources of Tibet.

Imagine being a leader of China or Israel. Whould you emancipate these occupied territories on ethical grounds leaving your people thirsty and your fields dry? Really? I never got any further than posting it as an opinion on It didn't get a lot of attention. One Vijay Kumar Dhall commented that “your will determine your future and its reality”. Really?

I'm sorry but I'm just disheartened. All the intellectual discourse, all the open closets, all the good will, all the disclosed truths and all the kind acts in the world will not stop the grey majority, the undefined collective of our civilizations and our actual behind-the-scene leaders from doing wrong things. This notion I'd just been infected with and COP15 didn't cheer me up much.

Commies, go home

Participating in the big COP15 Climate Demonstration, Saturday 12th December 2009 was absolutely wonderful (watch my 12 minutes of videoclips). About a hundred thousand people coming together to tell the politicians to act. The fact that vegetarian groups team up with human rights groups and anti-pollution groups and all sorts of other groups just shows how many reasons we have to revolutionize the energy sector.

But one observation still bugs me. When we passed a McDonalds “restaurant” it was closed and completely barred by police. Well, that chain have managed to brand themselves as the all-round anti-environmental, anti-health, ultimate-evil thing so I guess that's how it is. But next door the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) was open and unmolested. Inside a group of what appeared to be Greek Communists were eating their fast food, red banners resting against the windows.

Like many others I'm sick and tired of fundamentalist capitalists who stand in our way of a better planet. I more than hinted at that in my four “Public Service Announcements”. But does anyone really believe Communism would be that much better? Certainly not the Communism of the former Soviet Republic. And I don't think it's the modern Chinese Communism they want either?

Could we have some critique of capitalism that is based on rational, scientific analysis, please? And some politics to go, thank you. Personally, I've associated with left wing politicians before for reasons of specific political agendas. But I've had it with you guys for now. Intelligent left wing input to the discourse during COP15 have been virtually non existant.

And you guys who tried to break into the Bella Centre to hold a “Peoples summit” or whatever you called it: What you succeeded in doing was providing the excuse for enforcing police state laws that I now have to live with. Gee, thanks a lot. Morons.

Not that the centrist and right wing opposition did any better, of course. Guess they just mingled with the thousands of polluting industry lobbyists and enjoyed the show of brand new police state laws on the hysterical 24 hour news channel? And the actual governments... don't get me started.

Greenpeace – still right after all these years

Speaking about police state: Just in time for COP15 a number of new laws were put in place. One of them allowed police to detain the entirely peaceful Greenpeace activists for 21 days without trial (as I reported there was a small protest last week). Stay tuned on the 7th of January when the time for trial is up and we'll see how democracy is doing!

One of the people that was invited to give input to us TH!NK bloggers when the project was kicked off in Bella Centre was Mads Christensen of Greenpeace Scandinavia. Remember his slide...

Greenpeace predicted the COP15 outcome in four scenarios: Breakthrough, Foundation, Greenwash and Collapse.

Yeah, he pretty accurately predicted the outcome of COP15. The 'breakthrough' scenario was sort of realistic if we really are to believe what stories were delivered by mainstream media up to and during the summit. Like a perfectly scripted drama the 'collapse' scenario was extremely close right as the summit was drawing to a close. And the outcome was something of a mix between 'foundation' and 'greenwash'.

Greenpeace have been right about the climate change for decades while others have been denying, discussing and ignorant. Greenpeace did right in protesting in entirely peaceful and very professional ways. And Greenpeace is still right in their pledge to continue the near impossible fight to keep the world leaders up to their Copenhagen promises of a 'foundation' for a future meaningful deal.

Don't blame China

In another room in Copenhagen a few months after the TH!NK kick-off event, NGO groups met to prepare for COP15 activities. One of the things that was discussed was how to stop the Western leaders from blaming a failure on China. Because a 'collapse' or 'greenwash' outcome was already considered as very likely, the excuses to be made by the US and EU was a topic.

Need I continue? The Western leaders are blaming China. Curiously, even the right wing fools who never understood the issue are happy to join the chorous of blame. One Norwegian is saying it openly – getting coverage in Chinese media: Norwegian researcher: Criticizing China over Copenhagen meeting unfair. At least one blogger isn't bying the hype either: China mandates renewable energy while U.S. deepens its dithering. It appears China is actually doing something to try and live up to the COP15 outcome! The US is doing nothing – partly because the Republicans are still offended Obama sort of got his health care reform.

COP15 wasn't the end of childish politics either. And once again, the NGOs were spot on. Now, if we could only have some more attention to the industrial lobbyists who helped wreck the deal, please!?

Th!nking forward. Positively...

Greenpeace USA has a columnist at His Top 5 Reasons to Be Hopeful About 2010 is restoring a bit of hope in me right now. The movement has grown. And what we TH!NKers have been part of too: the independent media has claimed even more authority. As has been said: You are not done yet - and neither are we!

Personally, I got some hope from Climategate. Because if that's what denialism is about these days they it's dying. The tone of writing in some guys 12 years old emails... come on. The science keeps getting clearer on the subject too. More pieces in the puzzle are fitting with the predicted image.

COP15 also allowed the alternative Klimaforum09 to happen. That was absolutely amazing. Permaculture forestry gardening activist from India, El Salvador and the US meeting up in Denmark to discuss their sustainable way of life. Naomi Klein and George Monbiot giving speeches to hundreds and thousands (great analyses but you have to explain why you cheered for the activists trying to break into the conference, please). Friends of the Earth Nigeria talking to students of organic agriculture from Sweden. Holy smokes that was wild!

And no world leaders rejected the idea of the climate change summit. With the possible – pathetic – exception of Saudi Arabia. There is enormous global political momentum.

And since I'm no fan of the Danish government to begin with, I'm not crying over their poor performance. In the words of Australian COP-veteran the Danish year 2009 version was “the worst-run meeting of its kind that I have attended”. I suppose there has been a cease fire in Danish parliament to give room for COP15 success, which is a greater good... but now the opposition have a sitting duck to fire at. Opposition? Are you there?

And of course, I'm looking forward to reading TH!NK ABOUT IT #3 – wether it'll include my own contributions or not – because its sustainability theme is a perfect continuation from climate change. It's a “zoom out”, so to speak. Because like I hinted at in my first TH!NK2 post, climate change is an issue of carbon cycle sustainability.

An issue which we need Greenpeace for too...


Category: Climate Reporting, UN Climate Change Conference 2009, | Tags: cop15, activism, greenpeace, blogging,


Jodi Bush on 04th January 2010:

Interesting post - mirrors a lot of my own sentiments on the subject. I particularly agree with the fact that the “grey majority” is the most important influence on the progress (or lack thereof) being achieved. They don’t actively resist, but they do nothing to learn or to change.

vacances madrid on 18th March 2010:

great post here..

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