TH!NK post

This article is archived. Comments are closed.

Nnimmo Bassey: “Leave the oil in the soil, leave the coal in the hole”

Published 08th December 2009 - 6 comments - 1750 views -

The alternative to the official UN COP15 summit is called Klimaforum09 - free, open for all and packed with interesting speaks, workshops and exhibitions. It opened this Monday, the 7th of December, simultaneously with COP15.

The main attraction was, hands down, Naomi Klein. She is also getting the attention on the website so far: Last chance to save the world says Naomi Klein is basically the only new article there right now.

At least as inspiring as her was one Nnimmo Bassey whose speech I give you my recording of right away. Watch (well, listen) now. Very critical of COP15 this African is.

Activist and author Nnimmo Bassey was awarded a TIME Magazine Hero of the Environment 2009 award. Rather than being a climate change activist he's from a oil corporation vs. human rights background:

"Oil has been the destruction of the Nigerian economy. It destroys the relation between the people and the state."

As quoted from the TIME article. From the speech in the video:

"People say that crude oil is an easy and cheap form of energy. But it's not the truth. Crude oil may be cheap but only because people are not paying the price. If you see what is going on in the oil fields: The pollution, the degradation, the human rights abuses, the murders and the killings - I would like you to tell me how much one drop of oil should cost." (4:07)

I have previously blogged about Nigeria. It's one of the epicentres of climate change impact. We write about it, they got it: Deforestation and desertification (as mentioned briefly in the video speech), violence over oil and a life giving but drying out lake.

The other aspects of the opening ceremony included - besides Naomi Klein - one Henry Saragih and a percussionist playing on melting ice (yes!). Stay tuned for more!

Category: Climate Heroes, International Action, | Tags: cop15, oil, klimaforum09, nigeria,


Benno Hansen on 08th December 2009:

Cross posted at Ecowar.

Adela on 08th December 2009:

I can’t wait to participate live to Klimaforum, too.

Thank you for the video, keep them coming. (I have a small problem understanding everything he says because sound is bad on my laptop, I’ll rewatch the video on a PC with a better sound system)

The percussionist playing on melting ice sounds intriguing.

Benno Hansen on 08th December 2009:

The first 20 minutes and 45 seconds of Naomi Kleins speech has been uploaded to YourClimate.TV. (I also got cut off by lack of HD during her speech… but I did get some weird ice-jazz!)

Benno Hansen on 09th December 2009:

Put an audio of Naomi’s speech online (OGG Vorbis codec, 17.3 MB, 32 min 55 sec).

Note it’s a reconstruction of Flip audio and a voice recording from my phone. There is a little bit missing from my Flip turning off and my phone starting to record and that the sound quality from the phone is not as good although I did some fixing in Audacity sound editor (had to brutally turn down applauses etc).

Benno Hansen on 11th December 2009:

Oilwatch International PRESS RELEASE
KlimatForum09, Copenhagen, 11 December 2009


The planet is experiencing a severe ecological crisis and communities living in harmony with and caring for nature are being pressured to unbearable extremes. The atmosphere is being polluted, rivers damaged, forests destroyed, and so is the livelihood of communities in the South, health of individuals, communities and nature.

It is clear that the greatest efforts against climate crisis are those made in different model other than the polluting model that has driven the world into the present crisis. These efforts are being made within communities, organizations and amongst groups of women and men around the world who are committed to life and nature. This knowledge and these efforts, locally, regionally or globally, gain more importance when they are collectively articulated.

OILWATCH proposes an agenda that goes beyond international negotiations on climate, to one that serves to strengthen the base from which we can move forward towards the constitution of societies and territories free of crude oil and other fossil fuels. Our proposed agenda demands that the world begins to:
• Work for the transformation of the technological model to one that frees us from dependence on hydrocarbons and minerals
• Support the efforts of Peoples to emancipate themselves from crude oil as an energy source; build energy sovereignty, recognizing the efforts of communities and how their resistance is keeping the oil underground
• Strengthening food production, not for trade but for fighting hunger, in order to build and strengthen food sovereignty
• Counter the cult of the car and savage urbanization with the ecologically sound models
• Break with the paradigm of unlimited growth based on the market and the commodification of nature
• Restore clean and free water to the territories and peoples, through the protection and restoration of ecosystems affected by extractive activities and implementing sustainable technologies.
• Move towards a legal system that protects the rights of Peoples who are resisting and that are repressed and criminalized; advance towards a doctrine that upholds the rights of nature; define a strategy for recognition and reparations for the historical, social and ecological debt;
• Identification of a global goal of sustainable countries that is respectful of nature and of human and collective rights, economic and social rights, environmental rights and the right to continue to exist on the planet (Annex 0 nations)


1. Build common agendas from the various networks and organizations in order to confront and change the current model of civilization.
2. Work towards oil-free territories without destructive activities and create an Alliance of Liberated Peoples and Territories.
3. Recover lost local knowledge on water, climate and energy and share this local knowledge between Peoples.
4. Reinforce resistance to projects that are predatory on nature and create collective dynamics in order to protect defenders of nature.
5. Denounce the false solutions to climate change; condemn unjust mechanisms such as the carbon market and further debts for adaptation, as well as technologies aimed at manipulating nature.

We urge delegates and peoples to take adopt this agenda and make our meetings in Copenhagen meaningful. Emancipation from carbon tyranny NOW!

For further contacts reach
1. Ivonne Yanez . email: sudamerica -at- Danish cell: +45 28329396
2. Penchom Saetang. Email: penchom_a -at- Danish cell: +45 28627267
3. Nnimmo Bassey. Email: nnimmo -at- . Danish cell: +45 61725701


Oilwatch International 10, Ibaa Street, D-Line Port Harcourt P.O.Box 13708, Port Harcourt. Nigeria
Tel/Fax: +234-84-236 365. Website :

Federico Pistono on 15th December 2009:

I would like you to tell me how much one drop of oil should cost.

I always wanted to find a study that can actually determine that, but as of now I haven’t been successful.

Maybe it’s too complex and it takes too many factors, but still, it would be nice to quote an actual scientific study.

This article is archived. Comments are closed.