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Building People Power Before the Paris Climate Summit


Building People Power Before the Paris Climate Summit

Jeremy Brecher

Since international climate negotiations began a quarter of a century ago, annual greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 60 percent. As we approach yet another climate summit this November in Paris, the question for the climate protection movement is not just, can some kind of agreement be reached, but how can we reverse the continuing climate catastrophe over the next quarter-century?

"In short... the governments of the world are prepared to destroy the basis for human life on Earth — unless the people of the world stop them."


While your argument is factual. Waiting is no longer an option. We have know about climate change at least since the 1970s. We have done nothing. Brecher lays the ground for citizen action to undo the climate disaster created by do nothing governments and corporate greed. It is basic ground and a fundamental right of all living beings to take care of the Earth. We must stop the privatization and destruction of the commons whether intellectual, DNA, the Earth etc.

We never left the Garden of Eden, we have been busy destroying it!


You make a good point. But climate change has been know from at least the 1970s. And while all you say is true it really is merely spiting into the wind of the global warming coming at us. We had a real chance with the kyoto climate change treaty. The USA bailed out (see below)

I agree with you. There has been a lot done. But when you look at the size of the US economy only a very small fraction is directed toward freedom from fossil fuels and restoration of the Earth polluted by Fracking and extractive activities in general. If we truly committed to meeting climate change head on, there would be no unemployment.

From Wikipedia - Kyoto Protocol: The U.S. signed the Protocol on 12 November 1998,[91] during the Clinton presidency. To become binding in the US, however, the treaty had to be ratified by the Senate, which had already passed the 1997 non-binding Byrd-Hagel Resolution, expressing disapproval of any international agreement that 1) did not require developing countries to make emission reductions and 2) “would seriously harm the economy of the United States”. The resolution passed 95-0.[92] Therefore, even though the Clinton administration signed the treaty,[93] it was never submitted to the Senate for ratification.

When George W. Bush was elected U.S. president in 2000, he was asked by U.S. Senator Hagel what his administration’s position was on climate change. Bush replied that he took climate change “very seriously,”[94] but that he opposed the Kyoto treaty, because “it exempts 80% of the world, including major population centers such as China and India, from compliance, and would cause serious harm to the US economy”.[95] The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research reported in 2001 that, “This policy reversal received a massive wave of criticism that was quickly picked up by the international media. Environmental groups blasted the White House, while Europeans and Japanese alike expressed deep concern and regret. […] Almost all world leaders (e.g. China, Japan, South Africa, Pacific Islands, etc.) expressed their disappointment at Bush’s decision.” Bush’s response that, “I was responding to reality, and reality is the nation has got a real problem when it comes to energy” was, it said, “an overstatement used to cover up the big benefactors of this policy reversal, i.e., the US oil and coal industry, which has a powerful lobby with the administration and conservative Republican congressmen.”[96]

The U.S. accounted for 36% of emissions in 1990, and without U.S. ratification, only an EU+Russia+Japan+small party coalition could place the treaty into legal effect.