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What’s Really at Stake at the Paris Climate Conference Now Marches Are Banned


What’s Really at Stake at the Paris Climate Conference Now Marches Are Banned

Naomi Klein

Whose security gets protected by any means necessary? Whose security is casually sacrificed, despite the means to do so much better? Those are the questions at the heart of the climate crisis, and the answers are the reason climate summits so often end in acrimony and tears.


Football games in packed stadiums OK, but climate change demonstrations NOT OK.

Mammon has spoken.


Good insight: To assess the decision to ban the climate march (for "security" reasons!) while pledging to protect the futbol matches (for "security" reasons!) and the conference itself, as yet another example of a choice the government is making to protect the interests of elites, and explicitly NOT protect the interests of the locked-out majority to participate in power.

i take issue with the "climate change is violence" meme. Here's what i wrote when CD ran Solnit's original "Climate Change is Violence" article:

Climate change is not violence. Climate change is an outcome of violence.

The patriarchal, extractive, colonizing, profiteering, oil / automobile / industrial ag / war economy is violence. One outcome of this massive organized violence is disruption to the Earth's climate system. Is dis-integration of the Earth's ecology "violence" or the result of violence? Is mass extinction "violence" or the result of violence? Is climate chaos "violence" or the result of violence?

The economy is built on violence. Calling climate change "violence" separates the violence from the bloody hands of the perpetrators.

Klein does name specific acts that ARE examples of the violence behind climate change:

"When governments and corporations knowingly fail to act to prevent catastrophic warming, that is an act of violence. It is a violence so large, so global and inflicted against so many temporalities simultaneously (ancient cultures, present lives, future potential) that there is not yet a word capable of containing its monstrousness."

Yes, the purposeful human acts that create climate chaos are violence. Climate chaos is an outcome of this violence, and it is a vector for such violence, but i do not believe it is helpful to attribute the characteristic of "violence" to the changing climate itself.


No surprise here really. The elites have clearly shown where their priorities lie and it's not with any of the groups Ms. Klein mentions. Climate change if its considered at all is viewed as a left /liberal elite concern unproven and only being promoted to raise everyone's taxes so this group can gain more control of society and harm business.


I like your first paragraph to this essay very much. Not sure at all about the response to Lil Becky, whom I generally despise. I think you might be splitting semantic hairs there.

Nevertheless, there's a spirit of agreement between many of us: this economic system is violent towards its many, many victims, and it needs to go away, because if it doesn't, t's unlikely we'll be able to dig our species out of the increasingly deep hole its digging itself into.


Given the horrible recent events in Paris I have to give the authorities a pass on this one. It would be a security nightmare. There will be many marches and rallies around the world. The good news is the climate conference is still scheduled to take place. That was probably a close call.


IMO, these terrorists have been blowing up the wrong stuff. Coffee shops and cafes? Should have been financial centers such as banks and stock exchanges if they are really actually trying to cripple western society to any degree. 9/11 was totally wasted. If they really wanted to cripple the USA they should have crashed at least one of those planes into an oil refinery. The fact that these terrorists don't actually hit anything of real consequence leaves me to wonder who's really pulling their strings. Either these terrorists are a bunch of yahoos just trying to grab attention (and getting way more than they deserve) or something very insidious is going on from the top our society.


I'll tell you one thing, if I was Team Hollande, and Ms Naomi Klein made some comments on our behavior, I'd sure enough Pay Attention. Just look at the political careers of Toni Abbot and Steven Harper. WOW. Could be three in a row.
My opinion is, she is one of the most powerful voices for justice and reason in the World today.


Oui', nous sommes le changement--however, looks like ISIS is the Joker in the deck.


The asymmetry is astounding. 8 people shot up a Parisian district, 136 people died. This is a mosquito bite blown up into a meteorite direct hit. Not to say it isn't a tragedy, but it could be easily waved away as an insect bite. What are the odds, for instance, that any particular persons would be killed in a terrorist attack? 19 Saudis, mainly, flew planes into the World Trade Towers and America has gone into a paroxysm of retaliatory fear that may not be even correctly targeted, and that continues 15 years later. The hell with that.


Protest cancelled to protect global cowards leading global powers into making world's most callous decision ever regarding the climate disaster swallowing us all. No doubt that cancellation of protests was demanded by Obama, Merkel, Hollande, & their counterparts in China, England, and elsewhere. The more money is at stake the more cowardly the global coward speaking.


As Ms. Klein made clear in "This Changes Everything" she came to the climate change issue only recently and with a slim grasp of the science. This climate summit is no time for a sociology project. Many far more expert in the issues than Ms. Klein have warned this is mankind's last best chance to forge some meaningful agreement to forestall runaway global warming. We're running out of time needed for consensus, analysis, planning and implementation necessary to transition out of our carbon economy. Decarbonizing our economies and our societies will take time that we may not even have left. Yes there are important issues of social justice and inequality, resource access and allocation, overpopulation and overconsumption and they will have to be addressed at future climate change summits, just not this time. What faces this year's delegates is a truly Herculean task and this is no time for Ms. Klein's distractions.


It's profoundly depressing to report, but since the turn of the century at least, I've found that using the most cynical, venal, rapacious, immoral, psychopathic, megalomaniac model of our 'leaders' motives and agendas that it's possible to conceive of, turns out to be consistently the most accurate predictor of world events and western government responses to them. At least there's some encouragement to be had from the fact that once you hit rock bottom, the only way is up. Only trouble is, I'm not sure we've hit rock bottom yet or how many of us will survive it. Can we please just chuck these people out NOW before it gets any worse and start putting the planet to rights?




Disinformation hogwash. As if the individuals attending this conference with all of the importance to which you attribute the event give a rat's ass about doing the right thing.

For decades they've hedged and hedged their bets. Of course their bets--which continue to push for investments in the old energy technologies, resource decimation, and war--are paid out by those living on the front lines of climate chaos. (This runs parallel to the new breed of market economics that has the 1% using the rest of the world's income as their personal casino chips.)

Anyone who seeks to discredit Ms. Klein by underplaying her understanding of global warming or trivializing her efforts to raise consciousness on the subject by terming it a sociology experiment is not interested in the ideals that she espouses and represents.

So which Koch Brothers' think tank has sponsored you, Vanity Guy?


The government has to protect the lives of civilians. At the moment it is unclear whether the government in Paris can do this. Their intelligence just missed the most serious violent attacks in Paris since World War II. A state of emergency has been called for three months. It is understandable that the people in Paris are scared. Many organizations that were planning to protest changed their plans even before the march and protests were cancelled. There were two separate attacks in Paris just 10 months earlier. This is obviously a very serious situation and I think the authorities in this instance made the right call.


Where the h*ll were you?!! Weren't you suppose to be the first commentator? And you want to be a right wing troll? Hardly. You have all the imagination of a bowel movement! You'll never get Roger Ailes to hand you a check. Now go to your closet and kiss a few pictures of Milton Friedman. And think about what you did. Geez, the quality of trolls these days. Pathetic.


'Climate change is a moral crisis because every time governments of wealthy nations fail to act, it sends a message that we in the global north are putting our immediate comfort and economic security ahead of the suffering and survival of some of the poorest and most vulnerable people on Earth. '

Thus it has 'always' been. The Israelis slaughter more Palestinians each week than were killed in Paris. They have no homes, let alone the help and services available to those in Paris.

Where then is the equality, The mourning, the outrage? Are they somehow less than human?


Don't worry. When 150 million Bangladeshis start to migrate en masse, the powers-that-be will begin to consider the problem, and when the Seine and the Thames back up and the respective underground railways flood, then even the leaders of Britain and France will wonder what they might have done when they had the chance.


The common thread that should be appearing on every window, shirt, and graffiti is that:
"business as usual" (bombing, bank bailouts, austerity and insecurity for the 99%, fossil fuels, industrial farming) is killing the planet and foreclosing a viable future and is no longer tolerable; the system must be rebooted for the common good.