As 99% of the world cries out with various forms of the Occupy Movement, one thing seems to be clear to almost all— the systems we have created for humanity to live within need to be reconsidered, and ultimately transformed. These are crazy times and to look at our systems globally is to wonder, with all of the magnificent brilliance of humanity, how did we end up here? Why do our political, medical, legal, educational, financial systems seem ineffective in truly serving humanity at large? How can we continue to make decisions about one country or state, when this is one world and the boundaries are shrinking with the realization like parts of the body— what is done to one part (or country) affects the whole body or (world). Why can’t we take this to heart and take action about climate change and agree to significant environmental policy for our world and our future? If not at COP17, maybe Rio+20 will be the time— after all Brazil is shaped like a heart.
The United Nations conferences have been the global games for tackling environmental issues facing humanity and our planet. COP17 is taking place in Durban, South Africa and how many in the world are even aware? Yes, the daily agenda is dense and intense— making it easier for most of us to ignore as week two begins. This past week the US media had little coverage on COP17. Was it primarily because much of the world perceived the United States’ leading monetary capitalism as the giant elephant in the room that prevented the rest of the world from taking steps forward?
Finally, the New York Times did a thorough article on the Kyoto Protocol, which is the closest we have come so far, to significant global environmental policy— although flawed it still may be better than not having anything. Here is a good article on the EU ‘s fight for climate policy. Unfortunately, the US Congress attempts to pass energy or climate policy has stalled as the issue is gridlocked between Democrats and the Republicans. Perhaps an African approach would be more successful? S. Africa’s actions with renewable energy and approach to understand the link to economics deserves attention.
On Friday there was talk that China would indeed consider signing a deal at COP17— if so the United States might no longer have an excuse. Memories of COP15 and bearing witness to the frustrating way the United States and China were communicating with the rest of the world still haunt many of us.
C17 took an active role in organizing the march of about 5,000 people through the streets of Durban this past weekend. Tck,tck,tck, a campaign World Team Now is involved with, helped rally the civil action that is an important part of all the U.N. conferences. This UNFCC conference was no different— as marches bring more than talk, paper, and policy and into lives showing masses of humanity together in action.
APE has a long history of raising funds to help those suffering from the effects of natural disasters. To date, three albums have been launched in collaboration with Cuban musicians and Western artists, including Amy Winehouse, Sting, Coldplay, U2, and Gorillaz. Global sales have topped the one and a half million mark allowing the organization to fund nearly 300 global projects which address natural disaster relief and climate change awareness. World Team Now stands in support of this work.
Hope, at the Last Minute
As usual the last two days of the conference, the 8th and the 9th, when the heads of state are all present, we can hope action will happen. As much as we would like to see progress here, unfortunately the end may be when the Kyoto Protocol expires— the last chance looks to be Rio in June, but hope still remains for the Kyoto Protocol at COP17. Remembering the legacy of President Lulu and seeing how amazing he was in Copenhagen at COP15, we ask Brazil to keep on the path of transformation at COP17 as in this AVAZ campaign. It would be great if we would awake to perceive these last 20 years of trying to come to an agreement as just a bad dream, and be present to a new reality for our world…