Naomi Klein and Angry Arab.

Angry Arab is intimidating.

Also – the compromise between Liberals and Labor on climate change legislation essentially means we face bipartisan opposition to climate change action. This will go down as a dark day.

Naomi Klein talks about climate change reparations. It’s important, but it won’t happen.

In fact, 75% of the historical carbon emissions have been produced by only 20% of the world’s population. Then we have this cruel geographical irony, which is that the effects of climate change our felt overwhelmingly in the developing world, and the parts of the world that are least responsible for creating the crisis. According to the World Bank, 75-80 of the effects of climate change are being felt in the developing world. So, you have this inverse relationship between cause and effect.It is in this context that we see a growing movement from the developing countries that really are on the front lines of climate change, saying that the rich world that created the climate crisis owes them a debt, owes them a tangible reparations for the creation of this crisis. And those reparations should be paid in three forms. First through deep emissions cuts in the developed world, in the rich world. At least 40% below 1990 levels- this is a figure we have heard a lot. In addition to this, they are saying the rich world, the G-8 countries, the industrialized countries, should pay for the costs, the huge costs, that poor countries face in adapting to climate change. In addition to that, they’re also saying that they would like to leapfrog over the dirty energies, the fossil fuels that are fueling the climate crisis. But they point out that this is expensive and more expensive to shift to cleaner green technology than it is to develop with cheap, dirty fuels, which is the way we did in the rich world. So, they are saying we will change, but we don’t think we should have to pay this additional cost because of our problem that is not of our creation. Essentially the climate debt arguments is the “polluter pays” argument, which is a familiar argument to people in the United States, its a basic principle of jurisprudence. Another way of putting this is “you broke it, you bought it”.


So, it’s really tricky for activists in terms of figuring out how you interact with a summit like this. So, there’s one day, for instance, the 18th—December 18th, where activists are going to be kind of storming the conference center, nonviolently, but using civil disobedience. But their goal, they say, is not to shut down the meeting, but to open up the meeting and to have a forum inside the meeting to talk about real climate solutions, like leaving fossil fuels in the ground—dirty fossil fuels, particularly things like the Alberta tar sands—talking about solutions like climate debt that we’ve been discussing, and exposing the fallacies of the claims that the market can solve the climate crisis.


One of the things in this—you know, a large part what I write about in No Logo is the absorption of these political movements into the world of marketing. And, you know, the first time I saw the “Yes, We Can” video that was produced by, my first thought was, you know, “Wow. A politician has finally produced an ad as good as Nike that plays on our, sort of, faded memories of a more idealistic era, but, yet, doesn’t quite say anything.” We think we hear the message we want to hear, but if you really parse it, the promises aren’t there, it’s really the emotions.


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