Rage against the machine

By Gareth Renowden 15/11/2009


Before I begin the onerous task of catching up with the posts left undone by a fortnight of tourism and hospitality (old friends, in NZ), I’d like to draw your attention to a most interesting piece by Naomi (No Logo) Klein in the current Rolling Stone. Titled Climate Rage, it’s a thorough examination of the issue of climate debt — the need to recognise two things in any climate deal: that the developed world got rich by using up and exceeding the atmosphere’s “headroom” for greenhouse gases, and that the ones who suffer first and most severely will be the developing world, who played no part in creating the problem.

“If we are to curb emissions in the next decade, we need a massive mobilization larger than any in history,” [Angelica] Navarro [climate negotiator for Bolivia] declared at the end of her talk. “We need a Marshall Plan for the Earth. This plan must mobilize financing and technology transfer on scales never seen before. It must get technology onto the ground in every country to ensure we reduce emissions while raising people’s quality of life. We have only a decade.”

Klein reviews the calls for climate equity coming from the developing world, and the inadequacy of the responses currently on offer. She highlights the frustration felt:

The developing world has always had plenty of reasons to be pissed off with their northern neighbors, with our tendency to overthrow their governments, invade their countries and pillage their natural resources. But never before has there been an issue so politically inflammatory as the refusal of people living in the rich world to make even small sacrifices to avert a potential climate catastrophe. In Bangladesh, the Maldives, Bolivia, the Arctic, our climate pollution is directly responsible for destroying entire ways of life – yet we keep doing it.

If you read nothing else today, read this.