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A “Climate Movement Across the Movements”

By Patrick Bond - CounterPunch, March 31 2015

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

Looming ahead in eight months’ time is another Conference of Polluters, or COP (technically, the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). The last twenty did zilch to save us from climate catastrophe. Judging by early rough drafts of the Paris COP21 agreement recently leaked, another UN fiasco is inevitable.

The ‘Coalition Climat21’ strategy meeting for Paris was held in Tunis on March 23-24, just before the World Social Forum. I had a momentary sense this could be a breakthrough gathering, if indeed fusions were now ripe to move local versions of ‘Blockadia’ – i.e. hundreds of courageous physical resistances to CO2 and methane emissions sources – towards a genuine global political project. The diverse climate activists present seemed ready for progressive ideology, analysis, strategy, tactics and alliances. Between 150 and 400 people jammed a university auditorium over the course of the two days, mixing French, English and Arabic.

It was far more promising than the last time people gathered for a European COP, in 2009 at Copenhagen, when the naivety of ‘Seal the Deal’ rhetoric from mainstream climate organisations proved debilitating. That was a narrative akin to drawing lemmings towards – and over – a cliff: first up the hill of raised expectations placed on UN negotiators, before crashing down into a despondency void lasting several years. Recall that leaders of the US, Brazil, South Africa, India and China did a backroom deal that sabotaged a binding emissions follow-up to the Kyoto Protocol. In ‘Hopenhagen,’ even phrases like ‘System change not climate change’ were co-opted, as green capital educated by NGO allies agreed that a definition of ‘system’ (e.g. from fossil fuels to nuclear) could be sufficiently malleable to meet their rhetorical needs.

That precedent notwithstanding, the phrase “A climate movement across the movements” used here seemed to justify an urgent unity of diverse climate activists, along with heightened attempts to draw in those who should be using climate in their own specific sectoral work. The two beautiful words ‘Climate Justice’ are on many lips but I suspect the cause of unity may either erase them from the final phraseology or water them down to nebulousness.

The First Global Festival for Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion

By Javier S. Castro - Notes toward an International Libertarian Eco-Socialism, January 26, 2015

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

Organized by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), the first annual Festival Mundial de las Resistencias y Rebeldías contra el Capitalismo, or the Global Festival for Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion, was held in central and southern Mexico over a two-week period at the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015. The event’s subtitle sums up its purpose well: “While those from above destroy, those from below rebuild.” Taken as a whole, this new Festival recalled the different “intergalactic” meetings hosted by the EZLN in Chiapas in the 1990’s, such as the Intercontinental Encounter for Humanity and Against Neo-Liberalism (1996). According to the statistics made known at the event’s close at CIDECI-Unitierra in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, the number of officially registered participants at the Festival came to over 3400 Mexicans, including 1300 individuals belonging to 20 indigenous ethnicities, and 500 foreigners from 49 countries—though the total number of those who attended the Grand Cultural Festival in Mexico City and the EZLN’s year-end festivities at the Oventik caracol at other points over the course of the Festival must be considered as amounting to several times this total. While the Festival generally focused on the numerous problematics faced by Mexico’s various indigenous peoples amidst the power of capital and State—due in no small part, indeed, to the central participation of the CNI in the event—the distressing case of the 43 students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School who were forcibly disappeared by police in Iguala, Guerrero, in late September also took central stage throughout the event.

The Anti-Capitalist Festival was inaugurated in Mexico state on 21 December, and the comparticiones (“sharings”) followed for two days afterward in two locations in central Mexico. While I was present for neither, I can here relate the reports made ex post facto at CIDECI regarding the goings-on at these spaces. The launch of the comparticiones took place simultaneously in San Francisco Xochicuautla in Mexico state and in Amilcingo, Morelos. San Francisco Xochicuautla has become an emblem of socio-ecological resistance in Mexico lately, as the local indigenous Ñatho peoples have opposed themselves to the imposed plan of building a new private highway on their territory—a project that implies vast deforestation, and which has to date seen State repression meted out on those in opposition—while, as two Nahua CNI delegates from Morelos explained to me as we waited together outside the Zapatista Good-Government Council’s office at Oventik on New Year’s Eve, the case of Amilcingo reflects the problems of domestic and foreign rackets, extractivism, and profit in Mexico, as these exigencies result in the plundering of territory (despojo) and fundamentally violate indigenous autonomy. In Amilcingo, in accordance with the vision set forth in the “Integral Morelos Plan” (PIM) that has been on the books for years, there has been an attempt to construct a natural gas pipeline that would supply a planned thermal power station, this despite the various dangers posed to the integrity of such structures within such a seismically and volcanically active area as Morelos. In Amilcingo, as in San Francisco Xochicuautla, indigenous Nahuas have mobilized to prevent the construction project from being carried through. At both sites on 22-23 December, representatives from indigenous ethnicities represented in the CNI and affiliates of the National and International Sixth—that is to say, those who subscribe to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle (2005)—made presentations about their struggles, philosophies, and commitments.

EcoUnionist News #26

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, February 1, 2015

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

The following news items feature issues, discussions, campaigns, or information potentially relevant to green unionists:

Lead Stories:

Crude by Rail:

Carbon Bubble:

Green Jobs and Just Transition:

Other News of Interest:

For more green news, please visit our news feeds section on ecology.iww.org; Twitter #IWWEUC

EcoUnionist News #18

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, January 6, 2015

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

The following news items feature issues, discussions, campaigns, or information potentially relevant to green unionists:

Lead Story:

Railroad Workers, Safety, and the Environment:

Black Lives Matter:

Other News of Interest:

For more green news, please visit our news feeds section on ecology.iww.org; Twitter #IWWEUC

EcoUnionist News #15

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, December 30, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

The following news items feature issues, discussions, campaigns, or information potentially relevant to green unionists:

Lead Stories:

Other News of Interest:

For more green news, please visit our news feeds section on ecology.iww.org; Twitter #IWWEUC

EcoUnionist News #11

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, December 18, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

The following news items feature issues, discussions, campaigns, or information potentially relevant to green unionists:

Lead Story:

Dispatches from Lima COP20:

Other News of Interest:

For more green news, please visit our news feeds section on ecology.iww.org; Twitter #IWWEUC

EcoUnionist News #10

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, December 17, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

The following news items feature issues, discussions, campaigns, or information potentially relevant to green unionists:

Lead Story:

Urgent Action:

  • Philippines sugar organizer murdered - Act Now!

Dispatches from Lima COP20:

Other News of Interest:

For more green news, please visit our news feeds section on ecology.iww.org; Twitter #IWWEUC

Is the Keystone XL’s Big Fail in the Senate a “Hollow Victory” for Environmentalists?

By Cascadia Earth First! - Earth First! Newswire, November 18, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

So the Keystone XL bill failed to pass Congress. The Big Fail marks a huge success for groups who have been struggling to expose the KXL for the dirty policy it represents. The actions taken on the day of the vote, including the disruption in the Senate chamber and the blocking Senators Bennet (D-Col.) and Carper (D-Del.) from leaving their offices, speak to the dedication and tirelessness of the movement to stop the pipeline.

So we can all go home now, right? We won!

The problem is that the bill will be back in January, and the congress we’re dealing with right now is very different from the one we’ll see ushered into office at the beginning of 2015. Just because the lame-duck Congress voted against the bill (barely) with its Democratic Party majority does not mean that the Republicans will have any problem sweeping it through when they take the majority.

The Democratic Party’s vote does give Obama a mandate to veto the bill next year if and when it goes through, but the question remains as to whether or not he will use it. In short, the Big Fail and ensuing celebrations from the Environmental NGOs looks suspiciously like a setup. It’s definitely not time to demobilize.

A deal to save the planet - or to wreck it?

By Jonathan Neale - Campaign Against Climate Change, November 15, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

Obama of the United States and Xi of China have signed a bilateral climate agreement.

Much of the American and British media, and many Democrats in America, have hailed the deal as a key step forward. Many American Republicans have attacked it as going much too far. 

Anything the Republicans attack has to be good. Right? No. In fact it is an appalling deal. 

Let's look at the numbers.

The US has agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 28% below 2005 levels by 2030. But 2005 was the highest year ever for US emissions. They have already declined 10% in 8 years. Obama is promising that they will decline another 18% in 15 years. 

China has agreed to reach peak emissions by 2030. Chinese economic growth has been running 10% a year. If that growth continued, Chinese emissions in 2030 would be four times what they are now. But economic growth will not continue at that level, and there will be some progress in energy efficiency. Still, this is a promise to roughly double Chinese emissions by 2030.

The US and China between them produce almost half the world's CO2 emissions (45%). If the US cuts 18% and China doubles emission, their combined emissions will increase by more than a third. 

But it's worse. Because even if they cut emissions in half, they would still be increasing the amount of CO2 in the air each year. They would be warming the planet. Instead, they are increasing the amount of CO2 they put in the air each year. They are promising to warm the planet faster each year.

Climate politics at a dead end – How to build a new road

By Patrick Mazza - Cascadia Planet, November 13, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

Climate politics is dead-ended. 

It may seem strange to make such a statement in the wake of the much-heralded U.S.-China climate deal announced November 12.  So let me clarify.

President Obama did announce the intent to reduce U.S. carbon emissions 26-28% by 2025, while China said it would peak carbon emissions and generate at least 20% of its energy from non-fossil sources by 2030. 

All well and good, but far from the 6% annual emissions cuts required to hold overall global warming under 2° Celsius, the minimal borderline between climate disruption that is merely severe and that which is utterly catastrophic (though many scientists believe the cutoff is more like 1.5°C). In other words, the U.S.-China agreement represents only a slower road to climate hell.

Okay, but it’s a start, right?

“The agreement with China is a good first step. But we hope it is but a first step because it is not enough to prevent significant climate change,” noted Kevin Trenberth, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Unfortunately, it may be the last step possible in the current political environment.  Republican election victories in the U.S. Senate and states around the country have put legislative progress on global warming into a deep freeze.

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