“The rich countries of the north helped bankers, the big banks. I’ve forgotten the figure, but it’s astronomical. What they’re saying on the streets is that ‘if the climate was a bank they would already have saved it’. I think it’s true.”
– Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela
Dave Riley in comments here (While we’ve disagreed about Chavez, I completely agree with Dave that Chavez’s comments at COP15 were accurate, needed, and on target.)
But whose speech (and role) at Copenhagen was very much geared to saving the planet and promoting a peoples movement against climate change? Who nailed the environment issues? Who called out the pollies for being toadies of bosses? Who said,”If the climate were a bank, they would have bailed it out already”.None other than Hugo Chavez — who this blog chooses to denigrate — and Evo Morales. This is something highly significant for those who complain about left politics and for anyone looking for something to get excited about. The Latin American peoples movements have moved onto a world stage and shown the capitalist toadies up for their complete and utter failure to do anything viable to save the planet from several degrees of catastrophic warming.
Lauren Carroll Harris’ report from Copenhagen captures some of this significance:”We will not die quietly”: Voices from the Third World at Copenhagen.
I don’t know about you lot, but this is something to get excited about because an alternative way forward for humanity has been sharply posed.
Tuvalu was also extraordinary, and basically got the rebellion going and forced the issues into the debate. Onluy to be sandbagged and ignored by the US and Europe.
The politicians have chosen low taxes and oil money today over survival tomorrow.
Those of us who watched this conference with open eyes aren’t surprised. Every day, practical, intelligent solutions that would cut our emissions of warming gases have been offered by scientists, developing countries and protesters – and they have been systematically vetoed by the governments of North America and Europe.
Chavez accused US President Barack Obama of behaving like an emperor “who comes in during the middle of the night … and cooks up a document that we will not accept, we will never accept.”
Chávez declared that “all countries are equal.” He would not accept that some countries had prepared a text for a climate deal and just “slipped [it] under the door” to be signed by the others. He accused them of “a real lack of transparency.”
“We can’t wait any longer, we are leaving … We are leaving, knowing that it wasn’t possible getting a deal,” he said.