Strike for Climate Action - prison dispatch from Jeffrey Free
March 20, 2009
Twenty years ago governments of the world met for the first ever climate talks. The talks, then, focused largely on the growing hole in the world's ozone layer (a hole that still exists today) and the need to eliminate CFC emissions (which also still exist today though in much smaller amounts). The other climate item on the agenda was global warming. Scientists warned that there was growing evidence that the world was warming, possibly due to human activity much like the root cause of the ozone hole.
Unfortunately, in 1988 it was decided that global warming did not pose a significant threat to warrant action. The problem could wait to be addressed.
Nearly a decade later, in 1997, the governments of the world met for their annual climate talks in Kyoto, Japan. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a panel of the world's leading scientists from countries around the globe, presented growing evidence that the world faced a severe threat from climate change. These scientists concluded that the single largest contributor to climate change were human greenhouse gas emissions, most notably carbon dioxide (CO2).
For the first time since the inception of the climate talks, world leaders agreed action was needed to combat climate change. The world took notice with a collective gasp as 180 governments pledged their support to a worldwide climate treaty to reduce CO2 emissions in an effort to conquer global warming.
In 2007, a decade after Kyoto and twenty years since the first climate talks, the IPCC declared in its strongest language yet that the world faced imminent global catastrophe unless immediate and drastic action was taken to reduce and then eliminate greenhouse emissions.
In the years following the Kyoto protocol, the United States - the highest emitter of greenhouse gases per capita in the world - pulled out of the treaty. CO2 emission around the world continued to rise. Governments that had promised to reduce emissions failed to impose strict limits, instead relying on voluntary cuts from industry. As industries refused to limit their emissions and governments balked at regulation, the Kyoto protocol collapsed.
The U.S. and numerous other countries with high greenhouse emissions have steadfastly refused to cut CO2 emissions, claiming that doing so would harm their ability remain economically competitive.
In the face of the largest economic collapse in world history, brought about by the very same green, deceit and malfeasance of the worlds most powerful multinational and government deregulation that has allowed CO2 emissions to go unchecked. Government and corporate claims that reducing emissions would create economic hard ring hollow.
People around the world put faith in our governments and institutions to act on our behalf and in our best interests. Our governments have had 20 years to act on global warming and climate change. 20 years to act on a threat that the world's leading scientists say is the greatest threat to human kind the world has ever faced.
Climate change is the greatest threat to human kind the world has ever faced.
Not war or nuclear weapons, no a falling GNP or economic collapse, but climate change. And our governments tell us they won't reduce CO2 emissions because it could - not would, but could - hurt the economy. In reality governments are being pressured by corporate interests that don't want to reduce emissions or switch to a non-carbon based economy because they would have to invest money to do so - money that would otherwise go into corporate coffers or executive bonuses.
This December, world leaders will again meet for climate talks in Copenhagen, Denmark. While protests are sure to greet the conference, we must not limit our influence on the climate discussions to protesting them.
Climate change will impact the lives of every human being in the world. The poorest will be hurt the most. Many are already suffering its effects. We must send our leaders a message in the strongest of languages. One which every nation understands. A message that cannot be ignored.
On December 11, we must unite for a day of international solidarity; we must demand immediate and real action on climate change, not more false promises. We must strike for climate justice.
This is an urgent call to unions, workers and concerned citizens around the world. Organize in your workplace, in your union halls, on your streets. On December 11th, we must unite.
Failure of our governments to take immediate action to regulate and reduce CO2 emissions will cost human lives and untold economic loss. It is not companies or governments that will suffer, but ordinary people in every town and city, in every nation.
It is in our hands to demand action. It is in our hands to show our leaders the true cost of inaction. Workers unite. Demand action. Strike for climate justice on December 11, 2009.
Jeffrey Free Luers
write to Jeff:
Jeffrey Luers # 13797671
9111 NE Sunderland Ave
Portland, OR 97211-1708