And the white man said …

…. come with me brother and trade in carbon. Worry not about your ancient virgin forests for we can plant you a new one. Come Dance with Me, we call it CDM and we’ll sort it for free. Worry not, the World Bank, the UN and the white-man governments know what’s good for you. We need biofuels you see. Climate change is here, we have the answers, all you need do is believe.

The focus of this year’s UNFCCC, held in Nairobi, Kenya was the CDM-the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism-which is in essence designed to enable rich countries to avoid emissions reductions by funding so-called “clean development,” or emissions reductions in poor countries.

African lobby groups, headed by Climate Africa, condemned the inaction of industrialized countries stating, “We are concerned that the developed countries are not keen to take drastic action to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.” Adding, “Instead they are singly and collectively increasing their greenhouse gas emissions.”

During a side event on avoiding deforestation hosted by the European Union, Ministers and UN representatives spoke at length about the importance of ending logging in native forests as a means to limiting the impacts of global warming. The solution, they concluded, was to create a huge fund to give developing countries incentives to protect their forests, which would
be facilitated by assigning standing forests a dollar value for their
so-called “ecosystem services”.

While the information presented on the importance of standing forests for the climate and biodiversity was extensive, the lack of information on the forces driving deforestation was glaring. The presenters ignored the financial pressures forcing countries to log their forests, leaving the impression that poor countries cut their trees because they have nothing better to do.

There was no mention of structural adjustment conditions imposed by the World Bank and IMF that force poor countries to sell off their natural resources at rock-bottom prices to repay development loans. There was likewise nothing said about the continually escalating demand for wood products from Northern countries, much of which winds up in landfills as disposable packaging, junk mail or advertising.

Source: part of an article, ‘United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Fiddles While the Earth Burns’, by Anne Petermann, Co-Director of Global Justice Ecology Project.

This entry was posted in Biofuels, Carbon trading, Climate change, Development, Economics, Education, Food & Agriculture, Nature & Conservation, Politics & Policy initiatives, Protest, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to And the white man said …

  1. earthpal says:

    Truly disturbing Matt.

    Quite staggering to know that people are manipulating the climate issue to further their own agenda.

    The developing countries are in a catch 22 situation regarding deforestation and the richer countries really must sensitively take into account the complex social and economical aspects when regarding some of the causes of deforestation.

  2. matt says:

    I do feel uneasy about the speed at which market driven instruments, controlled by institutions run largely by countries of the ‘north’, are determining the way climate change is mitigated. New technologies, yes of course. Increasing current consumption levels however, on the back of very confusing carbon trading regimes, seems like a recipe for the blind leading the blind …. into disaster.

  3. Ramsey Fahel says:

    Do Not Mail Opt-Out Law would be fair to everyone.

    The proposed recent “Do not mail” is an Opt-Out law. Only those not desiring advertising mail need opt-out. Anyone desiring advertising mail can do nothing – and continue to receive it. Why deny those wishing to avoid advertising mail the power to do so?

    I do not consider handling unwanted advertising placed against my will on my personal property to be a civic obligation!

    The US Supreme Court said in the Rowan case in 1970, ““In today’s [1970] complex society we are inescapably captive audiences for many purposes, but a sufficient measure of individual autonomy must survive to permit every householder to exercise control over unwanted mail. To make the householder the exclusive and final judge of what will cross his threshold undoubtedly has the effect of impeding the flow of ideas, information, and arguments that, ideally, he should receive and consider. Today’s merchandising methods, the plethora of mass mailings subsidized by low postal rates, and the growth of the sale of large mailing lists as an industry in itself have changed the mailman from a carrier of primarily private communications, as he was in a more leisurely day, and have made him an adjunct of the mass mailer who sends unsolicited and often unwanted mail into every home. It places no strain on the doctrine of judicial notice to observe that whether measured by pieces or pounds, Everyman’s mail today is made up overwhelmingly of material he did not seek from persons he does not know. And all too often it is matter he finds offensive.”

    Furthermore, the Supreme Court said, “the mailer’s right to communicate is circumscribed only by an affirmative act of the addressee giving notice that he wishes no further mailings from that mailer.

    To hold less would tend to license a form of trespass and would make hardly more sense than to say that a radio or television viewer may not twist the dial to cut off an offensive or boring communication and thus bar its entering his home. Nothing in the Constitution compels us to listen to or view any unwanted communication, whatever its merit; we see no basis for according the printed word or pictures a different or more preferred status because they are sent by mail.”

    We need a nationwide “Do Not Mail” law to create a one-stop, convenient place for homeowners to give senders the aforementioned affirmative notice that we do not want certain kinds of mail sent to our homes.

    Ramsey A Fahel

  4. matt says:

    Interesting ‘campaign’ link Ramsey. I wonder how you managed to find us! Especially as the blog post title gives little hint of advertising ‘junk’ mail being a central issue. But it is one of the issues so I’ll answer it.

    The UK also has a very effective ‘don’t call’ register but not, as far as I’m aware, a ‘don’t post’ junk mail register. A good idea. As for the poor beleaguered postman being increasingly weighed down with junk mail work, this is also true for the UK. My own postman is testament to that.

    An effective approach in the Netherlands because it is so simply, are the ‘no junk mail’ stickers they can add to their postbox/door. The key is the standardised sticker design, probably available from their post office!

  5. Pete Smith says:

    “The Mailing Preference Service (MPS) is a free service set up 20 years ago and funded by the direct mail industry to enable consumers to have their names and home addresses in the UK removed from or added to lists used by the industry. It is actively supported by the Royal Mail and all directly involved trade associations and fully supported by The Information Commissioners Office.”

    I’ve registered and it works pretty well. Sadly, it doesn’t apply to the unaddressed junk mail that the postman brings with the gas bill.

    Just a point of information Mister Chairman. What it’s got to do with the original post or indeed this entire blog is less than obvious.

  6. matt says:

    So it applies to mail through the door. Doesn’t stop my bank hounding me to take out loans!

    The junk mail angle zooms in on one aspect of this post;

    ‘continually escalating demand for wood products from Northern countries, much of which winds up in landfills as disposable packaging, junk mail or advertising.’

  7. Pete Smith says:

    The MPS applies to random unsolicited mailings using your details off a big shared list. It doesn’t apply to inducements from companies of whom you are already a customer. There should be a mechanism for you to tell your bank, or whoever, that you don’t want offers of loans or credit cards.

  8. Pete Smith says:

    Sorry, by “there should be a mechanism…” I meant “you should find that there is a mechanism…”. All financial services organisations give you the chance to opt out. But some make it harder work than others. First Direct is VERY good.

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