The big news this week is, of course, Copenhagen. What a disaster. The stars were definitely Hugo, Evo and, most importantly, the tens of thousands in the streets who challenged the pretenses of the conference itself. The repression was bad, even by post-Seattle standards.
I am certainly heartened that the Marxist left has, by and large, finally come around to incorporating an ecological critique of the capitalist system. While the elements of such a critique are inherent to Marxism it has taken the profundity of the crisis (and the pushing of certain comrades) to force revolutionaries to explore that critique, but it is being explored. Here’s a bit of a left round up on the conference itself. There is a ton more out there than this so have a look for yourself.
Though Cowards Flinch beat me to the punch and has the latest Carnival of Socialism with lots of coverage of the left take on Copenhagen. Most leftists seems to have been pessimistic about the chances of a climate breakthrough, so at least few will feel disappointed.
Liam’s blog has the video and transcript of Chavez’ (or is it Chavez’s?) speech where he name-checks at least one comrade from each International and that Jewish carpenter from Palestine who hated rich folks. Liam has another piece well worth reading on the movement after the talks as well.
Ecosocialist Derek Wall at Another Green World has a plethora of posts on the conference as does Climate and Capitalism including an interesting article by Patrick Bond on the Cap and Trade debate.
Democracy Now had extensive coverage all week including this interview with Bolivian President Evo Morales.
The venerable Australian paper Green Left Weekly has enough analysis and reports on Copenhagen to keep you reading throughout the Holiday season.
Blogger Anna Chen, AKA Madam Miaow, was on the BBC’s World Have Your Say program discussing Copenhagen and has a video on her site of the debate where she looks at China’s place in the crisis among other things.
International Viewpoint has an article focusing on the movement coming out of Copenhagen. Our friends in the International Marxist Tendency offer their take on the future after the Copenhagen collapse. The ISO offer their analysis of the summit that was “designed to fail.”
According to Chavez, Fidel visited him on the morning he was to leave for Denmark to discuss the conference. Chavez’ speech certainly had plenty of the Commandante in it. Fidel Castro looks at the aftermath and penned these words in his latest Reflection.
I’m certainly glad that socialism was raised as the answer to the capitalist ecological crisis both inside and out of the conference. Barbarism is staring us in the face so we had better raise (and name) a socialist alternative. However, one thing was clear from Copenhagen; the working class, as the working class, was largely absent from the debate. Since the WC is the agent of socialism, this seems a most glaring problem.
Exams are over and a couple of weeks off for the holidays are absolutely in order. My plan is to relax and enjoy these few weeks off from school with some holiday travel. Seeing old friends and comrades in Cincinnati. The blog may be a little lighter than normal, or it may be a little heavier than normal, depending. I do have some sight-seeing plans for Ohio including a return to the Freedom Center (anti-slavery museum in Cincinnati) and I’m going to try and find Marx’s erstwhile comrade and Civil War hero August Willich’s home as well as some local native american earthworks in Madisonville. And I’m going to eat Cincinnati chili coney dogs until I can’t any longer.
Many thanks, RR. 🙂
In some ways there is a similar thing going one, but I feel like the Obama folks are trying to spin Copenhagen as a win, so they’re not too keen on pointing out failures. There is also just a much lower level of attention paid to the actual details of events, so the public perception is muted on most things. It’s no surprise to me at all that the threads are closer to the truth than the reporting. There is a built in sinophobia to much of American politics. We have a number of commentators that still insist on calling out “Red China”, but its usually for perceived “unfair trade practices” or occasionally “human rights” violations and not climate change issues (unless they’re connected to “the trade deficit”). That China appears to own much American debt leads to any number of whacked out conspiracy theories. I expect that as economic competition develops between the two, we will have to battle sinophobia in much of our daily work. Here’s the link to MM’s Guardian letter
Thanks for the mention, RR. What’s now emerging from the Big Fail is an alarming bout of sinophobia in the British media. Is it the same over there? It’s quite amusing to read the threads at the Indy and Guardian where posters are robustly rebutting the press bias and showing an understanding much greater than that of some of the journalists.
If it were possible for my personal choices to change to world, how come they can’t find me a job? Since it is the producing of meat (specifically on a non-grass diet) and not the eating of meat that creates the methane emissions, which are certainly a major contributing factor in the problem, and since it is also true that far more waste of resources and damage to eco-systems are based on the extraction and manufacturing end of the economic cycle; I propose that, rather than I forgoing a delicious coney dog every now and then, and based on the experts I have read, that the way to deal with the problem of our destructive productive process would be: instead of relying on changes in consumer habits (while not discounting them), to expropriate the agri-business industry (and all others as well), placing production at the service of humanity and planning the entire economy, not on the basis of profit, but on that of sustainability. Relying on different commodities to solve the problem when it is commodity production (and its associated drive to accumulation) that is the source of the problem is no answer. I don’t want to be dismissive about what you say; we should lead by example. I recognize that large scale meat production is a huge source of not just the CO2 problem, but other irrational and destructive impacts on our ecological relationships (to say nothing of the social and class conflicts cause by the industry). A rationally planed economy would include far less beef and other meats in folks diets; of that I have no doubt. Me not eating a, again delicious, coney dog would, it seems to me, be one of the very least things I could do in support of the needed changes. Yes, there is some hypocrisy in me eating such things while recognizing the damages caused by the industry that produces it. I am not encouraging a mass dietary shift to the industrial-produced chili dog; then the consumption may actually become the biggest source of methane emissions. I have worked for companies that treat people and the environment as utterly disposable. I pay taxes to a government I see as the force of greatest reaction in the world. And yet I am a revolutionary. Life is full of such hypocrisies, navigating them is how we get along in the world and keep our marbles (and our bellies full).
Since experts say the biggest factor in climate change is factory farming, and that if we stopped eating meat it would have a bigger impact than emissions control, how ’bout giving up the chili dogs?