Earth Day Hijacked by Climate Wealth Opportunists
April 21st, 2010 will Mark the fall of the Mainstream Environmental ‘Movement’
For many in the climate justice movement, the growing trend of cozy alliances between many of the mainstream ENGOs with multinational corporate partners has been a toxic recipe; the price of which may be nothing less than complete ecological devastation. The result of these unscrupulous relationships is undeserved legitimacy for transnational corporations, as compromised NGOs run hand in hand with CEOs and executives in a race to the lowest common denominator. The common denominator is money and the finish line is paved in gold – but at what cost? Species extinction is happening at a scale of epic proportions, droughts and storms are happening at unparalleled magnitude; irreversible climate change catastrophe now stares at us in the face. The most inconvenient truth of all – that today – we now stand on the cusp of epic collapse of civilization. Has Earth Day become nothing more than a day of greenwash opportunism and will it mark the fall of the mainstream environmental movement.
Creating Climate Wealth Summit
Invitation from the ‘Earth Day Network’:
“Please join Earth Day Network and the Carbon War Room on April 21, 2010 from 6:00 p.m.-10:00p.m. at the Ronald Reagan Building for a celebration on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day! Join Sir Richard Branson, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and celebrities. Join attendees from the Creating Climate Wealth Summit, our keynote speakers Richard Branson and Lisa Jackson, and enjoy a night conversing with other professionals that are making a difference in the climate change market! Held at the beautiful Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Washington, D.C., this night will not only bring together those that are making a difference in the climate marketplace, but it will provide superb dining, excellent entertainment and a night of networking not to be missed! Seats are limited and will sell out; tickets will only be available in advance. Purchase before March 31, 2010 and receive a 10% discount! Ticket prices: $450 – Full Ticket, $295 – Non-profit and Academic, Please contact us regarding government rates. Leadership Celebration Dinner Guests include Richard Branson; Founder and Chairman, Virgin Group Denis Hayes Honorary Chair, Earth Day Network Organizer, Earth Day 1970 Lisa Perez Jackson Administrator, EPA.”
Executive board members of the ‘Carbon War Room’ include CEO of Virgin Unite and former CEO of Richard Branson’s Virgin Mobile (partner of original Havas tcktcktck campaign), and George Polk; currently leading a new $1 billion initiative by George Soros to invest private equity in climate change business models.
Richard Branson is ubiquitous. His corporations Virgin and Virgin Atlantic are partners in ‘The Climate Group’ (comprised of corporations and government) and he has worked with tcktcktck in the past. In 2007, HSBC announced that The Climate Group, along with WWF, Earthwatch, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, would be a partner in the HSBCClimate Partnership, and donated US$100 million to the group – the largest-ever single corporate donation. As of December 2008, The Climate Group coalition includes more than 50 of the world’s largest corporations and sub-national governments, as well as several partner organizations. The Climate Group also works on other initiatives, one being that of the ‘Voluntary Carbon Standard’, a new global standard for voluntary offset projects.
‘Sir’ Richard Branson is presently working with the New Royal Society initiative on ‘solar radiation management’ with “the right stakeholders” to “create a strategic roadmap for governance and regulation” in the geoengineering “battle area.” As well, Branson is fervently developing “tourism ventures into space”. You can book your place in space on Richards “sexiest spaceship ever” at your earliest convenience, because, according to Richard, “Everybody should have the chance to experience space travel one day”. Branson also has massive investments in biofuel research including palm and soy – both of which have had devastating consequences.
Turning food and Displacement into Corporate Profits
Amsterdam, 17 March 2010 – “A roadmap for introducing biofuel blends into commercial jet fuel, to be discussed today at the World Biofuels Conference in Amsterdam, will lead to faster deforestation and climate change and spells disaster for Indigenous peoples, other forest-dependent communities and small farmers …”
Peter Diamandis, strategic advisor from the “Climate Response Fund” is also interested in space tourism. Diamandis is an international leader in the commercial space arena, having founded a commercial space company developing private, FAA-certified parabolic flight utilizing a Boeing 727-200 aircraft. He is the Chairman & co-founder of the Rocket Racing League (www.rocketracingleague.com). Diamandis is a Managing Director and Co-Founder of Space Adventures (www.spaceadventures.com), the company which brokered the launches of four private citizens to the International Space Station.
“Virgin Galactic has envisioned one flight a week, with six tourists aboard. Each will pay $200,000 for the ride and train for at least three days before going. About 80,000 people have placed their names on the waiting list for seats.”
Expanding the market for aviation, and creating a market for space travel in a climate crisis, while people die, and are displaced, is nothing less than psychopathic behavior. Could any of the 80,000 blinded narcissists on the waiting list be one of the 100 top paid CEOs still raking it in, in Canada? The total average compensation for Canada’s 100 highest paid CEOs was approx. 7.5 million dollars in 2008—a stark contrast from the total average Canadian income of $42,305. They pocketed what takes Canadians earning an average income an entire year to make by 1:06 pm January 4—the first working day of the year.
Now compare the above ‘Climate Wealth’ invitation with excerpts from this letter from Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, to the United Nations representatives; September 27th, 2007:
“Sister and brother Presidents and Heads of States of the United Nations: The world is suffering from a fever due to climate change, and the disease is the capitalist development model. Whilst over 10,000 years the variation in carbon dioxide (CO2) levels on the planet was approximately 10%, during the last 200 years of industrial development, carbon emissions have increased by 30%. Since 1860, Europe and North America have contributed 70% of the emissions of CO2. 2005 was the hottest year in the last one thousand years on this planet. …
Faced with this situation, we – the indigenous peoples and humble and honest inhabitants of this planet – believe that the time has come to put a stop to this, in order to rediscover our roots, with respect for Mother Earth; with the Pachamama as we call it in the Andes. Today, the indigenous peoples of Latin America and the world have been called upon by history to convert ourselves into the vanguard of the struggle to defend nature and life. …
In my own country I suffer, with my head held high, this permanent sabotage because we are ending privileges so that everyone can “Live Well” and not better than our counterparts.”
Read the letter from Evo Morales in its entirety here.
Watch Evo Morales speak of the inequality of climate change here.
The Rich get Richer and the poor die of hunger and thirst
“The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human” – Aldous Huxley
It seems the wealthy and their partners have become completely blind to the reality of the climate change crisis. There is fiction and non fiction – the wealthy and their partners live in a narcissistic world of deception created by themselves. They fail to acknowledge the current reality – instead, they cling to false solutions in a fantasy world. They do so at the expense of survival of all species on earth. Is the wealth such elites accumulate by profiting from the climate crisis, which they created in the first place, to be given to the poorest of the poor; the disenfranchised men, women and children, who die of hunger and thirst?
Objects in mirror are closer than they appear
The corporate climate groups sprouting up left right and centre are not about saving civilization from devastation, these corporately inundated climate groups are about protecting the capitalist system itself and protecting corporate profits at all costs. Just like governments are not in Iraq and Afghanistan to ‘liberate the people’ … corporations are not creating alliances with NGOs to ‘save humanity’. When they pretend otherwise – they both deluding themselves and the public. Corporations never fail to exploit crisis, such as ecosystem collapse, to further vested corporate economic interests. The United Nations has reported that in 2008 the world’s largest corporations caused 2.2 trillion dollars worth of environmental damage. If these corporations were not able to externalize these costs by way of destroying and poisoning the natural environment, one-third of their profits would be lost. Almost twenty years after Rio, emissions have reached an all time high. As corporate profits have soared – so have carbon emissions. Since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio Earth Summit) in 1992, the world has witnessed a staggering increase in CO2 emissions of over 40%. The global community must acknowledge that the capitalist system cannot ensure our survival – it can only ensure our certain demise.
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley
The Staggering Inequality of Climate Change
Globally, the wealthiest 8% emit 50% of all emissions
And most of this is for a display of opulence and over consumption. Professor Stephen Pacala of Princeton University calculated the emissions per person based on 6.5 billion people. What he found is startling. He found that the 3 billion poorest people emit essentially nothing. Simply stated, the development of the desperately poor is not in conflict with solving the climate crisis. Ironically, the reluctance of developing countries to drastically cut carbon is often used as an excuse by developed nations to do nothing. For example, Zimbabwe emits 0.93 tonnes of carbon per person, while the United States emit 19.66 tonnes of carbon per person. Canada emits 17.86 tonnes of carbon per person. India produces 1.17 tonnes of carbon per person while China produces 3.7 tonnes of carbon per person. Bottom line – a person in Canada or the U.S. produces approx. 20 times the carbon than an average person in a vulnerable, developing country such as Zimbabwe.
The wealthiest 15% emit 75% of all emissions
Furthermore, Pacala’s data shows that the wealthiest 15% are responsible for ¾ of global emissions.
“In contrast, the rich are really spectacular emitters. …the top 500 million people [7.5% of humanity] emit half the greenhouse emissions. These people are really rich by global standards. Every single one of them earns more than the average American and they also occur in all the countries of the world. There are Chinese and Americans and Europeans and Japanese and Indians all in this group.”
The remaining 85% of humanity emit only 25% of all emissions
Pacala’s data shows the globally wealthy could solve the crisis. Most importantly, it also shows there is absolutely no other way. Humanity must cut fossil fuel emissions massively and the only people who can cut global fossil fuel use to the extent needed are the wealthiest 15%. Furthermore, most of the cuts will need to be made by the wealthiest 7½%, because they are using almost all of it. The globally wealthy must make the major reductions. Below is the Nov. 09 Global Carbon Project carbon budget. In the graph it shows that the carbon emissions budget for the Unites States and Australia budget (& I will assume Canada) until 2050 will be used up by 2019.
Humanity will not longer survive within the Capitalist System
Ecology and economy are interdependent. Both words have a common root: the Greek word “oikos” which means home. A whole earth economy is an economy based not on the wealth of a few but the welfare of the many – not living better than others – but “living well”. A whole earth economy recognizes the earth has ecological limits and that if these limits are not respected there will be serious, irreversible consequences. The warning from Rio in 1992 continues to be ignored;
“Humanity stands at a defining moment in history. We are confronted with a perpetuation of disparities between and within nations, a worsening of poverty, hunger, ill health and illiteracy and the continuing deterioration of the ecosystem on which we depend for our well being (Preamble, Agenda 21, UNCED, 1992)”
If the global community continues to fail to heed the admonitions of the past, it is the rights not only of present, but also future generations who will suffer. The time has long since passed for tolerating the gross negligence of those who satisfy their insatiable wants at the expense of the fundamental needs and inalienable rights of others.
Ethics verses exploitation. It’s that simple. Choose a side.
A Kiss of Death to Faux ‘Green’ Capitalism and Those that Defend It
The only way climate catastrophe can be prevented is if the global community confronts those who impede action. Once confronted, such compromised organizations , individuals and governments who continue to place their own self interests above that of humanity, will come to be seen as not just self serving, but highly unethical and criminally negligent. They must be shunned by society. Opulence and over consumptive lifestyles must become not a source of status, but a source of shame. The licenses and charters of corporations that perpetuate this negligence must be revoked.
Divesting in the bad and investing the good
All products that are destructive to human health and the ecosystem must be phased out and then prohibited. Rather than spending money on the food and the products that perpetuate ill health, exploit people, cause death and destroy the natural environment, the global community must invest in and subsidize what is necessary for humans and what is beneficial for the ecosystem.
Suicidal Tendencies; Refusing to Face Reality at One’s Own Peril
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Einstein
The absolute apathy of the mainstream ‘environmental movement’ has never been more clearly demonstrated than in the invitation for the ‘climate wealth summit’.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) model is one of the best we have at this time, keeping in mind it omits Arctic carbon feedbacks (like all the models), so in reality, the future looks much more terrifying. The MIT median projection for the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide in 2095 is a jaw-dropping 866 ppm.
About 4.5 million years ago, during the early Pliocene period, temperatures on Earth were some 3 to 4 degrees C (5.4 to 7.2 degrees F.) higher in the tropics, and perhaps 10 degrees C (18 degrees F.) warmer near the poles. Palm trees grew in Antarctica and alligators inhabited swamps above the Arctic Circle. We are now firmly on this path.
While the wealthy and their partners cover their ears to the cries of the most vulnerable and disenfranchised, who plead for no more than a right to simply stay alive, the wealthy and their partners, blind to the suffering of others, instead create new markets for wealth profits. The wealthy thus make a mockery of those who are already suffering from the dire effects of climate change. The actions of the wealthy elite could be compared to eating Christmas dinner in front of a person starving to death in a refugee camp.
Climate Wealth Summit Undermines Essence and Intent of Earth Day
In 1969 John McConnell, felt it necessary to propose a holiday in which we celebrate the Earth’s life and beauty. Along with a celebration of the Earth, he also intended Earth Day to alert earthlings about the need for preserving and renewing the threatened ecological balances upon which all life on Earth depends. McConnell said, “Let every individual and institution now think and act as a responsible trustee of Earth, seeking choices in ecology, economics and ethics that will provide a sustainable future, eliminate pollution, poverty and violence, awaken the wonder of life and foster peaceful progress in the human adventure.” Today would he not roll in his grave at the thought of a ‘creating climate wealth summit’ – in essence – profiting from the collapse of civilization. Their ‘climate wealth’ solutions could be compared to the Ku Klux Klan working with the ‘Martin Luther King, Jr. foundation to ensure rights and justice for those suffering from racism.
“One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.” Chinua Achebe| Nigerian Writer
The global community must choose
The world has a choice to make: humanity over corporate profits or corporate profits over humanity. The global community can choose profits resulting from the actions of compromised and self-serving people, institutions and governments; or, the global community can choose humanity through altruism and ethical solutions. In global solidarity, citizens must defend our dying Mother earth. We must create a new world; a world of meaning, sharing, beauty, culture, love and respect in a race towards a zero carbon where all children and all life will flourish.
Ethical grassroots organizations and progressive governments are now left with the daunting task of saving the planet from complete collapse and total catastrophic, irreversible climate change. The global community must lend support to the organizations and the governments that have the courage to lead.
The world has a choice to make.
We choose life.
Visit the ‘TIME TO BE BOLD’ declaration as we move towards the ‘World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth’ in Bolivia, April 19th – 22nd.