More climate change stuff, this time a press release and call for action from Bill McKibben. See also “Himalayan sherpas bugged by the sight of house flies at 5,000m: House flies at Everest basecamp are another sign of climate change that is melting glaciers with worrying speed” by John Vidal.
NOTE: colonos really suspect that McKibben is aiming too low:
“NASA’s [politically conservative] Dr James Hansen says that an atmospheric CO2 concentration of about 325 needed to restore planetary energy balance and about 300 ppm CO2 is needed to restore Arctic sea ice to what it was 25 years ago.”
For a stronger demand, see: 300.0rg
October 13, 2009
Dear Friend of CommonDreams.org,
For years CommonDreams.org has been a leader in covering one of the most critical issues of our times: the survival of our planet. That’s why I approached Craig Brown and the CommonDreams.org team to ask if I could share this news with you about a milestone event coming up on October 24 – an event we hope you’ll take part in.
This is an unofficial translation of a Ecuadorian indigenous peoples’ statement on REDD:
CONFEDERATION OF INDIGENOUS NATIONALITIES OF THE ECUADORIAN AMAZON (CONFENIAE)
(Logo and letterhead, list of members including organizations of the Shuar, Kichwa, Achuar, Waorani, Siona, Secoya, Cofan, Zapara, Shiwiar and Andoa Peoples)
Unión Base, Puyo August 3rd, 2009
CONFENIAE REJECTS ALL KINDS OF ENVIRONMENTAL NEGOCIATIONS ON FORESTS AND EXTRACTIVE POLICIES THAT DAMAGE THE TERRITORIES OF THE AMAZONIAN INDIGENOUS NATIONALITIES AND PEOPLES OF ECUADOR.
Reflections from the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change: Burden Lies with Rich Polluters
Here is an article by “International Environmental Journalist” Stephen Leahy:
Burden Lies with Rich Polluters, Native People Say
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Apr 27 (IPS) – Already suffering significant impacts from climate change, indigenous peoples at the close of an international summit here rejected the concept of carbon trading and offsets. Many also called for a moratorium on all new oil and gas exploration in their traditional territories and the eventual phase-out of fossil fuels.
“It has been heartbreaking to hear everyone’s stories about the dire threats climate change poses to their survival,” said Andrea Carmen of the Yaqui Indian Nation in the U.S. at the end of the U.N.-affiliated Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change here last Friday.
More than 400 indigenous people and observers from 80 nations participated in the first ever global discussion on climate change focusing on native communities.
“Indigenous peoples are all profoundly affected by climate change, losing our traditional foods, homes and livelihoods,” Carmen, executive director of the International Indian Treaty Council, a U.S.-based rights organisation, told IPS.
In yesterday’s Guardian there is yet “another hard-luck story that you’re gonna hear”:
“Chris Jones, who led the research, told the conference: “A temperature rise of anything over 1C commits you to some future loss of Amazon forest. Even the commonly quoted 2C target already commits us to 20-40% loss. On any kind of pragmatic timescale, I think we should see loss of the Amazon forest as irreversible.” Peter Cox, professor of climate system dynamics at the University of Exeter, said the effects would be felt around the world. “Ecologically it would be a catastrophe and it would be taking a huge chance with our own climate. The tropics are drivers of the world’s weather systems and killing the Amazon is likely to change them forever. We don’t know exactly what would happen but we could expect more extreme weather.”
Massive Amazon loss would also amplify global warming “significantly” he said. “Destroying the Amazon would also turn what is a significant carbon sink into a significant source.””
Just a few days ago new results came out about the loss of arctic ice showing once again that predictions are continuously shown to be way too conservative – positive feedback loops are upon us:
“Amazon dieback is one of the key positive feedbacks brought about by global warming. These are typically runaway processes in which global temperature rises lead to further releases of CO², which in turn brings about more global warming. In the Amazon this happens on a more localised scale but the result, increased forest death, also releases carbon into the atmosphere.
Experts predict that higher worldwide temperatures will reduce rainfall in the Amazon region, which will cause widespread local drought. With less water and tree growth, “homegrown” rainfall produced by the forest will reduce as well, as it depends on water passed into the atmosphere above the forests by the trees. The cycle continues, with even less rain causing more drought, and so on.
With no water, the root systems collapse and the trees fall over. The parched forest becomes tinderbox dry and more susceptible to fire, which can spread to destroy the still-healthy patches of forest.
Other positive feedback effects expected by scientists, are releases of carbon stored in frozen arctic ecosystems and an increase in the sun’s energy absorbed by the planet as ice melts.”
As already mentioned above, new results from the ice front have arrived and the predictions for an ice free Arctic summer is not far in the future:
“The year “2013 is starting to look as though it is a lot more reasonable as a prediction. But each year we’ve been wrong — each year we’re finding that it’s a little bit faster than expected,” he told Reuters.
The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world and the sea ice cover shrank to a record low in 2007 before growing slightly in 2008.
In 2004 a major international panel forecast the cover could vanish by 2100. Last December, some experts said the summer ice could go in the next 10 or 20 years.
If the ice cover disappears, it could have major consequences. Shipping companies are already musing about short cuts through the Arctic, which also contains enormous reserves of oil and natural gas.”
It’s not looking good.
Colonos is involved in preparing a concept paper, which will be presented at the “Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change” at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage, Alaska (USA), 20-24 April 2009. It concerns the categorisation and organisation of contents well as a licensing framework for a web portal providing access to climate change adaptation strategies and tactics based on indigenous knowledge practices and captured in the spirit of the practitioners, whether in moving pictures, still, song or poetry. Not an easy conceptual task on a rather politically volatile and culturally sensitive terrain. However, we thought (something like) “better us than someone with less of a strong political analysis and feeling of solidarity and spirit of rebellion” (just to blow our own horn, perhaps?!).
One of the central challenges is spelled out in this quote from the Introduction to a Special Issue of Futures: Futures of Indigenous Knowledges. Volume 41, Issue 1, Pages 1-66 (February 2009):
“[T]he future for [Indigenous Knowledges] IKs lies in the creation of a knowledge space for assembling diverse knowledges. The critical strategic capacity to allow the comparative evaluation and growth of diverse knowledge traditions with differing epistemologies and ontologies, with differing ways of understanding and framing the world, may be humanity’s last hope for a future. .. But … is it possible for IKs to be moved from their site of cultural production, enter the knowledge economy and become part of the global knowledge commons without losing their cultural specificity, without being homogenised and submerged in one globalised system?” (Turnbull 2009)
We can reveal that the concept paper recommends the Transmission Metadata Standard, links to IFIWatch.TV, and draws upon the experiences of the Free Culture movement, more specifically the Free Software movement’s strategies and tactics for the reform of copyright. More on that later…
Meanwhile, here is the invitation to the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change:
The United Nations have released a report on the phenomenon dubbed as the Asian Brown Cloud, which is a thick soup of human waste engulfing Asia, and which has been widely reported:
“A dirty brown haze sometimes more than a mile thick is darkening skies not only over vast areas of Asia, but also in the Middle East, southern Africa and the Amazon Basin, changing weather patterns around the world and threatening health and food supplies, the U.N. reported Thursday.
The huge smog-like plumes, caused mainly by the burning of fossil fuels and firewood, are known as “atmospheric brown clouds.”
When mixed with emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for warming the earth’s atmosphere like a greenhouse, they are the newest threat to the global environment, according to a report commissioned by the U.N. Environment Program.”
“One of the most serious problems highlighted in the report is the documented retreat of the Hind Kush-Himalayan-Tibetan glaciers, which provide the head-waters for most Asian rivers, and thus have serious implications for the water and food security of Asia”
This taken together with the alarming development all over the world, but particularly with regards to tropical glaciers in South America, mainly Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, it is looking more and more like game over soon. There really isn’t much time left. The Asian Brown cloud, first reported on in 2002 has now grown to a full scale threat of immanent disaster. Water is running out, the Himalayan glaciers whose decay are accelerated by the Asian Brown Cloud feed around 2 billion people with water to drink and to grow crops. Now go figure…
A video, embedded below, is circulating the ayahuasca surfers’ realm. It shows, whether true or not, a jaguar feeding on the ayahuasca vine. The jaguar is a very centrally important figure in the cosmovision of many Amazonian ayahuasca cultures, the observations of which continue to spawn many speculations about the various practices and myths around the jaguar (and ayahuasca).
A very early observation states that:
“Ingestion of Ayahuasca usually induces nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and leads to either an euphoric or an aggressive state. Frequently the Indian sees overpowering attacks of huge snakes or jaguars. These animals often humiliate him because he is a mere man. The repetitiveness with which snakes and jaguars occur in Ayahuasca visions has intrigues psychologists. It is understandable that these animals play such a role, since they are the only beings respected and feared by the Indians of the tropical forest; because of their power and stealth, they have assumed a place of primacy in aboriginal religious beliefs.
In many tribes, the shaman becomes a feline during the intoxication, exercising his powers as a cat. Yekwana medicine men mimic the roars of jaguars. Tukano Ayahuasca-takers may experience nightmares of jaguar jaws swallowing them or huge snakes approaching and coiling around their bodies … shamans of the Conibo-Shipibo tribe acquire great snakes as personal possessions to defend themselves in supernatural battles against other powerful shamans.
The drug may be the shaman’s tool to diagnose illness or to ward off impending disaster, to guess the wiles of an enemy, to prophesy the future. But it is more than the shaman’s tool. It enters into almost all aspects of the life of the people who use it, to an extent equalled by hardly any other hallucinogen. Partakers, shamans or not, see all the gods, the first human beings, and animals, and come to understand the establishment of their social order.”
Did the shamans learn from the jaguars to use the plant? Is there a cosmic connection, therefore, through the ayahuasca between the jaguar and people that live with the cats and the ayahuasca plant?
This is simply to draw your attention to a reportage by Joanne Silberner about a place that colonos have also had the great pleasure and privilege of visiting. It is called Parque de la Papa and their story is yet another (potential?) climate change disaster:
and a little excerpt:
Alejandro Argumedo is a plant scientist and social activist with Association Andes. Argumedo says climate change threatens not just farmers like Baca Huaman, but Peru’s whole native culture.
“Potato is not just food. Potato is also spirituality; it’s culture,” Argumedo says. “There are songs, dances, ceremonies. So this is a potato land … a culture of potato.”
Potatoes originated in Peru. They fed the Inca empire. There is a potato god.
Other staples grow here — corn and quinoa, for example. But potatoes have special cultural symbolism. They are as important as rice is in China.
“Potatoes are like living beings,” Argumedo says. “People treat them like that. They are members of the family for farmers.”
This is a press release brought here on the request of Earth Peoples. It notes that, business as usual, the United Nations have produced a report that condemns the actions that they nevertheless will take:
September 24, 2008, New York, NY — On the third day of the General Assembly’s 63rd Session United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Prime Minister of Norway launched the United Nations REDD program, a collaboration of FAO, UNDP, UNEP and the World Bank.
The inclusion of forests in the carbon market, or REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) has caused anxiety, protest and outrage throughout the world since it was created at the failed climate change negotiations in Bali and funded by the World Bank.
An estimated 60 million indigenous peoples are completely dependent on forests and are considered the most threatened by REDD. Therefore, indigenous leaders are among its most prominent critics. The International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change declared that: ‘…REDD will steal our land. States and carbon traders will take control over our forests.’
There is a war between those who say that the climate is changing and those who say that it isn’t, why don’t you come on back to the war, don’t be a tourist!
Some “consultant” – whatever that consultation may be – takes note that environmental celebrity and Leonardo DiCaprio chum, David Suzuki, thinks that letting the world turn into a baking hot desert with sulphuric rain is a crime demanding punishment:
“As reported by a University of Toronto student newspaper, Suzuki stated that government leaders who aren’t acting quickly enough to save the environment “should go to jail for what they’re not doing right now … What our government is not doing is a criminal act.”“
Here one might ask if not it ought to be the ultimate crime to destroy the planet? What could possible be a worse crime against humanity, against civilization, against all life?
However, the consultant, God knows who he’s been consulting?, “thinks” that this is a fascist action:
“This bit of eco-fascism was no mere slip of the tongue. A few weeks later at McGill University, Suzuki again equated government inaction on the environment with a criminal act and again was reported to have told students to find a legal way to throw politicians in jail for ignoring climate-change science.
It is worth keeping in mind that Suzuki is a geneticist turned broadcaster and not an expert on climate change. He apparently is no expert on the fundamental tenants of living in a democracy either.“
The consultant, obviously an expert on democracy, in other words, is of the opinion that fiddling while Rome burns is a democratic – right or privilege?
What exactly is it that renders the socalled elected representatives beyond jurisdiction? Why does Kissinger get the Nobel Peace Prize and not life in prison?
This is an interesting article:
Synthesis/Regeneration 45 (Winter 2008)
by Jane Anne Morris
While we’d surely have some disagreements about what exactly is to be done with Sutton – we strongly encourage to listen to the very good and sober presentation of the imminent danger that humanity faces as a consequence of climate change in the Reality Report interview with “Philip Sutton of the Greenleap Strategic Institute and coauthor of a new report called “Climate Code Red: the Case for a Sustainability Emergency.” http://www.climatecodered.net/ The report reviews disturbing new data and scientific understanding of climate change, explains why existing institutions have failed to respond adequately to the problem, and outlines an appropriate response.“
and read Climate Code Red Full Report
The water is running out – writes The Guardian:
“At a cost of €22m (£17.5m), six shiploads are to arrive each month for three months, from Tarragona in southern Catalonia, Marseille and Almeria – one of the driest areas of southern Spain.
Already Barcelona’s authorities have turned off civic fountains and beachside showers, brought in hosepipe bans, and banned the filling of swimming pools. Schoolchildren are being taught how to save water.
“We are only too aware of the crisis with the water as they have been giving my daughters classes for months on how to save water and only to use what they need,” said city resident Begoña Gómez, 43, as she sipped a glass of bottled water. “But we need better management of water by the government.”
As the reservoirs across Spain run dry, a “water war” has broken out, with different regions scrabbling for extra supplies.
The Socialist government, which initially opposed water transfers from one region to another, executed a political U-turn and allowed water to be pumped into Catalonia from the river Ebro in the neighbouring region of Aragon.“
Yet, we will be flooded – the oceans coming up unto civilised land through the sewers, our cleverly built-in trojan death wishes, floating our shit onto the streets …. what a big mess we have made!
To get an idea of the scale of events have a look at this Indymedia repost! …