A true message held up by a demonstrator at a September rally at Niagara Square during the Rise Up For Climate Justice campaign.
A true message held up by a demonstrator at a September rally at Niagara Square during the Rise Up For Climate Justice campaign.

GreenWatch: Paris COP21 Roundup

by / Dec. 10, 2015 10am EST

Its not over until its over. And it is pretty much over. At least as far as the United Nations Paris Climate Conference (COP21) is concerned.

If you live in Buffalo, or really anywhere in the United States it is difficult to get news about what has happened during the past week as the business dominated UN Climate Conference has lumbered towards its conclusion. For the past several days local and national news coverage has not exactly focused on this incredibly important event and the activities that make up this conference. COP21 unquestionably sets the stage for the future of life on earth, human quality of life, and the quality of life that we will have right here in the Great Lakes and in Western New York.  Instead we have seen wall-to-wall coverage of Trump and anti-Muslim hysteria propagated by, well, I guess its us. Its what we watch. Apparently, according to market driven decisions regarding media coverage, its what we want to know about, watch, read, and drivel on. As our French relatives say- ”bon appetite”.

So, if you have any interest, here are some of the things that other than mainstream media is saying about the final days of this conference.

On December 9, Indian Country Today Media Network published “Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus Focuses on Setbacks at COP21 as Agreement Moves to Final Negotiations”.

The piece chronicles the latest in a long litany of injustices perpetrated on Indigenous People and the formal framework by which the people participate in UN discussions, aka “Civil Society” by the so called developed world.

From the article:

Indigenous Peoples lobbied participating countries at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris to adopt a strong human rights approach and take into consideration their special vulnerabilities to climate change impacts as well as their valuable contributions to adaptation and mitigation strategies.

In particular the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) asked that “respect for human rights, including the rights of Indigenous Peoples in climate change policies and actions” be integrated into both the preamble of the Paris Agreement, which sets the framework for interpreting and implementing all the operative provisions, and the legally binding operative section.

Representatives of the Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus sprang into defensive action on December 3 after Norway, backed by the United States, Australia and some European countries, added brackets around wording that referenced Indigenous Peoples’ rights in the preamble and in Article 2.2 of the operative draft Paris Climate Agreement text.

Bracketing a letter, word or section opens it up for further discussion, and thus potential change.”


It will be changed.

While the developed world is mostly driven by business interests that are seeking solutions to climate change by continuing to comodify nature and the continued genocide against the people that depend upon this (including me and you),

It is important to point out that The Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change is advocating for all of us. They are fighting for the earth, and not the economic growth and development that is the full focus of the corporate agenda. We the people of the Great Lakes, of New York, and of Buffalo both depend upon this natural world and will continue to suffer the consequences of global corporate depredation of nature. Business driven contexts including carbon offsets and trading are false solutions.

The Real News Network, based in Toronto and Baltimore, has provided excellent coverage of the COP21 talks with an emphasis on the false solutions being negotiated.  In this video posted online, TRNN correspondent Dimitri Lascaris talks to former UN Ambassador of Bolivia Pablo Solon, who says the final Paris agreement is headed towards the creation of carbon markets with terms to be settled in future COP meetings.


Former Bolivian UN Ambassador: COP21 Draft Text Shows Plans to Further Commodify Nature



In this article and video “No Meaningful Outcome From Paris”  The Real News Network’s Executive Producer Sharmini Peries, interviews Dimitri Lascaris.


Take a few minutes to review this material. It will tell you a lot about what has happened and what we can expect in the metaphorical tomorrow.

The bottom line is that this is all our problem and our fault because we either support this system by our feckless apathy driven in part by cultural and political inertia, or by our intentional by in to a system that is hurting nature and people across the globe.  We enable the corporate structure that is killing us. You wont hear about that in the mainstream US and local media.

Authors Note: You may be thinking right now, about hope.  This week AIM leader John Trudell passed away after a lifetime of activism.  This is an important quote from John, about hope: “I don’t deal with hope hope.  In mythology, hope was the last thing to come out of Pandora’s box of evil. They told me this in school when I was a kid, right?  The gods gave Pandora the box of evil and told her not to open it, but she did and the seven evils came out. And after they came out, hope came out.  I’ve never trusted hope since then (laughs). It came out of a box of fuckin’ evil. So I dont think in terms of hope.”    For decades I have been in rooms full of people with nothing left but hope. We have always needed more, much, much more. Trudell’s words and his lifetime of action help to show what more is. Now it is our turn.