December 7, 2008

For the past week or more my consciousness has been almost entirely invested in this process of the battle for planet Earth that is the Poznan phase of our global climate change treaty negotiations.  So it is easy to lose track of the significance of events in the rest of the world on the same field of engagement.  It is in that regard that I will mention just one of the countless related developments elsewhere in my Poznan Diary.

Greenpeace (“you gotta love ‘em”) have been brave and inventive defenders of the planet for decades now.  It is their members who risk arrest, injury and death (Google the quoted search term “Rainbow Warrior” and “ship” some time) shining the light of day on the nefarious practices of unrelenting greed.  Several weeks ago some of their British contingent encamped 50 meters or so above the ground, clinging with climber’s gear to the sides of a smokestack in the UK through which thousands of millions of tons of CO2 have fouled our atmosphere and blanketed our shared Earth.

Well, a similar action was mounted here in Poland, at a coal-fired power plant not all that far from Poznan.  Clearly the intent was to divert some of the attention being received by the attempt to fix the problem through a consensus-based negotiation of 192 parties, large and small, both ‘franchised and disenfranchised, with an vast but not incomprehensible, array of prominently divergent interests.  That is did, attracting attention both here and in the international press.

Their banner was simple and clear, “Come Clean, Stop Coal”.  The police were out in force, but the demonstration was met with the kind of respect shown to dissidents when the world is watching.

If you can afford to fund only one environmental movement, I would seriously consider your directing those funds to Greenpeace.  Long live Greenpeace, long live Life on Earth!

For the Earth – §


Entering the Conference

December 1, 2008

December 1st – Outside the entry to the conference hall (Poznan’s World Trade Center) there were a few groups of conference participants to greet us.  First was a global youth initiative.  They held a banner and greeted folks.  I had a good interaction with them.  I told them that their voices were louder than those of my generation and to keep it up since it is their world we are squandering.  They know it.  What a tragedy we are creating.

Next came a group of folks from WWF (World Wildlife Federation) giving out walnuts and asking that we help crack the nut of global warming.  Across the road was Greenpeace setting up, but as I was about an hour early (so I could get oriented and settled in… case the joint, so to speak) I did not wait to see what their point would be.  I just love Greenpeace.  Their confrontational tactics are so necessary in the scheme of things.  Sure, they polarize some folks against us ‘environmentalist quacks’.  But they have been putting their bodies on the line (and sustaining arrest, and occasionally injury and on at least one occasion death) for so long that they should have a place in the ecological hall of fame.

On into the conference hall…

For the Earth – §