If you lived on a small island nation that was losing precious feet of shoreline every year due to rising seas and storm erosion, you might be forgiven for having high expectations for the current international climate change negotiations going on in Durban, SA.
In the the heart of the developed world, meanwhile, you’d have a hard time finding any news about the climate talks. You have to search the Web pretty carefully to even find a mention.
That goes to show how it’s all about location, location, location.
I learned yesterday, by careful Web search, that Canada is planning to pull out of the Kyoto treaty, just like the U.S.
Canadians want developing countries like China and India to also agree to reduced emissions.
But meanwhile, Canada’s government is pushing the extraction of oil from the Alberta boreal forests.
As Tom Zeller of the Huffington Post reports,”"What’s astonishing is watching Canada emerge as a rogue among developed countries,” said Bill McKibben, the author and activist who has spearheaded a grassroots movement aimed at combatting a pipeline proposal designed to deliver some 700,000 barrels of oil each day from the tar sands to refineries and ports on the Texas Gulf Coast. “Of course, they have no choice but to ditch serious climate policy if they want to develop the tar sands in a big way — and that pool of gunky oil is clearly the tail wagging the dog up there.”
We’re all the dog that’s being wagged by powerful oil extraction companies. If we don’t watch out, we’re going to be wagged right into extinction.
Notice how the climate talks are always held in inaccessible places where it’s hard for activists to congregate. Who can afford a ticket to Durban, SA?
Read the Climate Connections blog, produced in Durban by the Global Justice Ecology Project, for up-to-the-minute information about what’s going on in Durban.
The climate talks may be far away, but they are one of the most crucial sites for “occupation” as we move into the 21st century. We can’t let the big oil companies, with their deep pockets created from our dependence on an oil-based economy, dominate the agenda.
If you care about leaving a healthy planet to the next generation, the time to speak up is NOW.