Naomi Klein on the role of civil society and the need to pressure our leaders

 



Activist and author, Naomi Klein, is speaking here at a side event during the COP21 in Paris (Dec ’15), about some key issues that are defining the challenges of our age:

  1. Climate science must be taken seriously by policymakers and investors when making decisions on behalf of, or that affect civil society.
  2. An event like the UNFCCC COP21 should not be seen as a “success” and “failure” rhetoric, and don’t use these events for political legacy building. Instead focus on the need to make progress towards solving the worlds problems.
  3. “When we abdicate power, that is when we get ourselves into trouble.” In other words, Klein is reminding the public and especially those involved in the growing climate change movement, to redouble our efforts in pressuring those who are elected to serve us. We cannot be defined by their own efforts, or lack of, but must speak up and let our leaders know we are watching and responding.

Where Naomi Klein & James Hansen (seated) differ:

Klein also makes several references to former NASA scientist and climate activist legend, James Hansen, who is seated in the first row. Hansen, like Klein has been arrested for ‘civil disobedience’  taking part in climate change demonstrations. What played out during the COP was a large difference of views between Klein and Hansen on the subject of 100% renewables and the necessity to scale up nuclear power.

Hansen sat on a press conference panel at Le Bourget [see movie clip below] calling for a massive scaling up and implementation of nuclear power in the drive to reduce carbon emissions and “keep the lights on” in the developed and developing world. The panel consisted of Dr. James Hansen, Dr. Tom Wigley, Professor Kerry Emanuel and Dr. Ken Caldeira, all very renowned and respected climate change scientists.



Klein references here the ‘100% renewable plan’ put forward by Stanford scientist, Professor Mark Jacobson (view here: http://thesolutionsproject.org/). The plan proposes a roadmap to a 100% renewable (clean) energy future, however, during the press conference cited above, Hansen is among those scientists saying that renewables on their own cannot deliver the clean and equitable future for all that we want.

Nuclear issue

The energy aspect of climate change is the most contentious as it directly influences the way we live. Those of us in the developed world enjoy the benefits and those in the developing world need more energy to lift them out of poverty and provide better lives.

With Fukushima fresh in the minds of many and a historic hysteria surrounding the subject of nuclear energy development, many people the world over simply do not understand who is right and who is wrong. 

The scientists here are arguing that new nuclear technology is safe enough and has the capacity to transition us to a lower carbon society faster. If this is the case then we need to hear more about it and with a fair and honest SWOT analysis to accompany.

If 2ºC wasn’t hard enough… bring on 1.5ºC

I’ll be posting again on the 1.5ºC boundary that was the big news coming out of Paris. According to many scientists, the 2ºC window has closed already and 1.5ºC is a case of false hope to deflect attention away from the business as usual (BAU) activities of the developed nations.

If we want to take this 1.5ºC moral obligation seriously then we need to know the right path for society to be advancing down, and fast!

 

More posts by Nick Breeze

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is the first of the big global conferences of 2020 that will lead us to COP26 in Glasgow where governments will be under enormous pressure to agree safe and realistic action for the future. With Extinction Rebellion (XR) and other protest groups converging in the Swiss alpine town of Davos, I asked their leading spokesperson, Rupert Read, whether the tone being set here is encouraging:

 

The UK is readying itself for the presidency of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26), to be held in Glasgow in November 2020. In the wake of the failure of COP25, a British presidency must bring to bear its accumulated powers in diplomacy, persuasion, purpose, and determination, to recreate trust in the Paris accord, kickstarting a new decade of meaningful achievements on safeguarding our collective future. 

 

Seeing the extent of environmental destruction in 2015, Jackie Bond started volunteering for the Green Party in Southwark, SE London. In the last year, aside for standing for the Greens in Vauxhall and doubled their share of the vote, she has worked extensively with Extinction Rebellion, organising civil actions in pursuit of radical climate action. In this interview with Nick Breeze, Jackie discusses how she got involved in XR, why we need to put the climate crisis at the centre of policymaking, and her strategy for creating change in the UK.

 

Longstanding climate change siren, Professor James Hansen talks to Nick Breeze about negative emissions technologies NET's, accelerating emissions, the need for international and intergenerational cooperations. Is he optimistic?

 

Addressing a wine industry on the frontline of climate change, Former President Obama said: “We are speeding our car towards the cliff at a very fast rate”. The audience and former president were invited to the launch of this new initiative by 326yr old port company CEO, Adrian Bridge, who is calling for solutions, saying “what we need to do is stop talking and start doing!” Nick Breeze reports.

 

A three day hearing at the High Court is in process that will decide whether an injunction be granted, effectively preventing any campaigning that might negatively impact the economic interests of UKOG and their associated companies.