I am not one of the three in our group in the plenary today, but I have been watching the live streaming for the past 4 hours. Various heads of states are now giving their 5-10 minutes statements. I just listened to the Prime Minister of Mali, Modibo Sidibe and the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. Below are my hastily taken notes from their speeches (both through UN translators so these texts not the specific words of these leaders):
Mr. Sidibe – “I want to tell you a story about my relationship for the past 50 years with a river – the Niger river – I was born in the central delta on the banks of this river. I was 5 years old when my grandma warned me of swimming in this river b/c it was turbulent and deep. She said a city of water spirits lived down in the depths.
. People were afraid to approach the river. There were many tragedies in the river because it was so powerful. 50 years later I came back to the river which was the place where this city of water spirits was supposed to be. And what did I see? I saw 10 yr. old children playing a football match right in the middle of the river on a sandbank. Where did this city of spirits go? Where did all the river go? Climate Change does not simply take away our croplands and pastures. It takes away our rivers and lakes. Mali would like to see this historical conference reach a balanced agreement in our fight againt Cl. chg. and we have to cooperate in order to make it possible for countries to draw up national plans to cut emissions. And perhaps we can even be more ambitious and incorporate climate change in our strategies of development.”
“We are not just talking about Cl. chng. We have to be3 honest about what humans are doing – humans participate in the degredation of the enviro. In a village a 50 yr. old tree is cut just to make firewood. We have to recognize that humans are also responsible and we have to form responsible citizens.”
Hugo Chavez – “the text was not created democratically”
“I don’t think anyone knows anything about the document – top secret”
“isn’t that the reality of our world? is the world system really inclusive? do we have anything democratic in our world? there’s an imperial dictatorship. long live the peoples of democracy and equality of this earth.”
so don’t let’s be surprised by this – we are not – there is no democracy in the world – here we are once again where we see the world – imperial dictatorship
2 young people came up here – fortunately the guards were nice to them – but there are lots of people outside – some people were arrested – i think we need to say hello to those people out there – most of them young – of course they are young, they are concerned, rightly – most of us in here are a bit more advanced in years – we could say that there’s a ghost lurking – a ghost running through the streets – and i think that ghost is silent and somewhere here in this room – coming through the corridors underneath – no one wants to name that ghost – nobody wants to name it – capitalism – out there you hear, i was reading some signs on the street – carried by the young people – i took note of some of these signs – “don’t change the climate, change the system”
i take note of that – the distructive model of capitalism is eradicating life – the other slogan also makes me think – which fits in w/the banking system failure – ive forgotten the figure but it’s astronomical – on the streets – “if the climate was a bank, they would have already saved it” – i think it’s true – the rich govts. – i think obama isn’t here yet – he got the nobel peace prize almost the same day he sent off 30,000 innocent soldiers to afghanistan – the united states can produce dollars, just print then, and they think theyve saved their banks and the capitalist system – well, that’s just a passing comment – i wanted to say it when i raised my hand to support bolivia – anyway, we didnt get the floor at that point
well, look, out there i met this french writer – i recommend this book “how the rich are destroying the planet” – it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven – christ said that – our lord – the rich are destroying the planet – perhaps they think theyre going off to another one when theyve destroyed this – but i cant see any one on the horizon of the galaxy for the time being – at the end of the intro., theres a very important sentence: we wont be albe to reduce mater. consump. if we dont ensure ifthe powerful dont go down a few steps – the enviro. princip. which are so useful need to help us to deal w/this situation – we need to consume rless and distribute things better – now, climate chag. is certainly the most devastating enviro. problem of the last ceturey – drought, hurricanes, floods, rising sea level, heat waves, etc. – all of these make the globabl crisis hitting us worst – our human activity goes eyond the thresho9ld of sustainability
but we are very unequal in this – the 500million richest (7%) of the world’s po9pulation is responsbile for 50% of pollluting emission – whereas the 50% poorest in the world are responsible for only 7% of emission – im a bit struck by this – are the US and China on the same level? the US has a population of 300 million and China has 5 times more – US 20 million barrels of oil, China 4-5 million – you cant really ask the same of the US and Chin a- i hope as head’s of state we can sit down and discuss these issues – 60% of ecosystems are damaged – 20% of earth’s crust degraded – wrong use of land has reducecd capactiy to regenrate by 30% – loss of capacity to self-regulate – the survival of our species is a matter of our consciences
yet on this date we still have no real significant agreement – and of cours the text which is coming out of nothing – we will not accept any test other that which comes from the working group on the KP – those are legitimate groups – peoplkehavent been able to sleep or have lunch so its not logical that a document should be produced out of nowhere – what’s the reason? we have no doubt that it’s the irresponsible attitude, the lack of political will by the powerful nations on the earth – please dont be offended – be responsible – a lack of solidarity w/those who are most vulnerable – the selfishnes of the biggest consumers – we need equality – the speical status of the LDCs and island states shou.ld e recognized – cl. chng. isnt only major issue – another scourge includes the fact that failure to fulfill the millenial deve. goals – there have been lots and lots of promises that have not been fulfilled and the world continutes destructively – the total income of the 5 richest is more than the 470 million of the poorest – 40% of world’s popu. gets 5% of world’s income – 1,100 million people w/out access to sanitation – what is the cause of this? let’s speak of this? let’s assign responsibility – the destructive capitalist system and it’s model – here’s a quote:
“what is the cause? it’s the dream of seeking happiness through material accumulation and unending progess based on science and technology. to exploit w/out any limit all the resources of the earth. but of course we know that the fittest are those living on the ashes of the weakest”
true freedom is through laws – we want a strong document, we need legally binding committments!
we have to change dcirection – but not cynically, not lyuing, not w/documents coming out of the blue – how long are going to tolerate the current international economic order? how long are we going to allow the hungry not to have access to food? to watch milliions of children dying of treatable diseases – let’s ask the empires to stop dominating the world and exploiting – let’s eradicate poverty – bring down levels of emissions – bring in climate justice – lets join this noble objective of all being freer and having solidarity – this is only possible through socialism – the other ghost which is probably wandering around in this room – that’s the direction to go – that’s the way to save our planet and capitalism is the road to hell – with all do respect, exshort the govt. and peoples of the earth – if destruction nature of capitalism resists then lets fight against it and make it obey us – history calls upon us to join together – christ, mohammed, equality, justice, humanism – if we dont do this, then the great creation of the universe, humans, will disappear – this planet has been in existence for millions of years w/out human beings – so it doesn tneed us – but we cant exist w/out it – we are destroying it – to conclude – let’s listen to fidel castro – what he said – our species is in danger of extinction – christ said, blessed are the poor b/c they shall entre the kingdon of heaven – lets ensure this earth does not become the tomb of mankind but the heaven for our race – thank you very much and enjoy your lunch.