‘Paris and Peace’ by Vendana Shiva, from asianage.com
“Land, water and agriculture-related conflicts are deliberately mutated into religious conflicts to protect the militarised agriculture model which has unleashed a global war against people”
There is a deep and intimate connection between the events of November 13 [Paris attacks] and the ecological devastation unleashed by the fossil fuel era of human history. The same processes that contribute to climate change also contribute towards growing violence amongst people. Both are results of a war against the Earth.
Industrial agriculture is a fossil fuel-based system which contributes more than 40 per cent of the greenhouse gases leading to climate change. Along with the globalised food system, industrial agriculture is to be blamed for at least 50 per cent of the global warming.
Synthetic nitrogen fertilisers are based on fossil fuels and use the same chemical processes used to make explosives and ammunition. Manufacturing one kilogram of nitrogen fertiliser requires the energy equivalent to two litres of diesel. Energy used during fertiliser manufacture was equivalent to 191 billion litres of diesel in 2000 and is projected to rise to 277 billion in 2030. Synthetic fertiliser, used for industrial agriculture, is a major contributor to climate change — it starts destroying the planet long before it reaches a field. Yet the dominant narrative is that synthetic fertilisers feed us and without them people will starve. The fertiliser industry says that “they produce bread from air”. This is incorrect.
Nature and humans have evolved many non-violent, effective and sustainable ways to provide nitrogen to soil and plants. For example, pulses and beans are nitrogen-fixing crops. Bacteria named rhizobia, which exists in the nodules of their roots, converts atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia and then into organic compounds to be used by the plant for growth.”
Then she gives a detailed explanation of sustainable organic farming methods, soil and nitrogen building as a zero cost climate solution.
“Ecologically non-sustainable models of agriculture, dependent on fossil fuels, have been imposed through “aid” and “development” projects in the name of Green Revolution. As soil and water are destroyed, ecosystems that produced food and supported livelihoods can no longer sustain societies. As a result, there’s anger, discontent, frustration, protests and conflicts. However, land, water and agriculture-related conflicts are repeatedly and deliberately mutated into religious conflicts to protect the militarised agriculture model, which has unleashed a global war against the earth and people.”
She of course segues to examples of war underpinned by drought, water scarcity, and crop failures, partially brought on the violence of Peace Prize recipient Norman Borlaug’s chemical-based Green Revolution. Then this poignant ending:
“For me, COP21 is a pilgrimage of peace — to remember all the innocent victims of the wars against the land and people; to develop the capacity to reimagine that we are one and refuse to be divided by race and religion; to see the connections between ecological destruction, growing violence and wars that are engulfing our societies. We must remember that there will be no peace between people if we do not make peace with the Earth.”
Borlaug’s Wiki ‘critics page’ is here.
How many individuals and civil society groups made similar pilgrimages to Paris to make their voices and manifestos heard, including those speaking for peace? Was the combined global military carbon footprint even mentioned? Likely not, as while gathered together, any ‘military’ talk would likely been about #stoppingISIS™, and lans for dealing with the insurgencies as climate change refugees and desperation hit further. But a to ‘who was heard’ in Paris, from December 8, 2015 ‘Paris Agreement De-Legitimate Even Before It Is Concluded’ by Curtis FJ Doebbler, visiting professor of international law at the University of Makeni, Webster University (Geneva) and the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations
Doebbler writes of the promises made in preparatory meetings in October and November claiming maximum transparency and openness, but:
“Nevertheless, when COP21 started, the first week as a resumed ADP session, the meetings were officially closed to observers. As no State objected and the 134 member G77+ China had prominently urged the ADP Chairs and later the French COP21 President to allow observers into the room, a handful of observers attended late night negotiating session informally and were never asked to leave the room. On Saturday, 5 December, at the end of the first week, this bad situation changed even for the worse. Guards, in some cases, armed guards, were posted on the doors of meeting rooms were formal negotiating sessions were taking place with orders to prevent observers from observing. Meetings were now closed-door meetings by threat of use of force.
Ironically, on rare occasions where overflow rooms were setup, State Party delegates were banned in what appeared to be an effort to ensure complete segregation. Observers could not observe the negotiations, now they could no longer even interact with State delegates if they wanted to watch the main sessions (not the detailed negotiations). Oddly, instead of webcasting the meetings, it was agreed that they should be broadcast only on screens within the huge airport complex. Where any given meeting was being broadcast was always a guessing game. [snip]
Some of the most important substantive issues are now being decided behind closed doors. These include issues such as whether or not adequate action will be taken to prevent the death of an estimated 155,000,000 people by 2100 from the adverse effects of climate change, whether developed States will be held responsible for failing to live up to the principles and commitments they already agreed to in the UNFCCC in 1992, whether developed States will be able to excluded their responsibility for almost two hundred years of over exploitation of the planet’s atmosphere, or whether a commitment will be made to provide at least the US$ 100 billion developed States agreed to provide for climate finance by 2020. [snip]
The effort to exclude observers have come under criticism from human rights quarters. United Nations’ independent expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, Mr. Alfred de Zayas, stated that, “The meaningful participation of civil society in the international climate negotiations is essential to achieving a just and sustainable international order.” He also issued a press release Monday expressing “his concern at reports coming to him from several civil society actors … that indicate that they are being blocked from attending crucial negotiating sessions” at COP21. The UN expert goes on to point out that articles 19, providing for freedom of expression, and 25, providing for participation rights, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, were being interfered with.
He says that the European Union nations and even the bloody USian United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and environment supported the exclusions.
From a Dec. 5 press release: ‘Indigenous Rights on Chopping Block of UN COP21 Paris Climate Accord’, at Indigenousrising.org, key snippets:
“The inclusion of the rights of Indigenous Peoples text, in addition to Human Rights text is crucial. A Western, non-Indigenous evaluation of Human Rights does not necessarily adequately protect our rights as Indigenous Peoples,” states Princess Daazhraii Johnson, REDOIL Alaska spokesperson.
“Many of our Indigenous peoples still live off the land, living a subsistence-based lifestyle. And given that many of the world’s fossil fuel reserves are on or adjacent to Indigenous lands, we must protect our collective rights to self-determine our relationship to Mother Earth by rejecting false solutions to addressing climate change,” concluded Ms. Johnson.
In addition, many countries do not recognize the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples as Human Rights. The Western international human rights system is oriented towards individual rights, and so a general reference to human rights does not adequately protect the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“At the moment the rights of Indigenous Peoples all over the globe are being violated by ‘green climate projects’ – such as hydropower dams – in the name of ‘climate mitigation’. If such violations are happening now, imagine what will come with a legally binding document, where the rights of Indigenous Peoples are not guaranteed,” stated Eriel Deranger, member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. [snip]
With the draft Paris agreement heavily focused on voluntary market-based technological solutions – such as forest and conservation offsets – Indigenous Peoples are gravely concerned that without concrete Indigenous Rights language (and safeguards from privatisation) codified in the operative text, they will be further displaced from their lands. Green economy schemes (like the World bank REDD+) provide financial mechanisms for industrialised nations to justify expansion of fossil fuel regimes – such as Canada’s controversial Tar Sands giga-project in Northern Alberta, or offshore drilling in Alaska’s outer continental shelf. This disproportionately impacts Indigenous Peoples of the North, all the while simultaneously privatising Indigenous Peoples lands in the South for the purposes of laundering Western carbon pollution, via the above mentioned forest and conservation offsets.”
But they are demonstrating for their demands to heard. By the way, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau is advocating for them, and good on him. He also says that he will open diligent investigations into the missing 1200+ aboriginal women over the course of two decades. Take that, Stephen Harper! At about 11:00 a.m. MST:
three hours earlier:
Given what we know the Pentagon, IMF, World Bank, and other Rulers of the Universe know about food scarcity and water insecurity as creating insurrections, vast numbers of climate refugees, it’s easy to hope that COP21 is addressing those issues as ‘critical’, yes?
From the Guardian: ‘Food at COP21: three new initiatives spotlight food insecurity, soils, waste Food was high on the agenda at the Paris climate talks this week—here are some of the highlights’
Well, yes, apparently the interest was so high that agriculture had its own dedicated focus-day, held on Tuesday by the Lima-Paris Action Agenda.
“On Tuesday at COP21 the World Food Program and the U.K.’s Met Office Hadley Centre launched a new, interactive mapping tool that predicts, in unprecedented detail, how future climate scenarios could influence food security, especially in the world’s developing nations.” [snip]
“The map also shows what can be achieved if reduced emissions are paired with increased adaptive measures—like climate-smart agriculture—to make food systems more secure. “What’s most important, especially in the context of Paris, is that mitigation or adaption alone is not enough,” Choularton says. “We need a very serious combination of both.”
But bless Teresa Anderson’s heart; from the Guardian: ‘Why ‘climate-smart agriculture’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be; It’s a buzzword beloved by corporations but there is nothing to ensure “climate-smart” means good for the environment’
“There’s a new phrase in town. A growing number of governments, corporations and NGOs are using the term “climate-smart agriculture” to describe their activities. With climate change affecting farming worldwide, you might assume we should be celebrating this as a step in the right direction.
But many organisations in the food movement are wary of – or even opposed to – this concept. They share growing concerns that the term is being used to green-wash practices that are, in fact, damaging for the climate and for farming. Many are worried that the promotion of “climate-smart agriculture” could end up doing more harm than good.
At the United Nations secretary general’s climate summit in New York last month, heads of state such as President Barack Obama referred to the need for “climate-smart” crops to weather the challenges ahead. The Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, announced the launch of the new Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture, involving governments, corporations, research institutes and NGOs. [snip]
Proponents of “climate-smart agriculture” claim that their approaches aim to achieve a “triple win” of increasing food security, adaptation and mitigation. So far so good, right? Actually, no.” [snip]
“A letter signed by more than 100 civil society organisations rejecting the newly-announced Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture, points out that industrial agriculture approaches that increase greenhouse gas emissions are all welcome to use the climate-smart label to promote their practices as solutions to climate change.
“Yara (the world’s largest fertiliser manufacturer), Syngenta (GM seeds), McDonald’s, and Walmart are all at the climate-smart table,” the letter warns. “Climate-smart agriculture will serve as a new promotional space for the planet’s worst social and environmental offenders in agriculture.”
The world’s largest peasant farmers’ movement, La Via Campesina, has rejected the concept as an effort to push an agribusiness agenda under a green mask.
There is no doubt that food systems urgently need to adapt to changing weather patterns, and that certain parts of the food sector are major contributors to climate change. We need real solutions that replace harmful practices instead of promoting them.
Above all, we need systemic change. But it is hard to envision that the corporations leading the climate-smart charge are really aiming for localised, low-input, agroecological food systems that they would no longer control.”
Water concerns were high on the list of subjects at COP21? Only article I’d found was this: ‘Global drought: why is no one discussing fresh water at Cop21? In December, the UN’s conference on climate change gathers in Paris but the issue of fresh water is absent from the agenda. How can policymakers be brought onside?’
Well, water was kinda/sorta discussed, but this section seemed to be the way it was destined to go:
“Water projects that help communities adapt to climate change
The panellists suggested that the most effective way for water to be incorporated into climate policy would be through an action agenda where those working in the sector could show governments the types of water projects that could help communities mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.
Benedito Braga, president, World Water Council
“It’s important to demonstrate initiatives and good examples to drive the process – don’t depend on the decisions being made in Paris,” said Karin Lexén, director of World Water Week, International Process and Prizes. Benedito Braga, president of the World Water Council, agreed: “We need to have interesting proposals of projects on the ground, which means involving not only national governments, but also the private sector and the academic community.”
So I went googledy/binging for answers, and found that these folks at Alliance for Water were hoping against hope that COP 21 might seriously discuss wetlands as one answer.
“Wetlands have some of the highest carbon sequestration rates because wetland plants, like mangrove trees, are fast growing and productive. For example, coastal marshes and mangroves capture an average between 6 and 8 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per hectare per year, which is about two to four times greater than global rates observed in mature tropical forests.
Wetlands also have the ability to store greater quantities of carbon because they store dead wood and plant matter in the soil and the water logged conditions prevents the material from decomposing and releasing CO2. Peatlands, for example, cover 3% of the global land area, but contain approximately 30% of all the carbon on land, equivalent to 75% of all atmospheric carbon and twice the carbon stock in the global forest biomass.”, etc. Think the Gulf Coast’s destroyed wetlands and increased hurricane strength and damage, for instance.
File under Small Wonder: Via the Guardian, ‘Paris talks: indigenous people and small farmers say rich are setting the agenda; Poor communities on the climate change frontline say their voices are not being heard in Paris, and that more powerful groups are setting back their cause’
Is #AnyoneWhoMatters making speeches for buying less crap, using less energy, fewer city bright lights for advertising, increasing public transportation…or ‘living simply that others might simply live’? No, the market will take care of it. And some bogus false solutions that will aid the Lords of Capitalism while ruining the planet further. Loss and damage funds to those already ‘feeling the effects’?
It’s hard to know what to say except it was expected that the COP21 PTB would keep fiddling as the planet burns and the seas rise. Because: capitalism requirements, imo.