I participated in La Vía Campesina’s international delegation to the United Nations climate meeting (COP21) in Paris, France, from December 5 to 12, 2015. It was evident that social movement activism is helping us move swiftly and peacefully away from fossil capitalism, with its climate crises, and toward a new social order that prioritizes food and energy sovereignty.
The activism in Paris emphasized three key themes:
(1) social movements are focused on system change and not on ‘green’ capitalist reform;
The power of food systems is concentrated in few hands, and this narrow control over seeds, food production, and processing creates a disconnect between consumers and their food with repercussions for maintaining cultural knowledge and skills, local connections, and local economies as well, Friends of the Earth Europe states.
But in places across Europe, communities are coming together to show that another way—a better way—is possible.
Record-breaking heat waves, long-term drought, “100-year floods” in consecutive years, and increasingly extreme superstorms are becoming the new normal. The planet is now facing an unprecedented era of accelerating and intensifying global climate change, with negative impacts already being widely felt. While global climate change will impact nearly everyone and everything, the greatest impact is already being felt by farmers and anyone who eats food.
For millennia, the practice of saving and exchanging seeds has been fundamental to crop production in farming communities across the globe. Now, faced with a growing push on the part of governments and corporate agribusiness to limit this practice and thus threaten the food sovereignty of millions, farmers worldwide are fighting back.
From humanitarian and ecological viewpoints, many aspects of the capitalist economic system are irrational; although they are certainly rational from the more limited standpoint of the individual business or capitalist seeking to make profits. For example, because most people lack their own means to produce an income, they must sell their labor power to companies, which in turn must normally pay a high enough wage for the reproduction of workers and their families.
Climate change emissions from meat production are far higher than currently estimated, according to a controversial new study that will fuel the debate on whether people should eat fewer animal products to help the environment.
In a paper published by a respected US thinktank, the Worldwatch Institute, two World Bank environmental advisers claim that instead of 18 per cent of global emissions being caused by meat, the true figure is 51 per cent.
I recommend blasting the Exploied's "Dead Cities" when you read this. Or really anything by the Exploited, because the citizenry of Detroit are and have been exploited and they have every right to be just as pissed off as the British punk band that was screaming in my head as I wandered through Detroit's derelict neighborhoods researching this article.