Chris Williams, an active member of System Change Not Climate Change is interviewed here in a series for The Real News. See the links below for full transcripts of these interviews, and click on the youtube.com like below for parts of the series...
Summer is in full swing, and there's news now that the world just had its hottest June on record. And it also had its hottest May on record. With growing concern over the burning of fossil fuel affecting climate change, there's been an increased interest in shifting our economy to one that revolves around renewable energy, otherwise as known as a green economy. But is this shift even feasible?Now joining us to get some answers to this question are our two guests.
Red flags flutter from every building and lamppost, surrounded by a sea of giant cranes scarring the skyline. Wherever one looks, buildings are under rapid construction. Car showrooms full of gleaming Western luxury vehicles wait silently, ready to be driven off the forecourt by the small segment of newly affluent Vietnamese with tens of thousands of dollars in disposable income. Funded by Western and Japanese banks, ultra-modern airport terminals rise among the paddy fields, as urban expansion explodes across a countryside still dominated by small farmers tending six acre plots.
Think about the last time you got to the top of a mountain one mile high. Now think about descending that distance below the surface of the earth, foot by dark foot, far below all life, light or oxygen. You go down there to dig.
What you’re digging for, deep in the hot, fetid, bowels of the earth, is carbonized life forms, millions of years in the making, turned to a type of rock that ignites and burns; one that your prime minister and energy analysts tell you will help the economic future of your country.
When it comes to the world economy, what you "see" is not usually what you get - especially when it comes to gender. Capitalism has fueled a world in which women are rendered invisible and saddled with the majority of labor. They are responsible for two-thirds of all working hours, produce 50 percent to 90 percent of the world's food and 100 percent of the world's children.
Both the words "environment" and "violence" have so many meanings that they require some definition of how they can be of use in the context of a struggle for social justice. Regarding the word violence, according to Merriam-Webster, one definition is "the use of brute strength to cause harm to a person or property"; a definition that doesn't seem to have an immediately obvious connection to ecological issues associated with climate change, loss of biodiversity and various forms of pollution.
The contradictions of world affairs are shifting into sharp relief in Warsaw. As the denouement of the climate conference approaches, political fissures are appearing that even the most diplomatic and experienced of civil service soothers are unable to paper over. The fractured lives and incendiary event of Typhoon Haiyan have been tossed into the most business-friendly COP yet.
"The smell of inaction" is how Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth Mozambique's international program director for climate justice and energy, summed up the atmosphere inside the giant Narodowy Stadium after the first week of the latest round of international climate negotiations, Conference of the Parties, otherwise known as COP 19, taking place Nov 11-22, 2013, in Warsaw.