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Musings from Cochabamba and Tiquipaya, Bolivia

Blog posts are the work of individual contributors, reflecting their thoughts, opinions and research.
Musings from Cochabamba and Tiquipaya, Bolivia

Original Peoples, →Canadian Foreign Policy

The streets of Cochabama and Tiquipaya are alive. Alive with the right to live. Alive with the right to see past the fog of lies coming from the global North. Alive with the rights of mother earth. The gathering here, called by the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) and the government of South America's first indigenous president Evo Morales, is titled “the world peoples conference to combat climate change and for the rights of mother earth” has many of the most pressing issues being discussed, and very often with varying positions on where to go with these ideas. Some are outright contradictory, such as the large number of local and regional indigenous groups here who support REDD-- and those who do not, in particular indigenous representatives from North America. We can return to that. What I wish to press the most immediately is what is NOT a debate. A debate I have never not encountered before. The freedom to move away from such mind numbing nonsense and onto what to do about what capitalist and imperialist-led climate change is doing to us all is an intoxication of hope that would make Barack Obama's toes sweat.

There are no lies about so-called “green energy”-- whether that be nuclear, whether that be hydro, or any of the other scams being perpetrated on us all, in order to satiate the insatiable drive to continue to consume, regardless of the cost, regardless of their own children. Green energy is seen here, so it seems, as yet one more way that North Americans and Europeans wish to continue to live their completely arrogant, unsustainable and ultimately genocidal lives. Along with the lies and diversions of Green Energy, those who already see their glaciers disappearing (the glaciers here in Bolivia are the life-systems for water), who already are suffering massive droughts (Trinidad and Tobago is on fire from lack of even sparse rains and the water is intermittently shut off, Venezuela is suffering a water shortage and-- via hydroelectricity-- a lack of basic energy as well), who have lost most of their arable lands (Africans have seen their country sacrificed to the dustbin of history in Copenhagen) and who are about to completely disappear underwater (The Maldives will likely be gone due to even a 1.5 degree change in climate) do not entertain silly notions about how the exploiters of the first world need to “maintain their way of life”. There is no such thing as green energy, and certainly no way to spend our way, writing as a resident of North America, out of our problems.

Offsets around climate and the earth itself are seen as one more cruel joke, another way to express utter contempt for the peoples of the rest of the world-- the same peoples who gather here because they have not yet renounced the right to survive. Offsets, in this country of Catholic history, is seen like and indulgence-- for it is no more and no less than that, except with the minor caveat that these indulegences exacerbate both climate change-- that is, the continued death of all life-supporting systems on earth-- and deepen colonialism through offsets via continued land grabs that now place the most hypocrtical of all greenwash at the helm of such devastating lies and disastrous schemes to create new millionaires off the bounty of the death of life. When people speak of the climate change solutions needed, it appears that the most dangerous elements are that some countries, in fact, benefit from this tyranny of irresponsible management of the worst situation in human kinds history. The global exploiters wish to use this crisis to create better trade routes for themselves, to decimate the countries in the global South ever further through yet more forced debt in order to facilitate the possibility of survival for only a few more years through infrastructure developments to hold back the floodgates, as it were, from breaking through the day after tomorrow.

In fact, these are not debtor but creditor nations. As an indigenous speaker put it earlier, the global north forced the understanding of traps like loans and debts. The earth is now merely cashing in on the loan she extended to us in the North through both the exploitation of peoples and the ravaging of the lands for ill gotten greed. We choose not to pay back that 500 year old loan and instead look to play games, we will watch now as she collects.

However, there are disturbing aspects to the near unanimity we are seeing here. That can be seen in two ways. One is that, despite the Morales call to the contrary on both counts, the most visible ENGO from the US that is here is On the North American scale, this is not a bad call. But Morales had previously stated a need to get back to 300 parts per million, to restore the already out of balance society collapse we are going through (we are globally now at well over 385). What of these declarations? Well, perhaps something even a little more sinister needs to be dug into, the very role of the ENGO's both in Copenhagen recently and in the need to fight back immediately now.

Very few ENGO's deny the climate science. They know what is going on with the climate, more often better than the rest of the North American population. They completely refuse to call for the various methods needed to understand and actually tackle the problem. They will not call for targets that save human life-- 300 parts per million is the only target that does not make a sacrifice of any people or nation. 350 is survivable, so long as people are relocated and real compensation is afforded to the rest. But to speak of 450-550 parts per million is a crime against humanity. It is-- when it comes from those who know the science-- to help the capitalists and the imperialist system it serves protect a way of life for 5% of humanity and let the rest simply die. For those who are received as “environmentalists” to even entertain such a notion in public ought to be enough to have them dragged off to the Hague for crimes that will have higher body counts than both “Great” wars of the 20th Century and with no possibility of reconstruction efforts. In short, it is not stupid, or merely opportunistic, but criminal.

When North American governments speak about protecting their ill-gotten privilege, that is sadly unsurprising. Yet, when North American Environmental groups make policy demands that condemn human beings to death-- and they know so-- they are the single greatest weapon that this catastrophe in slow but speeding up motion has. How can a pathetic, suicide pact like the agreement of Copenhagen be taken seriously if not for groups that green it? How can people trust anyone when they are already dying and those they think they can ask for help tell them “Sorry, if we tell the truth, we will lose money.”

And that's the final point. North American NGO structures are built up as an alliance of imperialism itself. They are the last defence in letting the public of North America bury its head in the sands and ignore what is happening. From cap and trade, to green energy, to calls for nothing at all, to applauding enviro-butcher governments, to lies about the science-- that is, lies about the truth-- they protect themselves and their money. And they are killing us off. They continue to believe that we can sit at a table with the tar sands producers, the coal operators, the proponents of all that is death-- and this they must never stop doing, for their very pay cheques come from this same place. Yes, ENGO's in the North American context are paid for, bought and partnered with the death bringers. Does all of this make a little more sense now?

People in the world over have had it with lies as they know what is happening. You don't need to have a science degree to see the glaciers that feed the springs as they disappear. If you live with the land, nothing but that will ever convince you otherwise. The facts of ENGO complicity in acting as a block to real discussions of the climate situation, with climate debt, with reparations and more is something North America has to hear-- hear again and again-- and those who must tell them are the real fighters. They are not environmentalists. They are revolutionaries. Because revolution is the only way to save humanity now, not carbon markets, plastic bag recycling and better light bulbs.

There is no WWF here in Cochabamba. There is no Pembina Institute, with their back room dealings with tar sands operators. There is no NRDC, no Environmental Defence, who should rightly be called “Environmental sacrifice”. There are community leaders from around the world. There are government representatives from 100 + countries. There are revolutionaries who accept nothing less than survival for all of humanity. We have real discussions about how to finally dance on the grave of imperialism itself, rather than weep over the graves of its victims. There is no Obama hope here, there is real hope, people uniting, and uncovering all the lies while there is indeed an actual chance.

The earth will be fine. It is about the people. And the people have not yet renounced their right to survive.


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