Copenhagen, Denmark: “Fingers” are pointed at Corporations and Bankers as the drivers of climate change during the UNFCCC (2009)
Intro from Orin Langelle 13 December 2018: I was going to wait until the final words were hammered out at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Conference of the Parties 24 (COP 24) in Katowice, Poland that began on 2 December and is scheduled to conclude 14 December 2018. But why wait when I already know the outcome.
The UNFCCC will agree to meet again next year and no binding deals by the parties will happen this year.
Why do I know that? From my first UNFCCC experience as an activist photographer in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2004 to my last consecutive UNFCCC in Durban, South Africa in 2011, all I ever saw was business as usual as Earth’s life support systems become more fragile. Already in 2004 it was widely understood that climate change was already well underway, but this year it is glaringly apparent as extreme weather around the globe gets even more extreme, with records breaking left and right.
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report in October of this year (2018) warning there are only a dozen years to take the measures necessary to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5C – beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people; not to mention non-human species. The IPCC even went so far as to say that avoiding catastrophic climate change will require “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.” Quite a statement from a group of scientists.
We are already in the sixth massive extinction; the likes of which have not been seen on Earth for at least 65 million years. This is the alarming finding of a new study published in the journal Science Advances.
In other words, we are up shit’s creek without a paddle. The human race though, has an ethical and moral obligation to find that paddle. I have not seen any real efforts to find that paddle at any UN climate conference. Nor have I seen any political will from governments to acknowledge what it might take to find that paddle. No, it is up to us. It is up to us to work for radical systemic transformation. Not reform. Its too late for reform. We can see the iceberg up ahead. We need to stop the ship, not re-arrange the deck chairs.
Every year, the UN climate conference is the same – sort of like the Groundhog’s Day movie where Bill Murray relives 2 February over and over.
Below is an article I wrote from a hotel in San Cristobal, Chiapas, Mexico one week after I attended the miserable UN climate conference in Cancún (2010). I could probably write virtually the same piece after this year’s climate COP in Katowice, Poland.