2009 is the year that Climate Camp and other activists go all out to communicate a core message: that the engine of climate change is capitalism itself, with its inbuilt demand for ever-increasing production, continual growth in consumption & ever-expanding markets. From this perspective, a mechanism which creates a trade in the right to pollute (read, the right to take life in the interests of profit) seems less like a plausible way of getting CO2 emissions down and more like the grotesque logical conclusion of a system which has no place for the intrinsic value of human - or any other - life. It is no surprise to see that the mechanism is stacked in favour of the biggest & richest polluters at the expense of the poor in the majority world. This is why Climate Camp activists set up camp during the G20 summit this April outside the European Climate Exchange - and why they will be returning to the City later in the year. We all saw the repressive tactics used by the police against the Climate Camp and other protesters, but between this and the media/politicians' focus on "kick-starting growth" it is easy for the activists' critique of market mechanisms to slip quietly off the agenda. In the run-up to the big climate "summit" in Copenhagen, we need to get clear about how these market mechanisms work, why they're a problem for environmental justice and, especially now in the run-up to the big Copenhagen summit, how activists can respond and organise around these daunting issues.
The evening will begin with a presentation by Ian Henderson, who as well as participating in Climate Camp is active in Transition City Leeds and Friends of the Earth. There'll be lots of time for discussion, debate and questions, so please come along and have your say.
As usual, the talk will begin at 7pm, there will be food at around 8, and lots of time for further discussion. Help with cooking and cleaning up very welcome.
PS You may like to know that the following Climate Chaos Cafe (date yet to be confirmed) will specifically take up the issue of mobilising around Copenhagen, and will aim to act as a launch-point for people to get actively involved in a variety of ways.