Black People : What African Scholars have to say about the Ecology

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Ankhur, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Wangari Maathai

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    October 01, 2007
    Unbowed: Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai on Climate Change, Wars for Resources, the Greenbelt Movement and More

    As President Bush convenes a special meeting on climate change, we speak to a woman who has been on the frontlines of the popular struggle for the environment long before the current global warming crisis: Kenyan ecologist and Green Belt Movement founder, Wangari Maathai. “I would wish, especially with respect to climate change, that America would provide the leadership that is needed and not be the one that is falling behind,” Maathai said.

    President Bush convened a special meeting on climate change over the weekend. The move came just days after he skipped a major UN summit on the subject. The meeting in Washington, D.C. was sponsored by the Bush administration and brought together 17 of the world’s leading polluters. On Friday, the President outlined his vision of dealing with global warming on an individual and voluntary basis.

    President Bush, speaking September 28th, 2007.
    But the Bush administration’s voluntary approach to tackling global warming received little support. The US position was isolated as European, Chinese, and Indian diplomats all questioned Bush’s leadership on climate change. Even as the Bush administration continued to reject mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions, other countries called for more binding measures.

    Last week I spoke to a woman who has been on the frontlines of the popular struggle for the environment long before the current global warming crisis. She began fighting state-backed deforestation in the 1970s by spearheading a grassroots movement to plant and care for trees. Now she is calling on people around the world to plant one billion trees in the next year and get involved in the fight against climate change. Her lifelong activism was recognized in 2004, when she became the first environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize. I’m talking about Kenyan ecologist and founder of the Green Belt Movement Wangari Maathai.

    Wangari Maathai was in the United States to mark the publication of her memoir. It’s called “Unbowed” and tells the story of Maathai’s journey from rural Kenya to the international stage.

    Wangari Maathai was in Seattle when I spoke to her last week. I began by asking her to describe the impact of global warming on Africa.

    Wangari Maathai, Kenyan environmentalist and 2004 Nobel laureate.


    AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to our second subject of the day: the environment. President Bush convened a special meeting on climate change over the weekend. The move came just days after he skipped a major UN summit on the subject. The meeting in Washington, D.C. was sponsored by the Bush administration and brought together seventeen of the world’s leading polluters. On Friday, the President outlined his vision of dealing with global warming on an individual and voluntary basis.

    PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Our guiding principle is clear: we must lead the world to produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and we must do it in a way that does not undermine economic growth or prevent nations from delivering of greater prosperity for their people. Each nation will design its own separate strategies for making progress toward achieving this long-term goal. These strategies will reflect each country’s different energy resources, different stages of development and different economic needs.

    AMY GOODMAN: But the Bush administration’s voluntary approach to tackling global warming received little support. The US position was isolated, as European, Chinese and Indian diplomats all questioned Bush’s leadership on climate change. Even as the Bush administration continued to reject mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions, other countries called for more binding measures.

    Last week, I spoke to a woman who has been on the frontlines of the popular struggle for the environment long before the current global warming crisis. She began fighting state-backed deforestation in the ‘70s by spearheading a grassroots movement to plant and care for trees. Now she is calling on people around the world to plant a billion trees in the next year and get involved in the fight against climate change. Her lifelong activism was recognized in 2004, when she became the first environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize. I’m talking about Kenyan ecologist and founder of the Green Belt Movement, Wangari Maathai.

    She was in the United States to mark the publication of her memoir. It’s called Unbowed. It tells the story of Maathai’s journey from rural Kenya to the international stage.

    Wangari Maathai was in Seattle when I spoke to her from our studio B. I began by asking her to describe the impact of global warming on Africa.

    WANGARI MAATHAI: Well, global warming will impact Africa very seriously. We are already beginning to see some signs, such as the disappearance of ice and snow on Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro; the drying up of some rivers; and prolonged droughts that cause a lot of havoc, especially to pastoral communities who keep livestock; also receding of water in many lakes, especially in the Great Rift Valley.

    Now, I want to hasten—to add that there is a very thin line between what may be caused by deforestation, de-vegetation and general misuse of the environment and, of course, the impact of global warming. But in long term, the impact of global warming will be only enhancing these initial signs that we see in Africa.

    AMY GOODMAN: What is the Green Belt Movement?

    WANGARI MAATHAI: The Green Belt Movement is a grassroots organization that focuses on planting trees and practicing primarily environmental care to the land in order to ensure that the land becomes sustainable and supports a livelihood of communities. So it is not only an organization that takes action, but it’s also an organization that teaches, that empowers, the raises awareness on the need for each individual to work with nature, to work with the environment, and to help the environment sustain the current livelihood, and, of course, to support the livelihood of the generations to come. So we work largely with women. We also work with men. But we are also very focused on children.

    AMY GOODMAN: The Green Belt Movement is very closely identified with women. Why, in particular, women?

    WANGARI MAATHAI: When one reads the book that I’m partly here to promote, Unbowed, you would see that the initial idea came to me as we were preparing to go to Mexico in 1975 to the first United Nations conference on women. Also, in East Africa, it is the women who actually work on the land. They fetch firewood, they fetch water. So women are very close to the primary natural resources. And in the mid-’70s, there was a clear sign that there was very serious environmental degradation, and that is why the women, we are lacking some of these primary resources. And so, we said, “Let us try to restore some of these resources by planting trees, to protect the soil, to protect the forest, to protect waters, and especially rivers.” And so the Green Belt Movement was actually inspired by rural women who were preparing to bring their problems to the world stage in Mexico.

    AMY GOODMAN: And how large has it grown?

    WANGARI MAATHAI: Well, while starting very, very small, the Green Belt Movement has expanded not only within Kenya and within Africa, but to many other parts of the world. And in a big way, it has inspired ordinary people to do something about their immediate environment, by doing what is doable, what can be supported by the economic situation and the knowledge situation of communities, to encourage communities not to feel powerless within their own environment, but to feel that they can help the environment around them to sustain itself and, in the process, sustain them. I think this is the biggest message of the Green Belt Movement: empowering local communities so that they do not wait for the local authorities, wait for the government, wait for development agencies, but to encourage people to take action, no matter how small that action may be, including a small action like planting a tree and making sure is survives, or protecting a standing tree.

    AMY GOODMAN: How does your environmental activism, Wangari Maathai, fit in with your political activism? You were imprisoned a number of times under the dictatorship, the regime of President Daniel arap Moi. You demanded multiparty elections. You stopped a building complex from going up, a skyscraper, the sixty-story Kenya Times Media Trust business complex. Talk about each of these actions. Talk about nonviolent civil disobedience.

    WANGARI MAATHAI: Well, actually, the message we have brought to the world and the message that actually encouraged the Nobel Peace Prize to give us the prize in the year 2004 was that we were able to show the linkage between the way we manage our resources, whether we manage them sustainably or in an unsustainable way, also the way we govern ourselves, whether we respect human rights of each other, whether we respect the rule of law, and whether we promote justice, fairness and equity.

    These issues are very interrelated, because if we do not manage our resources responsibly and accountably, it means we allow corruption, we allow a few individuals to benefit from these resources, to enrich themselves, and at the expense of the majority of the people. And eventually, the majority of the people, who are left behind, who are not included, who are excluded, become very poor, and they will eventually react. And their reaction will threaten our peace and security.

    And it is for this—it is with this understanding, for this reason, that I eventually, and the members of the Green Belt Movement, found ourselves not only planting trees, but also promoting respect for human rights, respect for the rule of law, demanding a clean and healthy environment, demanding that in cities especially you need open green spaces for the betterment of the quality of life.

    And so, while the tree planting campaign itself was a very benign and a very apolitical activity, ensuring that governments respect the space, respect the human rights of everybody in the society, it became necessary for us to become engaged positively with good—as such, for good governance. And that meant that we have to resist violation of human rights, that we have to resist violation of our environmental rights, such as taking green open spaces and putting buildings there, such as deforesting our forests when we know that in order for us to get clean drinking water, in order for us to continue enjoying fresh air, clean air, we need those forests, we need those trees. So preventing greedy, corrupt, irresponsible leaders from accessing these resources and privatizing them, it became necessary for us to join in the pro-democracy movement of Kenya.

    And for many people, the linkage between democracy, sustainable management of resources, equity, justice, fairness and peace was not very clear. But I think that in the year 2004, very much basing the decision on our work in Kenya, the Norwegian Nobel Committee saw the linkage, as brought about together by our work, and so they give the prize and, in the process, challenged the world to see the connection, to see the linkage of governance, sustainable management of resources, equity and peace. And that holistic approach was extremely important, a really—a very strong idea that we had brought to the fore and which the Norwegian Nobel Committee wanted the world to embrace. And, in fact, it’s the message that we are trying to pass to the world to encourage the world, whether it is at the local level or regional level, or even at the global level, to encourage the world that these three are very linked, and they are very basic principles for the stability and the peace and security of any nation.

    AMY GOODMAN: Wangari Maathai, were you surprised when you won the Nobel Peace Prize? Where were you?

    WANGARI MAATHAI: Well, when I was called by the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, I was actually on my way to my constituency. It was a Friday, and I usually spend weekends in my constituency.

    And I was very surprised, partly because, as we all know, it was the first time that the Norwegian Nobel Committee focused on the environment. In the past, it had focused on other issues. In the very beginning, it focused on people who went to the battlefield and collected bodies of the dead and the wounded and took care of them or buried the bodies with the respect that deserves a human being. Other—later on, they focused on people who separated warring countries, warring factions, and brought them to the negotiating table to agree to stop fighting and to stop killing each other. Much later, they started focusing on people who focused on human rights, recognized the fact that if you have states or governments not respecting the rule of law, respecting human rights, it is very easy for us not to have security or peace. And so, people like Martin Luther King, people like Mandela, were respected for this great work.

    And then, in the year 2004, the committee decided that the time had come for the environment. And so, it was the first time. So everybody was surprised. And I remember the very first questions were: What is the connection between trees and peace? And it has given me a great and wonderful forum to be able to show that indeed there is a link between the environment, which is symbolized here by the tree, and the way we govern ourselves and the way we manage the resources and the way we share these resources. This is a very new message that the world needs to embrace, because when we have a critical mass of people and governments who understand this, then we shall deliberately and consciously work for these three to be consciously cultivated, so as to promote, indirectly promote, the peace by preempting the causes of conflict.

    AMY GOODMAN: Wangari Maathai, your thoughts on the war in Iraq?

    WANGARI MAATHAI: Well, I think that all of us are very saddened by the war in Iraq, because we did not think that it would last this long and that we would lose as many people as we have lost. Obviously, our sympathies go to the soldiers who are losing their lives every day and to the many civilians in Iraq who are losing their lives every day. And we certainly pray that, sooner than later, this war will come to an end and that our governments, wherever they are, will find other ways of resolving conflicts in the world besides going to war.

    And in Africa, in particular, I know we have many wars. We have a war in Darfur. We have wars in many other countries like the Congo, in West Africa, in Somalia right now. We are still having these wars. And these wars, when you look at all of them, you realize that they are all about resources. It’s the question of who is going to control the resources in this country, who is going to be included, who is going to be excluded, who is going to be in charge of these resources.

    I think that if we would get the message that the Norwegian Nobel Committee gave us in the year 2004, we would sit back and rethink again: Isn’t there another way of managing these resources, of sharing these resources, of being more inclusive, of allowing everybody to play a part to benefit, so that we do not have to fight and kill each other, so that we can have the supreme control of these resources?

    For as long as we think that way, we will have wars. And Iraq, of course, is only one of the many wars going on in the world. We can stop these wars when we start organizing ourselves differently, managing these resources differently, governing ourselves differently and listening to the voices of citizens. I know that even as we went to war in Iraq, many people in this country and in many other parts of the world pleaded for patience, for waiting, for discussion, for dialogue. We lost. But we must continue to urge our governments to find better ways of managing the conflict over resources.

    AMY GOODMAN: We’ll be back with Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai in a minute.

    [break]

    AMY GOODMAN: We continue our conversation with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai. I asked her to talk about Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s visit to Kenya, where his father was born.

    WANGARI MAATHAI: Well, of course, Kenya is very excited about his candidacy, and when he came to Kenya, he was very warmly received. People loved him. And we had a wonderful opportunity with him to plant a tree at Freedom Corner, which for us was very significant, because that corner symbolizes our campaign for the reintroduction of a multiparty democracy and greater democratic space in Kenya. And, of course, we are hoping that he has a very good chance to win.

    We know that there are very wonderful candidates. As a woman, of course, we are also very excited about Hillary Clinton. So we are really kind of torn apart, because we are—in a way, we have two very exciting candidates: one in—one who is connected to our country, and the other who is, of course, a great inspiration for women. So we are looking forward very much to see how the two of them will feature. I wish there was a way that we could have the two of them, and that would be a very exciting combination in the White House.

    AMY GOODMAN: What do you think is the most important qualities for a president of the United States, and how does that position affect your life, affect the life of the people of Kenya, of Africa?

    WANGARI MAATHAI: Well, of course, because the United States of America is a superpower, continues to have great influence throughout the world, its decisions, its values, its attitude towards the world is extremely important. And the decisions that are made in Washington affect the rest of the world.

    We in Africa have been very, very keen on the United States of America being sensitive to the issues of Africa. Especially, we have raised the issue of debt for many years. We have also raised the issue of the protection of our environment, and especially the protection of the Congo forest. I’m particularly keen on this forest, because it’s not only important to Africa, but also important to the world with respect to climate change. And I know that the United States government is interested in this forest, as well as in the Amazon and other forests in Southeast Asia. And I would wish, and especially with respect to climate change, that America would provide the leadership that is needed and that she would not be the one falling behind, because her attitude towards climate change and towards what we can do to mitigate the impact, the negative impact, of climate change, especially in Africa, is very important

    full article;
    http://www.democracynow.org/2007/10/1/unbowed_nobel_peace_laureate_wangari_maathai
     
  2. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Nnimmo Bassey

    « Previous Story | Next Story »
    December 08, 2009


    Nigerian Environmentalist Nnimmo Bassey: The Global North Owes a Climate Debt to Africa
    We turn now to one of Nigeria’s best-known environmental leaders, Nnimmo Bassey. He is the founder of Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria, and he serves as the international chair of Friends of the Earth. He has campaigned against Shell Oil’s presence in the Niger Delta for nearly two decades. Last night he spoke at the opening of Klimaforum09. His forthcoming book is titled To Cook a Continent: Destructive Extraction and the Climate Crisis in Africa.

    Guest:

    Nnimmo Bassey, founder of Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria, and he serves as the international chair of Friends of the Earth.


    AMY GOODMAN: We’re live in Copenhagen in, well, the only daily global broadcast on television and radio from right here in the Bella Center, where the COP15 climate summit is taking place. We’re in the second day of this summit.


    We turn now to Nigeria’s best-known environmental leader, Nnimmo Bassey. He is the founder of Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria. He serves as the international chair of Friends of the Earth. He has campaigned against Shell Oil’s presence in the Niger Delta for nearly two decades. Last night he spoke at the opening of Klimaforum along with Naomi Klein. His forthcoming book is called To Cook a Continent: Destructive Extraction and the Climate Crisis in Africa. To Cook a Continent.


    Welcome, Nnimmo.


    NNIMMO BASSEY: Thank you.


    AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean, To Cook a Continent?


    NNIMMO BASSEY: Well, Africa has been in the pot for centuries now. It’s where everybody goes to extract resources, to get—right now Africa is divided up. Our land is being grabbed, torn into plantations, torn into agrofuel farms, torn into where people would plant trees and claim carbon credits. Africa is being taken as the backyard where resources are extracted at the least cost and at a maximum profit. Africa is in the pot, and the fire is being stoked by climate change, more than you could imagine.


    AMY GOODMAN: Explain climate debt. And what are reparations?


    NNIMMO BASSEY: Yeah, you know, when we look at the impacts of global warming, climate change, it’s agreed that Africa is the highest hit. I know the small island states are really hit by it, but we are hearing from scientists that where one degree—the temperature may change by one degree elsewhere, in Africa it’s going to be much more than that. And so, Africa is directly at the front line being hit by global warming. And we all know that Africa is the least contributor to the store of carbon in the atmosphere. So the space has all been taken up. Africa has little space left for development, if we want to follow the same political development paradigm that has caused what we’re facing now. And Africa is being hard hit by the impacts of global warming.


    And so, there’s a debt that is being owed Africa by the Global North, by the industrialized nations who are responsible for the climate change that we’re seeing now. And, you know, Africa cannot just be condemned to adapting, adapting, every time adapting to problems they did not create. So the Global North owes a debt—not a gift, not a loan, not a grant, but a real debt—to help Africa develop, to help Africa develop systems that would make it more resilient to the impacts of global warming, as well as helping Africa to adopt technologies that are more green, that are low carbon intensive. And this is in the self-interest of everybody in the world, because if Africa does not now wake up suddenly to begin to pollute as much as others have been doing, then we’re all better off for it.


    AMY GOODMAN: Nnimmo Bassey, can you explain the lawsuit that The Hague is now considering against Shell, a decision expected by the end of the year?


    NNIMMO BASSEY: Yes, there are three communities in the Niger Delta decided to sue Shell International, Shell Development Company of Nigeria, in The Hague for environmental pollution. This is the first of its kind, because this time around we are not challenging Shell over human rights abuses. We believe they are guilty many times over. We are challenging them for environmental pollution, because over the years they have so brazenly polluted the Nigerian environment. In fact, we have about 300 oil spill incidents every year in the Niger Delta by official estimates. So it’s much more. There is like one spill every day, most of this due to rotten, rusty equipment that the oil corporation deployed in the region.


    And so, the communities from Ikot Ada Udo—that’s one, the other one is Oruma, the other one is Goi in Ogoni—are suing Shell for destroying the environment through oil spill. And the case of Goi in Ogoni is very important, because in that community Shell’s pipeline spilled oil in 2004, and Shell has claimed over and over again that they’ve cleaned up the spill. About a week ago I visited Goi just to see for myself what the situation is, and it is like—it’s a devastated swampland, mangroves burnt, destroyed by spills. And there’s just no way the people can fish anymore. The environment is not remediated. Everything is just as it was many years ago by Shell’s spill.


    Then another case is that of Ikot Ada Udo in Akwa Ibom state, southeast of Nigeria, in the Niger Delta. Now, early last year, a Shell wellhead suddenly erupted and spilled oil for five months before it was stopped. And it wasn’t stopped until the Nigerian senate sent a delegation to visit the spill, for the spill was becoming like a tourist attraction. Those were—there was an [inaudible] to go to see the wellhead bubbling. And the entire farmland was turned into a crude oil lake. And so, communities are saying Shell has to be held accountable.


    And the first hearing came up a couple of days ago in The Hague, where Shell was saying that Shell International cannot be held accountable for what Shell Nigeria does in Nigeria. And that is a big laugh, because they are together. That is a family. They share—they don’t divide the profits. All the money goes to Shell International. So how could they say?


    AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Nnimmo Bassey, what do you want to happen out of here, when you have world leaders like our own President Obama saying there will not be a binding agreement coming out of COP15, this summit?


    NNIMMO BASSEY: It’s really shocking that Obama would say a thing like that, before even coming down here. It’s like telling us that we’ve come here to waste our time. I mean, that kind of statement means to me that we have a lot of time to play around with politics of climate change. But indeed, the world has no time. We’ve run out of time. We are not even in injury time. We’ve gone to the brink. And the United States—President of United States, Obama, has a responsibility to take this matter seriously. It’s an issue of justice. And it’s completely unethical to play politics or play under the table. To make some private secret deals among presidents about climate change, that is totally unacceptable.


    full article;

    http://www.democracynow.org/2009/12/8/nigerian_environmentalist_nnimmo_bassey_the_global
     
  3. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The "Danish Text" white supremist security scheme, was leaked

    'Danish text' triggers outcry at talks
    By: Lisa Lerer and Louise Roug
    December 8, 2009 10:46 AM EST

    COPENHAGEN — A draft text on how to fund cuts in greenhouse gas emissions that was leaked to news organizations Tuesday sparked a furor at the Copenhagen climate talks, outraging poor nations that feel the agreement gives far too much power to developed countries.

    The so-called Danish text, produced in secret by a small group of developed nations, would give rich nations significant power over the billions of dollars that would be distributed to poorer countries as part of the agreement.

    Representatives from African NGOs attending the talks burst into angry shouts over the draft on Tuesday afternoon, yelling and standing on tables to demand a fair deal.

    The Danish host of the conference immediately went on the offensive, telling the Danish press that the text could be one among many and didn’t represent the official government position.

    "The Danish government meets with many different countries, both bilaterally and in groups, to discuss different scenarios and talk about different solutions,” said Danish host Connie Hedegaard. “There's nothing new in that."

    The text from Nov. 27 was guarded as top secret, and only existed in numbered copies that were handed out mainly in settings where the papers afterwards were taken back again, according to climate experts working for non-governmental organizations.

    Climate experts said the draft was a tactical mistake made by the Danish hosts, drafted as a way to ensure full United States participate in the talks. United States negotiators would like to see emerging economies, such as China and India, take “robust” actions to curb emissions.

    “It was a ploy to get a result by making sure that they could accommodate the US, and that was the wrong approach,” said Kim Carstensen, leader of WWF Global Climate Initiative. The Danes “should have been the presidency of everybody.”

    Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, who heads the Group of 77 developing countries, took aim at the Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen on Tuesday, saying he wasn't a neutral host.

    "Your Prime Minister has chosen to protect the rich countries," Di-Aping told the Danish daily Politiken. "You have to listen to all the countries - that is what democracy is all about."

    The draft includes the controversial goals of having global emissions peak by 2020, with the long-term goal of cutting them in half by 2050 — a target that’s strongly opposed by China, India and other developing nations because it would require those nations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, rather than simply reducing their rates of growth.


    Poor nations argue that developed countries should make most of the cuts because they have caused significantly more of global warming pollution. China overtook the United States as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases two years ago. The country has promised to cut emissions 40-45 percent per unit of economic output, a goal some experts say will have no effect on China’s industrial policy.

    “It is unfair to set such a peak target for developing countries, which are still in a stage of industrialization,” said Su Wei, head of the Chinese delegation. “It is too early to talk about the peak concentration year for developing countries.”

    Su said he did not oppose the peak target -- he just wanted it fulfilled with stricter cuts by developed nations.

    “If [developed countries] really transmit their commitments into firm actions, we will see the peak year coming earlier,” said Su.

    Brazil, South Africa, India, China, and Sudan plan to submit their own draft that rejects legally binding emissions cuts. And if developed nations try to push their terms on the poorer countries, they’ve agreed to walk out of the talks.

    The Danish proposal would mandate that developed nations pay $10 billion a year over the next two years to help poorer nations adapt to the destructive impacts of climate change and transition to new, cleaner technologies.

    But in order to get the money, poor nations would have to undertake a range of actions, including opening their books to allow their emissions reductions to be measured and verified.

    The fund would also be run by the World Bank, a decision that’s opposed by developing nations.

    Those provisions, say poor nations, would prohibit them from ever reaching equal economic footing with more developed nations.


    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30341.html
     
  4. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    « Previous Story | Next Story »
    December 14, 2009


    Archbishop Desmond Tutu on President Obama: “He Is Now a Nobel Laureate—Become What You Are”

    Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa also traveled to Copenhagen this weekend to urge world leaders to tackle the climate crisis. The longtime anti-apartheid campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize laureate spoke on Saturday at a candlelight vigil just outside the UN climate summit.

    AMY GOODMAN: Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa also traveled to Copenhagen this weekend to urge world leaders to tackle the climate crisis by signing a binding treaty. The longtime anti-apartheid campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize laureate spoke on Saturday at a candlelight vigil to a group of children just outside the UN climate summit.


    ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU: We want to remind you that they marched in Berlin, and the wall fell. They marched in Cape Town, and apartheid fell. They marched in Copenhagen, and we’re going to get a new deal.


    I want to say a big thank you to all of you, especially you beautiful young ones. We oldies have made something of a mess of the world. And we want to say to the leaders who are meeting, look in the eyes of your grandchildren.


    Climate change is already a serious crisis today. But we can do something about it. If we don’t—if we don’t, hoohoo!, there’s no world which we will leave to you, this generation. You won’t have a world. You will be drowning. You will be burning in drought. There will be no food. There will be floods. We have only one world. We have only one world. If we mess it up, there’s no other world. And for those who think that the rich are going to escape, ha! ha! ha!, we either swim or sink together. We have one world. And we want to leave a beautiful world for all of these beautiful, wonderful young generation. We, the oldies, want to leave you a beautiful world.


    And it is a matter of morality. It is a question of justice. Haha, ha! Haha, hahahaha! Isn’t it? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah! If—if—if—if you are responsible for most of the mess, then you are responsible for getting rid of that mess. That’s justice. That’s justice. If you are responsible for most of the emissions, which are—look—look—look at the ozone layer. People are now suffering from all kinds of skin diseases, because we are thinning the ozone layer. Whoa! Whoa-ho!


    So, you, wonderful rich people, you are wonderful! You are wonderful! You really are wonderful! But—but remember, if—if you are responsible for most of the emissions—it’s not “if”; we know it is the case—then you’re going to have to be responsible for any adjustments. We, too, who are poor, want to become rich. And if you are able to bail out the banks—they gave [inaudible] billions and billions and billions and billions and billions! They just throw billions! Now, please, just give us a few billions to enable the poor to use alternative fuels. They can’t do it if you ask them to pay for it. Please—actually, for your own sakes, OK? For your own sakes, rich people, please, for your own sakes, for your children’s sakes, for the sake of our world, be nice. Be nice, and pay up. Pay up, please. Please, for your own sake.


    The world, the world, we, the world, expect a real deal. Eh? Now, let us say that all of us – [with crowd] we, the world, expect a real deal. One. Two.


    CROWD: We, the world, expect a real deal.


    ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU: Again!


    CROWD: We, the world, expect a real deal.


    ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU: Woohoooo!



    AMY GOODMAN: South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaking at a candlelight vigil Saturday just outside the Bella Center. Afterwards, I caught up with him.


    AMY GOODMAN: Archbishop, Archbishop Tutu, your message for Barack Obama, for President Obama?


    ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU: Please, please help give the world a real deal. Give the world a real deal. Help, help, help. Make sure that there is enough money to help developing countries make the adjustment

    full article;http://www.democracynow.org/2009/12/14/archbishop_desmond_tutu_on_president_obama
     
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