This link is to a report about the Summit of Consciences for the Climate a meeting arranged by the President of France in the run up to the Paris Climate Summit in November 2015. Several prominent leaders, including Kofi Annan and Mary Robinson, spoke forcefully on the issue of climate change and its economic roots. Michael Higgins the President of Ireland said:
“Climate change is grounded in forms of development and industrialisation that are based on the exploitation of fossil fuels, with an assumption of infinite growth,”
In an interview with the Irish Times, Higgins said that the neo-liberal model of economic development prevalent in western countries advocated the rolling-back of the state.
Massive movements of capital had created what he termed great fissures of inequality, and such freewheeling capitalism had shown itself capable of dislodging the whole fiscal system.
The global challenges of climate change and inequality could not be met if governments were not in control of their economies, Higgins said.
Besides the year-end Paris summit, several other significant conferences are being held this year, including a UN meeting focusing on a follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals.
Jeremy Williams writes:
A new charity launched last week, Rewilding Britain. It was a matter of time. There’s been a buzz about rewilding in the last couple of years, a growing sense of movement, but without any organisations dedicated specifically to rewilding. Projects have been on the local level, and as far as I can tell nobody has been working on rewilding advocacy or education.
So Rewilding Britain emerges neatly into a niche in the ecology of environmental charities, dedicated to “inspire, inform and build a wider movement for rewilding.” The organisation is inspired by George Monbiot’s book Feral, which is no surprise to me at all. If George hasn’t written the copy for the website, then they’ve borrowed liberally from his words: “Rewilding offers hope for wildlife, for humanity, for the planet. It’s our big opportunity to leave the world in a better state than it is today. To turn our silent spring into a raucous summer…”
So that’s all music to my ears. It’s early days yet, but there are plenty of projects to explore on the website, and lots on species re-introductions. For now, go and have a browse, follow them on Facebook and Twitter, make a donation, and let’s see where this goes.
Yale Climate Connections here suggests nine books to read before the upcoming November international COP 21 meeting in Paris on climate change. The list includes three novels.
Gore now has the Pope and President Obama as supporters of his perspective on climate change. This Guardian article updates on Al Gore’s activities as the Paris summit on climate change approaches.
Prince Charles has entered the political arena again, as reported here in the Guardian, to support the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership’s Report on the urgent need to ‘rewire’ the way our economic systems function. The heir to the British throne adds to the impetus arising from Pope Francis’ recent Encyclical in focusing on the reasons why our planet is being changed dangerously by human activity and why poverty remains endemic for a large proportion of our growing human population.
The Vatican is hosting a two-day meeting to which the secular Jewish climate change activist Naomi Klein is perhaps surprisingly invited on July 2-3. Here is an account of her article written as a response to the invitation.