Climate Change Contraction & Convergence Social Change

Doom Avoidance : Ed Miliband Invites Protest

Ed Miliband wants a Climate Change social movement, and it is going to appear in force, but it won’t look the way he wants or expects.

In the interview article below notice that Ed Miliband is going to publish a Climate Change manifesto shortly, outlining the UK negotiating position for the December United Nations Climate Talks.

That means that the UK negotiating position for Copenhagen in December has already been decided.

And judging by the various decisions on Energy and Transport over the last few months, that negotiating position will fail to address the full scale of Climate Change.

And that means there is no point in a social campaign to urge the Government to act.

If they’re only going to do what they’ve already decided to do, there’s no point in mobilising people to demand Government action, or call for public debate.

The Government will do what it’s already decided to do, whether or not we march in the streets or promote a postcard campaign or submit a petition or write books, deliver speeches, or whatever it is that we will all do between now and December.

Face the facts : the agenda for Copenhagen has already been decided; the global treaty has already been hatched; and nothing we do will change it.

The global treaty will look like an expansion on the Kyoto Protocol : the so-called Clean Development Mechanism, Reduced Deforestion (REDD) and Carbon Trading.

The failing global economy completely undermines Carbon Trading, Reduced Deforestation will wipe out half of the remaining rainforest, and the Clean Development Mechanism is full of leaks.

This treaty package will not deliver Climate Safety, but there will be little point in attacking it, since nobody will have the power to change it.

It appears there is no difference if we campaign to give the Government a mandate from the people, or if we don’t campaign at all.

And there will be no difference if we protest about the failings of the Government policies and negotiating position, or we do not bother to turn out and protest at all.

And so dissatisfaction with both the UK Government and the international United Nations UNFCCC process will have recourse to other means and other modes.

Ed Miliband cannot expect to co-opt the support of the British people for his poor policies and any nonsense positions at Copenhagen.

He must expect something different to rise up, and that he won’t like the way it looks.

It may appear after the global treaty is agreed in December, when people finally realise they have been conned and cheated. When they see that all their protesting and debating and postcard signing and online petition clicking and marching and rallying and shouting and letter-writing and placard-waving hasn’t changed a thing, and that all their effort was massaged into support for the poor decisions the UK Government has already made.

Protest, yes. But first, educate yourself about what you can reasonably expect to change by protesting.

Ed Miliband urges new push in climate change battle

Gaby Hinsliff and John Vidal
The Observer, Sunday 26 April 2009

Ed Miliband, the climate change secretary, warns today that he is “fearful” that the world may miss the opportunity to halt global warming and is calling for a Make Poverty History-style popular movement to push for a breakthrough at this year’s Copenhagen summit.

“We do need to be pushed. Political change doesn’t happen simply because leaders want it to happen, but because people make it happen,” Miliband told the Observer. “I don’t think it’s just about protesting, although people are welcome to protest against me.

Miliband hopes to build on last week’s budget, which saw a U-turn on clean coal production and a surprise hike in petrol duty, to help to re-energise green campaigners ahead of the Copenhagen summit in December. He will shortly publish a climate change manifesto, revealing British negotiating positions, including an expectation that the west should bear the brunt of the pain of reducing carbon. “I am very fearful if we don’t get the framework we need in December, because I think we will miss a historic opportunity,” he added.

“But we also have to make an argument that if you can shift to this greener Britain it would be better in many ways – a better quality of life. If it’s only doom avoidance, I don’t actually think you are going to bring people with you.”

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