6-Point Charter

Posted: 01/01/2012 in ONE planet
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Naomi Klein, in The Nation, has written a charter for grass roots action to resolve the climate change crisis. The article begins with a denouncement of the “climate deniers”, and how this is fundamentally a change of attitude on the part of the 1% who were initially willing to accept climate change as a means of profiteering but have now determined that the climate crisis cannot be resolved through profiteering as too many profits will be lost if they accept there is a need to reduce climate emissions. Therefore they have started a campaign to deny there is a climate crisis, and as usual their puppets are standing up making these denouncements even at the expense of people, such as Newt Gingrich, looking even more stupid. Such vehement denial can be understood as a recognition by the 1% that they are not willing at the moment to solve the climate crisis.

Taking her lead from this, in the second part of the article Naomi accepts that the 1% will not attempt to solve the problem and she takes that recognition as a charter for grass roots organisation on the climate. The 1% will not solve the problem so grassroots democracy is the only option. This of course makes so much sense. Business has to exploit the environment in order to profit. Business is dependent on oil and has demonstrated a lack of willingness to invest in renewable energy such as the wind and the sun. The business strategy has also been to turn the onus onto individuals to be ecologically more sound, and after a long period of such strategies there is no change as carbon emissions rose to 5.9% in the year 2009-2010.

Here are her ideas for wholesale change. They fit clearly in with the Occupy movement as you would expect, but I think it is important to say that we need to do something about climate change and by doing what is needed we get people back to work whilst renovating the planet. The only loss is the profits to the 1%. Her charter is therefore revolutionary but we have to understand that the 1% are addicted, and such a solution is not going to come from them. Nor is it going to come from piecemeal strategies that have characterised the Climate Change Movement so far. No compromise, no patching, confront, accept Naomi’s charter and “get it done”.

I have uploaded this charter here.

There is no doubt that this charter is ambitious but a charter needs to be that in our world in which exploitation is so endemic and common-place. But it is important to recognise that grass roots movement have already moved towards this:-

“As Occupiers ask themselves what kind of economy should be built to displace the one crashing all around us, many are finding inspiration in the network of green economic alternatives that has taken root over the past decade—in community-controlled renewable energy projects, in community-supported agriculture and farmers’ markets, in economic localization initiatives that have brought main streets back to life, and in the co-op sector. Already a group at OWS is cooking up plans to launch the movement’s first green workers’ co-op (a printing press); local food activists have made the call to “Occupy the Food System!”; and November 20 is “Occupy Rooftops”—a coordinated effort to use crowd-sourcing to buy solar panels for community buildings.

“Not only do these economic models create jobs and revive communities while reducing emissions; they do so in a way that systematically disperses power—the antithesis of an economy by and for the 1 percent. Omar Freilla, one of the founders of Green Worker Cooperatives in the South Bronx, told me that the experience in direct democracy that thousands are having in plazas and parks has been, for many, “like flexing a muscle you didn’t know you had.” And, he says, now they want more democracy—not just at a meeting but also in their community planning and in their workplaces.

“In other words, culture is rapidly shifting. And this is what truly sets the OWS moment apart. The Occupiers—holding signs that said Greed Is Gross and I Care About You—decided early on not to confine their protests to narrow policy demands. Instead, they took aim at the underlying values of rampant greed and individualism that created the economic crisis, while embodying—in highly visible ways—radically different ways to treat one another and relate to the natural world.”

Accepting this need for climate change fits clearly within a mindful consumer network and the individual approach that says no patching, no compromise and confront the dishonesty. Such individuals work within communities built on ecological lines such as Thay’s Plum Village. Or they work within the main system with a dual approach minimising the ecological compromises imposed by the corporate workplace, and maximising the ecological harmony in their private lifes, in the alternative skills they develop, and in the home that is ecologically as sound as possible. Once the corporate sector perceives the sea-change that such uncompromising workers can induce, they will initally try not to employ them. But as the correctness of such lack of compromise is recognised and becomes part of mainstream thinking corporations will be forced to alter their own platforms. They need a workforce, they need us to cooperate for their profits – and they signifcantly need collaboration.

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