Climate Change: Are we also the 99%

The GreenAccord conference took place last week.

I got back late last night from the GreenAccord environmental conference in Italy, an annual gathering that brings together journalists from around the globe with some of the foremost experts on climate change and the many interconnected environmental problems threatening human – and planetary – health.
The conference has always emphasized environmental justice, a focus made even richer by the large contingent of reporters from developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, where some of the worst impacts of climate change are expected and have, indeed, begun. This year, however, the political dimensions of the climate debate were in even starker relief.  Several speakers suggested that the world’s elites are insulating themselves from the worst aspects of global warming. There were shades of the Occupy movement with its assertions that the world’s wealthiest 1 percent are ruining the world for the rest of us.

Resource economist William Rees argued that we’re already seeing the beginnings of “eco apartheid” as wealthy individuals, corporations and entire governments scramble to secure the best remaining cropland, water rights, mineral and fossil fuel deposits and other dwindling resources, while blocking climate responses that threaten their wealth. Robert Engelman, the new executive director at of the environmental think tank, Worldwatch Institute, expressed similar views. Meanwhile Brazilian philosopher Euclides Mance, of the World Social Forum, advocated dumping our corporate-dominated economy for one based on solidarity. He discussed experiments underway in Brazil and elsewhere to replace currency with a system of credits that would essentially allow people to barter for goods and services.

As soon as I shake off the jet lag, I must start writing an article that will discuss some of these ideas in more detail. Stay tuned!

While I was away, my story on the economy of food trucks posted to The Atlantic magazine’s “Cities” website. While off subject for those focused solely on environmental issues, it’s an interesting tale of how, even in a sputtering economy, agile entrepreneurs can find a path forward. Perhaps there is a more universal take-away there? You can find the story here.

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About greendistrict

I'm Christine MacDonald, a journalist and the author of the book: "Green, Inc., An Environmental Insider Reveals How a Good Cause Has Gone B

Posted on October 24, 2011, in Carbon footprint, Climate adaptation, Climate Change, Climate politics, Corporate Citizenship, Endangered Species, Environment, environmental justice, Green Living, greenwash, health, National Politics, sustainability, World and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Christine, http://planet3.org has run a number of stories on this topic and is interested in yours.

  2. Thank you for spreading the Green and Clean News… Kudos for Excellent Post!

  3. As soon as I shake off the jet lag, I must start writing an article that will discuss some of these ideas in more detail. Stay tuned!

    Nice idea, let’s go!

  4. Good information. Perhaps also write about actions individuals can take as we really can’t wait for leadership from our governments.

  5. any efforts to combat climate change should be worthwhile

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