Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Ethical Self In The Environment: Global Warming, Climate Change and the Nation-State

Obama’s Backing Raises Hopes for Climate Pact
Published: February 28, 2009
New York Times copyright

My comment #83.
March 01, 2009 11:39 am

Link NY Times

March 1st, 2009 11:31 am
The article states:

"But Kyoto was shaped largely by climate scientists and environment ministers, not the higher-level officials now laying the groundwork."

What is blatantly absent from this equation is the lack of any articulation of social justice objectives, and the lack of grassroots involvement of ordinary folks, in other words civil societies of sovereign nation-states.

These civil societies vastly differ in their energy use and their contribution to greenhouse gases. For example in India, a huge mainly rural agricultural economy, what most contributes to the 'brown cloud' over much of the subcontinent is a result of smoke from household fires and burning in fields in preparation for the next cycle of planting, by subsistence landless cultivators. That is the pattern for most of the Global South, where the majority of the world's population resides.

That's a little different than emissions from gas guzzling SUVs on US highways or the cost of producing and disposing of countless varieties of mainly useless products in consumption-driven economies in Europe and North America.
Growth and development are not the same thing, as we are all finding out.

Will the people of Europe and particularly the US, consume less and conserve more? Will that happen during an extended period of dismal economic forecasts?

To effect a dramatic change at the grass roots level, civil societies have to be given the opportunity to be directly involved in change, change we can believe in that results in social justice through equitable sharing of natural resources, not lectured to by the "trickle down" approach of government agencies and Nobel-Prize winning intergovernmental panels like the UN's IPCC or individual climate crusaders like Gore, or even a greener presidency under Obama.

Where are the people?

Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice

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