Oldspeak: “Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Ignore all the hand wringing, heartfelt pleas for an end to the conflicts, and assertions that only political solutions will “ultimately end human suffering and bring stability to the region“. There will be no such “solutions” forthcoming Africa was officially consigned to this death sentence back in 2009. When…
“One of the most inspiring leaders present at the COP15 was the ever so eloquent Lumumba Di-Aping, chief negotiator of the G77. (The G77 bloc is the major group of developing countries, many of which are among the most threatened by effects of climate change, as well as the largest developing country bloc represented at the COP15.) Although Di-Aping was Sudanese by birth, his parents (who called themselves “Lumumbist”) named Di-Aping after the famous Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba. (Lumumba, the anti-colonialist democratically-elected prime minister of the Congo, was assassinated in 1960 having been deemed a severe threat by the U.S. due to his uncompromising ideas of freedom and African unity. He played a leading role in the struggle for the liberation of Africa and all of Africa’s resources.)
At the historic press conference which took place on November 11, 2009 in Copenhagen, Di-Aping addressed the international NGO community. The conference room was packed with representatives of the non-profit industrial complex and corporate media complex, which includes the so-called progressive media. In a most direct approach, Di-Aping asked NGOs to support the demand that developed countries cut emissions 52% by 2017; 65% by 2020; and 80% by 2030 (based on a 1990 baseline). Further, Di-Aping asked the NGOs to demand GHG emission cuts well above 100% by 2050, which would (perhaps) keep the global temperature from exceeding a rise of no more than 1.5ºC. These targets, if met, would perhaps allow Africa to merely stay alive.
A 2ºC rise in global temperature, which the non-profit industrial complex campaigned upon, would mean a 3.5ºC rise for Africa. This temperature is certain death for the African peoples – certain death for billions. In addition, a 2ºC global temperature rise guarantees a minimum 4ºC+ global temperature for future generations. In the film footage provided below, one bears witness to Di-Aping speaking directly to the Climate Action Network (International) representatives.
One must note the disturbing irony. After the press conference was finished, a standing ovation erupted. The room shook with an audience both inspired and enraptured. Depending on one’s depth of understanding of foundations, corporate power structures and the non-profit industrial complex, one may or may not be surprised at what happened afterwards, which was, quite simply, nothing. The white ivory towers, ever so acquiescent to their hegemonic rulers, wrote off the African people by continuing their “demand” for “a fair, ambitious, binding agreement.” In other words: “Sorry about your bad luck, Africa. Enjoy your future of hell on Earth … and fuck you.”
The non-profit industrial complex, with CAN and TckTckTck at the forefront, stuck to their 2ºC and other suicidal (non)targets. The climate justice groups dared on occasion to demand that temperatures not exceed 1.5ºC, while any discussion demanding that 1ºC be supported and campaigned upon sent this faction, too, running scared like frightened field mice. Climate justice amounted to nothing more than a branded trademark. Silence and compliance reigned as the champagne circuit discussed career options over cocktails.
Below are excerpts from the only transcript that exists.
“The second issue is the issue of reductions of emissions. There must be radical reductions of emissions starting from now. In our view, by 2017 we should cut, developed countries must cut by 52%, 65% by 2020, 80% by 2030, well above 100 [percent] by 2050. And this is very important because the more you defer action the more you condemn millions of people to immeasurable suffering. So the idea that you start from 4% today and you achieve 80 or 50 in 2050 simply means that you do not care about the lives of those who will be devastated in this period, until you pick up the pace.”
“… and I will say this to our colleagues from Western civil society — you have definitely sided with a small group of industrialists and their representatives and your representative branches. Nothing more than that. You have become an instrument of your governments. Whatever you say, whether you think it’s because it’s tactically shrewd or not, it’s an error that you should not continue to make.”
“So ask yourself, are your executive branches climate skeptics, notwithstanding their addresses like the prime minister of the UK that the cost of inaction on climate change is irreparable. His actions say he’s worse than the worst of climate skeptics. If he had asked bankers to pocket 300 billion dollars because of ‘incentivizing’ profit-seeking activities and he says 500 million is the maximum that the United Kingdom government can afford to pay to support climate change, what are we saying? What are you saying? I wonder what the distinguished colleagues from CAN are saying about that.”
“Many of you equally, and I will say this, and I would have never thought that one day I will accuse a civil society of such a thing. Dividing the G77, or helping divide the G77, is simply something that should be left to the CIAs, the KGBs and the rest [not the NGOs].”
“It’s mind boggling, and I say this having been the beneficiary of absolute support from civil society. Many of you may not know this, I come from southern Sudan. We’ve been through wars for almost 90% of our lives since independence, so I’m not sure what happened exactly to the civil society that I do know or at least knew.”
“If you have received help that enabled you to rebuild your economies and to become prosperous, how come suddenly you have turned mean? Because that 2.5 billion dollars is definitely what some of the big western industrialists lose without a sleep over a trade [lose over a trade without losing any sleep].” –Cory Morningstar
“SO. Get used to the unfolding disaster coverage coming of out of Africa. Expect it to increase. There will be no political solutions as long as the current set of living arrangements exist. Despite urgent pleas back in 2009 to have developed countries cut emissions by 52% by 2017, humans global carbon emissions have increased atmospheric carbon levels to its current high of 406.46. ppm. It’s not going down anytime soon. This reality continues a long history of intentional underdevelopment and overexploitation of Africa at her own expense. This is the continent from whence we came, and this is how it’s regarded – an externality to be condemned to death. As an aside, the U.S., easily the biggest weapons dealer on Earth, is bombing or has a military presence operating in Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, and South Sudan. Probably impacting the humanitarian situation in the epicenter of this crisis a bit. Yet, hyperconsumption continues apace. Population continues to grow. Business as usual emissions scenarios become more probable with each passing day. Further ensuring Africa’s death sentence. As a consequence of these and many other factors, Africa is likely to continue to get very hot and very dry, very fast. And that equals a death sentence for a lot of people. Throwing money at this predicament won’t stop it.” –OSJ
Written By Edith M. Lederer @ U.K. Independent:
The world faces the largest humanitarian crisis since the UN was founded in 1945, with more than 20 million people in four countries facing starvation and famine, the UN humanitarian chief has said.
Stephen O’Brien told the UN Security Council that “without collective and coordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death” and “many more will suffer and die from disease.”
He urged an immediate injection of funds for Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and northeast Nigeria, plus safe and unimpeded access for humanitarian aid “to avert a catastrophe.”
“To be precise,” O’Brien said, “we need $4.4 billion (£3.6bn) by July.”
Without a major infusion of money, he said, children will be stunted by severe malnutrition and won’t be able to go to school, gains in economic development will be reversed and “livelihoods, futures and hope will be lost.”
UN and food organisations define famine as when more than 30 per cent of children under the age of five suffer from acute malnutrition, and mortality rates are two or more deaths per 10,000 people every day, among other criteria.
“Already at the beginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the United Nations,” O’Brien said. “Now, more than 20 million people across four countries face starvation and famine.”
O’Brien said the largest humanitarian crisis is in Yemen, where two thirds of the population – 18.8 million people – need aid and more than seven million people are hungry and don’t know where their next meal will come from. “That is three million people more than in January,” he added.
The Arab world’s poorest nation is engulfed in conflict and O’Brien said more than 48,000 people fled fighting in the past two months alone.
During his recent visit to Yemen, O’Brien said he met senior leaders of the government and the Shia Houthi rebels who control the capital Sanaa and all promised access for aid.
“Yet all parties to the conflict are arbitrarily denying sustained humanitarian access and politicise aid,” he said, warning if that behaviour doesn’t change now “they must be held accountable for the inevitable famine, unnecessary deaths and associated amplification in suffering that will follow.”
For 2017, O’Brien said $2.1 billion (£1.7bn) is needed to reach 12 million Yemenis “with life-saving assistance and protection” but only 6 per cent has been received so far. He announced that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will chair a pledging conference for Yemen on 25 April in Geneva.
The UN humanitarian chief also visited South Sudan, the world’s newest nation which has been ravaged by a three-year civil war, and said “the situation is worse than it has ever been.
“The famine in South Sudan is man-made,” he said. “Parties to the conflict are parties to the famine – as are those not intervening to make the violence stop.”
O’Brien said more than 7.5 million people need aid, up by 1.4 million from last year, and about 3.4 million South Sudanese are displaced by fighting including almost 200,000 who have fled the country since January.
“More than one million children are estimated to be acutely malnourished across the country, including 270,000 children who face the imminent risk of death should they not be reached in time with assistance,” he said. “Meanwhile, the cholera outbreak that began in June 2016 has spread to more locations.”
In Somalia, which O’Brien also visited, more than half the population – 6.2 million people – need humanitarian assistance and protection, including 2.9 million who are at risk of famine and require immediate help “to save or sustain their lives.”
He warned that close to one million children under the age of five will be “acutely malnourished” this year.
“What I saw and heard during my visit to Somalia was distressing – women and children walk for weeks in search of food and water. They have lost their livestock, water sources have dried up and they have nothing left to survive on,” O’Brien said. “With everything lost, women, boys, girls and men now move to urban centers.”
The humanitarian chief said current indicators mirror “the tragic picture of 2011 when Somalia last suffered a famine.” But he said the UN’s humanitarian partners have a larger footprint, better controls on resources, and a stronger partnership with the new government which recently declared the drought a national disaster.
“To be clear, we can avert a famine,” O’Brien said. “We’re ready despite incredible risk and danger … but we need those huge funds now.”
In northeast Nigeria, a seven-year uprising by the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram has killed more than 20,000 people and driven 2.6 million from their homes. A UN humanitarian coordinator last month said that malnutrition in the northeast is so pronounced that some adults are too weak to walk and some communities have lost all their toddlers.