Direct Action Confronts the Climate Crisis

"The global political process to counter runaway climate change has become, for practical purposes, irrelevant," writes Ryan King. "None of the currently proposed emissions reductions being seriously considered in policy making are appropriate to meet the severity of the situation. This overwhelming failure on the part of world governments is pushing the rapid unification of environmentalists, activists, scientists, and others to push for direct, immediate change. ... Al Gore, in August 2007, told the New York Times, 'I can’t understand why there aren’t rings of young people blocking bulldozers and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants.' Sure enough young people and many others have been involved in these efforts, but they are typically hidden in mainstream media or characterized as 'eco-terrorism.' NASA's Jim Hansen as well as many other celebrities and environmentalists have been purposely arrested for acts of civil disobedience against coal and fossil fuel use." He notes that CMD's partnership project CoalSwarm posts "constant updates on direct actions and resources." Direct action is serious stuff, but some activists are also armed with humor and a "SurvivaBall" guaranteed to save those who can afford it from global warming.


" Malaysia must take initiative to re-define Climate Change Roadmap at the upcoming Copenhagen Conference 2009"

The article "Dark Cloud over Climate Talks" by martin Khor (The Star, 12.10.2009) painted a rather dark pessimistic color to the mood at the recently concluded Climate talks in Bangkok, Thailand.

Developed nations perceived abandonment of their current commitment under Phase One of the Kyoto Protocol (KP) is a clear indication that there is a need for a more conducive approach in addressing climate change specifically relating to greenhouse gas emissions(GGE) dilemma.

This perception must not be viewed with pessimism or seen as a negative change of attitude by developed countries. Developing countries are also part of the problematic GGE equation apart from the Kyoto Protocol’s perceived rigid implementation platform.

There is no denying that the Kyoto Protocol imposed binding obligations upon developed bloc. However, corresponding non-commitment/inactions by developing countries are also a collective issue.

All signatories to the KP must therefore take the cue that if co-operation cannot be effected under the current KP, there is an urgent need to modify the ‘mitigation commitments’ by developed countries vis-vis the ‘mitigation actions’ on the part of developing countries. Such modification can be perceived as fair as it takes into view national interests and acceptable GGE achievement.

What is of crucial importance is the underlying commitment by all members towards total, if not gradual reduction, of GGE emissions on a global scale so that 2nd Phase of the KP can be initiated without major glitch in 2013.

Malaysia as a developing country, having achieved several milestones in its effort to implement GGE objectives, must therefore take the initiative to promote, re-ignite and re-define those ‘commitments’ in a form that are mutually acceptable to both developed and developing countries within the KP framework which is in fact, open to international modification and national interests alignment.

Jeong Chun Phuoc

Climate negotiators need to be somewhat flexible on emerging nations in light of binding level of pollution cut : a little lower but binding level would be practicable.