As expected, little was accomplished at the recent COP 26 meetings because countries with capitalist economic systems were in control. Industrial nations’ policies will continue to protect the capitalist economic system and the fossil fuel industry regardless of the environmental consequences.
I often write about the necessity of replacing the capitalist economic system as essential to addressing our evolving environmental catastrophes. Recently The Free blog of post-capitalist transition re-blogged my post, It’s Decolonization or Extinction. And that starts with Land-Back. Many people and organizations are working toward a post-capitalist world.
And yet, even as humanity faces perhaps the greatest existential crisis in its species’ history, the public debate on climate barely mentions the underlying economic system that brought us to this point and which continues to drive us toward the precipice. Ever since its emergence in the seventeenth century, with the creation of the first limited liability shareholder-owned corporations, capitalism has been premised on viewing the planet as a resource to exploit — its overriding objective to maximize profits from that exploitation as rapidly and extensively as possible. Current mainstream strategies to resolve our twin crises of climate breakdown and ecological overshoot without changing the underlying system of growth-based global capitalism are structurally inadequateSolving the Climate Crisis Requires the End of Capitalism by Jeremy Lent, originally published by Patterns of Meaning, October 13, 2021
This is doubly tragic because the dominance of capitalist governments also meant Indigenous peoples didn’t have a voice at COP 26. It is Indigenous knowledge that can help repair Mother Earth.
“The Cop is a big business, a continuation of colonialism where people come not to listen to us, but to make money from our land and natural resources,” said Ita Mendoza, 46, an indigenous land defender from the Mixteca region of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, attending Cop for the first time. “What benefits does the Cop bring when more than a thousand people fighting to keep the planet alive have been killed [since Paris]?”
“It’s a testament of our resilience that even after hundreds of years of colonization and betrayal that we indigenous communities are still willing to sacrifice our lives, health and energy for this last-ditch attempt to save the planet,” said Ruth Miller, climate justice director of the Alaska-based Native Movement, a Dena’ina Athabaskan and Ashkenazi Russian Jewish woman, who is a member of the Curyung tribe.
“We’re here offering sustainable solutions to the rest of the world that require an ideological shift, not a green industry built on colonialism and repression. It’s up to them if they listen or not.”INDIGENOUS VOICES ARE MISSING AT COP26 by Nina Lakhani, The Guardian, November 4, 2021
As the United Nations Climate Change Conference—also known as COP26—got underway in Glasgow, Scotland this week, Indigenous activists from around the world warned that failure to center their peoples’ voices and solutions would seriously hamper efforts to tackle the growing planetary emergency.
“We can develop actions based on our culture and our traditional knowledge.”
“Today, the climate is warming, the animals are disappearing, the rivers are dying and our plants don’t flower like they did before,” Txai Suruí, a law student, activist, and member of the Paiter Suruí people of northwestern Brazil, said during Sunday’s COP26 opening ceremony. “The Earth is speaking. She tells us that we have no more time.”
“Indigenous people are in the frontline of the climate emergency, and we must be at the center of the decisions happening here,” she stressed. “We have ideas to postpone the end of the world.”
Kyle Whyte, a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation in Oklahoma who serves on U.S. President Joe Biden’s White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, told NBC News that “if countries don’t get on board with us, leaving out the people who steward a lot of the lands, it’s not just a moral issue anymore. It will have a devastating effect on the speed at which the rest of the world will get to sustainability.”‘The Earth Is Speaking’: Indigenous Activists Tell COP26 There’s No Climate Solution Without Them. “Indigenous people are in the frontline of the climate emergency, and we must be at the center of the decisions happening here. We have ideas to postpone the end of the world.” by BRETT WILKINS, Common Dreams, November 1, 2021