Trading The Environment
The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference was a rousing success in Paris this year… for people in international trade.
There is some hopeful talk as well as some fluff published by the United Nations left to show that no one really cares about the environment. The motto was “eat, think, save.” People get carried away with the spirit the event is supposed to create that it becomes harder to even consider what such catchphrases mean.
Recyclable cups were championed? Sure, the concept sounds noble to get people to return and reuse them for a credit. For a conference with a theme of cutting down greenhouse gasses, how about just not supporting the idea of plastic materials at all? How about people bring their own ceramic mugs and reuse those? And not do it because there is some financial incentive, but because the collective effort of the world promotes conservation?
All the food was “rescued.” That’s a pretty ambiguous statement. I can only assume they didn't go dumpster diving for the food, but was the food purchased from a nearby farm that has no distribution network because they’ve been priced out by corporate agriculture? The fluff piece gives no insight into what the rescued food even means, what it was or how that helps the overall cause. There was certainly no mention of it being locally sourced or anything like that.
Then there is the promotion of “eco-cars.” Instead of dressing up the emperor, how about just encouraging people to not drive? Electric cars still have moving parts, which need grease and oil to operate. They may help with emission standards, but to how much of a degree? Until more people start getting rid of their cars, getting exercise and considering real alternatives, there will be little to no improvement to the earth or humanity.
The article closes with an admission that maybe the conference should have discussed bigger and better things like heating and air conditioning. Nice that someone was willing to note that. Better luck next year, Morocco!
To keep it all abstract seems exactly how the world’s richest nations want things to be, something that looks good yet accomplishes nothing in the way of progress.
On the heels of the climate conference, the United States is all in trying to push through a trade agreement to do away with just about any environmental effort that stands in the way. Meanwhile, the Japanese Prime Minister made it perfectly clear that the environment comes second to economy.
Sketchy dealings to push through the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership send multinational efforts toward complete corporate control. European health markets “reduced safety and backdoor privatization” is the reality people are grappling with. Governments that don’t care about the health of a person certainly aren’t very likely to care about the health of the earth.
International trade is a barrier to environmental efforts as Matt Carthy from Sinn Fein was quoted, the Paris talks just echoed that governments “must not allow any countries to limit trade and investment opportunities for European corporations seeking to penetrate new markets around the world.” Not only is international trade a barrier to local market economies, it also distinctly contradicts the feel good mission of the conference in not wanting to truck in fresh bagels every day. Priorities are obviously skewed. Until the corporate power structure changes, the environment is still hell bent on destruction.
As Green Blog contributor Megan Bonetti pointed out in the wake of the climate conference, it's the "developed" countries that hold all the cards in the debate. It makes sense that the United States is at the forefront of environmental atrocities, where fifty percent of citizens don’t believe in anthropogenic global warming. As long as information is withheld and fluffy conventions take the place of meaningful dialogue and actionable steps, people will continue to believe exactly what they are supposed to believe.
International trade is a barrier to environmental efforts as Matt Carthy from Sinn Fein was quoted, the Paris talks just echoed that governments “must not allow any countries to limit trade and investment opportunities for European corporations seeking to penetrate new markets around the world.”
International trade is also a barrier to local market economies and distinctly a contradiction to the feel good nature of not wanting to truck in fresh bagels to the conference every day. Priorities are obviously skewed. Until the corporate power structure changes, the environment is still hell bent on destruction.