They’ve formed a new coalition to urge IPL to shutdown its Harding Street coal-fired, power plant. Mike Oles of Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light says the rally aims to get IPL to commit to stop burning coal by 2020. Oles says some 40 groups have passed resolutions as part of their cause. Oles says 80% of Hoosiers want to see greater investment in renewable energy. He says 88% of the city’s industrial air pollution comes from the IPL plant on the city’s near southwest side. The demonstration is set to begin at 1:45 p.m. Saturday. Read full article
COP 15, December 19, 9 pm
Delegates of many nations worked through the night with Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-moon on a climate paper. It is not official, not all could agree to it, but this is where we stand.
This is my last note from Copenhagen. I leave early in the morning, and from the weather reports it sounds like the cold and snow are now embracing the East Cost of the US. Perhaps this is true in more ways than one. A paradigm shift is needed to enter into the future. We are the ones born in this time to work on this together.
See you in New Mexico at work.
Peace and good,
COP 15, Saturday, December 19, 9 am
The news came through a recorded message of President Obama last night around 11 that COP 15 negotiations had ended. After a breakdown, once again earlier in the day, a conclusion had been reached. A paper, not a binding agreement had been produced with the hopes that a binding agreement could be reached in 2010. The paper allows for emissions reductions to remain within a 2 degree temperature rise, nationally appropriate action plans in an appendix to the paper, a mechanism for international climate financing and transparency with regard to international comittments.
A legally binding agreement will be very hard to negotiate in the future because there are so many views and realities of climate change, President Obama noted. It is no longer debatable that there is climate change and the issue is being dictated by science which requires stronger steps into the future, he also stated.
Given the corporate and political challenge in the US and the fact that no legislation has passed, perhaps it was too much to hope for a stronger outcome at COP 15. Unlike the rest of the world, it is also the reality that some do not believe climate change exists. If we are to move forward, perhaps it is by promoting the positive care of the future with energy efficiency, solar, wind, conservation and love of the beauty and the children of the planet.
As the fireworks sounded outside my window at midnight, marking the end of COP 15 there were no visions of sugar plums dancing in my head. Rather, there are many reflections moving within me on this winter solstice eve in this cold northland where sun rises at about 9 am and sets at about 3 pm.
We are still in the night, waiting for the light. In Christian tradition this is the Advent time of waiting with hope into an incarnation of love and life. Some other religious traditions might speak of it as a time waiting for a new consciousness that some expected might be birthed at this historic meeting. Never before have so many diverse nations and peoples gathered together in one place to sing, dance, speak, negotiate, demonstrate and plead for the cause of survival and life.
I consider myself a hopeful realist. Yesterday, I was very disheartened. Today, I am a disheartened, hopeful and ready to act human being standing with brothers and sisters of New Mexico and all who dwell with Mother Earth. We have much work to do. We have many prayers and meditations to be faithful to. We have hearts that must continue to long for the birthing of Love, Compassion and Action for Life.
Today, I am glad that I do not go to Bella Center. How could I look into the beautiful faces of the island peoples, the indigenous peoples, the people of Africa and other developing countries who came at great financial and heart expense to be courageous and speak at this conference only to leave knowing that their nations may soon be drowned in 2 degree temperature standards of rising water or to face more drought and hunger. As someone from one of the African nations said, for the developed world it is about keeping 3 meals a day, for us we would like to have three meals a day.
It was interesting that President Obama made the announcement of the decisions rather than Ban Ki Moon or another leader representing the UN. In the Denmark paper today, it is the picture of our President that I see with headlines that say this was a meltdown meeting. Great moral and ethical responsibility comes with being a nation that considers itself a leader. Are we leading? Can we lead? Leaders listen and somehow are able to collect the voices and the common good into an earthen bowl that can be filled with actions and sustenance for the common good.
For me, perhaps the most amazing reality of this incredible meeting was the gathering of civil society sharing meals, listening to stories, and working for life. These bonds cannot be denied. The truths spoken are recorded in the hearts and minds of all on the planet (even the water, plants and creatures were listening and witnessing.)
We have much work to do. Our work does not come out of drudgery, but hope and love and faith. Each time that Ban Ki Moon addressed the assembly he noted the religious leaders present in the civil society. Perhaps our role in addressing climate justice and justice for Mother Earth is more important than we have recognized to this moment.
Nearly a week ago I met the dancing, singing Danish youth in the town square who told me they had to dance and sing amidst the climate change concerns because they are humans and not robots. May we live and act out of our humaness this day into a solstice dawning.
Peace and good,
COP 15, December 18, 11 am
I am sitting at the Forum for NGO members waiting for the televised proceedings. Using still another borrowed computer whose text is very small and a keyboard geared toward French…so please forgive errors. I wanted to give you an update from the ECO news letter that comes out every day from NGO organizations and bits from folks around.
*It seems delegates and leaders worked through the night and there is hope that an agreement will be unveiled today. There is confidence that with so manz heads of state present that there will be an agreement. The strength of emissions reductions and financing for mitigation and adaptation are big questions.
*While the US has stated they will work with nations to come up with 100 billion dollars collectively to address climate change needs of developing countries, a fair, ambitious and binding agreement places the need at 195 billion dollars of public finance by 2020.
*Because mitigation targets seem to hover around 3 degree rise in temperature, adaptation is essential and more costlz than actions for adaptation. The existing text contains good and bad elements for adaptation:
Good=attention to most vulnerable people
Good=For the first time climate change induced migration is addressed
Good=Stronger language on support for regional centres and cooperation
Bad=No mention of historical responsibility which clearlz should guide the provision of financial support
Bad=Finance will likely fall short, especially if we are heading to 3 degree rise
Bad=Key industrialised countries diverting monez from promised development budgets into adaptation
Bad=Does not facilitate a paradign shift in attitude from seeing developing counbtries affected by climate change as entitled to support, rather than the needing waiting for aid handouts dependent on donor whims.
*Because of civil society organizing and sending some 50,000 post cards asking for an ambitious and nuclear free climate agreement, there may be hope for sustainable development….
*A leaked report from the UNFCCC secretariat which assesses the impact of the upper end of the emission reduction pledges on the table from all Parties warns that without strong additional action, “global emissions will peak later than 2020 and remain on an unsustainable pathway that could lead to concentrations equal or above 55ppm with the related temperature rise around 3 degrees C.
Let us pray, let us wait, let us hope for Blessings for Mother Earth.
COP 15, Friday, December 18, 8 am, BME Day
Good morning! A brief note before heading off to the Forum Hall for NGO’s who can’t get into the Bella Center. I am calling today the BME Day or Blessings for Mother Earth Day. Amidst the political words, words, words, many of us have been and will continue to pray, fast and act for blessings for Mother Earth and all people and all species.
President Obama arrives today and traffic will be congested, it is very cold and more snow is expected. I am praying for a glimpse of sunlight to break through the Advent darkness awaiting the turn of the solstice. So many beautiful people of all races, languages and faiths have made a pilgrimage here from around 190 countries to say yes to life, even while certain powers of finance and politics are huddled beside them trying to keep the status quo named greed for a few rather than beauty and life for all.
Greed is one of the two G elephants in the room. It has been spoken of by the developing countries and by many NGO’s and human rights workers, but not in the polite circles for fear of offending. Throughout the city are various public art displays and photographs of the face of economic disparity and a system that is broken and destroying Mother Earth. I hope to see one of the art pieces this morning on my way to the Forum. In praying for transformation, light and healing I am praying for graciousness to envelope greed to transform our human hearts. Graciousness is the spirit of the wonderful Desmond Tutu who the other day said, we want to invite the others to join us on this the winning side, which is the side of life and love where there are no sides, but all is one.
Another elephant in the Bella Center has been gender. While again and again it is noted that women, who in the vast majority of the world are the farmers, the water bearers, the children care givers and food providers and the ones who are most vulnerable and adapt quickest to the changing planet– the gender gap is large. Before I left New Mexico, one of the NMIPL board members, who is male sent a photo of a 350 event where all were women. He continually asks where are the men, compared to large numbers of women in the movement. Then he noted that those making the decisions at high levels would be in suits and ties. So it is. Yesterday, one after another the heads of state addressing the assembly were men. Would the scenario look slightly different here if more women sat in some of these seats?
The other day I attended a session on Carbon Financing. All of the presenters worked in business and finance and all were men. Almost the entire room was filled with suits and ties. After each presentation, almost as an after fact it was stated that, if the environment was not helped by Carbon financing then it would have met its purpose. I know these are good people, people of various faith traditions, but it is so easy to become off balance when you are part of a system that is not working.
The system must change, not the climate.
We await anxiously here for a positive resolve for life this historic day in humanity’s life span. Until later.
Peace and good,
COP 15, Thursday, December 17, 9 pm
Warm greetings from a VERY cold and snowy and chaotic Copenhagen. Amidst all, the Danes have been so hospitable these challenging two weeks.
Today, I spent much time viewing the proceedings on enormous screens in a hall for NGOs and also took in an exhibit on the Arctic thaw near the place of the Little Mermaid, whom I shall visit tomorrow morning before heading to the hall again. NGOs from island nations, Africa and Latin American were walking about various places today (freezing I am sure). Since NGOs were not allowed in the Bella Center everyone tried to find a spot to wait the time through, praying for a meaningful negotiation.
At COP 15 there have been a number of elephants in the room, that have hardly been mentioned. One came glaring to my eyes as I read COP 15 Post, Daily Climate Conference News. Prominently, page 11 is a full page star spangled Lady Liberty ad entitled; Message From America to the American Delegates in Copenhgen and the Rest of the World. (View the ad) Quoting the Constitution throughout it states: We Reject Taxation without Representation even if it is attempted by our President through an international `political`agreement like the Copenhagen 15.
Finding this ad in a publication supporting action on climate change was at first shocking and then disheartening. I immediately borrowed a friend’s computer to google and follow the money trail of the American Solutions for Winning the Future. I did not go to their website www.AmericanSolutions.com but googled an analysis of who the money holders are. Corporations and their part in climate change has hardly been touched upon at COP 15, yet, they are the ones controlling the governments, conversations and politics.
The American Solutions is funded by some of the wealthiest men in the United States (another elephant in the Bella Center, the gender issue). Those behind the ad and the threats include: Carl Linder of Chiquita, George Argyras who reportedly contributed millions to elect George Bush and was awarded Ambassodorship of Spain though he does not know Spanish, Stanley Hubbard of Hubbard Broadcasting in Minneapolis, Peter Thiel who is a young millionaire engaged in hedge funds, Dick Farmer known for union busting and Roger Milliken a textile industry billionaire. My friend needed her computer so my research was short, you can do your own.
I am again reminded in being here that many of us in the US need to open our eyes wider to an analysis of where information stems that does not support the science of climate change? Who are the voices saying we do not have enough money to help brothers and sisters with adaptation and mitigation when we bailed out banks and spend the most money in the world on the war industry? Who are the voices saying we cannot make goals of high emissions standards?
If we do not open our eyes, ears and hearts soon the rest of the world will leave us behind standing ever so alone in a world community that chooses to work together for a future for the children and all species.
I am off to bed. I plan to visit the little mermaid and a special artistic statue next to her that was created for the climate meeting….if I get a picture I will share it with you. Thank you for your prayers, fasting, acts of kindness, phone calls and light to our world this day.
Peace and good,