It is tragic but understandable that South African society ranks with the United States and China at the bottom of a recent worldwide climate-consciousness survey by polling firm Global Scan: only 45% of us believe global warming is a serious problem.
In 1997 at Kyoto, Al Gore bamboozled negotiators into adopting carbon trading as a central climate strategy in exchange for Washington’s support — which never materialised.
Internationally known environmental activist Sajida Khan passed away on the night of July 15 in her Durban home at age 55. She was suffering her second bout of cancer, and chemotherapy had evacuated her beautiful long hair.
A mixed message combining celebration and auto-critique came from the Nairobi World Social Forum, held from January 20-25 in a massive sports complex 10km from the city. The 60,000 registered participants heard triumphalist radical rhetoric and yet, too, witnessed persistent defeats for social justice causes, especially within the WSFs own processes.
With climate change posing as one of the gravest threats to capital accumulation - not to mention humankind and our environment - in coming decades, it is little wonder that economists such as Sir Nick Stern, establishment politicians like Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown and US Democrat Al Gore, and financiers at the World Bank and in the City of London have begun warning the public and, in the process, birthing a market for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
What sort of dogmatic free-market ideologue would use poor peoples (often socially constructed) desire for credit to justify shrinking the already beleaguered welfare policies of wretched Third World states?