December 18, 2009
"Who is responsible? The responsibility lies on the capitalist system—we have to change the capitalist system," he said. His remarks clearly outlined the gulf between wealthy northern countries and the developing south that has made it so difficult to achieve an agreement at Copenhagen.
Yesterday Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous President outlined his views further on the radio show Democracy Now: "Capitalism is the worst enemy of humanity. Capitalism—and I’m speaking about irrational development—policies of unlimited industrialization are what destroy the environment. And that irrational industrialization is capitalism. So as long as we don’t review or revise those policies, it’s impossible to attend to humanity and life."
When asked how he would move to end capitalism, Morales said, "It’s changing economic policies, ending luxury, consumerism. It’s ending the struggle to—or this searching for living better. Living better is to exploit human beings. It’s plundering natural resources. It’s egoism and individualism. Therefore, in those promises of capitalism, there is no solidarity or complementarity. There’s no reciprocity. So that’s why we’re trying to think about other ways of living lives and living well, not living better. Not living better. Living better is always at someone else’s expense. Living better is at the expense of destroying the environment."
From the podium at a plenary meeting, Morales said that leaders should admit to the world that the conference is failing.
"If there is no agreement at this level, why not tell it to the people? […] The time has come for everyone. We can't spend days and days here. We have other important issues to deal with,"
Morales surprised many by demanding earlier this week that nations should lower their temperature target from 2 degrees Celsius to 1 degree Celsius.
"Our objective is to save humanity and not just half of humanity. We are here to save mother earth. Our objective is to reduce climate change to [under] 1C. [above this] many islands will disappear and Africa will suffer a holocaust," he said according to
Many vulnerable nations have asked the target to be set at 1.5 degrees Celsius, a target that wealthy nations have largely dismissed. Temperature has currently risen approximately 0.8 degrees Celsius so far.
This year Morales won a second term in Bolivia as a member of the Movement for Socialism Party.
Pope Benedict: environmental crisis requires review of world's economic model
(12/15/2009) Pope Benedict XVI has released a message linking world peace with preserving the environment for the World Day of Peace, which will be held on January 1st 2010. In it Benedict calls for a "long-term review" of the world's current economic model, including "[moving] beyond a purely consumerist mentality" and encouraging a more "sober lifestyle".
Profile of the carbon footprint of the global poor: the challenge of alleviating poverty and fighting global warming
(12/07/2009) Two of the world's most serious issues—poverty and climate change—are interconnected. With a rise in one's income there usually comes a rise in one's carbon footprint, thereby threatening the environment. Wealthy nations have the highest per capita carbon footprints, while developing nations like India and China—which are experiencing unprecedented economic growth—are becoming massive contributors of greenhouse gases. However, it is those who have the smallest carbon footprint—the world's poor—who currently suffer most from climate change. Food crises, water shortages, extreme weather, and rising sea levels have all hit the poor the hardest.
World requires radical new economic models to fight poverty and mitigate global warming
(11/30/2009) A new report calls for a radical re-envisioning of current economic models in order to tackle poverty, mitigate and adapt to climate change, and solve other environmental problems. The report was crafted by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and was supported by The Working Group on Climate Change and Development, which includes a wide variety of well-known groups, including environmental, religious, and anti-poverty organizations.