Horrified. Hopeful.

May 30, 2009 at 11:08 pm Leave a comment

Penned by Nick

The NY Times covered a breaking story titled, “Critics Assail British Police for Harsh Tactics During the G-20 Summit Meeting“.

The footage (above), is horrifying. In defining the police’s perception of the protesters as the “proto-enemy”, the climate change debate has moved beyond the semantics and become frighteningly real.

Smart mobs of impassioned people are self-organizing to push for action on issues climate change. Popular demand for environmental stewardship is overwhelming. Alas, governments are slow–at best–to respond, and corporations continue to externalize their environmental costs of doing business. With unemployment at decade-long highs, civil unrest is growing, and putting people back to work is increasingly not enough.

Van Jones and other global leaders continue to emphasize the importance of supporting integrative solutions to poverty, health, and empowerment. Green collar jobs are one “pathway out of poverty” that will bring us a step closer to harnessing the power of market-based solutions to these crises. Putting people back to work in responsible, meaningful careers must happen now, if we are to reconcile social and environmental injustices that are at the roots of many inequalities: extreme poverty in the face of first-world over-consumption, curable diseases gone untreated due to the high cost of drugs, and illiteracy despite the spread of the internet.

The G20 will continue to be a forum for political theatre until true consensus translates into measurable results on crises like climate change: “Global warming is causing more than 300,000 deaths and about $125 billion in economic losses each year, according to a report by the Global Humanitarian Forum, an organization led by Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary general.

Change must come, and it must come soon–the people and the times demand it.

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