So I am sitting here in the convention hall in Nusa Dua where international diplomats are hashing out the Bali roadmap for an International agreement on tackling global warming, with my heart in my stomach.
I have seen a lot of terrible things by our government over the last 7 years, but this still feels like one of the worst things I have seen. I am part of the US youth delegation and we met the US negotiators and asked them to listen to our stories and protect our future. After a year where over 350,000 people came together for Step It Up – calling for strong climate action, Power Shift 07 – where 6,000 young people from every congressional district came together and demanded more from congress, when congress finally starts debating energy and climate legislation – you might think that something would change. The negotiators lied to our faces, claiming that they had come in good faith and were here to get an agreement, even as reports were streaming in of their underhanded efforts to scuttle the agreement.
But what was truly breathtakingly hypocritical, was that for years the Bush administration has been claiming that we can’t act because China will surpass us as the largest emitter and what we do matters little without China on board. This line “What about China?” was heard every damn time someone mentioned international agreements. At Bali, the Chinese government and those of many other developing countries came forward with real proposals to act. They came in all seriousness, recognizing the urgency of action, and the United States and Canada blocked CHINA and other developing countries from acting. If the Bali conference puts a stake in the heart of that dirty little lie, it will at least have done something.
So, it is time for some change. Some accountability. This is the future we are gambling with and sometimes it feels like we are playing Russian roulette with the lives of billions. I don’t have answers to how we are going to break out the torches and pitchforks, but we are launching a global youth climate movement. We have too little time to get this right.
Groups like Avaaz.org have an emergency petition they are circulating…but the real action will take place when we get back our home countries and raise some hell. I would love to get advice from any one of you about how we can best do this, or if anybody can commit to helping out. But this is the launch of a global campaign for accountability for those actively working to wreck our future.
Tell me if you are with me.
Richard also blogs at It’s Getting Hot in Here.