[OPE] Political economists, join us to tell Story of Cap and Trade, please

From: Patrick Bond <pbond@mail.ngo.za>
Date: Tue Nov 17 2009 - 22:44:50 EST

Hi OPE allies (sorry for cross-posting),

Apologies if this seems like a form letter - but it will be of great
interest for your climate justice work (and so please forward this to
your appropriate contacts). We are writing because you and maybe also
your organizational constituencies will appreciate a new nine-minute
film we'll release on December 1: "The Story of Cap and Trade". It's a
tough but witty critique of the main 'solution' to climate chaos the
global establishment is trying to foist on us: emissions trading. We
would love your assistance in publicizing it via your website and social

After all, the world's greatest historical challenge is upon us, and yet
roughly half of us on earth are blissfully unaware that climate change
will forever change the planet - perhaps making it uninhabitable. We
need popular education materials to break through, and this
internet-based film is a great one.

According to United Nations experts, this century could witness nine out
of ten African peasants losing their livelihoods, several billion
people's coastal land and cities submerged, the melting of Himalayan
glaciers thus evaporating China and India's main water source, entire
island nations drowned, unprecedented droughts and floods, and extreme
weather events that will make Hurricane Katrina seem like a spring shower.

Are there solutions to these impending disasters? Of course there are,
since this is a man-made problem!

Simply said, we need to bring the CO2 pollution we've caused back down
to 350 parts per million, and that means vast cutbacks in fossil fuel
use, a quick switch to renewable energy, the reorganisation of our
production and transport systems, restoration of environments we've
thoughtlessly destroyed, and a reorientation of our lives away from
conspicuous consumption. We also have to reckon with the 'ecological
debt' that so many of us who are overconsumers owe the rest, for taking
up more than our fair share of environmental space. To do all these
things requires a big dose of democracy, which people's movements are
starting to claw back from the corporations who seem to have bought most
of the world's politicians.

But the new film from the creator of Story of Stuff, Annie Leonard -
with FreeRange Studios and members of the Climate Justice Now! and
Durban Group for Climate Justice networks - must begin by warning of the
US and European politicians' and corporations' favorite false solution
to the climate crisis: carbon trading. (Unfortunately, lots of Third
World politicians have bought into carbon trading, too.)

The Cap and Trade strategy adopted by governments beholden to the fossil
fuel complex is already failing. Since the Kyoto Protocol allowed
trading and offsets in 1997, greenhouse gas emissions have risen, and so
have scams and corporate profits associated with gaming the system. When
Barack Obama's legislation passed the US House of Representatives last
summer, it was so weak that coal company stocks actually rose in price.
The Environmental Protection Agency will probably be gutted, as
corporations move in to trade carbon credits assisted by the likes of
Goldman Sachs and Enron's illustrius alumni - instead of the EPA
regulating CO2 as a pollutant.

The Story of Cap and Trade criticises the false solution of emissions
trading as unworkable and a distraction from genuine solutions. From the
Story of Stuff comes the same urgent passion to look honestly at our
problems, and cartoon graphics that make clear who wins and who loses.

Once we have looked at emissions trading with the scepticism it
deserves, summits from Kyoto to Copenhagen and beyond can be better
understood, and a real approach to democratic political change
envisaged. The Story of Cap and Trade gives us the opportunity to
understand and debunk what's on offer from our 'leaders', and why we can
and must do better.

The film goes online on December 1. With 7.5 million views of the Story
of Stuff from the main website, plus millions more linking through other
sites, plus yet more hundreds of thousands seeing it at schools,
churches, environmental meetings, and other civil society events since
it premiered two years ago, this new film is warmly welcomed. It gives
us all a desperately-needed, long-awaited, no-nonsense look at how
elites are making a double mess with the world: creating climate chaos
and trying to turn the disaster into a chance to make a fast buck.

A website for the Story of Climate Solutions and links to partner
organisations will be announced in late November. Be ready for December
1, a day we can use this film to advance knowledge and eco-social change!

*Most importantly, our main request: if you and your technical people
are able to quickly confirm with us that your website can link to the
film, we'll send over the icon and instructions on the URL link. It will
be ideal if you have an email list, a favourite listserve, a
twitter/facebook/blog account, or other means of social networking this
information on November 30 * (not before).

A simple link from your site is what we want to confirm in the next two
weeks. Our deadline is 30 November, but please alert us as soon as
possible so we can get you the URL-link information: kalebron@gmail.com
and pbond@mail.ngo.za (please include the word "Story" in the header).
(If you've already been asked and said yes, no problem.)


Khadija Sharife <kalebron@gmail.com> (Centre for Civil Society at the
University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban)
Patrick Bond <pbond@mail.ngo.za> (Durban Group for Climate Justice, and
UKZN Centre for Civil Society)

Greg Albo Canadian Political Ecologist
David Barkin Mexican Ecological Economist
Maude Barlow - Canadian Eco-Social Justice Campaigner
Nnimmo Bassey - Nigerian Oil and Climate Activist
Walden Bello Co-founder of Climate Justice Now!
Robin Broad Washington-Based Political Economist
Diana Bronson Geo-engineering Scholar
Marcelo Calazans Brazilian Climate Researcher
Ricardo Carrere Uruguayan Rainforest Campaigner
John Cavanagh Washington-based Political Economist
Rehana Dada - South Africa-based Climate Researcher and Journalist
Michael Dorsey US-based Political Ecologist
Ana Filippini Uruguayan Rainforest Campaigner
Tamra Gilbertson - Durban Group for Climate Justice Co-Founder
Soumitra Ghosh Indian Climate Researcher
Tom Goldtooth Indigenous Climate Justice Campaigner
Andrea Harden-Donahue - Canadian Energy Campaigner
Hazel Henderson Popular Economist, TV Producer
Jutta Kill - Forest Campaigner
Chris Lang European Climate Activist and Researcher
Stephanie Long - Australian Climate Campaigner
Experanza Martinez Co-founder Of Accion Ecologica, Oilwatch
Wally Menne - South Africa-based Timber Campaigner
Yacob Mulugetta Ethiopian Climate/Energy Justice Scholar
Alejandro Nadal Mexicon Ecological Economist
Asume Osuoka - Nigerian Environmentalist
Michael Perelman - US-based Economist
Anne Petermann US-based Climate Campaigner
Trusha Reddy - South Africa-based Climate Researcher
Janet Redman Washington-based Climate Campaigner
Oscar Reyes - Amsterdam-based Climate Researcher and Campaigner
Khadija Sharife - South Africa-based Climate and Finance Reseacher
Kevin Smith London-based Climate Researcher
Rachel Smolker US Climate Activist
Steve Suppan Financial and Food Markets Analyst
Neil Tangri Waste/Incineration Specialist
Daphne Wysham Washington-based Carbon Trade Analyst
Ivonne Yanez Co-Founder of Accion Ecologica, Oilwatch
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Received on Tue Nov 17 23:02:10 2009

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