Radical climate conference planned

July 11, 2010 at 8:31 am 1 comment

Humanity is in a race against time to avoid the environmental and social catastrophe caused by climate change.

At times, it seems we are losing the race. When we look at the sabotage of international summits by the rich countries, or the false solutions peddled by governments and corporate polluters, the challenge we face can seem overwhelming.

But globally, there is a rising people’s movement demanding real action on climate. This movement gives reason for hope and inspiration.

The huge protests at Copenhagen, Australia’s two successful Climate Action Summits in 2009 and 2010, and the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Bolivia all show that ordinary people are determined to act for human survival — even if most governments aren’t yet.

The Climate Change-Social Change conference is being organised to contribute towards understanding and collective action, in Australia and internationally, to address the climate emergency.

The conference will discuss the radical solutions to the crisis.
It is a mistake to question climate change without questioning its cause — the capitalist system. This system is based on the logic of competition, domination of nature and limitless growth.

Climate Change-Social Change conference will take place at the University of Melbourne over November 5-7. It is organised by Green Left Weekly and the Socialist Alliance, and is sponsored by the University of Melbourne’s Office of Environmental

A number of exciting guest speakers have already confirmed for the conference, including:

John Bellamy Foster (United States)

John Bellamy Foster is one of the world’s leading Marxist economists and ecologists. He is an editor of the independent radical journal Monthly Review and is a professor of sociology at the University of Oregon.

Foster is the author of many books, including: The Ecological Revolution; The Great Financial Crisis (with Fred Magdoff); Marx’s Ecology; Ecology Against Capitalism; and The Vulnerable Planet.

Ian Angus (Canada)

Ian Angus is the editor of climateandcapitalism.com – one of the world’s most popular ecosocialist websites. He is also a co-editor of the Canadian Socialist Voice and was a founding member of the Ecosocialist International Network.

Angus has authored several books and pamphlets, including: The Global Fight for Climate Justice; Food Crisis: World Hunger, Agribusiness and the Food Sovereignty Alternative; and Confronting the Climate Crisis: An Ecosocialist

Derek Wall (Britain)

Derek Wall is a former principal speaker of the Green Party of England and Wales, and a green activist, writer and economist. He is a leading member of Green Left, an ecosocialist current within the Green Party.

Wall’s latest book, The No-Nonsense Guide to Green Politics, will be published by New Internationalist later this year. His other books include Babylon and Beyond: The Economics of Anti-Capitalist, Anti-Globalist and Radical Green Movements and Earth First! and the Anti-Roads Movement.

Wall will address the conference through a video link.

The conference will host a wide variety of plenary panels and workshops within the general themes of:

• the climate debt, climate justice and international solidarity;

• food security and climate change;

• building the climate action movement;

• capitalist economic crises, socialism and ecology; and

• strategies for environmental and human survival.

To register for the conference or for more information, visit the conference website here or email climateconf2010@gmail.com, phone (02) 9690 2508.


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Eli Briffa  |  August 9, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Hello everyone,
    Recently I became aware of the 1 million dollar award announced by Mr Richard smith and would like to focus more on the motives behind Mr Smiths endeavour. I believe it is great that wealthy business people want to use their money to create solutions for the future of Australia even if it’s so they can yet again be in the focus of the media, but let’s look a little deeper.
    Recently Gerry Harvey made a comment on channel 7 claiming that “If you haven’t made it by 25 you never will” I would like to ask Gerry if this is a proven fact or is this simply a way to limit his competition. It seems to me that the capped age of 25 by these two gentlemen is either being used for two reasons, 1) Control, or 2) encouragement for young Australians to be more creative and resourceful. Considering their backgrounds I’m leaning to control.
    The headlines already call the winner of the award “Dick smiths million dollar kid”. Let’s say there was a great idea created from this stunt, one person cannot provide a solid solution to the problem of over populating Australia (even if there is one). History suggests if an idea was imposed we would only have to fix the problems caused from that idea in 10, 20 or 30 years.
    One issue I consider to be a problem is that there is not enough being done to educate and encourage all Australians from every background and age to live a more self sustainable life style, simple things like growing your own fruit and veg, recycling your own bio and effluent waste, capturing rain water, better energy efficiency just to mention a few.
    Also taking efficient approaches to issues such as building self sustained universities in remote areas with their own communities and townships, which would be far more accessible to the indigenous and a solution to the overwhelming interest with international students. This idea is very practical as not only is it a solution to current issues however being a university which will be studying and developing new and more efficient ways of self sustainability.
    May I also mention that when we come up with a plan or a solution most of the time we execute it incorrectly for example; insulation and water tanks are great ways to cut down on wasting energy and water but How where these products made?, and what where the made from?
    I live near a newly upgraded part of the M1 motor way on the Gold Coast in Queensland and you will not believe what I have just experienced; a massive land and Infrastructure area around me has been and will be torn up and redeveloped on four different occasions at least which include 1) upgrade to train line, 2) installation of desalinated pipe line, 3) upgrade to M1 motor way, 4) upgrade and installation of a major underground power line. I rang my local council to discuss why it is not done all at one time and the response I received was there was really nothing they could do as the above mentioned upgrades and developments are from different private and government entities. What a waste and a lame excuse.
    These are difficult but achievable tasks, overpopulating Australia can be a big problem with devastating effects but it is something that can be closely monitored. I feel that a good step in the right direction is to focus on what our land needs to survive and be the world leaders in a neutral and self sustainable life style. Forget diversional side steps by business people attempting to better their image and fill their pockets after all that’s how we got into this mess in the first place.


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