It’s Time for the G8 to Wake the f8#k Up!

Via on Jun 16, 2013

David Cameron, Prime Minister of the UK

The Group of Eight: G8

The G8, otherwise known as the Group of Eight, is an assembly of world leaders who meet annually to discuss global issues. Each year, the G8 holds a Leaders’ Summit, in which Heads of State and Government of member countries meet to discuss and attempt to reconcile global issues. Although the G8 is best known for its annual summits, it works throughout the year to tackle important contemporary topics such as the economy and climate change. The G8 discusses and creates global policies. However, adherence to these policies is not obligatory, and other countries can decide whether or not to obey.

This year’s G8 Summit (June 17 – 18) in Northern Ireland is being presided by David Cameron (Prime Minister of the UK). “Today, our greatest challenge is to restore strong and sustainable growth to the world economy,” says Cameron. He goes on to say that “the voices defending special interests shout loudest. But it makes no sense to exclude vital parts of the economy. Everything must be on the table.” The UK’s G8 Agenda—Increasing Trade, Fairer Taxes and Greater Transparency—is all about global economic growth and ongoing development, resource extraction, resource-rich countries, pipeline construction and lower taxation (that usually benefits the wealthy).

Of course, not “everything is on the table” Mr. Cameron. You have left out perhaps the most critical challenge facing all of humanity, the most fundamental existentialist issue of our times. It’s called Climate Change or Global Warming. You Sir, like the other G8 leaders, have your head in the sand. Hence the title of this post—G8, Wake the F8#Up. All of you are intelligent human beings capable of sound reasoning and analytical  thought. You have the power to make the right decisions but inevitably, you do not. Your focus is more on the next election rather that doing what is right.

I cannot accept how the G8 (and your larger cousin, the G20) simply continue to sell out to big business. By skirting around issues that urgently scream for solutions, you Sir, and your colleagues, are perceived as morally inept and shamefully irresponsible. The following statement which refers to “the greatest challenge of our times” illustrates extreme shortsightedness, lack of prudence and quite simply, being out of touch with reality.

By promoting more trade, fairer taxes and greater transparency, Britain and America can once again lead the way in meeting the greatest challenge of our time: securing the growth and stability on which the prosperity of the whole world depends. David Cameron, Prime Minister of the UK

 The G8 Wake-up Call

The global temperature is rising. Freak weather events are multiplying. Climate change is happening.

At the same time, we continue to rely on polluting fossil fuels for our electricity. What is worse Governments are heavily subsidizing fossil fuels!

For the sake of our health and our wallets, we must make a transition to renewable, clean energy sources like wind energy. Only then will we be able to end our addiction to polluting fossil fuels and finally battle climate change.

The 2009 G20 summit pledged to ‘phase out and rationalize over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies while providing targeted support for the poorest.’

“Fossil fuel subsidies are the public enemy number one to sustainable energy development,” says Faith Birol of the International Energy Agency. And yet, dirty fossil fuels get six times more of our tax monies than clean renewables.

G8 Wake up CallYou can send a strong message to your country’s leader or to the G8 Summit (or both) to appeal to their sense of obligation to the future generations. Choose a G8 Leader and Send a Wake-UP Call or follow G8WAKE-UP.

The issue of Global Warming and how to tackle it takes on special meaning in view of the breakdown in talks at the Bonn Conference that is currently happening in Germany. It seems that a vital track of the discussions have collapsed after participants were unable to resolve a disagreement is the agenda going forward. It appears that politics have overtaken the process once again.

Tom Zeller’s blog article in HuffPost Green summarizes the latest “descent into chaos” in Bonn:

Virtually no one should be surprised to learn that climate talks currently underway in Bonn, Germany—the latest venue for the decades-old and largely fruitless pursuit of international agreement on global warming action—are descending into chaos. This time around, Russia, along with Ukraine and Belarus, are facing off with other nations and effectively blocking movement on negotiations fundamental to forward progress — including how to provide financial assistance for poorer nations grappling with the worst impacts of a warming planet.

President Obama declared that “we will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.” But he has failed to have the courage of his convictions. “These are powerful words, but it has been 142 days since the Inauguration, and we haven’t seen any new initiatives from the President that reflect his rhetoric or even begin to tap the power of the presidency,” says Frances Beinecke in her Blog article of June 11, 2013.

 

Other Posts re G8 and G20 Climate Change failures

Do We Need the G20

From the Failure of Rio+20 to the Hope of Doha, Qatar

History of 20 Years of Climate Diplomacy in Just 83 Seconds

 

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Ed: Kate Bartolotta

About Rolly Montpellier

Rolly Montpellier is a blogger, writer, activist and the founder of BoomerWarrior.Org. BoomerWarrior is for the socially aware and politically conscious; for the change-makers and thought-provokers; for the light and young at heart; for anyone willing and courageous enough to move forward.

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2 Responses to “It’s Time for the G8 to Wake the f8#k Up!”

  1. oz_ says:

    IMO, one of the chief obstacles to effectively addressing the very legitimate concerns raised here is in thinking that the problem is that the political leaders need to wake up. They're wide awake. Have been all along. Wake up calls have no effect on those already awake. These people – including Obama – simply don't care about climate change or about ocean acidification, desertification, the ongoing mass extinction event, or any of the other extremely serious and complex eco-challenges we face. I suppose it would be more accurate to say: they care more about wealth and power and position than about these issues. This could not be more obvious.

    [Another is thinking that some combination of 'clean' energy will be sufficient to run the project of industrial civilization - complete with affluent lifestyles to which a small minority of the inhabitants of the planet have become accustomed. Not gonna happen. Not even remotely possible at this stage, in fact.]

    I'll quote from JM Greer on the subject, as I find him to be one of the few lucid thinkers on the scene today (I would also include David Graeber in that category):

    "The entire strategy of political protest depends on the threat of the next election. Why would it matter to anybody anywhere if a bunch of activists grab signs and go marching down Main Street, or for that matter down the Mall in Washington DC? Waving signs and chanting slogans may be good aerobic exercise, but that’s all it is; it has no effect on the political process unless it delivers a meaningful message to the politicians or the people. When protest matters, the message to the politicians is blunt: “This matters enough to us that we’re willing to show up and march down the street, and it should matter to you, too, if you want our votes next November.” The message to the people is less direct but equally forceful: “All these people are concerned about this issue; if you’re already concerned about it, you’re not alone; if you aren’t, you should learn more about it”—and the result, again, is meant to show up in the polls at the next election.

    You’ll notice that the strategy of protest thus only means anything if the protesters have the means, the motive, and the opportunity to follow through on these two messages. The politicians need to be given good reason to think that ignoring the protesters might indeed get them thrown out of office; the people need to be given good reason to think that the protesters speak for a significant fraction of the citizenry, and that their concerns are worth hearing. If these are lacking, again, it’s just aerobic exercise.

    That, in turn, is why protest in America has become as toothless as it is today. Perhaps, dear reader, you went to Washington DC sometime in the last decade to join a protest march to try to pressure the US government into doing something about global warming. If the president just then was a Democrat, he didn’t have to pay the least attention to the march, no matter how big and loud it was; he knew perfectly well that he could ignore all the issues that matter to you, break his campaign promises right and left, and plagiarize all the most hated policies of the previous occupant of the White House, without the least political risk to himself. All he had to do come election time is wave the scary Republicans at you, and you’d vote for him anyway. If he was a Republican, in turn, he knew with perfect certainty that you weren’t going to vote for him no matter what he did, and so he could ignore you with equal impunity."

  2. Thank you OZ for that enlightened response which I agree with for the most part. Hence, that explains my frustration and anger over the inaction and procrastination of our world leaders on issues which I perceive as critical to the long-term survival of our species.

    I know it's really about the power, the money and posturing for the next election – it's about being electable. How sad our democracy has become.

    I understand what is going on and I do not accept it whatever the reasons are.

    Again, thanks for your comments. By the way, you may be interested in visiting my website.

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