Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.
No Reparations For Killing The Planet

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Even as the world approaches “the end-game of human existence,” brought on by centuries of exploitation of man and nature, the chief polluters and oppressors demand impunity from past and current crimes. The U.S. categorically rejects the “notion” of payback for global warming.

 

No “Reparations” for Killing the Planet

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Those who profited so richly from the human and environmental disasters they inflicted are guilty of depraved indifference – crimes against nature and their own species.”

For the moment, forget about the lofty rhetoric spouted by the 100 heads of state gathered in Copenhagen, Denmark, including the carefully crafted words of President Barack Obama. As far as the Lords of Capital are concerned, the conference isn’t really about mitigating the unfolding climatic catastrophe, the facts of which are well known. The real object of the Copenhagen conference is to determine who gets the power to shape the developmental model of the planet over the next half century.

With continued U.S. global supremacy in mind, the chief American negotiator attempted to set the terms of debate early on, rejecting out of hand any notion that the United States owes reparations to poor nations for its huge contribution to global warming over the last couple of centuries. “For most of the 200 years since the Industrial Revolution,” said U.S. diplomat Todd Stern, “people were blissfully ignorant of the fact that emissions caused a greenhouse effect.” Ignorant or not, the industrialized nations of Europe and the United States were certainly blissful about the profits they made at the expense, not only of the Earth’s material resources, but also from the super-exploitation of the non-white peoples of the world. The two exploitations – of human beings and nature – are historically inseparable, like the conquest of the America’s and the death of 90 percent of the western hemisphere’s inhabitants; like the rape of Africa’s resources and the enslavement of its people. These are the twin pillars of a 500-year project to elevate a small percentage of the world’s population to global supremacy at the expense of everyone else, and of the planet, itself. At the very least, those who profited so richly from the human and environmental disasters they inflicted along the way, are guilty of depraved indifference – crimes against nature and their own species.

The real object of the Copenhagen conference is to determine who gets the power to shape the developmental model of the planet over the next half century.”

Even as they plead ignorance – and, therefore, innocence – of past crimes, these same Euro-American powers are determined to remain on top under conditions of global warming.

That's why the Americans, in particular, are attempting to create a New World Industrial Order without a treaty that will bind both large powers and weaker ones under an enforceable contract. Capital, centered in the West, seeks to extend its power deep into the 21st century based on the rule of money. That's why the United States resists efforts to build on and strengthen the Kyoto Treaty on global warming, which the United States has never ratified. And that's why a delegate to the Copenhagen conference from Mali said, last week, that “the killing of the Kyoto Protocol...will mean the killing of Africa.”

The United States prefers that rich nations contribute a relatively puny amount of money – starting off with $10 billion or less – as “aid” to the developing world, and that the rich nations exercise controls over how developing countries spend these funds.  It is nothing less than an effort to turn a global nightmare to the advantage of the United States. At the same time, the Americans are busy trying to cut their own separate deal with China, one they hope will make the U.S. and Chinese economies symbiotic for the next 40 or 50 years, and to hell with the rest of the planet. We are witnessing disaster capitalism being played out, even as we enter the possible end-game of human existence. For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20091216_gf_ClimateReparations.mp3
Category:politics -- posted at: 5:43am EDT