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Climate Summit Day Four: Anti-capitalist analysis, Protests against Shell and Occupy COP17

December 1, 2011

While no real action has taken place with the government representatives in the first few days of the UN Climate Summit, there has been plenty of activity from the grassroots.

The Indigenous Environmental Network spent time protesting at a Shell oil refinery near Durban as heads of state continue to be influenced by Big Oil on the direction of the Climate Summit talks. Africans are well aware of the deadly practices of companies like Shell oil, which has destroyed much of the Ogoni land in Nigeria and was complicit in the deaths of anti-Shell activists.

The Occupy COP17 has also been active in the first few days, hosting forums with speakers from around the world and developing an action plan to confront the Climate Summit leaders. Besides the discussions and planning the Occupy COP 17 group displayed lots of donated art work and even participated in some guerrilla gardening, planting food and flowers near the location where the Summit is being held.

In addition to acts of resistance there have been several new articles, which provide important analysis and give context to the Climate Summit talks.

Longtime South African activist and writer Patrick Bond posted an excerpt from a recent book on Climate Justice on ZNet. The post critiques the African National Congress (ANC) and its role in caving in to the interests of multinational corporations, particularly energy companies who have pillaged South Africa in recent years.

In addition, Chris Williams, author of Ecology and Socialism: Solutions to Capitalist Ecological Crisis, has an excellent article on Counter Punch. Williams discusses the current data on global warming based on numerous sources and recent reports and much of that data concludes that global warming is actually worse than was originally projected.

Williams goes on to talk about the lack of any real action from countries like the US and the European Union. These rich countries, in Williams’ assessment, are determined to derail any serious efforts to get an international agreement on carbon emission reduction that would actually make a difference.

Williams concludes his article by arguing that the major reason for the positions taken by the US and the European Union are their adherence to capitalism, which necessitates imperialist policies towards the rest of the world in order to control their energy resources.

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