Copenhagen Diary #2

Forests are key to this negotiation – both how forest sinks, land use and land use change (LULUCF) are treated in the agreement for the next period, and the mechanisms for protecting 0ld growth forests in developing countries from logging. Estimates are that 15-20% of global emissions are n0w from deforestation. Along with the carbon, of course we lose thousands of species. The poster child is  the orangutan from the forests of Indonesia – slaughtered at the rate of 50 a week in one area – but there are thousands of species never documented by science in old growth forests around the world.

I talked yesterday  with a Norwegian NGO negotiator who says the text providing protection for biodiversity and for  forest indigenous peoples, of whom there are some 60 million, has been moved from the body of the draft to the preamble, so that it would not form a set of conditions for qualifying projects, but a non-enforceable intention.

There are also arguments about whether the financing of forest protection should be by a fund to which developed countries donate agreed amounts, or through a market n forest credits, where any money spent on saving third world forests just buys the right for developed countries to increase their emissions. A new form of carbon colonialism.

A very good workshop by a US forests NGO produced figures showing that in most developing countries more than half of the logging is illegal and carried out by foreign multinationals against the law of the host country and with no payments to it. Their conclusion was that there is no hope of stopping deforestation unless import is outlawed in  the market  countries.

This is, of course exactly what Catherine’s Bill would have achieved except that the Government voted it down  few weeks ago. The US passed such a law – the Lacey Act – in 2008 but it seems that is too hard for NZ, despite the support of our  own forest industry

39 Comments Posted

  1. Actually, The Guardian is fiercely anti-anarchist and prints complete claptrap about the movement (at least it did when I was in the UK a few years back), often quoting social democratic critics of anarchism with no pretense of balance whatsoever. Of the British papers, only the Financial Times and Economist seemed to print accounts of radical protest that had some basis in reality (Judging by their stories concerning events I personally attended).

    And my French is a bit weak, but as I understand it, the writer for Liberation you link to says he saw no provocation of the police, property destruction or rocks thrown by the black blocs, they were just rounded up and arrested along with many others – people from Attac, anarchists and a variety of others – so I don’t see how this contributes to your case..

  2. Sam : I share your scepticism of the capitalist press; let’s not even talk about TV. However, you’re still wide of the mark. My principal sources of info on the events of the weekend are the Guardian, which is not your typical capitalist press, and Liberation (the paper’s web site and discussion forums), likewise. Most of their journalists in Copenhagen seem considerably more sympathetic to the BBs than I am. An example:

  3. It is no surprise Drakula – when National came into office and changed our foreign policy on aid it was clear business interests came first (they even installed a corporate to run the ministry).

    Our international reputation is on the slide.

  4. Furthermore I would like to express my deep dissapiontment in Mr. Keys disinterest with the concerns of the small Pacific states like the Solomon Islands, Tukalau, Kiribas, Samoa etc They wanted the full 50% reduction because they are the ones that will literally lose their livelyhoods.

    They were uncerimoniously fobbed off!!!!

    Absolutely disgusting!!!!!!!!

  5. Tussock has a very good point I am sure if there is real political will and that was one of the issues on the agenda at Copenhagen to be drafted into international law, ratified by all and sundry, then the developed countries wuold be obligated to enforce it.

    The very big Question here; is there the political will???????

    Tussock if you want to know more on this subject Google ‘Ecological Internet, It is a site run by Dr. Glen Barry.

    Dr. Barry is very passionate about this subject to say the least.

  6. “In NZ, could you charge an importer with receipt of stolen goods, even without a specific law covering the logging?”

    Similar things have been tried overseas, not heard of any success. ‘Ownership’ is something of a matter of opinion.

    I saw lots of illegally logged teak coming out of Burma into Thailand and much of it got made into furniture.

  7. Does anyone know where most of the illegally logged wood goes? What it ends up beings used for? There’s a hell of a lot of it, someone must have some idea.

    In NZ, could you charge an importer with receipt of stolen goods, even without a specific law covering the logging?

  8. “Sure they’re not an “organisation”, they’re anarchists.”

    Anarchism isn’t incompatible with organisation, and many of those taking part in black blocs aren’t anarchists and don’t claim to be.

    I wouldn’t go by “evidence in the European press” as to the opinions of those taking part in black blocs – most of the capitalist media takes a very shallow approach to the opinions of dissidents, particularly those not seen as ‘respectable’. My experience of demonstrations in Europe was that the media simply made up things or took the word of those in power. I saw plenty of cases were the press dubbed people ‘anarchists’ or ‘black bloc’ simply because protestors were clashing with the police, further investigation being apparently unnecessary.

  9. For the record, Sam, I am in sympathy with probably most of the demonstrators who got rounded up by the police on Saturday and held in the cold for hours etc — insofar as their crime was to be in the same section of the march as those (probably BB) who chucked bricks at the cops. On the other hand, it was an effective way of closing down a situation that could have turned nasty. (my advice to them is to take care not to march near those who are there to perpetrate organised violence).

    Also for the record, I’m no stranger to demonstrations and to fronting up to police when my conscience requires it (viz. sprinbok tour). But going to a climate protest with the avowed intention of damaging port facilities… you’ll have to explain that one to me.

  10. Sorry Sam — I have been in demonstrations in France where I have had to be just about physically restrained (by fellow Greens) from responding to their provocations. I know exactly what I’m talking about.

    Sure they’re not an “organisation”, they’re anarchists. They are not for hire — I withdraw the phrase “rent-a-mob” which is inaccurate, they are motivated by ideology — and yes, there is plenty of evidence in the European press that the Black Blocs (and certain others) are not concerned particularly about the climate. From experience, yes, they go wherever there are demonstrations, their tactics are to provoke police reactions, hoping that ordinary decent protesters will also get hurt by police and so turn against “the man” etc… all so puerile. They believe they have a revolutionary agenda. There is absolutely nothing positive in it. They need to be ostracised by the left in general, as a measure of hygiene.

  11. “The hard core of these idiots are the Black Blocks. These people are the scum of the earth, the others are influenceable hangers on. The BBs just turn up at any demonstration, all over Europe whatever the subject, and look for an opportunity to break stuff. I would be happy to see the (dis)organisation outlawed and all its rent-a-mob protesters jailed.”

    What a load of rubbish – you clearly know nothing about the black bloc – which is a tactic, not an organisation. And, by the way, it’s a tactic I disagree with. But trotting out all the usual garbage about ‘rent-a-mobs’ just reeks of, at best, ignorance, and at worst, a belief that everybody should do as they are told while politicians lead us down their merry path to global disaster while their cops keep everyone in line.

    And, Kahikitea, do you actually have any evidence that the protestors in Copenhagen don’t feel strongly about the issue they are protesting? If not, shut up.

  12. Alastair wrote: “The hard core of these idiots are the Black Blocks. These people are the scum of the earth, the others are influenceable hangers on. The BBs just turn up at any demonstration, all over Europe whatever the subject, and look for an opportunity to break stuff.”

    This seems to happen in every OECD country except for Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Thankfully these thugs don’t seem to be able to afford to travel to our countries, so we have decent, peaceful protests led by people who care about the issues.

  13. Here ya go Bro : condemnation of violent left-wing protesters.

    Sunday, in Copenhagen, a group of 300 protesters headed for the docks with the declared intention of breaking stuff, to protest against free trade. Surprise surprise, the cops headed them off and rounded them up. Good for the cops. The hard core of these idiots are the Black Blocks. These people are the scum of the earth, the others are influenceable hangers on. The BBs just turn up at any demonstration, all over Europe whatever the subject, and look for an opportunity to break stuff. I would be happy to see the (dis)organisation outlawed and all its rent-a-mob protesters jailed. Any self-respecting Green should refuse to march shoulder to shoulder with these anarchist dregs.

    If I were in Copenhagen, it would be to demonstrate peacefully to try to put pressure on world leaders to make a decent deal to save the climate. The lawbreakers can go smash windows elswhere.

  14. i have seen all three vids..

    (the middle-one is the ‘must-watch’..for the full extent of the vileness of the monckton..)

    and the protest was legitimate-protest..

    monckton repeatedly braying down his nose that the protesters are ‘hitler youth’..

    (despite their noting they are jewish/find that somewhat offensive..

    is just monckton scratching his tory-anti-semite-scab..

    and further proving what a complete twat he is.. eh..?)

    and he is one of ‘your’

    you must be feeling proud/pleased at how well it is all going for you..?

    ..and ‘the cause’


  15. When Sir Roger Douglas was questioned about his pig-farming enterprise he is reported as saying: “There is money in it.”

  16. Phil – classic moment, Monckton

    “Orrh, orrh, yehs, so aye did, yehs! (call you Hitler Youth).

    Pomposity personificated!

  17. Broyello – some of my posts flew off somewhere and I wondered if Froggy had diverted them to save your feelings. Waiting for you to front up to my question about Douglas.

  18. I have seen that clip Phool, have you seen the one where the same people Monkton confronts rudely interrupted the meeting he was hosting?

    Or are you telling me that violence and bullying behaviour is perfectly acceptable when you are from the left?

  19. Phool

    I can see why you of all people would be perfectly happy with violence being used to achieve your goal but do you not think that the Green party leadership should distance themselves from these thugs?

  20. Well done Fly, of course you do not really count, there are many of us who want to see the Green party leadership denounce the violence and the bullying of anybody who dares question the climate change con.

  21. Bro – yes, I condem all violent thuggery, no matter who is responsible for it. Now, your condemnation of Roger Douglas’s mal-treatement of pigs?

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