Tag Archives: Patrick Bond

‘A dirty deal coming down in Durban’

The Mercury, 6 December

Eye on Society column

A dirty deal coming down in Durban

By Patrick Bond

What, now, are the prospects for a climate deal by Friday?

The biggest problem is obvious: COP17 saboteurs from the US State Department joined by Canada, Russia and Japan, want to bury the legally-binding Kyoto Protocol treaty. Instead of relaxing intellectual property rules on climate technology and providing a fair flow of finance, Washington offers only a non-binding ‘pledge and review’ system.

This is unenforceable and at current pledge rates – with Washington lagging everyone – is certain to raise world temperatures to four degrees centigrade, and in Africa much higher. Estimates of the resulting deaths of Africans this century are now in excess of 150 million. As former Bolivian Ambassadar to the UN, Pablo Solon said at last week’s Wolpe Memorial Lecture, “The COP17 will be remembered as a place of premeditated genocide and ecocide.”

Within the International Convention Centre, everyone in their right mind should resist this. First, it is patently obvious, after the 1997 Kyoto negotiations where Al Gore promised US support in exchange for carbon trading, and after Hillary Clinton’s 2009 promise of a $100 billion Green Climate Fund – both reneged upon – that Washington cannot be trusted. Lead negotiators Todd Stern and Jonathan Pershing should be isolated, an international climate court should be established, and preparations made for comprehensive sanctions against US goods and services. Continue reading

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Patrick Bond: ‘A climate conference, old and new oil curses, and Norwegian Good Samaritans’

By Patrick Bond

The stench of rotting blubber would hang for days over The Bluff in
South Durban, thanks to Norwegian immigrants whose harpooning skills
helped stock the town with cooking fat, margarine and soap, starting
about a century ago. The fumes became unbearable, and a local uproar
soon compelled the Norwegians to move the whale processing factory from
within Africa s largest port to a less-populated site a few kilometers
southeast.

There, on The Bluff s glorious Indian Ocean beachfront, the white
working-class residents of Marine Drive (perhaps including those in the
apartment where I now live) also complained bitterly about the odor from
flensing, whereby blubber, meat and bone were separated at the world s
largest onshore whaling station.

Ever since, our neighborhood has been the armpit of South Africa. A bit
further south and west, in a black residential area, the country s
largest oil refinery was built in the 1950s, Continue reading

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