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Ear to the Ground

Naomi Klein to Danes: Ease Off the Controls in ‘Hopenhagen’

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Posted on Dec 14, 2009
Copenhagen march

This screen grab from Saturday’s march in Copenhagen shows demonstrators calling for less talk and more action from participating members of the climate summit in Denmark.

So, author-activist Naomi Klein has spent the last few days in Copenhagen, taking in the developments—and appreciating streamlined and functional Scandinavian design—at the climate summit, but she has a message for her Danish hosts: Cool it on the whole control freak thing, or the “Hopenhagen” conference isn’t going to be a success.  —KA

Naomi Klein in The Nation:

The Danes have invested a huge amount of money co-branding their [capital] city (now “Hopenhagen”) with a summit that will supposedly save the world. That would be fine if this summit actually were on track to save the world. But since it isn’t, the Danes are frantically trying to redesign us.

Take the weekend’s protests. By the end, around 1,100 people had been arrested. That’s just nuts. Saturday’s march of roughly 100,000 people came at a crucial juncture in the climate negotiations, when all signs pointed either to break down or a dangerously weak deal. The march was festive and peaceful but also tough. “The Climate Doesn’t Negotiate” was the message, and western negotiators need to [heed] it.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, December 15, 2009 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

Not dealing with this climate alteration debacle is one that will bite all of us on our collective asses. Though the rich will be able to get all the food, clean water and comfortable living space they want in their armored Green Zones no matter how bad it gets in the Red Zone for us not working in their slave labor camps or corporate hives. It will be that or the kind of destruction as depicted in “The Road” where we reach stage # collapse when even among families the separation and fighting go on. Only a few still are able to maintain it. Most would choose the latter for it would be better to live in a hell with the amenities of the 20th century than a neo-barbarian desolate landscape of starving cannibals.

Just imagine if the USA falls and a corporate theocracy rises and they drill, dig, scoop, shatter and grind shale-oil etc to get what they want? Convert coal to oil and use it as a fuel? Many more new versions of the old nuclear reactors with their leaks and huge cost and waste disposal problems—the un-people will take care of that. {Those condemned to the more toxic cleanup areas who violated the Leviticus laws of that new land.} Biofuels instead of food for their imperial army of holy warriors? They will eat better than you or me and the owners will eat like we use to. That could happen after our gov’t falls after the economy finishes its dive into the abyss. We are poised to do it at any time right now. We are already in a Great Depression that they still hide us from.

It may be too late now but we should not stop working to mitigate and eventually return the earth to a climate that served us so well. The new version won’t be very good for most of us and billions will die in the next 50 years of sooner. Depending on if any wars and pandemic diseases take place. Which in times of climate change caused these to happen. Look at Europe from 1300-1800 when the thermal current was halted and Europe got colder as is normal for that clime. Read the history of that area and you can just imagine a scenario that encompasses the whole earth. Not good for those who will suffer and die before their time. Instead of 1 billion starving it could be two or 3 billion starving by 2050 or sooner depending on the breaks.

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By writeon, December 15, 2009 at 1:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Control” isn’t that really the essence of modern “Democratism”? A form of state which, on the surface, appears and defines itself as “democratic” in the sense of being “free”, yet, this “freedom” is chanelled, constricted, ritualised… and controlled?

This, and Denmark isn’t alone here, just about sums up post 9/11 “democracy.” Of course this process of gradually restraining democracy has been going on for a long time, after the democratic “excesses” of the sixties frightened the life out of the ruling class. Since then the tide of “irresponsible” democracy has been pushed back by force, and our freedoms systematically undermined, by an increasingly agressive and intolerant state. A state that’s has merged and concentrated power in the hands of the few as opposed to the many, and is really the opposite of democracy.

How would all these wars be possible in a democracy, when the majority of the population are against them?

There’s something rotten in Denmark, and it stinks. That foul smell is the rise of neo-fascism. The cartoon scandal was an accident, but merely a symptom, a whiff of the rot rising to the surface. Denmark’s most important and influential political party, the party all politics revolves around, the party that holds the balance of power; is a neo-fascist party which roughly has a “national socialist” political agenda. However, the Jews, have been replaced by the Muslims in their perverse and distorted world view.

Shock, horror, this cannot be, surely, neo-fascism in sunny, jolly, happy, Denmark? How can the world’s happiest people, have become tainted with the desease of fascism? Well, that’s a long and dirty story, and who’s interested in what happens in Denmark? Well, they should be, because if neo-fascism can rise in a country like Denmark, which has a long history of social democracy, and is so rich, then fascism can take hold anywhere. And the changes in Denmark, haven’t gone unoticed in the wider world, especially in extreme rightwing/ultra-conservative/neo-fascist circles. Denmark has become a model, a roadmap towards power.

That roadmap points in one direction, a fanatical hatred of Muslims and Islam. The cynical creation of a climate of fear. All Denmark’s problems can be laid at the door of the foreigners, the immigrants, the Muslims. After all Denmark is at war with Muslims in Afghanistan. It’s characteristic that Denmark is one of the only countries where the west’s crusade against Islam is actually popular. Killing Muslims for the right almost seems like a form of national sport, like soccer.

But that’s probably unfair, as Danes are also, incredibly badly informed about the war against Islam. The government’s propaganda line, and slavish willingness to follow the United States, is rarely questioned in a meaningful way. Information, like so much else in Denmark is controlled, as the central government has systematically drawn power to itself.

The fact that Denmark was taken to war in Iraq based on a mountain of lies, like the US and the UK, has had absolutely no impact on the handful of politicians involved in this conspiracy to undermine democracy. In fact Denmark’s former PM, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, was rewarded for his lies and crimes. He had the arrogance to declare that he didn’t just “believe” that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, he “knew” that they existed! He screamed that opponents of the war were guilty of “treachery to their country” for questioning his motives for taking Denmark to war. This sevile, grubby, war criminal, and mass murderer, is now General Secretary of NATO. That’s what I call Danish democracy in nutshell.

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By jean Gerard, December 14, 2009 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is truly amazing how many governments and agencies simply don’t want to
hear what their constituents think, let alone listen to them.  Makes you feel like
they are trying to hide something and shouldn’t be trusted.  Their control
forces are all decked out and ready to smash heads long before these
conferences even get started.  What are governments afraid of?  They have all
the military power, all the persuasion outlets, all the influence money. Yet
these conscience-driven young people (tryng to speak for three generations—
those younger and older than they)—need to be heard.  the world belongs to
all of us, rich or poor, influential or unknown. 

There is no reason why decisions should be made by a limited number of
cloistered elitists, many of whom have financial interests in decisions and so
make decisions primarily in their own self-interest, and deal behind the scenes
without revealing publicly what they do and how and why they do it.  Secrecy is
the tactic of empire and dictatorship, and ordinary people know that and want
to prevent it from becoming a matter of habit.

Setting up barriers against protesters is setting up barriers in understanding. It
is short-sighted as well as undemocratic and causes trouble later down the line.

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