Patrick Bond, director of the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, spoke in Toronto on Tuesday March 4.
A major snowstorm was predicted, and there were at least two other important public meetings on environmental and antiwar issues being held nearby at the same time. Nevertheless, attendance was very good – over 65 people, mostly young, and at least half not from established left-wing groups.
Patrick’s talk, “After Bali: The Global Fight for Climate Justice,” focused in particular on Africa, where there is a growing wave of grassroots protests against the Kyoto Protocol’s “Clean Development Mechanism.” He showed that many CDM projects are at best scams, at worst ways to offload the north’s carbon enissions problems onto those least able to cope with them.
He discussed Climate Justice Now!, a new coalition created during the Bali climate meetings last December. This group, which is just getting off the ground, provides a powerful example of a red-green alliance based on genuine activist movements – Third World communities, indigenous peoples, women and peasant farmers.
The meeting was organized by Climate and Capitalism, and chaired by C&C editor Ian Angus. It was co-sponsored by a broad range of green and social justice organizations and publications, including: Canadian Dimension, Capitalism Nature Socialism, CIUT 89.5-FM, Environmental Justice Organizing Initiative, International Socialists, New Socialist Group, Ontario Public Interest Research Group – Toronto, Socialist Action, Socialist Project, Socialist Voice, U of T Students Against Climate Change, Upping the Anti, and Weather Task Force.
In the morning of the same day, Patrick Bond was interviewed by CIUT 89.5-FM, the community radio station based at the University of Toronto. The first interview was broadcast live; the second, considerably longer, was recorded for later broadcast on an environmental program, The Green Majority.