In the early 1970s the publics in virtually every country in the world began demanding that their governments act to protect and preserve the environment: Land, water, sea, soils, natural plants and animals and people). The result in most countries was the establishment of government agencies, businesses, and social movements aimed at just those goals. Now, admittedly, there is some retrenchment going on with governments led by neo-liberal advocates aiming to “bury government”, but there is no doubt that the popular will remains: protect and preserve the environment.
A new layer to this call for sanity is being staged in New York City (21 September) and elsewhere called the Peoples’ Climate March. The organizers call for “A world with an economy that works for people and the planet …. A world with good jobs, clean air, and healthy communities for everyone.”
Indigenous peoples and indigenous nations’ leaders are joining the March to demonstrate their faith in the ideas espoused by the event in New York. The March, coincidentally, commences a day before the United Nations convenes a High Level Plenary Session called the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples–a prominent concern of which is how to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Indigenous peoples and indigenous nations’ leaders are right to stand in what ever venue to press for the protection and preservation of Mother Earth including the peoples on it.
There is nothing to be achieved by sitting back and waiting or asserting the need to live with the status quo. Indigenous nations rightly recognize that they are perhaps the most vulnerable to the adverse climate consequences of CO2 and other industrial emissions produced by state economies. The major obstacle to reduced petroleum use is economic. It can be readily replaced by other means for generating electrical and mechanical power. The alternative economy is already being developed…look at the 40% or so reduction in costs for solar panels plus changes in how they are made to make them more eco-friendly. That is a smart direction.
If a March can begin the “environmental movement” then let a March begin a “climate movement!” Fourth World nations will be beneficiaries.
The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.access here