As I’ve mentioned recently, it’s clear that government priorities, globally, still see fossil fuels as our future. They subsidize them heavily – many times more than any renewable technology. This is, of course, never mentioned when they claim that economics prevent them from adopting cleaner technologies – often to the point where solar and wind are portrayed as impossible without crippling subsidies and wrong-headed government intervetion. Like most claims of the establishment, these claims are the very opposite of the truth.

And if that was as far as the issue went, this kind of behavior would only be among some of the most dishonest and irresponsible in human history. Sadly, it goes much farther.

Trials are now beginning in Copenhagen for those arrested and charged with organizing protests against the climate conference. This kind of political retribution against dissidents is pretty common (we’re seeing something very similar here over the G20 meeting), but putting it in perspective makes the subsidy issue sound downright fair.

Where are the trials for the negotiators at Copenhagen? Who will be held responsible for scuttling any hope of an effective treaty? If this results (as it’s likely to) in trillions of dollars in damages, millions of people dead or displaced and entire countries disappearing, who will be held accountable? Will George W be pulled out of retirement and thrown in Guantanamo Bay? If it’s illegal to torch a police cruiser or break a Starbucks’ window, then how do we view the wholesale destruction of Bangladesh? If simply organizing a protest where destruction happens is a crime, then how does one judge cases where people running the economy cause destruction on a global scale?

And this isn’t just about “what ifs”, it is happening right now. BP’s oil spill in the Gulf put out an Exxon Valdez worth of oil every few days, and thanks to both their misleading reports and the enormous amount of toxic chemicals, we really have very little idea of how bad things could continue to get. So where’s the bloodthirsty police forces and that never-ending zeal to fill up our jails?

I’m not suggesting we put anyone in jail. The reason I’m mentioning all this is to illustrate how incredibly impotent our “justice” system is when it comes to any real issues of justice, damage or personal harm. And most importantly how having power means that no matter how much destruction you cause (even with that power) places you firmly and safely above the law. Police, cops and jails are there to protect this system, and the damages it does, from people like us. They are military forces who use force, threats and imprisonment to achieve the goals of some of the most dangerous people on the planet. If we don’t stop them, we can’t stop the rest.

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