Canada has officially left the Kyoto Accords on Global Warming. After a lackluster week in Durban, efforts are now looking grim for an organized and negotiated solution to the worsening crisis of climate change.

Take a moment to digest that.

It’s almost 2012, and we’re now farther from a real agreement with any hope of actually combating the crisis than we were ten years ago, or ten years before that. The effects of this crisis are beginning to show on foreign shores, and most of the latest reports have been utterly horrifying. The entire fate of the fucking planet is at stake and all that our leaders have done is bicker, dither and whine.

I chose the word “whine” carefully. Much of the debate has revolved around thoroughly misguided and superficial concepts of “fairness”. rapidly developing nations like China and India, who are (understandably) unwilling to commit to serious reductions until developed nations like Canada, America, who are unwilling to go any further until India and China do as well. Canada and America, of course, still emit far more per person and have been doing this for decades, but that part seems less important than the demand that somebody else pay for our lavish lifestyles. Closer to home, and especially in America, the “climate deniers” have been playing this same game, demanding equal airtime and media attention on the basis of being “the other side of the argument”. This extremely-well funded minority has managed to play a huge role in the American political paralysis over the issue, and has led to some truly outlandish conspiracy theories. Again, here, there’s no real discussion of the context. Those being left out of the discussion clearly aren’t rich white business executives and their pet scientists – they’re the millions of people living on Third World coastlines, who are now even more excluded.

In an age of increasing state powers, integration and overwhelmingly powerful international institutions, we’ve witnessing a complete breakdown of their ability to handle a crisis of any serious size. Be it the American debt battles, the European debt crisis or the global threat of climate change they’re hopelessly unable to act decisively, except to make things worse.

Mass protests, and the political use of police, courts and prisons, are exploding around the world. The environment is one of the major issues at stake. It demonstrates how thoroughly ruinous the behaviour of our state and corporate overlords has truly been, and how utterly unable they are to cope with the kind of crises they claim to exist to guard against. The Tar Sands and the associated “gigaproject” which spans our continent is a perfect example of the real priorities of our government – they’re willing to spend billions, write laws and shred international agreements for the sake of money, oil and development, but not to combat their consequences. International accords like Kyoto assume that our governments are allies or at least willing participants in efforts to deal with climate change. Sadly, they aren’t – they’re part of the problem, not the solution.

While the Occupy Movement has captured much of the world’s attention, another has also suffered thousands of arrests. Lining up outside the White House, Canada’s Parliament and other buildings, enormous crowds fought the Keystone Pipeline by peacefully volunteering for arrest, for days at a time. In America, they managed to delay the decision on the controversial megaprogject which would carry Tar Sands oil to refineries and upgraders in the southern USA. In British Columbia, many are now fighting another pipeline planned for their province. Globally, there have been massive anti-nuclear blockades in Germany, anti-highway protests in Mexico City, and far too many others to name.

The questions which remain are, will it be enough, and will that happen in time?

Climate change will be one of the first real tests of our ability to organize across every kind of border. The world cannot last much longer under the oil-drenched lifestyles of the west, and with billions now signing up in nations like India and China, we’re seeing consumption and devastation on scales we’d never imagined. We all need a new way forward – one in which the First and Third Worlds are going to have to meet somewhere in the middle. We need a way that can work in the face of hostile governments and markets in turmoil. The time has come for a truly global movement to tackle this threat, and it’s up to all of us to make that happen.

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