In the lead up to yet another world conference on climate change to be held this year in Paris (COP21) Bolivia recently hosted the second World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Defense of Life. The conference was organised expressly to allow the common people, especially those from the Majority World, a chance to participate in formulating their own vision and solutions to the problem of climate change. Perhaps the biggest difference in this summit to the COP21 is in the explicit statement that capitalism is incompatible with life on earth:
The world is being buffeted by multiple global crisis that manifests itself in a climate, financial, food, energy, institutional, cultural, ethical and spiritual crisis. These are the manifestations of unbridled consumerism and a model of society where the human being claims to be superior to Mother Earth. The world capitalist system to reproduce requires deepening the conditions of poverty and hunger in the world converting the nature in object of his ruthless predator control. It is a system characterized by the domination of the economy by gigantic transnational corporations whose targets are the accumulation of power and benefits, and for which the market values are more important than the lives of human beings and Mother Earth.
For us in the west it might be hard to fathom a way of life outside capitalism. Yet there have been a number of climate change summits over the past couple of decades without any meaningful international agreement of climate change being achieved. Perhaps it is time to start listen to the wisdom of other cultures?