November 29, 2000

Subject: Green Files #16: Climate change will bankrupt the world + A book review of "The Heat Is on : The Climate Crisis, the Cover-Up, the Prescription" + How the US Torpedoed the Global Climate Talks + Editor of the Ecologist magazine commenting on the Hague Conference + Compassionate Fascism + The Failed Hague Climate Conference + THAT SINKING FEELING + THE SOUND AND THE FLURRY + Those who did not "work it out" in The Hague + Use Your Vote to Change the World! and support the Simultaneous Policy concept

Hello everyone

Since I've already made several comments below (IN CAPS), I will refer you to them as to what is my take on the main theme of this compilation: the failure (so far!) of our corrupted and self-serving politicians to tackle global warming, certainly one of the most pressing and Life-threatening environmental problems of our time, at the Convention on Climate Change in The Hague last week.

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000

P.S. I've just posted a new text on the ERN site. It is a document I wrote 10 years ago entitled
"We Must Change our Relationship with the Earth" and I've just re-actualized it a bit, but most of it is still very much relevant 10 years later as you'll see.

You can read or download it at:

http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000/MustChange.htm


Here are some URLs to check out for more in relation to this Climate Change meeting:

Description of all the actions planned by environmentalists at The Hague at:
http://www.antenna.nl/aseed/climate/climate.htm

'Climate change will bankrupt the world' at:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/UK/Environment/2000-11/climate241100.shtml
Leading insurance expert warns conference that the cost of damage caused by global warming will exceed all resources by 2065.

Here is an excerpt from this excellent article:

The Kyoto protocol, the climate treaty the conference is trying to finalise, was only a "tactical" solution, he said, and a much more fundamental answer was needed, with the world moving to dependence on renewable energy.

At the current rate of growth of damage of 10 per cent a year, we will actually exceed the world's GDP growth of 3 per cent a year by the year 2065. That shows you how serious it is. By 2065, the damage curve will cross over the GDP curve."

Bob Watson, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN's body of 3,000 scientists who are assessing global warming, said in the same briefing that "potentially tens of millions of people" would be displaced by sea-level rise. If carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere doubled over the next 70 years, he said, because of the sea's slow response time, sea-level rise would continue, not for 10, not 100 but for more than 1,000 years. "Who are the most vulnerable?" he said. "No question: poor people in developing countries. But still there is no doubt that Europe will be affected, as will North America. Climate change is already occurring.

A woman delegate from a small group of Pacific islands told the conference how her homeland was already being hit by rising temperatures and seas. Youlsau Bells, from Palau, a chain of 200 islands in Micronesia, said causeways connecting the seven inhabited islands, which had always been dry, were now covered half the time. Three islands holding 7,000 people were now just above sea-level, she said, and might have to be evacuated.

Al Binger from Jamaica, said: "Our survival depends on cuts in greenhouse gases, and currently the trends are all the wrong way. Our needs and fears are being ignored. Our people have no place to go."

* Flood warnings remained in place across England and Wales last night after storms dumped an inch of rain on saturated land and swollen rivers. The Environment Agency said further heavy rain at the weekend could bring water levels back to crisis point as the country became locked in a winter cycle of almost constant flood alert.

Read also the book reviews of
“The Heat Is on : The Climate Crisis, the Cover-Up, the Prescription” at: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0738200255/clarymeuserassoc/107-5432870-7674917

Synopsis

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ross Gelbspan exposes the machinations of oil and coal companies and conservative politicians to undermine the public confidence in science and thereby defer action against global warming. This riveting expose is a spirited call to action against the corporate disinformation campaign that threatens us all.

Here is a comment of one reader:

Powerful, Compelling Book about Global Warming, March 6, 2000 Reviewer: Erik Wheeler (see more about me) from Vermont "The Heat is On" is a well-researched, detailed description of how the coal and oil industries are trying (and succeeding) to confuse the issue of global warming today. In this frightening exposé, Ross Gelbspan shows how the fossil fuel industries are spending millions of dollars to confuse the public through misleading advertising and PR tactics in order to protect their financial interests. The story behind this campaign of lies is astounding.

Try a little experiment: talk to several people about global warming. Just bring it up in the conversation, and watch their reaction. I did, and I found that most people laughed, or said, "Yeah, but I heard there's no conclusive evidence to support that." This is the direct effect of the fossil fuel industry's PR campaign. Gelbspan describes how they have done this largely through industry-created groups with misleading names (such as the "Information Council on the Environment"), and pseudo-scientists paid by the industry.

Gelbspan explains that the industry's groups and scientists have received a great deal of media coverage because journalists, as part of their duty, are compelled to cover both sides of the story. The problem is that the "other side of the story" in this case is a small group who is paid by the industry. The confusion and lies promoted by the fossil fuel industry has been enough to drown out the 2,500 climate scientists around the world who all agree that global warming is a fact.

"The Heat is On" offers irrefutable facts to debunk the myth that global warming evidence is inconclusive. For example, many people claim that recent extreme colde and winter weather refutes the theory. Wrong, says Gelbspan: "severe winter weather perfectly consistent with global warming. One effect of climate change is to produce more extreme local temperatures--leading to hotter hots, unseasonal colds, and more severe snowstorms." And temperature changes are just the beginning of the problem. Other effects include outbreaks of disease, proliferation of pests, and extinction of species, among others.

The only solution is to cut back on carbon dioxide emissions, probably as much as 60%. This is no easy task, but Gelbspan does offer a plausible "prescription". He suggests that we (1) divert all fossil fuels subsidies ($20 billion/year!) to renewable energy development, (2) implement efficiency standards to require generating facilities to be highly efficient (instead of the current 35% efficiency average), and (3) support developing nations in the conversion with an international currency transaction tax.

This is a very powerful book. Hopefully it will help to re-educate the public, and serve as a model for global change. I strongly recommend it.


Read also from http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=10138
How the US Torpedoed the Global Climate Talks

Here is an excerpt:

But in the end -- in the waning hours of Saturday morning -- the Europeans
decided they couldn't sell this particular contraption at home. It was
simply too easy on the Americans, who, arrogantly, had never really believed
anyone would call their bluff. The French did, and shortly thereafter the
cleaning crew arrived to cart away the tons of thin carbon sinks known as
sheets of paper that rose daily like an ever-higher tide.

Even if the Europeans hadn't stood tough, though, the document wouldn't have
made it through the Senate. Not with George W. Bush as president, and not
with Al Gore as president. And the reason is simple: The American public
still does not believe with the necessary passion that climate change
represents a problem serious enough to require any compromises in our way of
life.

REGARDING THE FAILURE OF THE CLIMATE CONVENTION, HERE IS A BRIEF COMMENT RECEIVED FROM
John Owen <jowen@igc.org>:

"The collapse of the talks on global warming is by no means a defeat for our
side. If the United States had been able to broker a deal, regardless of how
flawed, the big countries could have come away saying they were solving the
problem. Now the world knows that global warming is out of control."




ONCE AGAIN THE FATE OF THE WORLD HANGED IN THE BALANCE AGAINST THE POWER OF BIG CORPORATE LOBBIES, GREED AND CORRUPTION... THEY WON AND WE - AND POSSIBLY COUNTLESS FUTURE GENERATIONS - ALL LOST... FOR THIS TIME AROUND. BUT THAT'S CERTAINLY NOT THE END OF IT! JUST AS WHEN EUROPEANS WOKE UP ABOUT THE THREAT MAD COW DISEASE POSED TO THEIR HEALTH AND STOPPED EATING THEIR MOST CHERISHED BEEFY DIET- A GOOD CHANGE OF HABIT THAT HOPEFULLY THEY'LL KEEP FOR THE SAKE OF OUR PLANET'S HEALTH! - WHEN PEOPLE WAKE UP AND REALIZE THAT THE GROWING WEATHER CATASTROPHES WRECKING HAVOC WITH THEIR LIVES IS NOT SOME FREAK EVENT OF NATURE BUT THE DIRECT RESULT OF THE FAILURE OF THEIR POLITICIANS TO HEED THE WARNINGS OF SCIENTISTS AND ENVIRONMENTALISTS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING, THEIR REVOLT WILL -- FINALLY! -- SPELL THE END OF POLITICS AS USUAL AND THE END OF THE COZY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BIG GREEDY CORPORATIONS AND THEIR POLITICAL PUPPETS. I WON'T BE SURPRISED IF SOME OF THEM END UP IN JAIL FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.

Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2000
From: Palden Jenkins <palden@globalnet.co.uk>
Subject: Hague Conference

Dear Jean Hudon and other friends!

This may interest you - words from one of the leading lights in the UK
ecological movement about the recent Hague Conference.

Palden


By ZAC GOLDSMITH

EDITOR OF THE ECOLOGIST

Even as a small child, I remember my uncle, Teddy Goldsmith, describing with
certainty how mankind was interfering in the world's climate and how, if
trends continued, we would face catastrophe as a result.

At the time, he was ridiculed. Even respectable men like John Maddox, then
editor of Nature magazine, accused him of unjustified hysteria.

Teddy's response was to commission a cartoon for the Ecologist Magazine,
which he founded and I now edit, in which a man is seen floating in rough
waters, an umbrella in one hand, shouting 'alarmist' at the animals peering
down at him from the safety of Noah's ark.

That was in 1972. With half of Britain submerged under flood waters in
recent weeks that cartoon has taken on the ominous tone of a prophecy.

Two weeks ago - nearly 30 years after that cartoon - world leaders descended
on The Hague, in the Netherlands, in what appeared to be a last-ditch effort
to unite against the problem. In their hands lay the future of our planet.

They were fully aware of their responsibilities. Not one of them disagrees
with the unanimous verdict of the 2,000 scientists on a UN appointed
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that global warming is happening
and that it is no joke. All of them are well briefed on the evidence of
climate change already affecting us: they know that open water has been
increased for first time in human history and that the Arctic ice sheet
has been reduced by nearly half over the past four decades.

They have been told that the vast Greenland ice sheet is melting at a rate
of more than 11 cubic miles each year. And they understand that when just
one sixth of the West Antarctic ice sheet melts, we can expect a one metre
rise in sea level.

Did they listen when scientists told them that this would spell the end of
many of the world's major cities, and would swamp more than 30 per cent of
the world's agricultural land?

Perhaps they were not aware that scientists predict that sea level rises
will be much more dramatic, and that many believe we may be interfering with
the Gulf Stream that brings warm water from the coast of Mexico to our own
[British] coast. And that if this happens, the smile may be wiped from the
faces of those joking about deckchairs in Dorset, as temperatures plummet
to those of Alaska.

In other words, the future of humanity rested on the behaviour of our
leaders in The Hague, where they met to formalise agreements reached at
Kyoto, Japan, in 1997 to reduce global emissions by 5.2 per cent by 2012.
Compared to the 60 per cent reduction needed this was paltry, but it was a
start.

Or at least it should have been. For what our politicians have been doing in
The Hague is fiddling - like Nero as Rome burned - on their violins. Worse,
having acknowledged the depth of the crisis, they have decided to do
precisely nothing about it.

In the face of it, and without wanting to sound too hysterical, this is
tantamount to genocide.

The Americans, in particular, refused point-blank to play ball. Surrounded
by the usual lobby-Mafia - nuclear, logging and oil representatives, as well
as armies of clever dick lawyers - the country that produces a quarter of
all global emissions with just five per cent of the world's population
defended the big business line.

Of course, having acknowledged the problem, they have attempted to make the
right noises - they have had to, much as Hitler justified his invasion of
Czechoslovakia on humanitarian grounds.

But the truth is, while appearing to comply, we will, in effect see a net
increase in US emissions - by roughly the same amount as they were supposed
to decrease their emissions. This they have done expertly by insisting on
the expansion of endless loopholes in the agreement.

Needless to say, the Americans had their way, and European leaders simply
backed down, and the mechanisms that could have sweetened an otherwise
bitter pill have been corrupted beyond recognition.

This is easy to understand in the context of the revolving doors between the
political elite in the US and industry heavyweights: both George W Bush and
Al Gore fostering close links with oil money in their rush to the White
House.

What is less easy to understand is Europe's reaction to these demands. They
screamed and yelled and then gave in.

Britain is reportedly on track to meet its commitment of a 12.5 per cent
reduction (Environment Minister Michael Meacher, has even predicted that the
reduction could be as high as 23 per cent) but our government still refuses
to take real action to combat the problem.

Instead, Tony Blair has promised to spend ten times less on renewable energy
investments - necessary, he has said, to avoid catastrophe - than he spent
on a plastic dome. In short, like much of New Labour, the analysis is good,
but the follow up is nowhere to be seen.

The fact is that our government, like the US, is wedded to big business and
the belief that increasing global trade - no matter what in - is good.

To that end, it has supported EU requirements that this country must, by
law, import basic goods like milk. It has supported massive subsidies that
benefit big corporations producing for long-distance export.

And it has supported the EU's plans to spend more than 400 billion euros on
the world's biggest ever road expansion project - to enable long-distance
trade in basic goods that could be produced more efficiently at the local
level. The climate crisis must force government to rethink dependence both
on the global economy and fossil fuels.

The confident predictions by leading investment groups that a barrel of oil
will cost more than $100 within a few years should be added persuasion to
combine massive investment in alternative energy with a focus on local trade
and production.

Policymakers, particularly those in the US, will complain about the cost,
but they would do well to consider the cost of not taking action.

Economic losses from natural disasters increased from $53 billion in the
1960s to $480 billion in the 1990s, according to the German insurance
company Munich Re. About 80 per cent of these costs resulted from extreme
weather. The insurance industry admits it expects these costs to rise fast.

The Hague summit was a disaster. But ordinary people must not allow our
leaders to close this chapter. It is incumbent on them to take action, and
we must demand that they try again - with or without the US.

If they don't, what are we to make of democracy'? It's often said that it
takes a brave government to tackle issues such as this. God only knows how
today's governments find the courage to do nothing. They should remember
that voters have long memories.

On a more parochial level, on my farm in Devon. I am preparing to plant a
number of trees that only a few years ago would have been planted in October
when the leaves have fallen; today I am still waiting to plant at the end of
November.

Website: www.theecologist.org




DAILY GRIST
27 Nov 2000
Environmental news from GRIST MAGAZINE
http://www.gristmagazine.com

1.
THAT SINKING FEELING
International climate talks in The Hague, Netherlands, collapsed on
Saturday, with U.S. and European negotiators unable to agree on a
plan for reducing emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Two
weeks of negotiations were intended to flesh out the details of the
Kyoto climate change treaty, but in the end the Europeans rejected a
plan that they said would have allowed the U.S. to get too much
credit for calling its forests and farmlands carbon sinks, thereby
avoiding real cuts in the burning of fossil fuels and emissions of
carbon dioxide. It was the second blow of the week for the top
American negotiator, Frank E. Loy, who on Wednesday got hit in the
face with a custard pie by an environmentalist. The real obstacle to
progress on climate change, writes Bill McKibben in Grist, is that
Americans just don't realize how deadly serious the problem is.

A wrap-up from The Hague -- by Bill McKibben
http://www.gristmagazine.com/grist/maindish/mckibben112700.stm

New York Times, Andrew Revkin, 26 Nov 2000
http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/26/science/26CLIM.html

CNN.com, 22 Nov 2000
http://www.cnn.com/2000/NATURE/11/22/hague.conference/

CLIP¨

5.
THE SOUND AND THE FLURRY
The Clinton administration is preparing to implement a flurry of
controversial regulations on environmental and other issues before a
new president moves into the White House on 20 Jan. The U.S. EPA
alone is said to be considering more than 60 new regulations,
including ones to restrict or ban the use of certain pesticides and
crack down on emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses.
Another regulation in the works would refuse to give federal
contracts to companies that have violated environmental, labor, or
health laws. And the Department of Agriculture is working to
complete a set of national standards for organic foods.

straight to the source: Los Angeles Times, Robert A. Rosenblatt and
Elizabeth Shogren, 26 Nov 2000
http://www.latimes.com/news/science/environ/20001126/t000113578.html

straight to the source: USA Today, Kevin McCoy, 27 Nov 2000
http://www.usatoday.com/usatonline/20001127/2867723s.htm




Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2000
From: Teresa Perez <teresap@wrm.org.uy>
Subject: WRM Bulletin # 40

WORLD RAINFOREST MOVEMENT

Web page: http://www.wrm.org.uy

OUR VIEWPOINT

- Those who did not "work it out" in The Hague

The Sixth Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Climate Change is
finally over and nothing much appears to have been achieved to address
global warming. This doesn't come as a surprise, given that the majority
of government delegates -- with a few exceptions -- focused more on how to
obtain profits for their countries and corporations from the new carbon
trade than on finding true solutions to the looming climate disaster.

In fact, the conference was more like a weekend bazar than a United
Nations meeting. A new generation of carbon brokers was out in force,
adding their voices to more traditional "business NGOs" composed of oil
corporations and other major polluters of the atmosphere. The nuclear
energy lobby was also prominent in the event, trying to sell its "clean
energy" as a solution to climate change.

Unfortunately, other, more respected actors, including environmental
non-governmental organizations, were also laying out their wares in this
marketplace, trying to sell forests and plantations as "emission cuts" or
"carbon sink mechanisms". This generated some divisions among NGOs and
Indigenous Peoples' Organizations, which weakened the position of those
truly interested in addressing climate change. Southern governments, too,
were divided on various issues, particularly the so-called Clean
Development Mechanism.

The atmosphere was much more humane outside the conference centre. A
demonstration organized by Friends of the Earth, for example, was a huge
success. People from all over the world joined forces to pile up sandbags
to form an enormous dyke in front of the conference centre. Although the
dyke was originally conceived as a symbol of the rising waters which will
come with global warming, it could also be perceived as a dyke to protect
the world from the decisions -- of the lack thereof -- being taken inside
the building.

And that was precisely the main problem: the lack of political will to
begin to do what everyone knows needs to be done. Or rather, too much
political will from the large corporations which dominate politics in the
US, Canada, Australia, Japan and other industrialized countries, together
with their armies of technocrats and tame civil servants. Thus French
President Chirac's statement criticizing the trend of the negotiations was
a welcome surprise. Among other things, he stated that since 1992, Parties
had fallen too far behind in taking actions to combat climate change, and
cautioned against further delays. Furthermore, he highlighted that the US
produces a quarter of the world's emissions, and that the per capita US
levels of emissions are three times higher than those of France. He called
on the US to join other industrialized nations in making a successful
transition to an energy-efficient economy. He said the EU had a duty to
set an example by developing more economical forms of consumption and
production in terms of natural resources.

The US delegates were obviously not at all happy to hear this. Nor did
they like Chirac's support for an effective, equitable agreement that
leaves room for future development, an independent and impartial
compliance mechanism, effective cuts by Northern countries in their
emissions, and assistance for the most vulnerable countries to adapt to
the consequences of climate change. Noting that each country has a duty to
build structures that cut its own emissions to a minimum on a sustainable
basis, Chirac emphasized that setting up projects to reduce emissions in
other countries should not be seen as a means to escape domestic measures.
He called for a prudent approach to using carbon sinks to alleviate
climate change, and said that the ultimate aim should be the convergence
of per capita emissions.

Chirac's speech, however, was but a short parenthesis punctuating
closed-door dealings aimed at undermining everything he called for.
Emission cuts were never truly on the table. Neither was energy efficiency
or renewables. Even less so equity and justice. Corporate lobbyists did
their job well and visions of short-term financial gains for a few elites
clouded the brains of many Southern delegates, whose countries and peoples
will suffer most from climate change. Obtaining a few dollars from
prominent polluters for forest and plantation projects was the aim of many
-- never mind whether such schemes were effective or not in slowing global
warming. The US and Japan, meanwhile, got their money's worth from these
offers of bribes in the form of support for some of their positions.

"Work it out!" was the official slogan of The Hague Conference. A simple
but meaningful slogan for anyone willing to understand and do something --
but apparently meaningless to most of the government delegates present at
The Hague. Future generations confronted with climate change will remember
them as those who did NOT work it out.

---

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THERE IS A POTENTIALLY GROWING LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL: THE CITIZEN-DRIVEN AGENDA-SETTING "SIMULTANEOUS POLICY" BRILLIANT WORLDWIDE INITIATIVE PUT FORWARD BY JOHN BUNZL AND HIS TEAM IN LONDON, UK.

HE DESCRIBES BELOW A POSSIBLE STRATEGY TO TURN THE TABLES ON POLITICIANS AND MAKE THEM RESPOND TO US INSTEAD OF SERVING TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATIONS. THE ONLY "PROBLEM" IS THAT UNLESS THIS INITIATIVE IS ADOPTED BY A WIDE RANGE OF SOCIAL ACTORS AND NGOs *AND* AGRESSIVELY PROMOTED, THERE IS HARDLY ANY CHANCE THAT THE CORPORATE-OWNED MAINSTREAM MEDIA AND POLITICIANS WILL EVER PAY ATTENTION TO IT.

IF THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE WORLD WERE - FOR INSTANCE - TO "SIMULTANEOUSLY" PURSUE ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE ENERGY POLICIES WITH THE SAME DETERMINATION THEY'VE SHOWN IN THEIR RECENT DRIVE TO FIGHT BUDGET DEFICITS - IF THE PEOPLE WOULD JUST WAKE UP AND PRESS FOR SUCH A NEW PRIORITY - THEN THERE WOULD BE HOPE THAT GLOBAL CO2 EMISSIONS WOULD ACTUALLY BEGIN TO GO DOWN INSTEAD OF FOREVER UP...

FOR MORE ON "SP", GO AT http://www.simpol.org (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!)

From: "John Bunzl" <jbunzl@simpol.org>
Subject: Use Your Vote to Change the World!
Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2000

Use Your Vote to Change the World!

Has your vote become meaningless?

Do you still bother to vote in national elections? If you do, are you
increasingly wondering if your vote makes any real difference to the things
that matter to you? After all, whoever wins the election, don't they all end
up pursuing much the same policies? Don't politicians of whatever party all
seem powerless to take the bold initiatives required to protect labour, the
environment and the rights of ordinary people and communities?

For millions of people all over the world, increasingly the answer to these
questions is a resounding and angry YES! But what few realise is that this
sad state of affairs has become entirely inevitable and predictable. And
what's more, it can only get worse unless we rapidly re-think the way we use
our votes.

Do you still really think politicians have the power to change things?

One of the most important features of what has become known as
"globalisation" is the ability of massive amounts of capital to move round
the world to wherever it can earn the highest rate of financial return.
Transnational corporations, many of them now larger economic units than all
but the most powerful nation states, are able to switch production, and
therefore jobs, to any country offering the lowest labour and environmental
restrictions. And do so they must. Because corporations are themselves
driven by the forces of global stock markets and cannot afford to lose
ground against their competitors by paying the higher costs of tighter
labour or environmental standards for fear of reduced profits and,
ultimately, the threat of an unwelcome takeover. Global currency markets,
too, operate in a similar way. The currency of any nation pursuing
responsible, and therefore more costly, social and environmental policies
will be perceived by the markets to be less attractive to business and will
be punished through currency devaluation, the result being higher inflation
and higher unemployment.

Capital investment and employment are the two key ingredients required by
any economy to flourish. To secure them for the benefit of their peoples,
nation states are forced to compete with one another in a bid to remain
relatively more attractive to globally mobile capital and corporations for
fear of that investment and employment moving elsewhere. In these
circumstances, it is not difficult to see why our politicians have only the
narrowest of margins within which to enact policies which protect society or
the environment. Instead they must progressively privatise public services
and reduce environmental and labour protection in order to be seen by the
markets and by the corporations as providing an environment conducive to
business needs. It's little wonder, therefore, that whichever country we
happen to be in, and whichever political party may be in power, the policies
delivered largely conform to market and corporate demands at the expense of
society and the environment. This is also why moves to curb global warming
are so painfully slow and inadequate. Even though much of the technology
required to reduce carbon emissions already exists, nations fight shy of
forcing their industries to implement it for fear of uncompetitiveness with
the industries of other nations who might not be prepared to implement it.
In these circumstances, it should not surprise us that progress is virtually
impossible.

Politicians are powerless

All round the world, therefore, increasing numbers are beginning to realise
that our elected leaders are largely powerless to deliver the far-reaching
reforms our planet and so many of its people so desperately need.
Institutions such as the United Nations, having no enforceable authority
over member nations, is similarly incapable of meeting that challenge and
the IMF, World Bank and the WTO only prescribe more of the same. So what are
we to do? How can we use our votes to better effect? How can we bring
politicians to implement policies which would undoubtedly benefit all
humankind?

A new way to vote: for a policy; not for a politician or party

The answer is for us to stop voting primarily for politicians or political
parties, for as we have seen, it no longer makes any substantial difference
who we vote for because all politicians, once in power, have no choice but
to submit to market and corporate demands for fear of them moving elsewhere.
Even Green parties once in power, (as they are in Germany), are hamstrung by
the need for their country to remain competitive in world markets thus
consigning many key green policies to the scrap heap. Indeed, there is
little point in voting for politicians or political parties any longer.
Instead we need to turn the tables: we need to make politicians and parties
compete with one another to do what WE want them to do. And we can! We can
vote for any politician or party willing to adopt a range of ecologically
and socially sound measures designed to regain control over global markets
and transnational corporations and to enact urgent measures to reduce carbon
emissions. This range of measures which WE - not the politicians - will
design and decide upon is already in the making and it's called the
Simultaneous Policy (SP).

Re-empower YOUR vote!

Try for a moment to conceive the power the people can once again weald if we
take such a stance. If, instead of dividing ourselves along traditional
party-political lines, we effectively say to politicians of all parties
around the world that we are prepared to vote for ANY politician or party
that adopts the Simultaneous Policy, politicians are going to find it very
difficult to avoid adopting SP. Take the recent US presidential election for
example, or the increasing number of other national elections where the
outcome hangs on the decision of a relatively low number of votes. In those
circumstances, the candidates will do almost anything to gain the crucial
extra votes which could make all the difference between winning or losing.
If, however, that crucial number of people had signaled their willingness to
vote for whichever candidate adopts SP, none of the mainstream candidates
will be able to resist. Because if they fail to adopt SP, they consign
themselves to virtually certain defeat. And here lies our power to force
them to implement the policies we and millions of others around the world
really care about and urgently need.

The Simultaneous Policy is a global campaign already operating in countries
in five continents and spreading fast. To find out more about the
Simultaneous Policy and how you can make your vote really count, visit the
Simultaneous Policy website and adopt SP on-line at www.simpol.org or e-mail
us at info@simpol.org or write to us at:

International Simultaneous Policy Organisation

(ISPO)

John Bunzl - Director
International Simultaneous Policy Organisation (ISPO)
http://www.simpol.org e-mail: jbunzl@simpol.org
P.O. Box 26547, London SE3 7YT, UK.
Fax +44 (0)208 460 2035







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