TWN hits the UN for Climate Change Session


Today in New York UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has convened a historic special session with more than 70 heads of state in attendance to solely discuss and focus on the issue of perhaps the largest global challenge and collective action problem we face today — the issue of climate change.
I’ll be blogging live from the UN today along with a number of other folks you may read and recognize thanks with the support of the UN Foundation and its blog UN Dispatch. You can read posts from all the other bloggers at “Live from the UN” site.
My objective today is to steer some readership and interest towards the subject of climate change. While I’ve followed some of the debates over climate policy for almost 10 years now — since the release of the 1997 International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report — I can by no means pose as an expert on the subject. But given the rare opportunity and to attend this UN session and access a number of high-up UN officials and policy formulators, my hope is to highlight certain elements, tensions, and strategies of this global discussion that I find interesting.
Some of the issues I hope to probe include: criticisms levied against climate change policy; financial schemes to balance responsibilities and interests; the question of nuclear power; the burgeoning nexus of religion and and the environmental movement; the divide between Europe and the US; opportunities for global leadership and internationalism; and hopefully any questions and suggestions any readers would like to pose.
Just as an aside, while here I’ll also be trying to lay the groundwork for the Turtle Island String Quartet – – an innovative string quartet that fuses, adapts and creates jazz in a classic form — to someday perform for the UN in Turtle Bay. Beyond the nominal connection, their artistry and mastery of adapting classical to the contemporary is something the UN might draw inspiration from as it seeks to adapt to the new global contours and challenges of the 21st century.
Stay Tuned.
–Sameer Lalwani


6 comments on “TWN hits the UN for Climate Change Session

  1. Carroll says:

    I suggest our gov get busy with more than talking about climate change solutions.
    Solar is suitable for huge parts of this country, as well as huge parts of the world. Make it mandatory or standard where it works. So is wind power.
    Fund it, manufacture it, franchise the sales and installation of it to create business and jobs, and after recouping the cost donate the gov’s franchise fee to health care.
    We already know what can be’s just not being done. More doing and less talk please.
    There are small companies in Africa right now that are starting up solar energy planel importing and manufacturing. If funded, imagine what it could do to raise the health and living conditions in many poor countries.


  2. Kathleen says:

    karenk….thanxx for that link.. it was so refreshing to read Chief Seattle’s words again..
    Such a kind and gentle spirit.
    And, I have profound respect for the sensitive scholarship of Joseph Campbell, as a former student of his at Sarah Lawrence.
    Surrealistic synchronicity… while Ahmadinejad is speaking at Columbia, Joe Lieberman is addressing the Senate on the threat Iran poses… something about blood on hands of Quds Force. He’s keeping his head hung down.. he must know he’s being a puppet.
    Professor Gerges spoke on CNN—he was great in pointing out the President of Columbia’s opening remarks were quite insulting and were just a reiteration of the prevailing opinions.


  3. karenk says:

    Let’s go with the Hopi Prophecy. Now we all know that the Indians lived correctly in balance with nature. In mid 1800’s, Chief Seattle gave a brilliant response to the US President’s proposal to buy Indian land. One excerpt of a beautiful address I highly recommend reading, “Man is not the weaver of the web of life but a strand in the web. And what he does to the web, he does to himself.”
    Oh, and,the FDR drive is a nightmare this week.thanx.welcome to NYC.


  4. Kathleen says:

    P.S. If you do contact Elsa in her office at the UN in NYC, tell her Kathy Andersen referred you.


  5. Kathleen says:

    Sameer… Lucky you.
    If you have the time, try to connect with Elsa Stamatopoulou, Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and ask her for a copy of UN document E.CN.4/Sub.2/1988/NGO 24, 26 August 1988.
    The statement was submitted by me and the Traditional Hopi Elders through NGO EAFORD (Elimination Of All Forms of Racial Discrimination) and is the ancient Hopi Prophecy for the UN, re climate changes.
    The premise of the Hopi Prophecy is that creator placed certain people on each of the continents to preseve the balance of man and nature. They were warned that if any of these people vanished or were otherwsie prevented from maintaining their simple lifestyle, it would cause an imblance between man and nature and will trigger great changes in the climate and cause Purification Day.
    Essentially, it says that humans will reach a point of diminishing returns, technologically, and poison their own habitats.
    The Hopi Elders were instructed, through many generations, to “find a pathway into the House of Mica” which is their name for the UN.
    A quote from the statement:
    “When man selfishly exploits the land and drains our Mother Earth of her natural resources, ungratefully neglecting to return as much as we extract, nature will reflect this and refuse to sustain our life. she will send us drought and famine.
    When we create weapons and bring destruction on each other and other lving things, nature will reflect this too, and send strange weather patterns, like volcanic eruptions, devastating fires, wind storms and earthquakes.”
    As I mentioned in another thread, we asked for Hopi to be under UN Trusteeship, rather than US Trusteeship and for the creation of a UN Commission for Indigenous Peoples. We did not succeed in this, but the seed was planted for the creation of a permanent body to address indigenous questions, hence, the formation of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, in 2002.
    I’ll be looking forward to your posts from the UN.


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