Possibly the best mainstream media coverage to date on the WSF, though somewhat snarky:
‘OFTEN mocked for an endless ability to disagree with itself, the World Social Forum—an annual jamboree for NGOs, anti-capitalists, leftish intellectuals, bohemians and bishops—was unusually united this year. More united, in some ways, than the recent World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos, a gathering of political and corporate bigwigs to which the social forum supposedly responds.’
via A gathering of the global counter-culture | Dear capitalists, admit you got it wrong | The Economist.
Another report on unanticipated consequences:
‘_When an ice sheet melts, its gravitational pull on the ocean is reduced and water moves away from it. That means sea levels could fall near Antarctica and rise more than expected in the northern hemisphere.
_Antarctic bedrock that currently sits under the weight of the ice sheet will rebound from the weight, pushing some water out into the ocean.
_The melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet will cause the Earth’s rotation axis to shift, potentially moving water northward.
“The net effect of all of these processes is that if the West Antarctic ice sheet collapses, the rise in sea levels around many coastal regions will be as much as 25 per cent more than expected,” Mitrovica said in a statement.’
via Icemelt Could Shift Earth’s Rotation, Moving Water Northward.
Not the first time this has been suggested:
‘BEIJING — Nearly nine months after a devastating earthquake in Sichuan Province, China, left 80,000 people dead or missing, a growing number of American and Chinese scientists are suggesting that the calamity was triggered by a four-year-old reservoir built close to the earthquake’s geological fault line.’
via Possible Link Between Dam and China Quake – NYTimes.com.
‘In China, scholars and policy advisers who support the proposals in the “Roadmap” report say talks on energy technology and climate change could foster cooperation between the Obama administration and China. A central question is whether Chinese leaders and American lawmakers will be too focused on reviving their economies to pay serious attention to curbing emissions.’
via Experts in U.S. and China See a Chance for Cooperation Against Climate Change – NYTimes.com.
Chris Carlsson, of Nowtopia.com, and one of the founders of Critical Mass, interviewed by envirobeat.com at the World Social Forum 2009, in Brazil, discusses several interrelated topics, including among other things his latest book Nowtopia, the inner networking and structures of the forum itself, and emerging solutions to the ongoing social, economic and environmental crisis.
Chris Carlsson Interview Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
On February 5, the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings will host a discussion on overcoming obstacles to U.S.-China cooperation on climate change, focusing on ways in which cooperation can gain sustained political support in both countries.
via U.S.-China Climate Change Cooperation: Overcoming Obstacles – Brookings Institution.
Belem, Brazil. Feb 1 2009
Of the myriad issues addressed at the World Social Forum this year, climate had both the first and last word, beginning with the Amazonian downpour which drenched the opening parade several days ago, and ending with today’s heavy rainstorm just prior to the final meeting, the ‘assembly of assemblies’, where the remaining participants gathered in a wet and muddy grass field to listen to the spokespersons from the many issue groups announce their conclusions from several days of discussions.
YouTube video of closing report from the Palestian issue group (English with Portuguese translation)
The climate crisis house of horrors continues:
“The oceans have long buffered the effects of climate change by absorbing a substantial portion of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. But this benefit has a catch: as the gas dissolves, it makes seawater more acidic. Now an international panel of marine scientists says this acidity is accelerating so fast it threatens the survival of coral reefs, shellfish and the marine food web generally.”
via Rising Acidity Is Threatening Food Web of Oceans, Science Panel Says – NYTimes.com.
Simply in order to mention the World Social Forum, many news outlets insist that the tag line has to open with a critical comment. Sure the organization is weak, but the simple fact of the magnitude of the event itself, or the fact that several Latin American presidents found it important enough to show up (including Lula, Hugo Chavez, and Evo Morales) deserves far more press coverage than is being seen, especially considering the extent of the recent failures of the neo-liberal paradigm. Instead we see this sort of focus:
“BELEM, Brazil (AFP) — The World Social Forum was wrapping up in Brazil on Sunday amid criticism that lack of organization prevented participants from reaching common solutions to the global economic crisis and other issues.”
via AFP: Solutions to crisis elude ‘disorganized’ World Social Forum.
More evidence of anticipation of the ‘green new deal’:
“…Labor experts predict renewable energy and energy efficiency industries could create as many as 37 million jobs — and students at technical colleges like this one are counting on it.”
via ABC News: Going Green to Make Green.