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Showing posts from April, 2010

The People's Climate Change Summit

Ten years ago, the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia was home to that country's Water Wars. The people banned together to protest the privatization of water to the California-based Bechtel Corporation and subsequent 400% rate hikes. The success of that movement acted as an inspiration for social movements across Latin America and indirectly to the election of Evo Morales as Bolivia's president.

This week (April 19-22), Cochabamba hosts the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. As reported by The Guradian, here is the purpose of the conference.

"The only way to get climate negotiations back on track not just for Bolivia or other countries, but for all of life, biodiversity, our Mother Earth is to put civil society back into the process. The only thing that can save mankind from a [climate] tragedy is the exercise of global democracy," said Bolivia's United Nations Ambassador Pablo Solon in Bonn, at the end of the latest UN talks..…

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The arc of the moral universe is long...

Friday in Black Kos, dopper0189 wrote about Congo and the 5.4 million people who have been killed since 1998 in the civil war going on there over coltan (used to make our cell phones and computers). In the comments section, a few of us were talking about what we do with this kind of information. For some of us, a worldwide view of things can result in compassion fatigue when we attempt to engage in the battle for social justice.

This is certainly something I struggle with and so it was interesting that after this conversation, I had a moment of "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear." That's because Friday night I decided to dig a little deeper into the words and work of Tim Wise. One of the first things I read was an article written by him several years ago titled The Threat of a Good Example: Reflections on Hope and Tenacity.

Wise starts out the article by talking about the power of a particular question he gets often when speaking to college students...&quo…