Lima to Paris – Will the UN Solve the Climate Crisis?

| Podcast

The COP 20 talks have just concluded in Lima, Peru and now eyes are turning to the next treaty expected to be signed in Paris in December, 2015. So far, the United Nations’ COP process has failed to produce a meaningful agreement to address the climate crisis and to achieve climate justice. The United States has been a great obstacle to progress. And the UN talks have essentially devolved into another tool for commodifying the Earth and pushing a neo-liberal economic agenda. We speak with Brian Tokar, author of the newly-revised “Toward Climate Justice: Perspectives on the Climate Crisis and Social Change” about new organizing and a new framework that are pushing for real solutions to the climate crisis. We also speak with Karen Orenstein of Friends of the Earth about the Lima talks and how the Paris Treaty is shaping up.


Listen here at 11 am Eastern:

Lima to Paris – Will the UN Solve the Climate Crisis? with Brian Tokar and Karen Orenstein by Clearingthefog on Mixcloud


Relevant articles and websites:

Essential Reading for Clarity on Climate Action by Margaret Flowers

Institute for Social Ecology

Friends of the Earth response to Sec. Kerry’s speech at Lima COP

Friends of the Earth



1briantokarBrian Tokar has been an activist, author and a well-known critical voice for ecological activism since the 1980s. He is currently the director of the Institute for Social Ecology and Lecturer II in Environmental Studies at UVM. Brian’s books include The Green Alternative  (1987, revised 1992), Earth for Sale  (1997), and Toward Climate Justice: Perspectives on the Climate Crisis and Social Change, which was reissued in an expanded and revised edition by the New Compass Press in 2014. He edited two books on the politics of biotechnology, Redesigning Life? and Gene Traders, and co-edited a recent collection, Agriculture and Food in Crisis: Conflict, Resistance and Renewal (with UVM Professor Emeritus, Fred Magdoff). His articles on environmental issues and popular movements appear in Z Magazine and Green Social Thought, and on popular websites such as Counterpunch, ZNet, Alternet, and Toward Freedom.

Brian has lectured throughout the U.S., as well as internationally, received a Project Censored award for his investigative history of Monsanto (originally published in The Ecologist), and was an organizer of the annual “Biojustice” protests focused on the biotechnology industry from 2000 – 2007. He is a board member of 350Vermont, as well as a contributor to the Routledge Handbook of the Climate Change MovementA Line in the Tar Sands, and other recent books. Brian also represents UVM’s part-time faculty on the Executive Council of our faculty union, United Academics.

1karenoKaren Orenstein’s work at Friends of the Earth U.S. focuses on international climate finance. In other words, she campaigns to get the U.S. and other rich countries to provide and effectively deliver — in line with what climate science and justice demand — funds to ordinary people living in developing countries to adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop along ecologically sound pathways. Karen came to Friends of the Earth with more than a decade of grassroots advocacy experience in environmental and international human rights campaigns. This included seven years at the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network, where she led Washington efforts to support genuine self-determination and justice for the people of East Timor and human rights protections for the peoples of Indonesia and West Papua; she continues to serve on ETAN’s board. Karen has done research and volunteer work for the Maasai Environmental Resource Coalition and PETS DC, and lived in Tanzania. Not unimportantly, she has two cute cats.

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