Germany: Climate camp in Hamburg - August 15-24, 2008
Let's change the climate!
Climate Camp in Hamburg, 15th-24th August 2008
It's too hot! - The climate is changing!
The atmosphere is getting hotter. Even the most sinister prognoses of the World
Climate Council of the United Nations of the year 2007 in the meantime appear
to have been too optimistic. Climate change is more than melting polar caps,
drowning polar bears and hurricans of up to now unknown magnitudes. Climate
change is a social catastrophe. The global changes of the ecosystems are
exacerbating social contrasts world-wide. Because the effects of warming are
unequally distributed - between North and South, but also within societies,
between rich and poor.
The warming of the atmosphere is not an accident, but the result of an economic
system relying on profit and growth. Due to this higher-faster-forward logic,
capitalism burns enormous amounts of mineral ressources, for instance for the
production and selling of products with the help of a world-encompassing
logistics network. And even though almost everybody in the meantime wants to
save the climate, the use of mineral energies such as oil, gas and coal
continues to increase. Time to get involved!
Climate change is big business
The demand for energy rises ever more rapidly, and the prices of the ressources
increase as well. Even the International Energy Agency in the meantime departs
from the idea that the high point of oil production will soon be passed. At the
same time, hothouse gas concentration and thence the global average
temperature continue to rise. What to do? In spite of contrary rhetoric,
governments and companies continue to put their stakes clearly on mineral
energies. Twenty new coal-fired power stations are supposed to be built in
Germany alone; the car industry, with the backing of the environmental
ministry, refuses any type of upper limits on the emission of carbon dioxide.
Airports are being extended merrily, and the constantly growing energy
companies are helped by military means to secure their mineral ressources. No
trace of an energy turn!
Instead it is pretended that with corresponding technical approaches everything
can continue as before: subterranean CO2 deposits, emission-free coal-fired
power stations and ticking time bombs in the form of nuclear power stations.
Also in the area of transport, there is propagated a simple "Let's go on!" with
new technology. Because the fuel of the future will be won from sugar cane,
genetically modified soy or rapeseed. The consequences: gigantic new
monocultures for "energy plants" and the loss of agricultural land for food
production. While very few profit from the business with biofuels, the effects
of this politics on poor population groups are already seen today: in Mexico,
corn is getting scarce; boundless width of CO2-storing eucalyptus forests are
eroding the soils in Brazil, and for the lucrative business with palm oil,
tropic peat forests were burnt down in Indonesia. Food prices are rising
world-wide and people starve so that the machinery of globalised capitalism can
continue to function.
At the same time, a lot of money may be earned with climate change - without
there being an ecological benefit; most airlines offer "climate-neutral"
flights; nuclear power stations are being presented as "unpopular climate
protectors" whose running times should be extended for the sake of climate
protection; governments and companies propagate an "ecological market economy".
Very few financial market actors earn huge amounts by the trade in emission
rights - real CO2 savings up to now were not achieved. The present economy of
growth cannot stop climate change. The mineral ressources need to stay in the
ground - a little energy efficieny here and there is not sufficient.
Ecological precarity and climatic frontiers
Poor population groups - those who cause climate change the least - are hit the
hardest. The existing glaring social insecurities shall be reinforced
drastically by way of the effects of increased temperatures. The daily struggle
for survival for many people is getting ever tougher. There will be additional
climatic frontiers that will make survival harder for many people. It is
financial means that decide on the possibility to linder the negative
consequences of climatic change. These are available mostly in the industrial
countries of the global North.
Already today migration is with reason the reaction of many people to the
massive gaps in living standards. They are not reconciled with the fact that
they are excluded from participation in wealth. They therefore seize the
initiative: they transgress borders, so as to demand for themselves and their
families a fair share of the wealth of the earth. Instead of effectively
fighting the causes of climate change and of reducing by adaptive measures
their effects on the concerned, the well-to-do countries close off against the
incoming refugees. At the borders, they build up fences, boats with refugees
are prevented by all means from reaching the coastlines, and if people manage
to get here in spite of everything, they are forcibly deported. On a daily
basis, people are hurt by barbed-wire border fences, drown in the sea or are
deported to a country they were never at home in.
Not only on a global basis do the scissors open between well-to-do and those
without any property. Also within countries - rich like poor - the costs of
climate change are unjustly distributed. People with low incomes are hit the
hardest by the effects of climate change. Their residential areas are inundated
the first, their soils erode, their water sources dry up - ecological precarity
is exacerbated. And in the North, it is the low-income people who need to bear
an above-proportional share of climatic protection costs. They spend
proportionally more of their incomes on energy than the rich and are therefore
more hardly-hit, for example, by the costs of the trade in CO2 certificates.
The about 1.6 billion people to whom the social right of access to electricity
is denied bear the socio-ecological consequences of CO2-intensive life style
the hardest. A completely different climate is only possible if global rights
such as the right of all to an access to energy and a turn away from mineral
ressource-based industry are thought of together.
>From Seattle by way of Heiligendamm to Copenhague - a new weather front
When at the blockade of the WTO ministerial conference in Seattle in 1999,
thousands of demonstrators got underway "the movement of movements", it was a
matter of protest against additional market liberalisations, against
privatisation, company rule, meaning a neoliberal form of globalisation.
Precisely these criticisms continue to be important in the struggle against
climate change. After all, climatic protection happens if on a world-wide
basis, small peasants struggle for social land reforms and against an
export-oriented agroindustrial agriculture. For the cultivation of basic foods,
against the dispatch of Valentine's Day flours per airplane into the whole
world! Or if people fight against the privatisation of railroads and the
reduction in rail services. Commitment against climate change is necessary,
because the general framework of all other social conflicts under the
conditions of global warming worsens dramatically.
"There is enough for everybody!" or "Everything for everybody!" These are just
demands. Yet, "for everybody" is good, but what can be the material basis for
that in the light of ecological catastrophes? How can there be social justice
and climate justice? How do we want to live and work and how is material wealth
in society distributed? Who owns the energy sources? How might solidarity-based,
collective solutions look like that do not lead to (new) social cold? And
redistribution from North to South is necessary. Only if the North assumes its
historical guilt as main perpetrator of climate change and wealth is really
massively redistributed can we expect that CO2 will really obligatorily be
saved in the South.
In December 2009, there will take place the ninth climate conference in
Copenhague. Still at the G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Angela Merkel was able to
pose almost without any challenge as the climate queen. Even if international
climate policy is only one terrain in the confrontation for a climate of
justice, it is after all a place, where global relationships of power become
visible. By way of the climate camp, we shall start to shift these - step by
The climate camp - the cool breeze of resistance
The goal of slowing down climate change and of distributing the costs of it in a
just way won't be easy to reach, because we have today's powerful people against
us. The climate camp is the place where we may inform each other and talk to
each other about other relationships between society and nature. It is a matter
of spectre-overarching strategies and positions for a climate movement. By way
of the climate camp, we go on in the search for forms of resistance against the
CO2 economy - also in daily life. In order to change climate, we need decisive
action. That includes larger and smaller acts of civil disobedience. The
climate camp is one of many of these and linked with camps in Australia, New
Zealand, USA, Great Britain and Sweden.
We shall set up our tents in Hamburg, the greatest port town in Germany, the
most-frequented logistics hub of maritime and road traffic. In Hamburg, there
is also located the largest coal harbour, where supplies from Australia,
Indoneasia and Columbia are landed for domestic power stations and industry. In
Hamburg, Archer Daniels Midland operates one of the large agro-diesel factories.
The energy company Vattenfall manages nuclear and coal-fired power stations from
here. Moreover, there will be an anti-racist camp at the same time that among
other things will make the Hamburg Charter Deportation Airport its action
target. The preparatory processes of both camps will be fine-tuned with each
other in such a way that the potential of mobilisation comes to bear in the
best possible way.
For that reason: Go to the climate camp! Participate in the climate actions.
Dance, demonstrate - and block. For alternative energy forms. Against social
and ecological precarisation - world-wide! In mood for solidarity! Everything
for everybody - but differently! See you! In this sense - for a completely
More information:http://www.klimacamp08.net; firstname.lastname@example.org
The preparatory group for the climate camp08 in Hamburg