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The People´s Conference on Climate Change: Conclusions, Celebration, Message to the World

Music, flags from all over the world, 35,000 people united in one voice in Cochabamba, were the frame to the conclusion of a world event called to change the world vision on climate change: The People´s Summit on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth (Conferencia Mundial de los Pueblos sobre el Cambio Climático y los Derechos de la Madre Tierra).

Scientists, politicians, world media, human rights activists, social entrepeneurs, doctors, indigenous peoples from 147 countries, finalized their interventions in the summit with the following conclusions:

1. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Earth Day, the Rights of Mother Earth have been born in the People´s Summit on Climate Change, and are the clear expression of the firm decision to defend life on the planet.

1. The social summit aproved the creation of the International Tribunal of Climate Justice, and recommended that demands should be filed in The Hague Tribunal in the meantime. All countries that are not complying with the Kyoto protocol, must be prosecuted there.

2. The realization of a world referendum on how to face the climate change to take place in 2011, demanding the reduction of gases to 50% by industrialized countries until 2020.

3. The creation of an international fund, beginning with 2,5 million dollars from Ecuador, for the people to go to Cancun Mexico in December 2010, to the Summit called by the United Nations, where attendees must be counted in tens of thousands, to be heard.

4.Differences between Copenhaguen and Cochabamba statements:


a) Recognized the scientific objective of avoiding the rise of global temperature in 2 degrees, but does not impose a cuantitative obligation to reduce emissions, and

b) Begins the creation of a US$ 30,000 million for the developing world for the period of 2010-2012


a) Demands that rich countries reduce gas emissions to 50% until 2020.

b) Demands the creation of a world fund with 6% of the annual budget of rich countries to face climate change, in order to pay the climate debt that industrialized countries must acknowledge.

c) Promotes the world referendum on climate change that will ask if humanity is in agreement with finishing capitalism and redistributing defense budgets into the facing climate change funds.

d) Demands that the tribunal of climate change includes trials for countries and transnational firms that avoid compliance with reduction of emissions.

e) States that today´s humanity does not have the right to compromise the natural lives of coming generations by producing non degradable items that kill life in the surface, water and air of the globe. This includes the hiding of nuclear trash inside the earth, as these disposals will affect Mother Earth for the next 100,000 (one hundred thousand) years and have the ability to change life as we know it by changing the genes of bacteria and other living organisms around the trash.




jadefrank's picture

Earth Day celebrations

Hi Jackie,

Thank you for sharing the highlights of the People's Conference on Climate Change in Cochabamba. Seems like it was a success, perhaps more so than in Copenhagen, which highlights the power of people's voices when they demand change.

What a way to celebrate Earth Day!

Let's hope that the resolutions from Cochabamba can be carried forth so that we nations are forced to participate in protecting our planet and our people.

In friendship,

jap21's picture

A real success

Going beyond politics and personal affection for gathering people for good causes, I must say that this is THE one deed that Bolivia will be remembered for in the coming decade, even more so if Cancun in Mexico at the end of the year accomplishes what it is supposed to acomplish: the acceptance of the existence of the climate debt by industrialized countries, especially those not signing the Kyoto protocol.

People from poor countries can only do so much with their money, but they can do a lot more when they are together.



Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva
Tarija - Bolivia
South America

vida.olive's picture

hermana :)

"e) States that today´s humanity does not have the right to compromise the natural lives of coming generations by producing non degradable items that kill life in the surface, water and air of the globe. This includes the hiding of nuclear trash inside the earth, as these disposals will affect Mother Earth for the next 100,000 (one hundred thousand) years and have the ability to change life as we know it by changing the genes of bacteria and other living organisms around the trash."

I found this part to be almost scary and in itself shows how important it truly is to take care of the world. To make sure pachamama lives on.

un abrazo para ti hermana


jap21's picture


I didn´t know it took so long to get rid of radiation. We must be more aware of this, especially in the global north, so that no more nuclear energy plants are built, as the energy they give can be cheap in money but very, very expensive in terms of life protection.

Gracias hermana, otro abrazo para ti también.


Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva
Tarija - Bolivia
South America

The idea of an environmental debt of rich countries will surely fire a lot of flaming in some pushbutton rooms.

But, it may be a powerful trigger to development. Of course, a "new kind" of.

In the hope that a reduction of greenhouse gases emission by 50% is sufficient to alter the dynamics, we can acknowledge the existence, already today, of environmental-friendly technologies whose diffusion may be a very large business.

I can share a few examples from energy production.

Case One. Producing rationally energy, by means of conventional systems.

Imagine you are the energy manager of, say, a large hospital, a municipality, or anything alike. Your plant operates in a temperate climate, so it will need heating in the cold season, cooling in the warm, and electric energy / process steam in both. The typical solution is to buy a large amount of machines (heaters, conditioners, generators), placing them in more or less the same shield, and then power on the ones you need in the moment.

But you may also interconnect these machines, so that the "waste products" of one (for example warm water one would discharge to the environment) feeds a suitable input of the other.

In the most extreme case, what you obtain by this interconnection is a "total energy system" (I've seen some designs in my company, quite recently). In principle, these systems can reduce combustible use very, very significantly. This is extremely good for money, and also to the environment: any cubic meter of methane, any kilogram of oil you don't burn is more or less twice its weight in carbon dioxide you don't emit.

Nothing comes costless, and total energy systems are no exception. Their management very often demands counter-intuitive decisions taken in real time, something the human mind has not the power to follow. Extensive computer use and modeling effort are requested.

But: these computers have to date a cost in the order of 1000 €, to be compared to the many 1000000s € of the machines. Not a big deal!

Case Two. Careful use of biomasses.

Using vegetable biomass to produce fuel may be crazy, if this rises the price of food so that humans can not afford to eat. In the most extreme case you would give people plenty of electricity, starving them to death in the meanwhile!

But on the other side: biomass are by definition renewable. So their careful, sensible and use may contribute to not release CO2 stored in fossil fuels to the atmosphere.

Here is a way. In many developed countries, road networks are widely extended. Their reach is really capillary, and traffic is known to be a huge problem.

Now: anything you try to cultivate close to a major road is dramatically polluted by heavy metals, PAH, and many other compounds directly traceable to traffic. Producing food there is surely not that clever, all these chemicals finding an immediate way to human bodies.

Nothing prevents, however, reserving a strip of, say, 100m width on both sides of roads to produce "no food". The cultivated area allocated to food (then of average higher quality) would still be very large, much larger in fact than the no-food area. But in the no-food you can then breed vegetables to be used for fuel production.

It is very important that vegetable treatment occurs as locally as possible, otherwise the long-range transport induced pollution would make all no-sense. But if land owners are convinced to confer no-food vegetables to locally available treatment sites, then ...

As a crude estimate by a colleague of mine, in Lombardy, the area of no-food land necessary to feed continuously a one-megawatt power plant may be in the order of 90 hectares. Quite large, but using 100-meters-on-both-sides philosophy it would account to 4.5 km (say 6 km on average, to stay cautious). A nothing after all.

Doing so, a huge business is generated as:
- Treatment plants have to be built, served by roads, managed
- Someone will have to breed and sell the trees
- Power plants themselves have to be manufactured.

A non-trivial side of this way-of-doing is, the precise location of treatment plants and the logistics associated may be critical factors. Well made, they could make the system sustainable. But do something wrong, and...

This means, in practice, that the problem is still in part open, and some research is needed.

Case Three. Non-conventional renewable.

The field is huge, spanning from wind farms to thermal solar power. And I'm not an expert, so have very little to say.

Can only say what we all see: the trend of wind turbine manufacturers towards larger and larger systems (now, multi-megawatt turbines are widely diffused). The diffusion of non-invasive photovoltaic panels, which may be used as intelligent replacements to windows in office buildings. And many more than one per day.

I might add some other cases, but feel that is not the harshest point. Ideas are not in shortage, fortunately.

What is really scarce, is political will.

And this is some, on which "we little", united, may do miracles.

Political will is necessary, as:

- The concept of GBP will, I suspect, have to be redefined
- A lot of applied research is necessary, which means public funding, which means low public debts, which (may) mean unpopular choices
- A lot of coordination is necessary, too: the problem is system-wide, not "local".

So (sorry so long!) thank Jackie of your description! The event in Bolivia has really been important.

How wonderful would it be, if these new technologies will be developed in now "poor" countries!



jap21's picture

HI Mauri

You just hit the button! The scarcity of political will is due to the ignorance of the general public about the principles that govern life.

Not going very faraway, the laws of thermodynamics, that we recently discussed in a previous article, are unknown to 90% of politicians in the world, as the curriculum in the Universities at Political Science and Sociology careers do not include these laws, ANYWHERE.

But there is hope. For example, I have seen the idea of a high school girl, that you can watch at in its section of Big Ideas, where she explains how people can produce, in ten minutes, enough electricity to feed their own laptops for three days: walking.

Don´t laugh. Walking into a special tile designed to keep the energy of every step through the use of very simple wiring adhered to small rectangles of a material that is sensible to touch (the name of it, I forgot hehe), produces the energy.

I think this awesome idea needs to be shown everywhere. Needs to be copied everywhere. She gave it to the world freely, with the intention of saving the planet, not making money. There could be a lot of money there for her, but if that invention does not reach the poor countries without so many strings attached, the meaning of it will get lost.

So what are we to do? She gave the idea. She needs to get paid for it, and humanity needs to be able to use now, urgently. But the scarce political will to make this happen, will probably not allow for this idea to grow.

Let us help her. If I can spot the exact web page, I will post it big. I saw the article on the Infinite Channel, where they gave the page I mention above, although I didn´t have time to check it yet. But will do soon.

She needs all the support she can get.



Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva
Tarija - Bolivia
South America

Mauri's picture

You got it, honey ;-)

In Italy, some months ago, some our politicians publicly boasted to "know little, if anything at all, in mathematics" (same for physics, science, and related matters).

So, dealing with thermodynamics... Ahem.

But I've just seen today a small sign of change. A friend of mine, also a mathematician (more aged than me, and to me also an example), said me she is worrying a lot, as she was asked to prepare a presentation after a "parliamentary interrogation".

All began as she wrote a booklet, in which explained the meanings of some micro-meteorological measurements. She imagined no one in the Parliament would ever read it, but "unfortunately" was quite wrong: some did, and went really shocked. To the point they asked her, more or less, to provide more detail.

So, today I'm very hopeful! (And sorry for my friend. By the way, I'm helping her, the little I can.)

But the kernel problem is, doing the "politician" today is terrible, or it should be. Things have become very complex, almost intractable (surely far beyond the possibility of an isolated human mind - collaboration is necessary, and no one knows it will be enough). And most problems demand a deep knowledge of economy, ecology, technology, natural resources... I agree with you: many of the answers we need are not yet available.

What is life? How does it "really" works? Do key species in ecosystems exist? (Provisionally: Yes, they are) If they exist, which they are? (And here things blur away - no one really knows, and meanwhile we cut forests, doom species at random, ...)

I'm afraid, I confess you. I see the dominant behavior of people (and politicians, who are just people) is still myopically looking at local, nation- or even subsystem-wide solutions. The scale of most "rael" problems is global, and demands an entirely different mentality.

A friend of mine, on skeptical positions, told me many Cassandra-like predictions have been made on oil shortage, food unavailability and the like have been made many times, but always failed. This frightens me even more: as I see, all these "invisible" crises have been solved behind the scenes thanks to accidental developments. In case of oil, for example, a new technology for extracting crude oil from bituminous shales have been recently developed. But cost is really horrible, both financially (the process is feasible with an oil price of 70 $ per barrel or more, as I've heard (am not that sure of numbers, please pardon me)). And, environmentally. Either you excavate enormous amounts of land (the quantity of oil per ton of rock is really tiny), or you inject solvents directly in-layer.


OK for financial cost. That's easy. But what of the environmental?!?! Now, bituminous shale cultivation occurs in underpopulated areas (Canada, as far as I know of the shale oil used in Italy). This is possible, as this business is in its very beginning. But tomorrow? Will it be better to excavate land to get some drops or oil, or breed food on it? The choice will be non-trivial.

I tried connecting to the URL in your reply, but sorry, my browser did have some problem. But I ask to you, if it is possible you contact the bright girl you mentioned, and ask her to, why not?, present her idea as one of the Gals (if she is willing to join, of course).

Can say, the idea doesn't make me laugh. Just smile! ;-)

And, for a curious reason. Half-joking, my boss once proposed installing energy-recovering cyclettes in our department. We made some preliminary checks, and found interesting figures. As we understood, a trained cyclist may give something like a 150 W. Taking into account (for example) my own metabolism and training rate, I might arrive at a 50 W, maybe even more.

This amount is really impressive!

So, I'm not "that" surprised energy can be extracted from walk. And, would it just enough to recharge, say, a cell phone battery, it would give a significant contribution.

(By the way: at end we "did not decide" whether to install the cyclettes in our company. I'd be glad, and said it. We'll see!)

You are right the cost of all these means should be affordable, as most use will be made where most humanity resides, that is, in developing countries. I strongly believe in "local" productions, so to avoid imbalances in production and raw materials cost.

Do you think is it feasible?

Of course, some form of cooperation would be paramount, and I imagine it will have to be built-in. The problems, and their scale, are so large that brain should unite, from everywhere. Neurons work exactly the same in "developed" and "developing" countries: they instantiate a form of energy of which we have no shortage. It may even be that the huge size of human population helps, from this point of view.

How to provide politicians with "education"?

This, I agree with you, is a core question. Some politicians feel being at the top of some career, and unwilling to learn new things. OK. They are on the verge of retirement, and all we need to do is just wait. But many others "are" sensitive, or could be after exposition.

As my friend did! OK, she is an "important name", and owns an established credibility. But nothing prevents people, the "civil society", may express sensible, sound and realizable projects. So credible projects, to "appear" so.

One of my preferred jokes is, we have to restore nobility. In reality is only half a joke - just, define "nobility" not as a parasitic social class, but as a lively civil society, or a part (possibly tiny) of it. Illuminated, and of good will. The more time passes, the more I convince civil society has the right, and duty, to "educate" politicians. By voting, as realistically possible. And by virtuously climbing over them, and formulating interesting ideas.

On a global scale. Energy flow does not acknowledge boundaries.

Love, peace (and a lot of excitement!)


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