Climate Anger

For the past week a team of Ode volunteers has been handing out free copies of our special “Solutions We Need Now” issue that presents a series of inspiring and innovative solutions to the challenge of global warming (you can get a free digital copy here). Our volunteers have given away thousands of copies and have received great enthusiasm in return. They were looking forward to meeting with many more people over the weekend as Copenhagen witnessed large demonstrations. Interestingly enough, their meetings with the “broad coalition of hundreds of environmental groups, human rights campaigners, climate activists, anti-capitalists and freelance protesters from dozens of countries” as one report described it, were not nearly as successful as the meetings with the delegates, politicians and business leaders in and around the Bella Center, the main venue for the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen.

There was quite a bit of anger among the crowds on the streets this weekend. I’m not referring to the relatively few radical violent troublemakers, many of whom were arrested by the Danish police. Unfortunately such radicals will always misbehave at such events. No, our experience was that the many participants in the largely peaceful marches were not interested in solutions (which is what Ode’s special issue is about). They wanted their anger and frustration with governments and their leaders to be heard. It seemed that they were not (yet) focusing on meeting the challenge and solving the problem. Or maybe they cannot believe that governments will ever act the way these protesters hope.

I sympathize with that frustration. Many people from many organizations have tirelessly worked for years, if not decades, to raise awareness around the issue of global warming. And the political response, so far, has been largely disappointing. There is a radical challenge and we have seen nowhere near a radical response.

Yet at the same time, the one thing we don’t need is more discord. We need to close the ranks and join hands. We are facing a unique global challenge and I would argue an even more unique inspiring global opportunity. And it occurs to me that we need two radical responses. One has to come from the world leaders who need to swiftly plan the transformation from our current fossil fuel based economies into sustainable clean energy economies. The other has to come from environmentalists who need to embrace all the ones that they fear stand in the way of the progress the planet needs: the politicians and the industrial leaders.

I’m sure there are people out there who have but one focus: how to protect their vested interests. And yet my point would be that these people have children and grandchildren too. They themselves would also like to live in a cleaner world and go to their offices without negotiating bad exhaust fumes in their congested cities. In other words: ultimately we all share the same interests. Copenhagen is building momentum for radical climate action. That is very good news. “Old” anger and “old” frustration–understandable as these sentiments are–should not become obstacles.

I suggest that the environmentalists, who have led the issue for so many years, step up one more time and open themselves to the idea that those industrial leaders and politicians may be ready to join them more than ever. I think they may be surprised.

Jurriaan Kamp is Editor-in-Chief of Ode Magazine. A free copy of Odeís special Copenhagen issue is available here.

Global Warming is a big topic, the Climate Change Conference is a big event, and there are many points of view on both: Be sure to check out Care2ís daily coverage of the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference which is taking place now at Bella Center in Copenhagen.


Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago


Wendy O.
Wendy O7 years ago

Regardless of what we call this change in weather patterns, it's the destruction of wildlife, ocean/sea life etc etc that is so upsetting. Even more so when the government I depend on to make positive decisions has it's head stuck in the OIL sands.

Marianne Good
Past Member 7 years ago

Yes Global warming! Climate change. Mother Earth has during all her existence been changing. Now it is our human
existence we are concerned about. There are ways to live in balance with everything on Mother Earth. But we have to let go of our human being ego to make it happen. As for all over comsuming of items and other resources that are much over produced. Well it is good that some have a wake up call now!

Kai J.
Kai J7 years ago

Pt.3 -
Such warnings are supported by a study of U.S. weather stations co-written by Anthony Watts, an American meteorologist and climate change sceptic.
His study, which has not been peer reviewed, is illustrated
with photographs of weather stations in locations where their
readings are distorted by heat-generating equipment. Some are
next to air-conditioning units or are on waste treatment plants. One of the most infamous: a weather station next to a waste incinerator.
For more on this story, see The Sunday Times.

Kai J.
Kai J7 years ago

These stations, they believe, have been seriously compromised
by factors such as urbanization, changes in land use and, in
many cases, being moved from site to site. Christy has
published research papers looking at these effects in three
different regions: east Africa, California and Alabama.
"The story is the same for each one," he said. "The popular
data sets show a lot of warming but the apparent temperature
rise was actually caused by local factors affecting the weather
stations, such as land development." The IPCC faces similar criticisms from Ross McKitrick, professor of economics at the University of Guelph, Canada, who was invited by the panel to review its last report. The experience turned him into a strong critic and he has since published a research paper questioning its methods. "We concluded, with overwhelming statistical significance, that the IPCC's climate data are contaminated with surface effects from industrialization and data quality problems. These add up to a large warming bias," he said.

Kai J.
Kai J7 years ago

This is a post in several parts due to it's length: Pt.1

"World May Not Be Warming, Say Scientists"
(Sunday Times)
The United Nations climate panel faces a new challenge from
scientists casting doubt on its claim that global temperatures
are rising inexorably because of human pollution.The predicted temperature changes (darker red indicating greater change) due to global warming, based on data from the Hadley Centre that some scientists now question. The United Nations climate panel faces a new challenge with scientists casting doubt on its claim that global temperatures are rising inexorably because of human pollution. In its last assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the evidence that the world was warming was "unequivocal." It warned that greenhouse gases had already heated the world by 0.7C and that there could be 5C-6C more warming by 2100, with devastating impacts on humanity and wildlife.
New research casts doubt on such claims, however. Some even suggest the world may not be warming much at all.
"The temperature records cannot be relied on as indicators of
global change," said John Christy, professor of atmospheric
science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a former
lead author on the IPCC. The doubts of Christy and a number of
other researchers focus on the thousands of weather stations
around the world, which have been used to collect temperature
data over the past 150 years.

Kai J.
Kai J7 years ago

Thanks Gail, I always hope that someone will say something with some strength attached to it, instead of these half-conceived, wishy-washy, 'liberal' statements that so often come out of Care2, and I'm not just talking comments. Some of the articles appear to be just pure mindless propaganda of a so-called 'progressive' sort. Contrary to a recent accusation, I do not pedde my own boat here. There's no money in it,
nor fame; and please Tekla, don't mistake 'passion' for irrational anger. Real anger, you may agree, the sort that Jesus must have felt at the moneylenders polluting the Temple, is fully justified, and if it gets up a few noses... too bad. Anger is more than just a motivator. If used correctly, is a power for good. My view. It's what we need now to deal with all the banksters and moneylenders polluting our planet. Make no mistake, they are sociopaths and don't care a fig what communities, indigenous peoples, so-called primitives and others, leading a simpler more natural way of life, they end up destroying. Have you heard about David Rockefeller's vast empire formerly called Texaco, now Chevron, responsible for polluting huge swathes of Ecuador, with Ecuadorean government help, killing and maiming thousands of Indians along the way? Well the people are fighting back because they have had enough and are VERY angry that their children are dying from cancer and other man-made diseases caused by Rockefellers greed! Watch the trailer:

gail d.
gail dair7 years ago

Thanks for the post.

gail d.
gail dair7 years ago


Tekla Drakfrende
Tekla Drakfrende7 years ago

anger can be a driving force to get you up out of the sofa but it doesn´t work when meeting people.... Anger make people back away from you - what we need is to meet!