You may be wondering what Al Gore is doing on the front of this magazine. Hasn't he done an admirable job in raising awareness about the urgency of climate change? Isn't it a bit unfair of the NI to suggest that he views global warming as a means of generating a cascade of dollar bills?
Well, yes and no.
Millions of people have been moved by An Inconvenient Truth, but far fewer know that Al Gore was the original climate capitalist. It was Al who, back in 1997, insisted that business-friendly loopholes should be written into the first international climate agreement, allowing the industrialized world to ‘offset’ rather than curb its own pollution. Al has been lobbying hard for the expansion of carbon markets ever since.
Now, I in no way wish to play into the hands of the US climate denialist nutjobs who point to Al's significant investments in carbon trading firms as evidence that climate change itself is a massive scam he dreamed up to boost his personal fortune. That's dangerous nonsense. The scam here is that the world's rich and powerful, including Mr Gore, are claiming they can fix the broken system that has brought us to the brink of climate catastrophe with the same tools that broke it.
This will come to a head at the UN Climate Summit this December in Copenhagen. Hopefully this magazine will help you make sense of what's going on. I'll be there, reporting for the NI, so check our website for news and views you won't find in the mainstream media.
Elsewhere in this issue, Jeremy Seabrook calls for socialism to be rescued, and we mark two 25th anniversaries: the birth of Brazil's Landless Movement, and the world's worst industrial accident in Bhopal, India.
Jess Worth for the New Internationalist co-operative.
The MST (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra – Brazil’s landless people’s movement) – has been described as the world’s most dynamic social movement. Gibby Zobel joins in its 25th anniversary celebrations and explains why its existence is more important than ever.