Mexican riot police were out in force, some of them driving military trucks with machine guns attached. But unlike the summit in Copenhagen last year — where police were lambasted in the press for beating and caging out-of-control climate marauders — so far there have not been reports of impropriety or police misconduct. Estimates for the larger demonstrations in Cancun put the figure at around 1,500, however — much smaller than the crowds at the COP15.
A McDonald's restaurant was one of the targets. It was spray painted by masked climate vandals dressed in all-black costumes. Other protesters used what was described by a German media outlet as human waste to make their point. But some of the activists, however wrong they might have been, were at least more civilized.
As usual, protestors representing all sorts of causes and organizations were present at the confab. They included anti-globalization demonstrators, communists waving flags featuring mass-murderer Ernesto “Che” Guevara, save-the-trees types, native American groups, and countless more. Most were upset about different aspects of the “climate” negotiations going on inside — secrecy, bullying, exclusion, bribes, and countless other problems — and were there to demand some sort of remedy. Others were simply upset with “capitalism.”
Of course, many of the protestors were paid, professional agitators trying to make the climate negotiations seem reasonable by comparison. Some of them even got into the conference center, where they dressed up in animal outfits and pretended to be dead.
Others, such as representatives of the Global Alliance of Wastepickers, were there to seek restitution for the loss of their livelihoods. It turns out that UN-financed garbage incinerators — which, as a side note, emit massive amounts of carbon dioxide; maybe even more than the “climate” dignitaries’ jets — have created a lack of trash for the "wastepickers" to pick through.
Some of the most popular Cancun protest slogans included the typical “change the system, not the climate,” and a new one: “no to REDD” — an agreement on forests that was discussed by “climate negotiators.” One group of oddly dressed activists that received a great deal of attention traveled around in and on top of a bus draped in banners reading “Mother Earth” and other assorted messages. One of the activists wore nothing but a loin cloth that read: “No to REDD,” too.
La Via Campesina was another one of the groups that received the most media attention. Members were protesting against so-called “market-based solutions” to “climate change.” Evidently, the fact that so-called carbon “markets” would never have existed without government dictates did not register with the demonstrators. They tend to recoil in horror at the word “market,” no matter what the context.
At a press conference within the official venue, a coalition of groups including La Via Campesina, the Indigenous Environmental Network, and Friends of the Earth International made their demands known. Less capitalism. More input from indigenous people. More money for third-world despots from evil capitalist countries. Etcetera.
The event wrapped up with a representative of the Brazilian group known as O Movimento Sem Terra, or the Landless Peoples' Movement. The organization terrorizes Brazilian farmers and occupies their property, often with government backing, in an effort to seize the land. The MST leader started to chant: “globalize the struggle, globalize hope.” Other event participants followed suit.
Yet while they may have been wrong-headed, not all of the protests were destructive. One group, for example, had student activists affiliated with Greenpeace dive down amidst a collection of underwater human statues just off the coast — with all of their clothes on. Apparently the move was meant to illustrate what would supposedly happen without a global carbon regime: higher sea levels.
"These statues were designed and created to live beneath the sea and to form part of the ocean environment. Real people, however, cannot live underwater,” explained Greenpeace student activist Brady Bradshaw, probably thinking himself quite clever. “Yet, without action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, 100 million people or more could be in danger of losing their homes, their lives, or both to rising seas. Ministers need to make the right choices this week, and set us on a path that will save the climate, and ourselves."
One of the world’s foremost experts on sea levels, Swedish Professor Nils Morner, told The New American after the COP15 in Denmark that the world was in absolutely no danger of sudden or catastrophic ocean rises. He has been in the field for decades, and he explained that even at the ice-melt peak after the last ice age, sea levels rose very slowly. And according to one of the world’s leading global-warming alarmists, Phil Jones, the Earth hasn’t even been warming for the last 15 years.
But regardless, unlike some of the other demonstrations, the underwater protest was at least amusing. And the media ate it up, too. Plus, it didn’t hurt anyone, require a clean up, or destroy private property. It was just silly.
With the COP16 finally concluded on the morning of December 11, most alarmist environmental organizations were more than happy with the “non-binding” so-called “Cancun Agreements.” They know that, in the future, the agreements can be built upon, eventually creating the foundation for a planetary carbon regime, and worse. Judging by the reaction of newspapers and columnists around the world, though, the wheels could be coming off the alarmist bandwagon.
Photo: AP Images