Monday, December 28, 2009

How It Is Done

Given the repeated failure of corporate states to effectively deal with issues of major import like climate change, the proposal to shift leadership on climate adaptation to stateless nations merits serious consideration. As governing entities with a history spanning thousands rather than hundreds of years, they have had more time to reflect on effective governance and conflict resolution. As governing institutions that dwarf those of corporate states in terms of legitimacy, authenticity and integrity, they also are more immune to the corruptions and conflicts of interest readily apparent in state-centric decision-making.

While it is often argued that centralized states and exclusionary decision-making in state-centric bodies like the EU and UN is more efficient than the dispersed, consultative consensus-building typical of indigenous governance, one should look carefully at the results of concentrated power before endorsing it as the ideal governing process. Inclusiveness and power-sharing are one and the same; excluding those who are less powerful cannot result in anything but conflict and hostility.

Yet, there is no need to be unwieldy, given the propensity of indigenous nations to organize representative bodies from tribal councils to regional affiliations, national congresses and assemblies. The Inuit Circumpolar Conference, Nordic Sami Council, Assembly of First Nations, National Aboriginal Council, and National Congress of American Indians to name a few. Indeed, in the recent COP 15 debacle in Copenhagen, it was the International Indigenous Peoples' Forum on Climate Change that spoke with one coherent voice, while states and their corporate masters haggled over indigenous biodiversity resources they hoped to steal through carbon market trading.

Once citizens of corporate states no longer conflate power with leadership, we might finally be able to make some headway on human rights and climate change. Until then, it is up to indigenous nations to show us how it is done.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Fate of the Planet

Carbon Watch, a joint project of FRONTLINE and the Center for Investigative Reporting, examines carbon market trading--the largest commodity exchange in history. The big question in light of the recent bank bailout scandal is, Why would we want to put the fate of the planet in the hands of Congress and Wall Street?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Quakers Renounce Doctrine

The Quakers join the Episcopalians in renouncing the Doctrine of Discovery, the 16th century principle of international law that sanctioned genocide of indigenous peoples. As the legal tool that justified European colonialism, the doctrine underlies present day state boundaries, as well as most claims and counterclaims to land and resources in much of the world.

In essence, it was the precursor to state terrorism and free markets, uniting corporations and governments in unbridled theft worldwide. Only in the last half century, under the rubric of the UN human rights regime, has this divine notion of Christian white supremacy begun to lose ground.

Ramifications of the doctrine still reverberate in instruments like Free Trade, carbon markets, and patents that expropriate indigenous intellectual property.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Learning Center Update

While our Public Good Learning Center remains virtual, the mentoring in investigative research, analysis and communications we envisioned continues. Since first proposing a national center in mid 2006, we have assisted with an international investigation into human trafficking, advised an ethnic minority presentation at the European Court of Human Rights, and coordinated an intervention in exposing a higher ed fraud ring in California.

Our regular discussions with emerging thought leaders on democracy and human rights are ongoing, enabling young freelance journalists to make use of the tools we've developed for communicating more clearly and effectively over the Internet.

Following the lead of our colleagues in Europe and South America, we anticipate a humanities laboratory and communications studio as essential components of the Public Good Learning Center. Prospective donors interested in forming a Public Good Foundation for this purpose are welcome to contact us.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Indigenous Exclusion

Under international law, 80% of biodiversity on planet Earth is the property of indigenous peoples. Their governments, their efforts, and their exclusion by the UN and its member states are not mentioned in mainstream media.

Given the deceitful efforts of the United States government -- as well as UN officials -- to block participation by the International Indigenous Peoples' Forum on Climate Change at the UN talks in Poznan, Poland one year ago, it is unlikely that any agreements by UN member states at Copenhagen can move forward with a likelihood of environmental success. Indeed, given the prominence of carbon market Ponzi schemes on the UN climate change agenda, the only thing the UN conference can guarantee is escalated conflict between nation-states and the indigenous peoples of the world.

In the interests of transnational corporations, UN agencies like the WTO, IMF and World Bank have done their best to annihilate First Nations and indigenous peoples. Until this criminal enterprise is suspended, no progress can be made.