The spirit of the conference is expressed by Bolivian's president Morales:
'“Either capitalism lives or Mother Earth lives.” Morales criticized capitalism: "The main cause of climate change is capitalism. As people who inhabit Mother Earth, we have the right to say that the cause is capitalism, to protest limitless growth. Capitalism is the source of the problem. More than 800 million people live on less than $2 a day. Until we change the capitalist system, our measures to address climate change are limited.”
These are the results of the conference:
- Reparations from rich countries to poor and low-lying nations, to assist them with adaptations to climate change;
- The creation of an International Climate Justice Tribunal, modeled on the UN’s International Court of Justice;
- The development and transfer of technology by developed nations to developing countries; and
- A Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, modeled on the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Additionally, Morales called for borders to be opened to climate refugees.
'Yet there is also dissent. Despite Morales’ recent work on climate change -- calling for April 22 to be recognized as Earth Day by the UN, and creating this forum -- within Bolivia, various groups argue that there is a discrepancy between the president's rhetoric for Mother Earth and his policy of mineral extraction, where revenues from natural gas help to keep the poorest country in South America flush.'
And there are many more accusations of Morales' economy, with environmentalist NGOs actively fighting against him.
So what to make out of this? As usually point with the finger to the stupid indigenous people, their hypocritical politicians, the presumably stupid Mother Earth rhetoric, the anti-capitalist folklore? I think this is too simple. This kind of rhetoric and symbolism is part of the post-colonial political reality in South America and elsewhere (even in the Western world); debunking alone is not enough. There is more to it, and it is necessary to understand it, I guess, in case 'we' indeed care about the future.