U.S. in Copenhagen summit helped kill necessary steps against global warming


US Green Party leaders expressed their dismay with the failure of the UN summit in Copenhagen to reach an agreement on international action to curb climate change.

Greens have been especially critical of the grossly inadequate emissions reduction proposals that the US and other rich countries brought to Copenhagen, the lockout of NGOs from the Bella Center while oil company executives were welcomed, the brutal treatment of protesters in Copenhagen, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's announcement by that concrete measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would be replaced by vows of transparency and good intentions.

Cynthia McKinney, 2008 Green Party nominee for President of the United States: "The 'Copenhagen Accord' announced on the final day of the summit is a sham. It was not adopted by UN delegates and carries no force. The US is trying to invalidate the UN's efforts by pressuring developing countries to sign on to the Copenhagen Accord, threatening to withhold their share of the $100 billion in wealthy countries' compensation from developing countries that refuse to sign. The compensation money is meant to help offset the economic effects of measures against climate change and the dire consequences of climate change that many developing nations will suffer. This is blackmail of the worst kind, placing billions of lives in danger. Unless a real and binding accord can be reached during next year's meeting in Mexico, the Copenhagen failure risks a breakdown in global security, when the increasing effects of global warming lead to global conflicts over dwindling resources."

Mike Feinstein, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States, former mayor of Santa Monica, California, and participant in the December 2007 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bali (http://unfccc.int/2860.php): "What is the legacy of the Copenhagen meeting? No emissions reduction targets. No requirement for verification of progress from nations on emission reductions. No acknowledgement that developed industrial countries have created most of the problem and therefore must carry most of the burden of the solution. No firm commitment on mitigation and adaptation aid from developed countries to developing countries, especially in light of decades of exploitation and taking of resources from poorer nations and skyrocketing consumption rates in countries like the US. The US and its Canadian and European allies must be held responsible, as should growing large-scale greenhouse gas emitters like China and India, for placing the freedom of nation-states to continue polluting and growing in a cancerous, unsustainable manner ahead of the future of people and the earth. Failing to deal with climate change is a crime against our planet. Dividing the global community by pitting large emitters against the poorest and most vulnerable is a crime against humanity.."

Audrey Clement, co-chair of the Green Party's EcoAction Committee: "The two most important causes of climate change -- excess consumption and excess population growth -- were apparently never raised in or around Copenhagen. The solution to the former is the adoption of energy conservation as the linchpin of national energy policies in the industrialized world. The solution to the latter is the promotion of family planning, sex education, and contraception, which require securing rights and equality for women throughout the world. If we don't take our own steps to check population growth, global warming will do it for us."

Martin Zehr, co-chair of the EcoAction Committee: "International diplomacy has proven inadequate in addressing the most fundamental issue confronting humanity. The hedged bet will be paid by future generations. With or without an agreement in Copenhagen, Greens will continue to include the voices of scientists and environmentalists in policy development and work to reduce the dominance of corporations in decisions about climate policy. It is clear that states, such as California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas need special attention in the national effort to reduce emissions. We've made water a top priority, since access to fresh water faces a particular threat from global climate change. The EcoAction Committee of the Green Party is increasing its role in public education, providing policy support to Green candidates and working with others towards a sharp reduction of GHG emissions at the federal and state levels no later than 2015. The failure of the Copenhagen conference to establish real targets for energy transition makes our work that much more important if we are to see any change in direction."

Oral arguments for Green leader's Electoral College Mal-Apportionment civil action (Gordon v. Biden) to be heard in court on Jan. 14, 2010


A major voting rights civil action filed by Green Party leader Asa Gordon is scheduled for oral argument in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (No. 09-5142) on Thursday, January 14, 2010.

The civil action seeks enforcement of the US Constitution's 'Mal-Apportionment Penalty' (14th Amendment, Section 2), which mandates a reduction of a state's presidential electors and congressional representatives ("the basis of representation therein shall be reduced") if "the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States... is denied... or in any way abridged."

"Asa Gordon's civil action is a demand for fair elections, for the right of every voter to have his or her vote counted in a national election, and for racial justice," said Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party's 2008 nominee for President of the United States.

The civil action, Gordon v. Biden (formerly Gordon v. Cheney), addresses the antidemocratic mal-apportionment of Electoral College votes, voter dilution by race and/or party affiliation with the popular vote misrepresented by the winner-take-all system of allocating electoral votes. Documents, links, and other materials related to the action are available online.

Asa Gordon, chair of the DC Statehood Green Party's Electoral College Task Force and executive director of the Douglass Institute of Government, filed his civil action to protect the voting rights of presidential electors and the voters they represent in the US District Court (1:08-cv-01294) on July 28, 2008. His reply brief was filed with the court on November 6 and final brief submitted on November 27. Mr. Gordon said, "My final brief provides a legal and historical overview of the Mal-Apportionment Penalty civil action, with a comprehensive context for the court and for anyone reading it. It asserts that the true measure of a democracy is not in counting how many votes are cast, but in how many of those votes that are cast truly count."

Gordon v. Biden pleas for a declaratory judgment by the US court for a proportional allocation of presidential electors that reflects popular vote percentages rather than the winner-take-all rule that has nullified the votes of millions of voters. It argues that winner-take-all apportionment of electors violates Section 2 of the 14th Amendment.

"If two thirds of the voters in a state vote for a candidate from Party A and one third vote for a candidate from Party B, and the state's winner-take-all rule gives all of the state's electors to Party A, then one third of the voters have been disenfranchised. We've witnessed in election after election how some states have used the winner-take-all formula to dilute the votes of Black Americans and other political and ethnic minorities from being counted," said Sanda Everette, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.

Greens said that Democratic Party leaders' refusal to challenge Electoral College malapportionment in 2000 and 2004 blocked Democratic electors from voting in those elections, thus abandoning tens of thousands of their own voters, just as they failed to challenge the election irregularities in Florida and Ohio in 2000 and 2004. Mr. Gordon has noted that the Democratic Party uses proportional assignment when it counts votes cast in presidential primaries, but has failed to fight for it in the general election.

Mr. Gordon led workshops for Green presidential electors during the Green Party's 2008 National Convention in Chicago. The party's national platform endorses a constitutional amendment abolishing the Electoral College and providing for the direct election of the president by instant runoff voting.


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Latest Update: December 29, 2009