FALMOUTH, England – Surfers against sewers. I’m with Tigray. Drowning in promises. Say the truth. Climate change is killing children. We have to make them pay.
On Saturday the sun finally came out here Economic and political summit of the group of seven in Cornwall attended by President Joe Biden and other world leaders.
So also the demonstrators, who sounded the alarm about climate change, predatory banks, with a hodgepodge of marches, staged events, airships, banners, flames, drones, kayaks, air horns and numerous other eccentric theater actions, Business as usual diplomacy and even embroiled in malnourished children in fighting between government forces and rebels in Ethiopia.
“I’m here to make sure we put children at the center of all of our decisions,” said David SmarKnight, an environmental educator and activist, wearing a kilt and determined look as he rushed through Falmouth’s Kimberly Park.
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SmartKnight, who presented USA TODAY with a business card titled “Possibilist”, was a key organizer of a “greenwashing” awareness event when companies and governments falsely or misleadingly advertise a product or policy as environmentally friendly.
“If we don’t, we’ll end up where we’re going, and that’s not a good place,” added SmartKnight, before charging to check on a group of activists – “rebels,” he called them – rehearsed a dance routine for “Stayin ‘Alive”, the Bee Gees hit song from the “Saturday Night Fever” movie.
Hundreds of “rebels” showed up with their children, dogs and environmental and social justice consciences in Kimberley Park, which served as the stage for a march through Falmouth, which featured art installations, choral performances and much simmering but polite anger over the state of the World and what the G-7 leaders are not doing about it.
“It really sticks in my throat that the G-7 believe they can lead us to some kind of recovery,” said Jasmine Appleby, a member of the global Extinction Rebellion movement of environmental activists advocating nonviolent civil disobedience the governments during a speech on sensible action on climate issues.
Along with the global coronavirus pandemic, climate change is one of the main topics that leaders in Cornwall will discuss during the three-day event.
“The global health emergency has shown us what a truly borderless crisis looks like. Of course, we didn’t see COVID coming in full. However, climate change and biodiversity loss represent a limitless crisis, the solutions of which have been debated and postponed for far too long, “said Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, during a Friday night dinner event with leaders of the world at the edge of the world Summit.
“The fight against this terrible pandemic is a crystal clear example, if at all, of the scale and speed with which the global community can overcome crises, when we combine political will with entrepreneurial ingenuity and public mobilization gentlemen, we are doing it for the pandemic. So if you don’t mind me saying this, we must do it for the planet too, ”said the Queen’s son.
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It is not yet clear what concrete policy measures, if any, will emerge from the summit.
“Greenwashing is anchored in the fossil fuel industry, but also in the banking and investment industries that fund it,” said David Callaway, editor of Callaway climate information, a newsletter on climate finance, and former editor of USA TODAY.
“Most of the promises, commitments, and long-term climate goals set out in breathless press releases are just marketing. The actual transition from a fossil energy economy to a renewable energy economy will be associated with risks and pain, but it will also bring enormous benefits, not only in the environment. ”
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Many protesters in Cornwall seem to recognize this.
A few miles away, on Gyllyngvase Beach, there was a rally of surfers, paddle-boarders, bodyboarders and other water sports enthusiasts raising awareness of the damage and destruction that ocean warming is doing to oceans and G-7 leading companies undertake to reduce emissions further and faster.
“It’s important that the words of G7 leaders translate into action,” said Hugo Tagholm, who heads a Cornwall-based marine conservation and campaign organization called Surfers Against Sewage.
“Everyone seems to be listening and saying the right things, but we need this urgent action. We need areas where people cannot fish. Areas They Can’t Extract Oil Oceans, “added Tagholm, before running off with a surfboard under one arm to join about 1,000 people who had paddled about a hundred yards from Gyllyngvase Beach. They splashed and hit in the water with paddles and hands to protect the oceans and biodiversity.
A little further up on the beach there was a rival protest with a mock football game between environmental activists in which a team wore masks of G7 leaders.
Will Bamford, an environmental educator from Wales, was a referee, only in the form of a banker for “Sharklys” – a play on words with Barclays, the British bank.
Bamford said he was used to dealing with “scuffle” soccer games and players because he used to teach gymnastics in a school.
“Oh, look at (Chancellor) Angela Merkel, she is as competitive in midfield as one expects a German to be,” shouted an alleged sports channel on the sidelines.
“And now the referee is punishing (Canadian Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau despite his fantastic hair. And (President) Joe Biden is pushing everyone out of the way. This game is so manipulated, “said the broadcaster.
“Who’s got all the money? We got it,” said the announcer as the G-7 leaders spun in the sand.