There are no shortage of ideas today for how global capitalism can be marshaled to slow down global warming. Never mind that we’re in this mess in the first place largely due to the take-no-prisoners industrialization that today’s wealthier nations built their fortunes upon. And many of the world’s poorer nations are paying the price, with intensifying rainstorms and lengthening droughts, among other things. Few of the market-driven ideas for dealing with climate change have addressed this hard reality.
This week’s World People’s Conference on Climate Change—a gathering of more than 20,000 in Cochabamba, Bolivia—hopes to redirect that narrow discussion into one about climate justice. ColorLines’ correspondents in Cochabamba have compiled a slideshow of climate justice heroes at the meeting. Some are big name government officials; others are community-based organizers. They are all the sorts of voices that have been too often dismissed in the global discussion about how we’ll save the planet.