Drilling drives a wedge at climate change summit

April 25, 2009 By MARY PEMBERTON , Associated Press Writer
Ben Namaicin, representing the Kiribati and South Pacific Islands, explains why he refused to sign and support a plan drafted during the U.N. affiliated Indigenous Peoples' Global Summit on Climate Change in Anchorage, Alaska on Friday, April, 24, 2009 that did not include a moratorium on new drilling for oil and gas. The conference recommendations will be presented to the Conference of Parties at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark, this December. Steering committee members, Andrea Carman, with the International Indian Treaty Council US-Alaska, left, and Patricia Cochran, chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, right, and Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, president of the United Nations General Assembly, second right listen. (AP Photo/Al Grillo)

(AP) -- To drill or not drill for new oil and gas.

That was the issue that drove a wedge Friday between young people and many of the older delegates at the United Nations-affiliated Indigenous Peoples' Global Summit on .

The five-day summit ended Friday with Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, president of the United Nations General Assembly, describing it as "a rather successful gathering."

After hours of debate, a consensus of sorts was reached on a declaration to be presented to the Conference of Parties at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark, this December.

The document says indigenous people are "deeply alarmed by the accelerating climate devastation brought about by unsustainable development."

"Mother is no longer in a period of climate change, but in climate crisis," the declaration says.

The hang-up was whether to call for a moratorium on new oil and gas drilling and a phase-out of .

The final document contains two options.

One calls for the moratorium where supported by indigenous people. The other says indigenous people would look to an eventual phase-out in the use of fossil fuels while at the same time respecting the rights of indigenous people to develop their resources.

"I think it is the best compromise we can reach," said Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the Asia representative.

Youth delegates were pushing for the total moratorium.

"We refuse to compromise our futures," said Kandi Mossett of Bismarck, N.D., a member of the youth caucus.

They had considered submitting a separate declaration to the Denmark conference if they couldn't get a moratorium, and Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, a 30-year-old member of the Athabasca Chipewyn First Nation in Canada, said that is still an option.

A difference of opinion was to be expected when nearly 400 indigenous people from 80 nations are brought together to discuss climate change, said Patricia Cochran, chairwoman of the summit and steering group member.

"The summit in our estimation is the beginning of the process, not the end," said Cochran, an Inupiaq Eskimo born and raised in Nome.

Youth caucus member Andrea Sanders of Bethel said some of the delegates representing areas dependent on oil for revenue and jobs were afraid to support a moratorium because of the criticism they would face when returning home.

"People think that is going to ruin all the jobs but people working in the oil field on the (North) Slope can be working on new renewable energy projects," she said.


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3.9 / 5 (7) Apr 25, 2009

How sad it is that an unholy alliance of politicians and greedy scientists have convinced sincere, honest folks like these that man-made CO2, a trace gas that plants use as food in photosynthesis, has a greater influence on our climate than the Sun -- a variable star that heats planet Earth and sustains life here.

his unholy alliance of politics and science is just what former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned about in his 17 January 1961 Farewell Address to the Nation:

"The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded."

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
3.5 / 5 (2) Apr 26, 2009
The document says indigenous people are "deeply alarmed by the accelerating climate devastation brought about by unsustainable development."

Well, you pack a "summit" with a hand picked bunch (much like the Rio Conference) and you get, mostly, what you want. If the UN & IPCC had the mind control they wanted the result would have been unanimous...
4.8 / 5 (49) Apr 26, 2009
Yes it's not hard to find young naive liberal, no nothing tree-huggers, they are a dime-a-dozen.
4.8 / 5 (49) Apr 26, 2009
"Youth delegates were pushing for the total moratorium"

Thier solution was to abruptly crash economies!? Wow, finally the UN's expertise in watering down proposed responses, came in handy.

This is proof that the voting age should be increase to 28.
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 26, 2009
I agree with the comments so far. The proponents of no drilling have a solution not requiring the use of force - they can simply refrain from using fossil fuels. This would include stopping purchases of good distributed using fossil fuels. But I'd bet they'd never give up their autos/motorcycles/busses, and once they've done so, they'll quickly change their mind. I suppose they'll go back to horses and will get to spend a lot of time cleaning up their road apple pollution instead. Yes, they are naive unthinking liberals who want to force their vision on others. How sad that the freedom of the marketplace is now being restricted for political purposes rather than allowing cooperation.
not rated yet Apr 29, 2009
i am a bit surprised at the vitriol aimed towards the youths' opinions. Though i don't agree with them and they should probably provide more solutions then they are they have a legit right to speak their minds.

Some of you come off as if this world would be so much better if only 30-50 year old people made all the major decisions.

human beings have been collectively wrong before so perhaps it is not wise to call them names and not consider their point of view.

maybe it is not a bad thing to wind things down and error on the side of caution. Thanks to the foot dragging of politicians and NASA we only have one planet to screw up right now.

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