News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

No solar panels used at UN climate conference in equatorial Lima, Peru because sun is unreliable there. Bicycles rarely used in Lima. 11,000 who flew to Lima for UN climate fest created huge carbon footprint-AP. 11,000 climate jet setters could've met online and given saved travel dollars to the poor they claim to care about

12/9/14, "Lima Climate Talks Set for Record Carbon Footprint," AP, Frank Bajak, via US News, Lima, Peru

"Hardly green, Lima U.N. climate talks on track for record carbon footprint."

"At more than 50,000 metric tons of carfb/phbon dioxide, the negotiations' burden on global warming will be about 1 1/2 times the norm, said Jorge Alvarez, project coordinator for the U.N. Development Program.

The venue is one big reason. It had to be built.

Eleven football fields of temporary structures arose for the 13-day negotiations from what three months ago was an empty field behind Peru's army's headquarters.

Standing in the midday sun here can get downright uncomfortable, but the Lima sun is not reliable. That's one reason solar panels were not used.

For electricity, the talks are relying exclusively on diesel generators.

Organizers had planned to draw power from Peru's grid, which is about 52 percent fed by non-polluting hydroelectric power. "We worked to upgrade transformers and generators but for some reason it didn't work," said Alvarez.

Peru's hydroelectric power could be in danger by mid-century, anyway. Much of that water comes from glaciers that are melting at an accelerated pace. Peru is hardly on a green trajectory. Though it emits in a year the greenhouse gases that China spews in three days it has doubled its carbon output in the past decade.

Nor is there a guarantee that the 580 square miles (1,500 square kilometers) of forest — the size of Houston, Texas — offsetting the talks' carbon pollution won't someday be gone. It must lie unperturbed for a half century in order to neutralize carbon emitted at the conference.

Alvarez itemized the talks' carbon footprint:

Construction, nearly 20 percent of the footprint.

Jet fuel burned by the estimated 11,000 delegates and observers who flew in from abroad. About 30 percent.

Local transportation. Organizers hired more than 300 buses
since there are no public transit services to the venue. All burn fossil fuels. About 15-20 percent.

—Electricity, solid waste treatment, water, paper, food, disposable plates and cups, keeping 40,000 police on high alert. The balance.

A more accurate carbon footprint will be published after the conference and certified by the Spanish company Aenor, organizers say. U.N. volunteers have been polling delegates on their air travel in search of precision.

The conference's green components are meager.

Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal asked for a bicycle parking lot. He got it, but only about 40 people use it daily. Most delegates spend about an hour in traffic traveling less than 6 miles (10 kilometers) from their hotels.

Blame that, in part, on the army. It initially balked on letting in bikes even though only the credentialed can enter the base known as "El Pentagonito."

"It took them three days to sort it out," said Andrew Marquard, an adviser to South Africa delegation and an avid cyclist who was interviewed after arriving at the talks on two wheels, skin shiny with sweat.

Blame the dearth of bikes also on Lima, one of the world's least friendly cities for cyclists. The city's few cyclists so fear drivers that they tend to prefer to compete with pedestrians for sidewalk space.

"There are quiet (leafy) areas around the convention center for riding bikes," said Alvarez. "But getting here is a problem."

"Unfortunately, most didn't arrive," said Alvarez, blaming shipping bureaucracy.

Some energy savings were applied inside the white temporary structures where delegates wrangle, journalists toil and testy closed-door sessions take place.

"We did not put in strong air conditioning. It is (designed) only to fight the heat in the structures," said Maxime Rosenwald of GL Events, the Lyon, France-based company which built and runs the physical plant.

The air conditioning is often losing that fight as the sun regularly burns away Lima's low coastal clouds, the Southern Hemisphere summer being nigh.

On Monday, U.N. organizers announced that, "in view of the high temperatures expected to continue and intensify," delegates were invited to adjust "by wearing business casual attire" to most events." via Climate Depot


Added: Descendents of African slaves brought to Peru in the 1500's experience racism in Peru today:

"Racial discrimination in Peru is structural, not an anecdotal or isolated phenomenon. And the proof of this can be seen not only in the lack of real participation and representation of Blacks communities, but also in their invisibility."

9/24/2007, "The descendants of African slaves in Peru are requesting your help and assistance." The VOICE Refugee Forum Germany - Fl├╝chtlinge und Asyl in Deutschland

"The descendants of African slaves in Peru are requesting your help and assistance.

During the slave trade my ancestors were brought from Africa to Peru, South America as slaves. Many Africans were brought to Peru by ship as slaves to replace the decimated indigenous labor force in the mines. However, when they too began dying off as a result of the severe weather conditions in the Andes mountains coupled with the inhuman working conditions, they were sent to cotton and sugar cane plantations along the Pacific coast.

In the town of Chincha (Pacific coast), there was once a cotton plantation so large that it eventually came to house 30,000 African slaves. Today it is home to one of Peru's largest Blacks communities and a major cultural center. Ruins of the old plantation still remain, such as the dungeons where the slaves were confined, and the punishment cells with their chains and shackles. Grim reminder of a shameful period in Peruvian history.

Today, the African presence in Peru numbers about two million people out of a total population of about twenty-three million. The number of Blacks professionals is estimated at fewer than 400, and there are no Blacks executives of Peruvian companies, there are no Blacks Cabinet ministers, no Blacks in the diplomatic corps, judiciary, or the high ranks of the clergy or military.

Racial discrimination in Peru is structural, not an anecdotal or isolated phenomenon. And the proof of this can be seen not only in the lack of real participation and representation of Blacks communities, but also in their invisibility. A Black person is welcome only up to a certain point. The darker you are, the lower you are socially and economically. The government is not addressing the racist situation. There is not even any legal or political strategy to fight racism. Striking by the evidence of how far Peru lags behind when compared to the advances made by Africans slave's descendants in other nations of the region.

At job interviews, Blacks are often told that their experience and references are excellent but that the owners are looking to hire people with "good presence" -- a euphemism for someone who is white.

The only avenues to advancement open to Black women are the fields of entertainment and sports. Black women are largely shut out from the big foreign-owned chains of retail clothing stores and fast food restaurants.

Help-wanted advertisements seeking chauffeurs, cooks, doormen, butlers and maids often state a preference for "negros" or "morenos," as Blacks are known in Peru. The doormen are usually the only Blacks employees of the hotels, and the pallbearers are typically the only Blacks faces among the affluent mourners. The Peruvian society reserved, these and other menial jobs almost exclusively for Blacks, and their skin color is considered to bring an "aura of prestige" to the work.

There are no government programs or agencies charged with defending the rights of Blacks. On TV comedy programs the most frequently occurring themes fall into two categories: jokes about homosexuals, and jokes about the skin color. Blacks on television tend to play thieves and maids. On a weekly variety show a Black actor plays an African savage -- with a bone attached to his head. On a comedy program, a white man in black face spoofs the day's news. When video of Black people flashes on the screen, the announcer makes monkey sounds.

While most Peruvians contend that their country is free of racism, unspoken discrimination and benign neglect has kept a vast proportion of Blacks in menial jobs and deplorable living conditions.

Racism has two related elements, power and difference. 

There is a mentality that makes us see others as different, and that becomes a motive to use power to treat others in the worst way possible.

Blacks encounter racism daily. In public they are frequently called derogatory names like "son of coal" or "smokeball. In shops and restaurants, Blacks must often wait for white customers to be served first or they are denied entry outright. The racism in Peru is systematic and permanent. It goes from patronizing attitudes to outright discrimination: Blacks are dirty, thieves, all the stereotypes.

What is ironic is that the most popular soccer club, Alianza Lima, has traditionally been comprised of Blacks players; the most widely attended religious event, the procession of "Our Lord of Miracles", was founded by Africans slaves; and the country's music is heavily influenced by African rhythms.

This year marks the 153rd anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Peru [1854]. Blacks leaders are organizing a panel discussion on race issues as well as cultural events to commemorate the anniversary 04 December 1854. A few determined Blacks are using the occasion to tell their countrymen that racism is alive and well here, in ways both similar to and different from racism in the United States. Blacks are increasingly expressing African pride and creating political movements -- 50 years after the civil rights movement in the United States.

The descendants of African slaves in Peru are requesting your help and assistance. Please help us.

Respectfully yours,

Luis Bilbao Guadalupe
---------------------------- Original Message -------------
Subject: Descendants of African slaves in Peru
From: "Luis Bilbao"
Date: Fri, September 28, 2007 5:26 pm


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