New Internationalist

Cover for December 2009 - Issue 428

December 2009's Issue

As government negotiators, corporate lobbyists, NGOs and protesters all gear up for the biggest international climate jamboree of all time, the NI asks: should we believe the hype?

Is the Cop 15 UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen this December really our last chance to save the planet? Is there any hope of getting a deal that can deliver climate justice to the world’s poor, or has the UN process become a dangerous distraction from the real challenge of a rapid transition away from fossil fuels? And, if the latter is true, what should we do about it?

As activists deliberate over whether to shut negotiators in until they’ve made a breakthrough, or whether to shut the whole show down, cartoonist Marc Roberts beams inquisitive aliens Gort and Klaatu down to commentate on the ‘Copenhagen slam-down – a night of bone-crushing, planet-trashing, wrestling mayhem’.

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Featured in issue 428

The future’s bright… the future’s yellow?!

Roxana Olivera reveals the significance of sunny underwear in Peru’s New Year celebrations.

The longest day

Hunger-striking human rights activist arrives home in Western Sahara. Jeremy Corbyn and Stefan Simanowitz report.

Biology knows nothing of politics

Brian Eno and Stefan Simanowitz uncover the background to the month-long hunger strike of Nobel Peace Prize activist, Aminatou Haidar.

A business climate

Even global warming is being used for economic gain. But we can’t buy ourselves out of ruin, argues Jeremy Seabrook.

Closing the gap in Australia

Louis Dai visits the Wulgunggo Ngalu Learning Place, a community-based programme to bring Aboriginal values into the Australian criminal justice system. But he wonders about the deeper roots of injustice in homeland.

Chemicals of concern

A new US bill is aiming for tough screening of toxic chemicals. Roxana Olivera reports.

The Sky and the Caspian Sea

Mysterious and opulent in its songs, The Sky and the Caspian Sea is a début album that exudes confidence and poise and promises the start of a great future.

Sarabah – Tales from the Flipside of Paradise

Hiphop fans make a virtue of telling it how it is. Well, there’s no-one out there who tells it better than Sister Fa.

We are millions

The MST (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra – Brazil’s landless people’s movement) – has been described as the world’s most dynamic social movement. Gibby Zobel joins in its 25th anniversary celebrations and explains why its existence is more important than ever.

The White Ribbon

In a small village in Germany, just before the First World War, a doctor is severely injured when a hidden tripwire pulls down his horse.

Tulpan

Tulpan is the daughter of the only nearby family and Asa thinks he’s in love with her. Sadly for him, she doesn’t fancy Asa, whose ears, she says, are too big.

Daniel Ortega

Daniel Ortega, revolutionary hero turned renegade President.

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Don't just sit there!

The NI guide to how you can take action for climate justice, whether you’re in Copenhagen, in a major city or online.

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Taking care of business

Corporations have taken over the climate agenda. Oscar Reyes reveals who, how and why.

Big Bad World 428

Polyp’s climate change-o-meter.

Hunted down

Maasai evicted so foreigners might play

Watching the weather

Weather patterns across the West African country have become increasingly hard to predict as a result of climate change.

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The eye sees, but the hand can't reach

Palestinian proverb reflects bitter truth for olive farmers

Gort and Klaatu's International Climate Slam-Down

Cartoonist Marc Roberts beams his inquisitive aliens down to commentate on ‘a night of bone-crushing, planet-trashing, wrestling mayhem’.

Droning on

President Obama has carried out more drone attacks than George W Bush.

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Toxic legacy

Victims of ‘India’s Hiroshima’ still seek justice

In our hands

Will the Copenhagen conference deliver effective action on climate change? Not a chance, argues Jess Worth. So what’s the alternative?

Bond aid

Copenhagen is not the only game in town. There are other ideas for how to keep fossil fuels in the ground. The NI catches up with one of the boldest: Ecuador’s Yasuní initiative.

The return

An overseas trip lets Maria Golia see her hometown in a new light.

Eritrea

The country, once one of Italy’s few colonial possessions, covers an 800-kilometre strip along Africa’s Red Sea coast, stretching from Sudan in the north to Djibouti in the south.

Davi Kopenawa

Yanomami community under threat

Rescuing socialism

A red-green revival is possible, argues Jeremy Seabrook.

Standing up to Big Pharma

A meeting of the Word Psychiatric Association provides food for thought for Joanna Cheek.

GMB Akash

GMB Akash photographs children being children at a dump yard in Bangladesh.

Transforming Pakistan: Ways out of instability

Hilary Synnott’s book is a useful introduction to Pakistan’s past, present and possible future.

New Internationalist @ Copenhagen

The Copenhagen climate talks are upon us, and the New Internationalist is there, reporting on the drama, issues and personalities behind the headlines.

Tarnac and the Echoes

L’affaire Tarnac is a story little-followed outside of France. Horatio Morpurgo tracks down the collective – whose members have been accused by the police of terrorist activity – and explains why we should all be paying more attention.

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