Dec 15, 2009

The end of the Third World

The tectonic plates of global politics shifted in Copenhagen last week, and it was tiny Tuvalu that exposed the rift, calling for large, high-polluting developing country to take on legally binding emission reductions.

The tectonic plates of global politics shifted in Copenhagen last week, and it was tiny Tuvalu that exposed the rift. For more than a decade, developing countries have maintained an uneasy united front at climate conferences, one resolved to force the big polluters of the West to cut their emissions and to defend the innocence of developing countries.

The rift that was exposed last Wednesday has profound geopolitical significance. Third World solidarity — indeed, the idea of the Third World itself — dates from the Bandung conference in 1955, a meeting of Asian and African nations aimed at resisting colonialism and neo-colonialism.

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15 thoughts on “The end of the Third World

  1. jc123

    What a truly stupid post. Anyone with a modicum of common sense watching the climate festival is more than aware that it is not Tuvala that is rupturing an agreement. There was never ever going to be an agreement as the big emitters were never going to reach a bargain.

    Crikey editors why do you allow Hamilton the opportunity to post delusional crap and ruin your site? Hamilton is an extremist and perhaps one of the most disliked people in the country.

    He never has anything worthwhile to say other than sermonizing, self-aggrandizing drivel.

    Tuvalu… Jeez Louise.

  2. gaustin

    hi JC123
    Stop asserting
    Hamilton is only guilty of a truthful history lesson
    Unless you can point to some factual error
    Otherwise seems to be a reasonable prediction

  3. jc123

    I’m not asserting, Gaustin. The moralizing Hamilton is with the delusional assertion that some small island is running the Copey Climate Festival.

    Hamilton is better off sermonizing to kids, scaring them about tidal waves and trying to get them to dislike their dads.


    When he gets into this sort of discussion he’s skulking around like a headless chook as analysis is his strongest side: self-aggrandizing sermonizing is or frankly writing strange and disturbing polemics such as this in trying to justify censorship.


  4. Elan

    It is an absolute delight to see a small nation-any small nation, stand up to the domination of the usual nations. As Hamilton has said, there is a pecking order system, where the smaller nations tacitly ‘know their place’.

    There should be a lot more of it in any sphere!!

    This DID occur, and frankly I care little who reports it. God forbid that ‘Crikey editors’ should restrict the site to reports from only those of whom members support!

    (Come to think of it, that would probably lead to what it has now…).

  5. Jillian Blackall

    JC123, I read both of the articles for which you posted links and I agree that the attitudes expressed there are appalling. The first one where he tries to turn children against their fathers is a disgrace. And then there is the second article where he writes with extreme disdain about freedom of expression. I am proud to be a supporter of Electronic Frontiers Australia.

    I think Crikey has managed to find someone who even makes Guy Rundle look respectable by comparison!

  6. alexraf

    This is the worst analysis I’ve ever read on Crikey – because it ignores a couple of FACTS like:

    1. tuvalu is not in the G77. pretty hard to split the G77 when the ‘splitter’ is not in the group.

    2. the third world remains united on the need for a second committment period of the KP. that includes all the G77 and AOSIS (including tuvalu) that’s why we saw the boycott of the negotiations yesterday (led by Africa and not all of G77).

    3. China oppossed the formation of a contact group on a new protocol under the LCA track last week – because tactically it feared this would collapse the two tracks of negotiations and remove the kyoto protocol. ian fry did not agree but it’s not like his proposed text would actually force china to take on emission targets like those under Kyoto so it’s not really fair to say the chinese jaggaurant was bearing down on him or that he was being particularly heroic – more like gaming the outcomes and figuring the rich were going to win in the end so might as well be at the top of the wave.

    4. China SUPPORTED the formation of a contact group the next day when tuvalu proposed it (with the condition that its mandate was focussed on actual amendments to the KP). It was the EU that crashed it.

    Expected a lot better from Clive Hamilton and thought Crikey could have kept this one in the blog section and off the front page.

  7. Jim Reiher

    Dont we get some fascinating blogging. While those who don’t want to accept climate change keep ridiculing the messager, or find some fault in his research and facts, the FACT is that Tuvalu is sinking.

    I was at the World Parliament of Religions (hosted in Melbourne this year) last week. I sat through a session with a Tuvalu leader who explained their situation there. Without pulling up my notes, let me share with you the main key points that were overwhelming. I trust I am remembering them accurately.

    Tuvalu is made up of 10,000 people. 9 islands. Nothing higher than about 3 meters above sea level. The tides are so severe now that the thin and low lying islands are being destroyed. The underwater fresh water supplies are now salty for the first time in any one’s memory and history. Their sandy soil that grows their food is now salt affected from the extreme tidal movements, and they are importing processed foods for the first time. And importing health problems that goes with that. They use to be self-sufficient in food production, so even though poor, they were not going hungry. Now they have to buy imports of food. Their fish supplies have been reduced by multinational fishing groups that just come into their waters and take what they want. (They have no navy: their army is 9 soldiers).

    And none of them want to move, by the way. Australia has made no commitment to accept any of them anyway. (We are pathetic when it comes to refugees). New Zealand has offered to take 70 a year. Generous aren’t they – not! But none of them want to leave anyway. They fear that their culture will be lost and they don’t want to leave the land of their forefathers. They are hoping for help: to fight the worst effects of climate change.

    How about this: we stop playing our own version of politics and ridicule of people we don’t like (for some that is obviously Hamilton), and we start caring about the hurting: The most poor and under-resourced peoples of the world who are going to suffer the most from climate change.

  8. Andrew

    Play the ball , not the man.

    As soon as a commentator resorts to ad-hominem, he loses credibility, even if anything else he/she may write may otherwise make sense.

    In most instances its those who are either ignorant of the science or/and do not care about the consequences of climate change who use this tactic.

  9. jc123


    Hamilton has been abusing people and looking down his nose at them for years. I haven’t read one piece by him in Crikey where people- mostly left wingersincidentally- don’t blast him.

    He’s as popular in country as a dead skunk by a highway. His writing doesn’t deserve any respect and should only attract opprobrium.

    In a similar fashion to what he’s done, someone ought to write a letter to his own kids and tell them just how disliked and appalled people are by his strange self aggrandizing antics.

  10. Jim Reiher

    Some lessons in argument:
    – because you don’t like some of the things a person says, does not mean they are always wrong on other things
    – don’t attack the person, attack their arguments
    – attacking the person makes an audience reject not just you but also your arguments
    – don’t use “pen names” – it appears cowardly

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