Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Last day in Sao Paolo
Today I went to Ibrapuera park to meet up with Shuji, leader of Ecolo Japan, Moena, president of Mahoni Greens (French Polynesia, Tahiti to you and me) and Suresh Nautiyal, from Uttar ?Khaur, a new state in the north of India. He had been in the movement to create the state, and the movement had continued as a green party, but unfortunately one of the more unsavoury legacies of the Brtish Raj is the stupid First Past the Post, winner-takes-all electoral system, so they are excluded from Parliament.
Moena confirmed that Kiribat and Vanuatu islands are indeed going under the rising sea, and will soon have to evacuate. So much for Exxon, George Bush and the dwindling band of man-made global warming deniers. It is time for Greens to be far more assertive in our challenge to the present system.
We walked around the beautiful park, taking pictures and talking about the problems that we face. We walked back into the town and stopped at a cafe for fresh orange, pausing every now and then as a bus roared up the hill.
I could fall in love with Sao Paolo with its monumental buildings were it not for the motor traffic. How anyone can still argue that motor cars add to our quality of life when they are drowning Pacific islands and melting the Arctic as well as choking the cities is beyond understanding except in psychiatric terms. They are in denial, and allowing themselves to be suckered by psychopathic (that is, self interested) propaganda from the all-powerful oil companies. Things have got to change, and fast. The air is toxic, it is known to cause respiratory and heart problems, while the noise is known to cause stress and hypertension. This is quality of life? Please.
On the other hand, the Paulistas have great hearts. So great that one of them nearly gave me a heart attack yesterday when he got up to give me his seat. Because I have grey hair. I was grateful, but mortified. Thats the problem in having an eighteen year old mind in a 61 year old body.
Got my shoes shined by a sweet trio of shoe shiners, easily moved to laughter. I got some photos but missed the ones of them laughing.
I came back and dealt with 83 emails. One, from my childhood friend Peter Britton was a .pps show of the greates series of animal and nature photos I have ever seen. Then had dinner with Joe, a 25 year old Californian student of south American history, with great concern for the planet, and at a loss to account for the unresponsiveness of the politicians.
Tomorrow I leave at 1pm to fly back to UK in the evening, arriving Wednesday evening. This has been the most incredible experience. I am refreshed and renewed. We have got to get serious about changing the economic system. Greed is going to kill us all. People do not want to die for the likes of Exxon and George Bush. We can show them that they do not have to do that. There s another way, a way that leads to real quality of life.
Thanks for reading.