As an example of standing up to big oil and caring about the survival of our planet, six members of the Canadian Youth Delegation bravely stood up and turned away from Canada’s Environment Minister Peter Kent as he delivered his opening address at the United Nations climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa, revealing the message “Turn your back on Canada” prominently displayed on their shirts.

“Our so-called Environment Minister entered these talks by going on record that he would be defending the tar sands. I have yet to hear him say that he’s here to defend my future,” said James Hutt, one of the youth delegates who participated in the action yesterday.

Here is a time-sensitive letter from the Avaaz team urging us to send our leaders a massive global call to stand up together to big oil and save the planet:

“Dear friends,


Our planet is dying and big oil companies have key nations in their pockets, blocking any chance of a climate treaty. We have 48 hours before UN talks end — let’s call on the EU, Brazil and China to lead us towards a deal to save the planet! Click here to sign the urgent petition:

Our oceans are dying, our air changing, and our forests and grasslands turning to deserts. From fish and plants to wildlife to human beings, we are killing the planet that sustains us, and fast. There is one single greatest cause of this destruction of the natural world — climate change, and in the next 48 hours, we have a chance to stop it.

The UN treaty on climate change — our best hope for action — expires next year. But a greedy US-led coalition of oil-captured countries is trying to kill it forever. It’s staggeringly difficult to believe: they are trading short term profits for the survival of our natural world.

The EU, Brazil and China are all on the fence — they are not slaves to oil companies the way the US is, but they need to hear a massive call to action from people before they really lead financially and politically to save the UN treaty. The world is gathered at the climate summit for the next 48 hours to make the big decision. Let’s send our leaders a massive call to stand up to big oil and save the planet — an Avaaz team at the summit will deliver our call directly:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/the_planet_is_dying/?vl

Things are becoming desperate. All over our planet extreme weather continues to smash records, leaving millions homeless and without food or shelter. We’re rapidly reaching our point of no return to stop runaway climate change — we only have until 2015 to start making drastic reductions to our carbon pollution.

Yet despite this very real urgency, the world has failed to mobilise against the fossil fuel-captured democracy of the US. Not only content with wrecking the Copenhagen talks and the Kyoto protocol, they are now building a coalition of climate treaty killers to put the final nail in the coffin of international negotiations in Africa.

Our only hope to turn things around lies with Europe, Brazil and China — they can make a deal happen, but they need to do it together, and that’s where we come in. Europe is tired, it’s fought long and hard on climate and needs a public boost. China has already agreed to binding commitments, is sensitive to its international reputation, and could lead further if we give it an encouraging push. And Brazil is hosting next year’s earth summit — making it eager to set the world up for climate success. Let’s build a giant global call to bring our champions together and build a green dream team. Sign the petition now and forward this email:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/the_planet_is_dying/?vl

The crazy focus on short term profits that motivates countries to stall and scuttle action on a climate crisis that literally threatens the survival of all of us cannot be tolerated. Fortunately, our movement has the power to intervene in this process and demand change. Let’s stand together and inspire others to stand with us for a safer, more humane world.

With hope and determination,

Luis, Emma, Ricken, Iain, Antonia, Morgan, Dalia, Pascal and the rest of the Avaaz team”

More information

AFP “Durban climate talks deadlocked as ministers haggle”
http://www.canada.com/news/Durban+climate+talks+deadlocked+ministers+haggle/5817633/story.html

Bloomberg “Global Warming Fight Threatened by Debt Crisis as Kyoto Fades”
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-12-05/global-warming-fight-threatened-by-debt-crisis-as-kyoto-fades.html

BBC “Durban: the early skirmishes”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15944559

AFP “Climate talks bust-up feared despite dire warnings”
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ilQ2AAkCv-s-T9ADnXqjblPluR9A?docId=CNG.451abb628334395938a1d87bf5b33d68.1e1

CTV “Canada to pull out of Kyoto Protocol next month”
http://calgary.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20111127/durban-south-africa-slimate-conference-setup-111127/20111127/?hub=CalgaryHome

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At the time of this blog posting, 623,920 have signed (500,000 in just 3 days!). Please help us reach 750,000!

Update: 8 December 2011:

Climate talks in South Africa have 36 hours to go and the future of Africa and the planet hangs in the balance!  Negotiators are getting updates of how many signers from each country have signed and it’s hitting home, but we need more pressure.  The US, Canada, India, Japan and China are all doing their best to put off any progress until 2020 – a timeline that means death for Africa. Our champions need to hear from us now! ” Please join the petition and share our call for action with everyone.

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