Y’all know I’ve been hard over the 3 years JJP has been around on the NAACP. Very hard. In part that frustration and focus has been driven by head-shaking disappointment with what seemed to be a lackadaisical, ill-informed, technologically backward, complacent & corporate-cozy attitude that the civil rights industrial complex led by the NAACP has displayed toward the issues facing contemporary African-Americans.

Well, I have to sit back and applaud this latest development. The NAACP is actually doing something really important and super-useful. They are using their voice through modern technology & outreach to amplify the voices of African nations and of African-Americans in this country who stand to suffer disproportionately and severely under climate change.

What does that look like for the African diaspora? It means among other things: preventing more Hurricane Katrina-like episodes where we must watch helpless people displaced, where we must watch people lose everything, where we are forced to watch people die from preventable causes.

But we aren’t helpless. We can fight back. We can fight now. (…yes we can…)

Here’s what the NAACP’s press release sent to me said:

The purpose of the blog is twofold: to highlight the work the Association to impact the climate change discussion, and to shine a spotlight on American families who are directly impacted by climate change.

“The discourse around climate change often focuses on the impacts on wildlife or faraway places,” said NAACP Climate Justice Initiative Director Jacqueline Patterson. “We want people to understand that global climate change is already profoundly affecting families right here in the United States, and people of color are particularly at risk.”

Ok — I’m totally down for supporting that. How about you?

Here’s a report from the Climate Justice Initiative blog (stirring video above):

Day II in Copenhagen: African Civil Society Protesters Demand People Over Politics and Profits
Today’s highlight was yet another scandal, this time from a “leaked document”being labeled the “Danish text” which advances a plan for wealthy nations in the global north wield power and decision making over resources to be allocated to countries in the global south who will be most affected by climate change while being least responsible.

Following the breaking of this news, civil society groups from various African nations took the halls in angry and strident protests with chants such as “Two Degrees is Suicide” indicating that it will be countries of color in the global south that will face certain death as a result of global warming caused by the excesses of wealthy nations in the north. Regarding the adaptation funding that is to be allocated to the global south, they dismissively shouted that $10 billion is not even enough to buy the coffins that will result from catastrophic climate change.

“1 Degree, 1 Africa” indeed – this refers to goals being set now on how much climate change we will allow as a globe. This is actual information that we need to know about. Somewhere in another dimension in the space-time continuum, W.E.B. DuBois is smiling.

A few recommendations for improving on this:

  • The press release is nice, but for bloggers, it would help if you just sent the link to important posts with a description and video.
  • The blog doesn’t link back to the NAACP website. Don’t assume everyone knows who you are. You’re playing on a complex international stage here.
  • There’s no photo or bio for NAACP Climate Justice Initiative Director Jacqueline Patterson. It would help us root for her and trust her if we know more about her.
  • There’s no blogroll (list of other blogs). This is vital here since it’s clear from the video shot that there’s a lot of e-organizing going on. (In fact, there’s a whole center for that in Copenhagen sponsored by TckTckTck called the Fresh Air Center for bloggers & NGOs.) It would be a great service to showcase the African-American & African bloggers plus related NGOs participating at the summit. Why not point to them?
  • The use of the Categories feature is a bit wack and poorly used. It would actually be helpful to understand which posts focus on blacks in America, which are about Africa, which about about Green Jobs and which about deforestation etc.
  • Consider adding tags and a twitter widget if you’re tweeting from Copenhagen (which you should)

Overall, (I almost have to catch my breath!) nice work. Good hustle. President Obama will be heading to Copenhagen toward the end of the summit. I hope that the Climate Justice Initiative blog gets some video with him that can be shared with us.

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