25 June 2009

164 Days - People Don't Realize What "Copenhagen" is Coming to Symbolize

When you think or hear the name "Kyoto" (which we all mangle if we don't speak the language), what do you think of — the city in Japan or the consternating climate change protocol?

As someone who has wonderful memories of Copenhagen, who fell in love in Copenhagen and with Copenhagen, part of me is agonizing that this Danish city that I love so much is coming to symbolize the moment when humanity decided it just couldn't get its act together quickly enough to protect its children and survive as a species.

Talk about Judgement Day! I wouldn't wish this distinction on any locale, and can't think of a single city or town that I would want to vilify or burden in this way.

Here's the thing. Copenhagen is going to come to mean turning point, crossroads, crucial juncture, critical choice point. Despairingly, it's looking more and more like it's going to come to mean:
  • the turning point where we didn't turn in time and crashed and burned
  • a crossroads where we went the wrong way and ended up in oblivion
  • the crucial juncture where the future became a thing of the past, and
  • a critical choice point where we did not make the right decision to safeguard the future for life on Earth.
Copenhagen, sometimes referred to as the Paris of the North, is København in Danish, and comes from the Danish Købmandshavn, which means Merchants' Harbour.

By 19 December 2009, we'll know whether it also means Harbour for Merchants of Death.

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?