06 November 2009

One Month to Copenhagen - All This for Nought?

Connie Hedegaard, Danish Minister for Climate and Energy

I've been hearing for a few weeks now that "the powers that be" have already decided the Copenhagen climate talks were going to fail. The optimist in me decided not to listen. I should have listened.

In The Grist's Copenhagen reality check: Governments concede new climate treaty unlikely until 2010, Geoffrey Lean of London's Daily Telegraph reported the other day that it's now out in the open: "Key government leaders and U.N. officials are finally, publicly admitting what they have long privately believed: there is no chance of concluding a new climate treaty in Copenhagen next month."

So that's it, then. We're hooped. Because if it ain't gonna happen next month, it ain't gonna happen next year. Perverse, insane, criminal procrastination isn't going to end just because it's "a new year."

It's already probably too late, so waiting even longer is completely cidal: suicidal, biocidal, genocidal, and progenycidal.

I think some people are celebrating because this might mean we can create a better framework for a treaty ... one that doesn't depend on one hundred percent consensus and doesn't give one country (or bloc of countries) the right or the ability to wreck it for the rest of us.
But what does Pollyanna-ish moi do with this information? What does someone who has been counting down to the world's most momentous meeting for almost 200 days do with this news of a death sentence?

I personally want to smash some heads in. Oops, that wasn't very nice. But really, who are the heartless freaking bastards who are allowing the future of life on this stunningly beautiful, miraculous planet to slip through our fingers?

Our only hope, it seems, is truly to melt the ice in the heart of man, as shared by Greenland Eskimo elder and shaman,

But how? Despite all the rhetoric over the years to think globally and act locally, we haven't (it's obvious) done a very good job of thinking globally. We don't think in terms of the human species. We don't see ourselves as planetary citizens. We are all still so nationally oriented, so attached to our national boundaries and borders — and economies.

When that shit that is already hitting the
global warming fan for the world's poorest and most climate-change-vulnerable starts spewing all over EuroAmericans, then we'll see some cross-boundary action. But it will be too late. When the global warming fan starts spewing all over EuroAmericans sitting pretty within their nice, neat boundaries and borders, it will be too late for us to reach across those borders and boundaries to make a difference.

Our culture is so disconnected from the Earth that feeds us that we have no idea how unimportant the economy is. We think it's important, we vote like it's important, we play out our lives as though it's important — but try eating the economy, folks, when the Arctic summer sea ice melts and the droughts and deserts spread and we start getting hit with crop failures. Try eating that.

My deepest sympathies, condolences and thanks to all the people in Denmark (and the UK, as well)
who have been working so hard to make this climate summit a success. The prognosis is grim, but perhaps you can still pull off a miracle cure.

What they're now hoping for in Copenhagen is a "framing document," the outcome of which must be
"comprehensive, balanced, ambitious, effective and fair” and must include "ambitious commitments and actions to reduce emissions." Significant new "financial and technical help should be "made available to support developing country actions."

Hmmm. Not one word of the climate emergency! No wonder there's so much dithering and diddling while the Earth burns. No one has yet heeded the alarm raised by James Hansen, John Holdren and Ban Ki-moon! Shame on every other climate scientist, world leader and two-bit local politician who pretends it's not in their mandate. They're all playing dice with our grand/children's lives.

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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?