26 September 2010

My Blahg — and One Bright Light in Cancun (Klimaforum)

There was an excitement, a real sense of anticipation in the air, before the Copenhagen climate change conference a year ago.

But the mood this year, in lead up to the COP 16 Cancun climate change conference, feels more like a forced smile. And I don't think it's just me who's feeling rather blah about it.

I know that Copenhagen was an engineered let-down, and I resent having been manipulated last year. But this year, "they" are manufacturing complete pessimism, saying that nothing will be agreed to at Cancun (including the outgoing and incoming executive secretaries of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change). I ask myself, then, Why bother?

Why bother even holding the meeting if the point is to agree to not agree on anything? What a waste of time, money, people's energy and fossil fuels! What a waste of optimism.

For about three minutes yesterday, I thought, Wouldn't it be neat to do a Countdown to Cancun — and blog every day until it starts on November 26? But why force the smile? Why expend the time and energy for something that has already decided to be a failure? It's too, well, blah.

There is one bright light, however, and that is Klimaforum, which is planning a grassroots initiative in parallel to the COP 16 summit. Organizers are calling it "an autonomous environmental summit, an atmosphere in communion with nature, an inspiring space, where people of all creeds can focus on the search for consensus on international actions towards climate justice."

Their low-carbon Global EcoVillage (with camping spaces for thousands of participants and a vegetarian "world kitchen") will offer forums, expositions, workshops, conferences, and cultural events — all in a natural environment.

Here is Klimaforum's rallying cry:
Beyond corporate interests or political influences, a transparent global voice for the Earth is summoned.
The stabilization of the climate is essential to the survival of all species on Earth. It is a matter of intergenerational justice. People of all ages and creeds unite in the demand for effective solutions that will preserve life on the planet. We, the people, have the capacity and the necessity to solve these issues with understanding, solidarity and perseverance. We have the possibility to create another world!
Change the system, not the climate!
I know that the Klimaforum10 Mexico organizing committee has already faced formidable challenges, so I want to wish them all the very best. What an exciting, optimistic alternative to the UN climate meeting they are organizing! Please support them in any way you can. They're the best news in a long time!

You can visit their website at klimaforum10.net or klimaforum10.com/en/the-committee/international-call. Prepare to be inspired and leave the blahs behind.

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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?