30 November 2014

One Day to Go Till the Lima Climate Conference - We Know How to Save the World

Well, there's only a day left before the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru (COP20) begins.  I'm not a betting woman. I prefer to work a little magic. So let's, instead of taking wagers, conjure up the best possible outcome. 

Let's manifest that all the delegations from the laggard nations, developed or developing (you know who you are, Canada, Australia, Japan, the Netherlands!) never make it off the runway due to freak snowstorms and heat waves, or get lost en route along with their luggage. (Or maybe someone simply locks them in their hotel rooms in Lima.) They just don't show up and therefore can't stall the proceedings.

Then let's manifest that the big industrialized nations all shake hands with China and the USA, congratulating them for their hokey little historic pact. At least they're finally recognizing that Houston has a problem (translation: that there really is a climate change emergency). So we've got the two biggest emitters on board, and their cronies (Europe, Russia, etc.), wanting to bask in the accolades, jump on board, too. (Reminds me of my father, a 3-pack-a-day smoker, who quit smoking because of all the attention we gave my mom when she quit!)

Then the big players, who have found their hearts and their conscience, decide to listen to the little players. You know, the countries where people are already losing their lives, their loved ones and their livelihoods; their food security and their water sources; their homes and entire homelands, all due to climate disruption and chaos. They listen to the stories and the pleas of the G77, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), the Least Developed Countries (LDC), the Africa Group ... all negotiating blocs that have basically been ignored until now. 

Next up is a little international fireside reading of a very grim (get it? Grimm?) storybook: the IPCC's AR5 Synthesis Report, which "leaves no doubt: Climate change is set to inflict 'severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts' on people and the natural world unless carbon emissions are cut sharply and rapidly." SHARPLY and RAPIDLY, as my hubby points out, means at the least adopting the IPCC's best-case scenario, RCP2.6. "We have a rallying cry," he says.

And then, all together, these nations -- their negotiators and their leaders (who have just jetted in for the last couple of days) -- decide to lend an ear to the members of Climate Action Network (CAN) International, who have come up with the best-ever civil society emergency response to the climate change crisis

  • Start the decline in emissions next year. 
  • Get to zero carbon by mid-century. 

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the simple magic that can save our world. Abracadabra!

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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?