Copenhagen: A ‘make-up’ for the Earth - Is it Time for young people to get ANGRY?
Published 02nd November 2009 - 1 comments - 1884 views -
The urgency with which the scientific community is reiterating the consequences of climate change is not getting through. Governments are not going to take painful measures unless they have to, meaning public pressure is pivotal in combating climate change. This was one of the key conclusions during the annual assembly of the Club of Rome in Amsterdam last week.
At the end of the two-day gathering, the Amsterdam Declaration was ‘signed, sealed and delivered’ to the Mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, so he could take the message to Copenhagen. Having attending the assembly, my humble verdict is they should have sent the power-point presentations and keynote speeches of some of the speakers. According to these scientists and experts, one of the main handicaps in dealing with climate change is the lack of leadership. Short-sighted political agenda driven by special interest lobby, failure to understand the science involved, and business leaders not taking their responsibility are amongst some of the reasons explaining the overall lack of urgency by those in power to take serious measures to fight climate change.
“It is no use saying we are doing our best. You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary” Winston Churchill
The news that EU leaders put a price tag on climate change but failed short of committing real figures they are ready to pay to developing countries to address climate change, a deal-breaker point at the Copenhagen summit, seems to confirm this criticism on lack of leadership qualities.
Speaking of leaders, the assembly had some prominent leaders, one of whom was Mikhail Gorbachev. During his introduction of Gorbachev, ex prime minster of the Netherlands, Mr. Ruud Lubbers, decided to tell the public as he put it, an ‘indiscreet anecdote’. Having taken Mr. Gorbachev to the Hermitage museum in Amsterdam, he invited Mr. Gorbachev to see the Russian Tsar family paintings, upon which Mr. Gorbachev replied him ‘ no, I won’t go, I am a democrat. I thought, indeed, what an anecdote to tell while the Dutch Queen Beatrix, also a member of the Club of Rome, was in attendance.
Having grown up in the part of the world where the proxy cold war wars were being fought and the Soviet Union had the upper hand, my association of Mr. Gorbachev is not in the first instance as a democrat. On the contrary, it is memories of the napalm bomb that devastated my favourite city of Massawa, it is the images of crying moms and burned children sitting in pick-up trucks fleeing the scene, it is the heavy Russia artillery and tanks that litter the countryside of Eritrea - the rusted tank I saw parked in front of my grandparents backyard when I visited after independence.
But Mr. Gorbachev is also a leader who dared put an end to the lunacy called cold war, the consequences of which still are being felt today. His reforms led to the fall of the Berlin wall, celebrating its 20th anniversary this November. In a recent interview the Times called him: The Man Who Changed the World.
“It is the Idealists who move the world” - Mikhail Gorbachev
Although it has been reported he is more popular in the West that in Russia and he has said he did not set out to dismantle the Soviet Union, Mikhail showed leadership by taking on the ‘unthinkable’. But, from the pre-summit negotiations reports we are hearing, not one leader has stepped-up to do the ‘unthinkable’. Instead of showing real leadership and coming up with measures that are not peppered with if-clauses, the EU leaders are waiting to see what the Chinese, Obama and others will put on the table, Obama ‘s hands are tied because the senate would not budge, developing countries want to see some $$ before they agree, and the UN, the global body that is suppose to govern effectively, ends up yet again issuing warnings and calls that seem to fall on deaf ears.
“The only renewable energy is human ignorance” - Michael Braungart, Co-author of Cradle to Cradle
Why have our leaders failed to put in place reforms that will lead to a global ‘perestroika’– a new model where there is harmony between people planet profit? How come they are able to mobilize billions to bail out the financial sector, but are failing to come up with funds that might decide the existence of human race and the environment?
Message in a bottle...
Below are some of the interesting comments/points/quotes/ I picked up.
Climate change in search of a new economic model….
'Put a price tag on CARBON'
‘Doing less is not protection; being less bad is not being good’
International regulation is useless unless banking conglomerates are split off into retail, investment etc…
‘G20 – gives the impression of some activity is happening when in fact there is none’
‘The financial service industry lobby is embedded in the regulatory body’
‘The invisible hand is the systemic rules of the game, i.e. the fist of the financial system’
‘There is a knowledge failure of economics’
‘Regulation is a signal of design failure’
The clue to understanding china – “ look at what I do, not just what I Say”
‘China is the source of optimism – they have institutionalized tackling climate change by giving the most powerful committee the task to deal with it..’
‘The US might start to ‘act up’ because they do not want to fall behind China’
‘50% of US states are ready to sigh the Copenhagen Deal. Maybe there will be’ a November surprise’
‘Ecologists are the accountants of the 21st century’
‘Instead of being carbon neutral, we need to be energy positive’
Blueprint after Copenhagen…
‘Lets think about where we want to go, instead of only where we don’t want to go’
‘Setting up a world environmental organization parallel to WTO, but it won’t work unless fossil fuels become expensive’
Circuit breakers- re-focus on communities- technology won’t fix the problem of climate change unless values and behaviours change too.
'Our ocean has become a plastic soup We can't clean it anymore, but we can stop more pollution'
‘New corporate form- sustainability reporting should be integrated in financial reporting’
There is no green architecture – only good and bad architecture
Beware of ‘Eco-dictorship’ – ‘ecologicalism’
About the author
- I’m Sorry. We Could Have Stopped Catastrophic Climate Change. We Didn’t
- COP15 Failure: The Alternative. Chapter II.
- Its over before it starts?
- COP15, bigger than life
- COP15 Priority number one
- COP15: A historic failure
- Welcome to Hopenhagen
- TCKTCK: Got only 10 years to save ourselves!
- Denmark cries in Sea of Blood, 950 Whales and Dolphins KILLED…
- Micro pigs - the ultimate sweetheart energy saver
- If you want to see nude people click here
- Do we really care about our planet? Think twice before answering.
- Bunnies for fuels: not a good story to share in a grade school classroom
- Evolutions in the history of Environment Part 2