Excuse the pun in the title of this entry in my journal here. The proper, or at least expected title would be An Anticlimactic Ending. But I could not resist the opportunity to tread again on the habitual.
The UN climate conference in Poznan, Poland came to a disappointing conclusion on December 12th. The ‘spin’ of press releases coming from official UN sources, which were picked up unquestioningly by new media around the world claimed a successful conclusion. They alluded to the conference concluding with a (paraphrase) ‘clear statement of what now needs to be done’. In other words, the conference ended with a restatement of the same things that had been decided and stated the year before in the ‘Bali Roadmap’. There may have been minor ‘progress’, but that could hardly be lauded in respect of the vast distance that remains between what has been stated and achieving an unambiguous agreement, strong and comprehensive enough to avert the worst of what is to come in the climate crisis ahead.
It would be more honest had they said that nothing substantial had been accomplished, and that the the world had, once again, been held hostage by the limited national interests of certain countries, and often by the conflicts-of-interests created by the coziness or collusion of governments with the fossil fuel and other industrial lobbies.
Some news outlets did look further and draw more appropriate conclusions. And there were articles which acknowledged the lack of real progress in the negotiations.
It was a sad day for the future of the world. We now have but one year remaining until the final round of negotiation to take place in December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Between now aand then there will be 3 additional meetins of the parties, most likely in Bonn, Germany and Geneva, Switzerland. And then there remains much work for us to do.
Over the coming year the people of the world, perhaps lead by the very youth who were so brilliant at this year’s conference, will need to be alerted to the danger at hand, and will have to rise in spontaneous (or planned and coordinated) public protest and civil disobedience. Governments must be told in clear and unambiguous terms that we are aware, in ways they may as yet not be, that the future of life on Earth depends upon their actions. That they must abandon personal interests, and must rise above limited and limiting national interests, to reach a vantage point where they can see clearly the true interests of their children, their people, their nation, and the future that they will commit us all to.
I will now turn my attention more fully to what I have determined to be our best and last chance to get it right. I will be promoting the film The Age of Stupid, which I discussed in an earlier post. I welcome anyone reading this who wants more information about the film, or wishes to help in its reaching the widest possible audience, to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, for the sake of Life on Earth.