December 3rd – Yesterday afternoon, in a state of near exhaustion from jetlag, adrenalin-driven enthusiasm, and over stimulation, I attended a side event sponsored by Green Cross International. A word about this organization. GCI is the cyber-child of Mikael Gorbachev. While one generation will remember that name with clarity, the next on will likely never have heard it. Mr. Gorbachev was the leader of the USSR who’s open and honest engagement with the West led ultimately to the dissolution of the communist state, and a re-instatement of all its member states into nationhood. He was arguably one of the most courageous heroes of the 20th century, willing to radically change the paradigms of the world.
My friend Bill Becker spoke first. Dr. Becker is a fellow Climate Project presenter and lead author of the Presidential Climate Action Plan, a program he and colleagues at Colorado University developed highlighting how the next president of the US could made a radical engagement of the solutions to the climate crisis in the first 100 days of office, without any congressional action at all. He had been asked to highlight for the conference what President Obama is expected to do when he assumes office.
The next presenter was an Italian gentleman whose predisposition fairly well matched mine. I found out subsequently that he was Guilietto Chiesa, MEP (Member of the EU Parliament). His position was that the business community cannot really be relied upon to come up with a meaningful climate solution since its world of operation is precisely the paradigm that created the problem. Speaking right after him was the founder and CEO of a business-consulting group whose position was the exact opposite! This was one of the most interesting side events I had attended thus far.
As I dwelt upon this clash of points-of-view over the next several hours an image emerged in my mind. This entire conference, with some 9,000 souls in attendance, is bound to have a myriad of different points of view. Like the famous fable of the 5 blind men and the elephant, here we have 9,000 pairs of eyes and the mother-of-all-elephants.
We can only hope and work for truth to emerge and a path to a higher state for the planet be created by this discourse, rather than is descent into a massive exercise in blind-leading-blind.
Oh yes, and lest I forget to complete this vignette properly, beverages and snacks are apparently served by the hosts of these evening side events, and there are so many that the conference doesn’t really close for the day until about 9:30 or 10:00 when the last stragglers wander off home, and the cleaning and printing staff get to prepare for the next day’s excitement.
For the Earth – §