Copenhagen. A Failure?

The Climate Conference in Copenhagen appears to have been a failure in the eyes of many. Indeed it was, with this important disclaimer. For those who expected too much; or for those who willed it to fail: Copenhagen was a failure.

Firstly, to those who willed Copenhagen to fail. Any & all possible outcomes would have been picked over and degraded by this mob. That is a given. Dialogue/debate is next to worthless in this arena. Logic barely exists. An emotional outlook has been fabricated and rigidly adhered to. Oh, of course there is back-pocket logic. The only reason we have to care about these fools is due to their stultifying influence. For activists, the path is clear. Conversation with this mob is a waste of time. It can be crudely boiled down to a generational divide. Activists must simply wait until a large quantity of objectors curl up & die. Other paths could well be futile. I am reminded of the republican debate in Australia. Trench politics. The absolute opposite to the ideal of democratic practice (also one of it's major constants).

To those who expected too much. Diplomacy is a slow, pondering beast. Try getting 190 people in a room for a discussion on the same topic. Within, numerous environmental bigots will do their utomost to keep proceedings at a stillpoint. International diplomacy is no better. The minimal (and yes, non-binding) agreements set are all that could possibly be expected. Posturing and influence are far greater components than the actual content of speech. Politics is human. Again, another point that logic is secondary.

The greatest question to be asked (and answered) at any meeting of this kind is : 'What's in it for me?' A clear and obvious demonstration of the negative effects of climate change is sorely needed. In a nutshell, this impetus does not presently exist. International leaders, mindful of their own constituency, have little choice but to push the 'What's in it for me?' line to it's extreme. At the present stage of scientific uptake (minimal), it would be naive to expect anything better. It is a low-grade game of Simon Says. For one to act without the appearance of similar action by others is largely fruitless. I do not agree with this one bit from a personal level. However, at a different level it is a no-brainer.

Which brings me to the major point. Climate change action is the responsibility of the individual. To expect government (elected democratically, for this example's sake) to take collective action is a misnomer. The 'debate' in the US & Australia is truly woeful. A bunch of organisations with vested interests have a massive influence. Governments may try to make the right noisess. It barely matters in the crunch. Every single scheme I have seen proffered in the political environment is terrible. Permits to allow the large polluters to continue polluting etc. So flawed that I didn't care whether they were voted in or not.

There is a tougher part for people who have decided on individual action. How does one communicate one's deeds? This is crucial. A middle line must be taken. One must be wary of 'preaching'. This will quickly go nowhere. The movement needs to be led by action, not rhetoric. Rhetoric must play it's part. It has to be a substantially smaller part than many would like. Lead by action. Talk is cheap. Deniers are scum who cannot be converted by talk. They require a parental approach, without the requisite finger-wagging. An almost impossible line to take, I agree. I lose my patience very quickly on these matters. A religious figure, of sorts, is needed. Hey, I'm unaware of a religious figure who didn't continually shoot his mouth off. So, I am calling for a non-human to lead a very human problem. It could be safe to say that will never happen. All we can control is the individual level.

Self interest clearly trumps all other interests. Following this, I expect no meaningful action from government (en masse) until the situation is dire & obvious. Until that point, individual action is the key. The best hope I can offer is that a new stream of politicians may emerge from this movement. It will be at a very late stage in the 'debate'.

Ah, Piffle. I give up. Copenhagen was a failure.

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