After two years of often contentious negotiations, the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen opened today.
And while no one is doubting the importance of this particularconference, the hype leading up to today has had the fever of a circusside show.
The normally staid science community are billing the next 11 days as“The largest and most important climate change conference in history.”“Hopenhagen” has been quickly adopted as a nickname, still otherscientists have stated this conference is “the most important the world has ever seen”.
Ok! Hang on. We may be at a point, and only history will tell us, wherethe line in the sand has been drawn. And we need to start to seriouslylook at ways to bring the reins in as it were.
But is now the time for all the hype? In the last couple of weeks wehave had “climategate”, why must everything be a “gate”? But that isfor another column. On November 17th 2009 the webmail sever at theUniversity of East Anglia, was hacked and over 1000 emails, containinglanguage, which could be interpreted to indicate scientists were tryingto hide a decrease in global warming, were posted all over the web forthe rest of the world to see. Presently Police in that country areconducting an investigation into the breach.
When the general public is faced with an overload of information fromtwo opposing and equally passionate arguments, complete with apparentfacts and data to support their respective positions, they will oftenturn to the people they trust for guidance. So who are they?Politicians? Journalists? Scientists? It is anyone’s guess.
So as we sit glued to our tv and computer screens watching every bit ofnews that emerges from these talks, I have one question – What do wewant to come out of this conference?
It was just over a year ago we watched the “Yes we can” train rollacross the United States as President Barack Obama made history. Hisspeeches and promises where truly an inspiring sight to behold, but canhe deliver?
It is great to have a vision, but if it isn’t attainable, is it only a dream?
Do we want dreams? I don’t. The time for dreams is over. Now is thetime that countries must pull out a pen, a blank piece of paper, and acommitment to write the most aggressive, obtainable resolution thateach country can implement.
Drafting a resolution that is not attainable is a waste of time, effort and energy, and quite frankly insulting.
To see a country one week sign on the dotted line, then subsequentlyspin a reason why they cannot honour said commitment is getting alittle old.
Sure, we all have our wish lists, I for one have a list that Santawould have a hard time filling, but I do have one request, only one.
Whatever is contained in that final resolution, it must be politicallyneutral. While we certainly need buy in from the 192 ruling parties inattendance, we need an equal commitment from the opposition parties ofthose countries that they too will honour all agreements that come outof the conference, should they ever come into power.
Time for political games is over. It is time for everyone to takeresponsibility for themselves and to continue to pressure thegovernment of the day to honour their commitments.
During the Conference:
Over the next 11 days we at Greener Ideal will look at the daily newsand provide an overview of event, talks, and agreements coming out ofCopenhagen.
We hope you will find them interesting and informative. As always welove to hear from our readers, drop us a line and tell us what youwould like to see come out of this conference.
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