Copenhagen: Unrealistic Expectations?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It is not the expectations that were unrealistic, but the limited time frame in which we expected such mammoth life-changing decisions to be made with global consensus.

Let us be very clear. Although much of the world has been pre-occupied with global economical woes, there will be no economy or jobs if the climate and eco-systems collapse. We have to find a way to restore the health of the planet while creating a (new) economy that works for all. And we cannot find new paradigm solutions with old paradigm models.

We are in a New World

Now that the UN Copenhagen Summit has ended with so many expectations unmet, there will be lots of recriminations, “shooting from the hip” accusations and plenty of blame going around. The World as a collective political body, cannot turn on a dime – they need time to deliberate, jockey for position and short of a major catastrophe (God Forbid) the wheels of politics and government move slowly – particularly in a democracy. It is not as if the world is going to end tomorrow – and, in their minds, the matter can be deferred while they attend to more pressing domestic issues – like the economic crisis – and their re-elections. The pressure must be kept on.

The U.N. may need restructuring for 21st Century needs, but before we slam it let’s get educated on what it is and what it can and cannot do: WHAT IS THE UNITED NATIONS:

What Was Copenhagen? About 45000 traveled to the UN climate summit in Copenhagen – the vast majority convinced of the need for a new global agreement on climate change. So why did the summit end without one – and without agreement?

Hundreds of world leaders came to a global environmental summit, many of whom had never met before, representing tens of billions of constituents back home. They were being asked to reconcile their parties of competing interests by getting together under one roof for two weeks, from different cultures, with different values and with different social/government structures. To expect them to come up with a meaningful global consensus at this first meeting for something as complex and momentous to our consciousness as the possibility of Planet Earth’s demise without back-home collective deliberation is somewhat unrealistic.

If Copenhagen was about anything it was about hundreds of world leaders getting up to speed with the severity of the environmental problem we face on this planet, regardless of race, color, creed, religion of socio economic status. Although on the surface the outcome is seen to be totally inadequate it should prompt a strong pressure for change. It will all rest on the follow-up.

A Quakers Blog Perspective: We are Just Getting Started

We cannot continue to fiddle while the world burns. Unfortunately,
it will take time for the profundity and enormity of this global problem to sink in to otherwise preoccupied minds. And then, of course we have the “politics as usual games”; gaining consensus back home in their government bodies; all the lobbyists and private interests to contend with; and the most crucial…the voters … who have the power to vote them in and vote them out.

With the indigenous people rising up and rightfully demanding an equal seat at the table, the wealthy countries are not sure what to do with them, as, from the old perspective, many do not have any “economic” value. We must shift from purely “economic” to “environmental” values – a human value we all share and depend upon for our very survival on this planet. But the future….

But the future is beyond the 18th, 19th and 20th Century sets of political and economic values and criteria we have used for past decision-making. The “colonial” mind-set is a thing of the past. We have never been here before, in the 21st Century, faced with such over-whelming possibilities. There is no road map for where we are going and projecting next month, let alone next year can be near impossible with the shifting sands.

An entirely new foundation and value system for operating in life will have to evolve that goes beyond old lines of delineation, separation and divisions. Old parameters and old models for decision-making will dissipate as we experiment with new ways of relating. It will not be comfortable and it will not be easy.

When EVERYONE truly realizes that the planetary crisis affects EVERYONE and EVERYTHING and that no one or no-thing will escape the coming impact from environmental degradation and eco-collapses (sorry it’s real) – then and only then can we expect many of the “major players” to make monumental shifts away from conditioned self-interests. Our politicians have to come out of their “glass houses”.

When “the greater good” is considered as a context for the “individual good”, we will have made some progress. And this ‘greater good’ must include all of Nature and all of humankind. Until then, it will fall to the local levels of county, city, states and to individuals and collective communities – and to the rapidly growing awareness of the corporate world with social and environmental responsibility. Individuals make up corporate culture and both are integrally linked as we are all consumers.

And that is where we start- with things that are actionable and sustainable in both the short and long term and not wait for big government to bail us out. They can’t, as ultimately it is about individuals picking up our individual responsibility for the whole of life.

I offer the following treatise for your deep consideration as to an explanation of what is going on with the planet and why old solutions and ways of operating will not work in solving the present and continuing planetary crisis. “AN URGENT MEMO TO THE WORLD. Finding a New Way for the Greater Good”« I also invite you to follow me on TWITTER @pdjmoo With Great Respect

JUST IN: 12.21.2009 @UN: The Official Copenhagen Accord (advance unedited version, pdf):

JUST IN 12/21/09: The #Copenhagen Accord: A Beginning : TreeHugger

And let us not forget that Climate change did reach unimagined heights in the last two weeks when millions of world citizens spoke. Thousands upon thousands of vigils, rallies, and protests; floods of phone calls and messages sent; millions of petition signatures—all calling for the fair, ambitious, and binding climate treaty. VIDEOS: