In the beginning it was called global warming – a name that forever has hobbled any sane discussion over how our world is changing and heading into one where geographical and climate changes are only being hinted at. This handy mis-naming has provide cover for those who refuse to acknowledge what is possibly in store for us in the future. They’ll point to events like the record breaking storm that is suppose to blanket the Atlantic region states in a massive snowfall as proof that the harbingers of change are full of shit.
Of course the Kyoto Accord when it was arrived at was suppose to help change all this. It was suppose to give us a framework to build upon for future agreements meant to combat climate change. It was meant to be a rallying call around which all nations could gather and effect real change.
Well we all know how well that worked out as the US refused to sign it and even though Canada did any implementation was nothing more than a joke. Since that original climate accord the two camps of governments, business, groups and people has only become more divided and resolute in their positions surrounding climate change.
On the one side you have a large majority of the world’s scientists, environmental groups with their own vested interests and some businesses who believe that we are headed towards some real drastic changes in our environment. Then on the other side you have most of the world’s most powerful governments, the majority of global businesses and special interest groups all jockeying for control of the argument against the very existence of anything, let alone climate change, that will endanger the status quo of power and mega fortunes.
Between Then and Now
From almost the time that the ink was starting to dry on the signing of the Kyoto Accord it was obvious that it was going to be nothing more than a whole lot of fail. The US automotive industry kept building bigger and faster gas guzzling cars that are used to drive blocks to a corner store. The amount of money spent on bottled water increased year after year just as the number of non-biodegradable plastic bottles grows to astronomical levels in dumps around the world and littering street gutters.
We continue to turn into an obese society living off of food manufactured at corporate mega-farms with little regard to the cost to the environment or lives as killing bacterial disease occur with frightening regularity. Our electronic trash is constantly being shipped to third world countries where whole communities become nothing more than living toxic dumps and yet we have no regret about lining up for hours on end to get the newest and shiniest gadget that will be intentionally out of date within nine months to a year.
Our childlike belief that the energy we use will never end continues on even though any sane person knows that the fuels that create our energy addiction is finite. Sure, depending on who you listen to, that supply might last for another hundred years, or maybe fifty years but at some point it will come to an end. That time is going to be either in our lifetime or our children’s lifetime and yet we carry on like nothing is wrong all the while our environment is being affected by this insatiable need for energy.
As both the Arctic and Antarctic are undergoing massive changes that will change our world forever the argument over the existence of climate change is moot. The fact is that our world is changing right before our eyes and could very well see even more radical changes in our lifetime. Yet we carry on like there is no tomorrow and all this talk of changes is bullshit. It doesn’t matter how many conferences have been held or how many billions of dollars have been waved in front of the world press as a sign of willingness to fight these changes, change is only a good thing as long as it doesn’t affect us.
All this doesn’t stop us from having yet another conference about climate change. It gives all the governments of the world a chance to puff out their chests and show the citizenry that they really do have our best interests in mind even if for the most part the majority of people couldn’t care less. This of course was the idea behind the COP15 conference being held in Copenhagen Denmark.
Copenhagen: the comedy show of tragic proportions
Anyone who really thought that any agreements meant to herald change was going to come out of the COP15 conference being held in Copenhagen is delusional. This was after all the conference being held in a world where the people of the two most powerful countries, US and China, show a decrease in interest or concern about climate change.
This was also the conference where national politics was more important than countries coming together to find solutions. I am sure that for most countries this was the case but when it came to the US and President Obama it was most definitely the game plan. Unless of course you are the Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper who went but decided to send in a flunky with no power so Harper could have a nice dinner with some global movers and shakers. Mind you this is a country that can’t even put on a unified face in front of the world in order to help bring changes about.
This was the conference where individual nationalities and soon to disappear island nations were hoping that the most powerful countries would be able to put aside the politics and oneupmanship in order to finally bring some serious changes to the table. From sheep to politics this was the same conference where climate change deniers were able to find yet another platform to spread their point of view about how this was just all a game and that climate change will never happen.
In the end, and to no real surprise what all we ended up with was just another round of deadlocks that no amount of Obama bursting in on meeting or declaring that some sort of accord had been reached can change. Not even the threat of African nations walking out of the conference made any difference – in the end it was just another pointless exercise in politics and postponing the inevitable to a future date.
Just as with Kyoto the extravaganza held in Copenhagen has continued to prove one thing – we couldn’t care less. Oh sure there are pockets of warm and fuzzy Birkenstock khaki wearing bleeding heart liberals who truly believe in what they are trying to do – bless their pointed little heads. When reality steps in though it doesn’t take many brains to see that as far as governments and global corporations are concerned climate change is all about jockeying for political power and turning a profit.
There is no will in either camp to actually step up to the plate and start making the changes that need to be made as our world undergoes change. Instead you have climate change deniers being funded by powerful companies and people who will milk the current, and future condition for its financial worth. After all why encourage change while you can make maximized profits that will increase year after year as more of our finite resources become even more finite and who really cares if the polar bears die off and the ice melts – it just means we have a whole new way to move goods around the world.
Governments on the other hand are at the beck and call of the powerful through either outright bribery or less obvious means of massive cash inflows to election campaigns. They don’t want change for two simple reasons with the first being that they don’t want to rock the boat and endanger their financial security. The second is the really sad one because it truly shows that people don’t care. Force change on people and you will suddenly find yourself off the gravy train so why bother making the changes we all know have to be made.
It’s not hard to see where all this is going to lead us and the end result isn’t going to be pretty. Our world is changing and it doesn’t matter whether we are responsible for that change or whether it is a natural part of the large world cycle – we are living though the beginnings of that change. If things continue the way they are I totally expect to see major changes in our world before I die and I’m not looking forward to them in the least. We had a chance to slow, or stop, these coming changes but I believe we have past that point and what is around the corner is our own fault.
Just as Kyoto turned out to be a joke so has Copenhagen but unfortunately we aren’t going to be the ones doing the laughing in the end.