Now that COP 17, part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, has been launched in Durban, we are in for two weeks of ecological rhetoric, political posturing and emotional climate-change fear-mongering.
Wording such as climate juggernaut, shore up public confidence, reassure the vulnerable, undertake tangible action for a safer future, livelihoods being disabled by climate change, armed with the truth, agree in principle, curtailing your carbon footprint, ... extremely difficult if not impossible ...’ will become common phrasings over the coming twelve days. And Durban will be inundated by caring activists, bunny-hugging matriarchal groups and please-listen-to-me bluster.
The media have for the past while been anticipating the gathering of all the eco-mentalists by publishing green-centric articles and by televising discovery-type ‘public-interest’ shows. Articles and shows that have highlighted the plight that faces humanity if something is not done to stem the increase in greenhouse gasses or the unbridled consumption of energy.
Some shows were quite open about the issue at hand presenting information from both sides of the pro and con advocacy. But by far and large, shows mainly presented scenarios of doom, gloom and worst case scenarios.
I must admit at smiling quietly to myself while watching or reading all the gumph on the conference at hand. For example free bikes for delegates to use (really, and Durban is known as a bike friendly city!?) Water fountains instead of water bottles (really, and once they leave the venue!?) Twelve days of living inside a Convention Centre with glaring lights, humming air conditioners and much paper? What about the transport to convey the delegates of 194 countries to and from the Hotels? What about the energy required to produce meals, snacks, refrigeration and the running of the centre (Thank goodness for coal?)
I understand the theory of fear mongering that is being dished on climate change, for the public in general will just consume-consume without much thought or regard for tomorrow if some sort of brake-force is not applied by external sources. But on the other hand, why should they worry about tomorrow? As it stands, eking out a living is top priority. Filling up the food larder is top priority. Paying off debt is top priority. Looking after family matters is top priority. Worrying about the possibility that tomorrow may not come due to some or other vague scientific eventuality is just too distant to matter much.
Yes, climate change in all its guises is heard about on the news but it does not hold much affiliation for the needs of the average Joe soap are not being addressed by all the politicos and concerned groups alike i.e. continued and sustainable employment benefits going forward!?
Personally I do not see a solution. Our capitalistic lifestyle is too ingrained. Change will require great sacrifice by the whole of humanity. Something that, to date has not occurred naturally.
But let us not forget that throughout all the talking, gesticulation and masticating, climate change is a natural occurrence. Yes, humans may have kinda stepped up the ante but, all the bluster will not change the inevitable, only stave it off.