On Copenhagen

The Copenhagen talks failed to reach a binding accord that deals with the scientific reality of climate change. This effectively is committing to radical sea level rises and unpredictable local weather effects, massive population migration and millions of unnecessary deaths.

Thus our current social organising systems and structures – democracy and capitalism – have demonstrated they are maladapted to the present environmental context we face. I called this a few months ago, and stand by it.

Thus they need to be replaced. Or rather, rendered obsolete by new people’s movements. We can adapt in our own lives to face the reality of our times. We can organise directly within our communities and horizontally across the world between illusory nation states. We can, and must, take responsibility for ourselves and our world, and do things differently ourselves. Expecting our systems to solve the problem from above is to willfully embrace a fatal ignorance.

The failure of Copenhagen is the wake up call. Change is coming, and it us up to us to engage with those changes: to lead.

Hmm. Looking through the archives, I find this:

I remain optimistic – in the most general sense, we currently have enough resources to make the planet rock for everyone, if only we did things really differently, starting right now – however some days do seem darker than others. And the fact of a fundamentally broken economic system based on illusion, a fundamentally unsustainable approach to resource use and the planet, and an incompetent corporate owned media that will have to face its total failure as a means to inform people in democracy – that these things will collapse in on themselves, while causing a mess, provides us with the opportunity to replace them with better systems. And we are free to do this. In crisis lies opportunity. This is the source of my optimism. For the unfolding crisis is upon us.

Find the others. Get involved.

Er. Merry Christmas.

3 Responses to “On Copenhagen”

  1.   Sphen
    December 23rd, 2009 | 8:52 pm

    To an extent I agree, but I’m not convinced it’s the solution. Following Copenhagen reasonably closely (which was probably easier from over here), the problem was not a lack of will, but the stupidity of one country, China, who appeared to block anything that would involve doing anything. I thought the offers of money and committment from most of the larger nations (UK in particular) were excellent and for the first 4-5 days of the conference there was real hope that things would work out well. Obama didn’t do a good job, but that’s not important, it shouldn’t rest on one person – and in any case, the work put in by, of all people, Gordon Brown, was focussed and results driven.

    What I find ultimately frustrating is that the resolution has to be agreed to be all nations. This is akin to a jury having to all be in agreement, and with over 100 (?) states involved, what are the odds of a binding strong resolution occurring?
    It was an interesting exercise in unity from the African states and the EU tho’.

    Although this isn’t very organised as a response, I’m not sure a grassroots uprising, as you suggest, would achieve much. I’d suggest they’d become corrupted by the power, and still not reach a binding resolution.
    One thing I have noticed while over here is that the fervour to reduce electricity usage is of the-world-is-nigh type. Every week I get bombarded at work with ‘turn it off’ messages, my electricity company posts out pamphlets on saving money, newspapers (even the tabloids) urge people to save power. So the revolution is here. We just need more people on board.

    From a NZ perspective, NZ needs to invest heavily in building insulation and upgrades – if there’s one area that will save power usage, it’s insulation.

    just wittering 😀


  2.   Administrator
    December 23rd, 2009 | 9:51 pm

    Yeah, after I blogged the above, I came across & tweeted this piece http://bit.ly/53ah4H explaining about China’s role. So I am glad there was more willingness than the result indicates.

    Uprising is an inappropriate word for what I am suggesting above; at least it brings connotations of conflict I don’t intend (though there has been angrier ranting in years past ;)) Maybe “people’s movement” has more baggage than ideal; “patterns of behaviour” is both more accurate and more abstract.

    People doing stuff is how things work. I am suggesting making failing systems irrelevant by people doing stuff differently – finding solutions we can enact where we are, and let these influence the world-system. It would be easier if our current systems cooperated with these processes; and, in democracy, they can, if it is what enough people want. But, a functional democracy, too, requires people to do stuff.

    What I am saying is that the failure of Copenhagen is a sign telling us people doing nothing is failing and it is time to get active.

  3.   bruce
    December 30th, 2009 | 7:59 am

    >“patterns of behaviour” is both more accurate and more abstract.
    >People doing stuff is how things work. I am suggesting making failing systems irrelevant by people doing stuff differently –

    very well said. This is where my current “change the world” thinking lies as well– horizontal subtle then perhaps growing behaviour shifts is all it takes on… pick your issue. Climate change to me is a sub issue of the larger one.

    Really, any top down system like copenhagen was just going to result in a new bigger system to game for corporations, like Kyoto contributing to the meltdown in iceland because it suddenly made sense for them (borrowing the money from transnational banks of course) to flood two pristine river valleys and dam them for hydro in order to smelt aluminium due to their carbon profile. Good thing they’ve got those aluminium plants now, look how they’re keeping the economy there humming along 😉