Thursday, January 7, 2010

More Disasters Than Copenhagen

As a world conference the Copenhagen fiasco was a failure in a class of its own. There was much to be gained by success in this conference, and such an enormous loss if the conference failed. The governments of the world achieved both in this case. They lost out in achieving any gains and they lost by not finding any solutions.

Canada sent the wrong people to Copenhagen. We chose the wrong government and we didn't influence Prime Minister Harper and his government to take a positive, proactive stand. Absolutely nothing was achieved at the Copenhagen conference except to lose time - precious time, which we have already frittered away by intentional inaction.

As individuals we will have to do more than wring our hands in useless gestures. Although the big picture is where it's at to reduce the production of green house gases, there is much an individual can do. Each person can alter their lifestyle to do their part in the reduction of green house gases. We can all drive less, buy cars which produce fewer greenhouse gases, and buy products which take less energy to produce. As consumers we have the power to choose products which leave a smaller mark on the climate.

The biggest thing we can do is become proactive in as many ways as possible. We have to influence our politicians and leaders. We can all write to the authorities and express our support for climate change. One letter at a time on a constant basis mounts up, and will bring about change. We will have to inform and educate ourselves about the policies that political parties stand for . We must make political parties act upon what they say their policies are. Bums like we have in power now have to be voted out.

We must also become more informed and better educated about the science of climate change . It's not rocket science. It's looking at the evidence we have. Two years ago a very large ice shelf broke off in the Arctic . An ice shelf is ice which has become solidly attached and hasn't moved, like a land mass. The ice shelf in the Arctic warmed and detached. Some of this ice is hundreds, even thousands of years old . Now it's gone. Fortunately scientists took many core samples which can be used to study the earth's climate going many years back.

Start today, this year, and do something each week to make a difference in climate change. We will then push governments and businesses along to make changes.


  1. Oh, I'm gonna rant!!
    Timely topic; right now, my apartment's rather cold thanks to a nasty westerly wind, and the crappy, outdated windows that hark back to the original construction of this joint (1960ish?). So, I get to offset someone's laziness and cheapness in renovating a rental property by taking on the heat bill. The best upgrade they could've made here was replacing outdated aluminum slider windows and doors. Sigh. At least this year they managed to provide air-conditioning unit "quilts" to help stave off the cold...otherwise (like last winter) the units were wide open through the wall to the exterior. Unbelievable. So, for a moment, I say bring on the global warming, and start at my address!
    Anyway, where was I going with this? Climate change, and useless leadership. Wow. Where to begin? People will get what they demand, and as a result, what they deserve. You want someone else to make your life easy and mindless? Granted! You now have elected representatives who can make all the decisions for you. Don't even pay attention to them; just trust they'll do the job. After all, you're far too busy with other important things to pay attention to what's going on. And hey, we pretty much live in a culture now that has all but abdicated personal accountability of any kind. Enjoy.
    But wait, why rely on the government? Fat cat bureaucrats and all...
    Make the free market work for you too. Weirdly, the good news on that front is, to some degree, the "free" market IS working when it comes to environmental initiatives. Notice the increasing emphasis on reusable shopping bags? Energy Star rated appliances? Toyota (and now Honda again) increasing hybrid car production? Everyone else trying to build something useful and electric? Better compact flourescent lightbulbs...the list goes on. It's baby steps, but it's a start.
    Governments generally fail at legislating behavior; they tend to follow what the people demand. And they know it, which is why we feel such a lack of inspirational leadership...they're hoping we'll figure it out instead!
    See, where it counts most for change is - pun intended - with change. Pocket change. Most people want to do "right" and preserve the enviroment. Not many of us are willing to drink fouled water, feed our families poisons, strip-mine Bambi's neighborhood etc. However, if you make it hard for me to AFFORD better options,'s almost a no-brainer. Why pay a premium on my power bill just to say it came from a wind farm? Electricity already costs a lot. Organic produce? Lovely idea, but not at double the price and 4 mouths to feed. Solar panels for my home? Grand! About $15 grand, last time I checked. Who's got that kicking around, just waiting to be spent?
    Furthermore, as much as the government wants to incentivize "green" renovations and upgrades with tax breaks, they generally (again) fail to make the deal affordable enough for the average person. Getting a $500 rebate on a $5000 new furnace isn't the ROI I'd buy into. Going to take years for that thing to pay for itself in heat bills, and meanwhile, I coudn't afford that trip to the Dominican...
    Let's face it, sad as it is, the state of environmental affairs for most people today is to see it as a luxury. If you're barely making ends meet, you can't afford to care where things come from or how.
    I agree with Red - get knowledgeable about your choices, and make sure you get what you pay for.
    Nobody's perfect on this one; we could all do much better, and demand much better as well. In the meantime, I'd like to think we could all work a littler harder towards fulfilling the great action idea proposed by Gandhi, who once said "be the change you want to see in the world".
    Or, would you rather wait for Stephen Harper to do that for you?

  2. You say many things to causse thought , but we've come to the point where the privelege of thinking about things is passed. We have decide and act or the price for green house action will be absolutely enormous and we will be gasping for air all the time we're paying big money for not acting sooner.