Monday, 1 March 2010

Copenhagen Climate Change Summit 2009 (14th March 2009)

Did you know that it was on?

I have spent much of this week angry. Angry that I may have hurt a friend by my honesty (I do that all the time and most times my friends 'get' me, but this friend is in a special place atm and my 'honesty' may have been way too confronting. S - sorry)

The other reason for my anger is that The Husband just doesn't get what I believe is a serious issue;

The legs on the stool are breaking!

Leg one - the economy

Leg two - the climate

Leg three - Peak Oil. Well PO has had a 'tourniquet' applied but it is still a part of this support system called Planet Earth that we live on!

At The Copenhagen summit they released six key points.

1) Climatic trends

Recent observations confirm that, given high rates of observed emissions, the worst-case IPCC scenario projections (or even worse) are being realised. For many key parameters, the climate is already moving beyond the patterns of natural variability within which our society and economy have developed and thrived. These parameters include global mean surface temperature, sea-level rise, ocean and ice sheet dynamics, ocean acidification, and extreme climatic events. There is a significant risk that many of the trends will accelerate, leading to an increasing risk of abrupt or irreversible climatic shifts

2) Social disruption

The research community is providing much more information to support discussions on "dangerous climate change". Recent observations show that societies are highly vulnerable to even modest levels of climate change, with poor nations and communities particularly at risk. Temperature rises above 2C will be very difficult for countries to cope with, and will increase the level of climate disruption through the rest of the century.

3) Long-term strategy

Rapid, sustained, and effective mitigation based on coordinated global and regional action is required to avoid "dangerous climate change" regardless of how it is defined. Weaker targets for 2020 increase the risk of crossing tipping points and make the task of meeting 2050 targets more difficult. Delay in initiating effective mitigation actions increases significantly the long-term social and economic costs of both adaptation and mitigation.

4) Equity dimensions

Climate change is having, and will have, strongly differential effects on people within and between countries and regions, on this generation and future generations, and on human societies and the natural world. An effective, well-funded adaptation safety net is required for those people least capable of coping with climate change impacts, and a common but differentiated mitigation strategy is needed to protect the poor and most vulnerable.

5) Inaction is inexcusable

There is no excuse for inaction. We already have many tools and approaches — economic, technological, behavioural, management — to deal effectively with the climate change challenge. But they must be vigorously and widely implemented to achieve the societal transformation required to decarbonise economies. A wide range of benefits will flow from a concerted effort to alter our energy economy now, including sustainable energy job growth, reductions in the health and economic costs of climate change, and the restoration of ecosystems and revitalisation of ecosystem services.

6) Meeting the challenge

To achieve the societal transformation required to meet the climate change challenge, we must overcome a number of significant constraints and seize critical opportunities. These include reducing inertia in social and economic systems; building on a growing public desire for governments to act on climate change; removing implicit and explicit subsidies; reducing the influence of vested interests that increase emissions and reduce resilience; enabling the shifts from ineffective governance and weak institutions to innovative leadership in government, the private sector and civil society; and engaging society in the transition to norms and practices that foster sustainability.

taken from The Guardian Thursday 12 March 2009 and acknowledging the link from Robb at Sustainable Living blog

The reason that I am posting this article is that "Inaction is inexcusable"

Please take some time over the next few days really really thinking about what a worst case scenario would mean for you. All the fluffy green bloggy hugs in the World won't make a blind bit of difference unless we now stand up and say collectively

"I need to live differently, I need to walk the talk"

and here is a little story I just came across in blogland

"A young man was walking down a deserted beach at sunset. As he walked along, he began to see an old man in the distance. As he grew nearer, he noticed that the old man kept leaning down, picking something up, and throwing it out into the water. Time and again, the old man kept hurling something out into the ocean.

As the young man approached even closer, he noticed that the old man was picking up starfish that had washed up on the beach and, one at a time, was throwing them back into the water.

The young man was puzzled. He approached the old man and said, "Good evening, friend. I was wondering what you are doing?"

"I'm throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it is low tide right now, and all of these starfish have washed up onto the shore. If I don't throw them back into the sea, they'll die from lack of oxygen."

"I understand," the young man replied, "but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach! You can't possibly get to all of them. There are simply too many! And don't you realize this is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast? Can't you see that you can't possibly make a difference?"

The old man smiled, bent down, and picked up yet another starfish and, as he threw it back into the sea, replied, "Made a difference to THAT one!”

Oh and to prove to you how distracted I have been, I wished Nature Witch happy birthday a whole month before her birthday; luckily she has a wicked sense of humour :)


TheCrone said...

5 Responses to “Copenhagen Climate Change Summit 2009”
1.molly Says:

March 14th, 2009 at 10:27 am e

I hear exactly where you are coming from L, my concerns mount daily when it comes to the perfect storm approaching.
The perfect storm (economics, peak oil, climate change) has been brewing for some time now and I suspect we are headed into something none of us are going to expect!
What can we do? Prep our pantries like crazy, pay off debts ASAP, re-arrange our lifestyles to work around no power and add water tanks and food gardens to every spare inch (your pool will do it!)

2.Em Says:

March 14th, 2009 at 11:39 am e

I didn’t know it was on, thankyou for the heads up… will read some more. Do you know that in all the preparing I have done, and have on my lists still to do, that the thing that is emerging most strongly is building community - learning to give more and get along with others. I’ve never been very patient of other people’s failings (or my own), but that is the thing that seems to underpin whether or not my other actions will have any real future. More than anything I am learning that I cannot tackle the future without my community’s support… of course motherhood brought that home like a chair being pulled out from under me, but the uncertain future is making that message louder by the day.

TheCrone said...

3.Simply.Belinda Says:

March 14th, 2009 at 1:47 pm e

Boy do I hear you,

I am angry, frustrated and totally lost about what we need to do to get the greater community to listen to the fact that this isn’t just a few bad years in the economy we are talking about .. it’s humanities future.

Since this year Australia has had floods at one end, fire at the other and now a honking great big oil spill I would think even to the lay observer it just might becoming obvious that we can’t continue this way… but I am yet to see any evidence of that fact.

Kind Regards

4.river Says:

March 14th, 2009 at 4:27 pm e

Loved the starfish story. And you’re right, inaction IS inexcusable. I’m still doing what little I can, I don’t flush as often, (saves water), I’ve halved the amount of soap powder I use in the washing machine, and I still have my fruit trees, although they’re not doing so well in their pots now with the drought, and I can’t plant them in my rented yard.

TheCrone said...

dixiebelle Says:

March 15th, 2009 at 9:03 am e

Are the ‘little things’ worth doing, unless you are prepared to the ‘big things’ too, or lobby the community/ government to do the ‘big things’? Is there any point in the government/ community making ‘big changes’, unless everyday people are also willing to do the ‘little things’? Something I am pondering alot lately…

And, how long and how bad will it have to get, before the choice to be frugal, be enviro-aware, make changes and support the Earth becomes a NECESSITY instead, forced onto people by the approaching ‘Perfect Storm’? All the things alot of us choose to do differently, may soon be something that everyone has to do for survival…