I won’t go into any great detail right now (mostly because I’ve only been hearing the headlines), but it would be a great disappointment if the ‘world leaders’ don’t reach a substantial agreement in Copenhagen this week. Developed nations seem content to continue as they are, despite all the warnings. And why should we trust these leaders, when we already know they’re only interested in short term gains that keep them in office?

They seem perfectly happy to spend billions to wage war and access more oil, rather than spend less (still billions, but much less) on developing renewable energy technology and reducing demand (through actions such as better insulation and behaviour change to produce less waste).

But fair play to the Small Island nations, who are being outspoken and getting their views across. And why shouldn’t they? The behaviour of developed nations over the past 200 years means they may have to abandon their entire island (see Dan Box’s blog on the Carteret Islands for the first climate change refugees).

The New Economics Foundation are conducting research on monetary reform: “A combination of centralisation, globalisation and deregulation has allowed private financial institutions to create a credit bubble which has now burst”. This financial system has crippled the natural world: businesses buy and ship products worldwide; massive consumption has lead to huge tracts of land being brought into ‘productive’ use; people with disposable income are encouraged to spend their money on the latest stuff, then throw it away and replace it with the newer stuff six months later; nothing is built to last. Everything is secondary to the market: family, community, the natural environment, politics, democracy…

And to finish I will quote a Cree Indian proverb: “Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money.”

Follow COP15 with:
Friends of the Earth
The Ecologist Magazine

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