I had just filled 11 years when the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED started in Rio de Janeiro in June 3rd 1992. By that time I believed in politicians being able to actually make a change and commit to real agreements. I believed that change in the world could be done at a political level. I believed in our democratic system as it stands and that through reform real, palpable change could be achieved.

I remember that at the end at that conference I was all enthusiastic. I really was!

Some years later I had moved to Norway and back to Ecuador, learned a lot about the world and had a broader understanding of our political system in a global sense. By then, in 1998, I found myself studying Gro Harlem Brundtland (GHB)’s proposal at school. The paper that was basically agreed upon under the Rio summit: GHB’s proposal,Our Common Future(follow the link and read it) also called the Bruntland report, can be summarized in the idea of sustainable development: Economic and social human growth while keeping our global ecosystem healthy.

While I was gaining insight in this matters the Kyoto protocol happened. For people that actually like to analyse things this agreement is the next best thing to nothing. Simply because it opens for mechanisms that can be misused, it has no penalties defined as part of the agreement for lack of compliance and because is does not address the mitigation levels that were required to have a useful agreement (over 100 years the greenhouse gases reductions will not even reach 4%) – I have already blogged on this so I will not bother you with that now.

11 years later, with more studies into these matters biasing me and a Philosophy degree to make things worse, I have to say: We all knew that Copenhagen was to be a failure. Whatever comes out of this summit tomorrow is worse than nothing coming out.

Why? Because a crappy agreement will not show the reality of this summit: Our political system worldwide is not addressing the biggest challenge in human history. Simple as that. We need a political reform worldwide WHICH IS NOT GOING TO BE PROMOTED BY YOUR AVERAGE POLITICIAN! – Sorry, but you have to face this. Politicians do not have accountability or responsibility, they just talk and try to be re-elected. This is too serious to let a bunch of idiots ruin it for the rest of us, and do so in our name!

Back to Copenhagen and the ongoing summit. Let’s put it in perspective:

  1. Connie, who was thought to become the next EU climate queen, has now resigned from the COP15’s presidency. Earlier she said that failure in Copenhagen is not an option and that it would clearly show that “the whole global democratic system not being able to deliver results in one of the defining challenges of our century” – It’s nice to be able to use somebody else’s words to describe a problem. But yes, it sucks to be right. Time after time.
  2. Adaptation and mitigation must go hand by hand. Without both we will, for real, get in trouble. Want to read more on Adaptation and why it matters? Read my former teacher Karen (member of the UNFCCC) and friends. they will explain it better than I can in their reports:
    * Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change: Concepts, Issues, Assessment Methods (PDF)
    * More Than Rain (PDF)
    Once while at Uni I asked her if she actually believed that our politcians could actually sort this one out and pull off an agreement that would actually be fair for all of humanity and that could give us a change to keep our environment in good shape. Karen, I guess,  is a person that understands that the global picture is complex and that politics are a game. Her answer was something like: “Well, I do not want to be pessimistic here, but no.” – It might have been the way I asked, who knows. Anyway I was glad to understand that I am not the only one thinking there’s something wrong here. But to be right about such things sucks.
  3. There are nations like Tuvalu that will be remembered. because they are the voice of the speechless. Their voice is an echo and reminder of the fact that our survival is never a subject of discussion, it is the only option! Our survival does not imply growth, but dignity. Survival implies a working ecosystem, not more energetic resources. Survival implies life and peace, not money and force!
  4. As reported by some organizations NGOs/CSOs will not have access to the summit tomorrow. So if your country is not enforcing freedom by default and is letting representatives for Civil Society/Non-Governmental organizations on-site be part of the delegation, There is practically no civil watchers representing YOU, of course, only your average politician is in place playing the “I want more for less” attitude that this negotiation game implies.
  5. In Copenhagen the police took ~700 people to prison the past weekend. I have a friend that was there while this happened. We talked yesterday. And he said: “It really is sad that the media focus on the conflict generated by the political need to show “action” against pacifist demonstrating” – I could not agree more because who is talking about the thousands of Pro Environmentalist that were outside of the Bella Center and in other parts of Copenhagen mourning Mother Earth while our politicians play the “Business as usual” game and accelerate the growth train towards the inevitable end of the line at the cliff?
  6. Now, naivity is not stupidity. But it is time to wake up, for real! I am getting tired of saying this, but still: Politicians alone will not fix this one. And we do not need a political agreement to act. What we need is organically coordinated action… But that’s another post.
  7. Readers of this blog know that I am by no means trying to draw an apocalypse here. I have seen too much love in humanity to believe that we are doomed to our own self-destruction. But I also acknowledge that if we leave this to our politicians we are going to blow it up. Are we?

The next result is not a game and will not happen in an oval room. It’s going to happen in the streets, in your bedroom, in a bar, in your schools. We need action. Among and between ourselves. Between you and your next peer!

And while we acknowledge this and tell it to each other, the show continues in Copenhagen with the superstars tomorrow. But no, this is too important to reduce it to a nice rhetorical speech. Do not get fooled. Copenhagen is the bad joke it was meant to be.

This struggle cannot be lost. To loose this one implies lack of human survival. Are you going to follow or are you going to act?