Thursday, December 3, 2009

Three days to go -where are we heading?

The all important Copenhagen meet is going to start three days from now.We have to understand what are the implications of this meeting .One of the most irresponsible statements in the meet came from the South African Environment minister Bulwayo Sonjca.

Sonjica announced, ‘South Africa is a developing country with huge developmental challenges, and needs carbon space in order to meet our developmental needs. We cannot afford to take on any binding emission reduction targets. Expectations for the outcome of the conference in Copenhagen are informed by our national interests and our strategic priorities.’

The ‘interests and priorities’ are clear: the SA government wants to continue supplying the world’s cheapest electricity to the world’s biggest companies in the destructive mining/smelting sectors, firms which are rapidly mechanizing and shedding jobs, and which send such large profit/dividend outflows to London and Melbourne headquarters, that SA has one of the world’s worst balance of payments problems (for which The Economist rated SA as the world’s riskiest emerging market last year).

It’s the statements and views like this that makes the run up and the actual happenings to the climate change talks very crucial. Already EU nations are accusing that the climate change talks have become a ping pong game between China and USA who have decided to solve the issue bilaterally .The EU has so far been the most vocal supporter within the world community with self imposed binding emission cuts among others. Yet these climate change talks have not been without profit for EU as well. Wind energy corporations in Denmark have made huge money. So too have the alternative energy companies based in countries like Switzerland and Germany. So it’s still essentially a market driven strategy but on a higher moral plank maybe compared to other nations. On the other hand accusations are being alleged at developing economies as well -most notably India- that these countries will emerge as the deal wreckers of the Copenhagen talks.

In the midst of all this we must understand where the basic flaw of the whole GO GREEN strategy is:

1. The most important being of course developing nations like India haven’t been able to project the issue as it needs to be. The government has failed to make the public aware of what these talks actually mean for the world. It is just that a few Greenpeace activists and a few climate lovers on the net keep shouting hoarse while the rest of the country just goes about it. India has still not been able to see its exact implications they still think that the drought and the shortage in grain production is the government’s fault. We cannot expect to win the global war if we keep so many people aloof from the developments. Hardly a few news channels (apart from the three or four English news channels) ever talk about these issues. Vernacular newspapers rarely report these issues. This is a basic fault of the whole climate movement not being able to attach enough people to it. They fail to see that the long term changes will be less food production, migration which is already happening in a few pacific islands and so on. It is time that the average person has to realize these issues and strive to work for a better earth.

2. A second basic fault has been the whole way the climate agenda has moved forward terms have been so much full of technical jargon like “cap and trade system” emission, mitigation Born-Marxerly bill that the average individual is not being able to relate it with himself .The climate change talks medium has to come from below and not above it has to be vernacular if it has to make an impact. You cannot expect the climate change movement to be a success if you fill it with so many technical jargons that the average individual needs a separate dictionary to tackle it.

3. The third fault is at technical level. This is a three step problem-

a) The clean energy mechanism available is mostly costly.

b) Alternative energies developed are not being properly developed as a finished product as well as a viable product. Look at the prospects of the solar energy and the so called solar energy devices. The technology was released so early that it couldn’t develop itself and as a result it became a failed endeavor. It has to be taken care that when a technology is released it has been packaged properly as user friendly.

c) The third basic fault is the free availability of green technology without being granted patent rights so that millions worldwide can access it. Already some countries are pushing for patenting green technology under one pretext or the other steps should be taken to see that such events do not occur.

In the end all we can do is pray that God gives some sense to the planet leaders as they sit to discuss our fate 3 days from now. This is essentially what a child from Welsh called “cyfle olaf meaning…………………………..

Last chance.

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