Excerpt from: “Cancun Climate Summit Report #3" by David Simpson from Planet Drum www.planetdrum.org
.......Were we to take as the basis for our working template only the level of emissions reductions indicated in the Copenhagen Accord-and now in the Cancún Agreements-world average temperatures would likely rise between 3.2 and 5.4 degrees centigrade by the end of the century. Given that the rise to date of .8 degrees C since 1870 has already produced changes of a considerable magnitude-glaciers disappearing, ocean acidifying, permafrost melting, sea level rising, unprecedented heat waves, massive flooding, 300,000 deaths by climate this year alone-the thought of enduring temperature rises 4 to 6 times greater is terrifying.
Do I personally believe that we are condemned to this eventuality because of a refusal to step outside the insulated dome in which business likes to play? Maybe. There is an inveterate, deep-seated cautiousness that surrounds large-scale business and societal investment. Also, society's long-term normative responses-what's seen as right, what's wrong, what's dumb, what might work-are strongly resistant to change-or change at the rate that climatic circumstances might demand.
We are now in uncharted territory and as normative responses migrate rapidly and caution is seen as incaution in disguise, there will be a shift. It is at this fault line where a substantial realignment is possible. Leverage must be applied. Only what has come to be called "civil society" or the "social movements" are positioned to provide this pressure.
This is because these agencies and their practitioners are proxies for alliances and social groupings that are both more local and more universal at the same time-the people of the world themselves, whose stake in this is their very lives. Many have been unable, due to accidents of birth or lack of time or resources, to mount effective action in the name of their own and the planet's survival, but humanity begins now to awaken and take stock. Let the battle for credibility begin!
Photo by Craig Smith