Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bali's Hot Air & Cold Hope

Now its all over, time for reflection. Yes the spin-fest that was the Bali United Nations Climate Change Conference has ended with very little to show. Waste of time and carbon. A guess what Neo-Labour did? Yes the war-mongering, big-brother, big-business, hypocritical, shit-pant Labour Party sold us down the river...again;

EU sources told The Independent on Sunday that Britain had unilaterally helped the US to get the figure relegated to a footnote after a telephone call from the White House to Downing Street, but Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, denied that the Government had strayed from the united European position.

On the subject, this well reasoned video (unless your climate-crank or in serious denial, that is) is doing the rounds (I've seen it on Bristol Indymedia & Charlie Bolton's Southville blog)

But Paul Kingsnorth puts it better than I ever could...

You might be expecting me to be furious about the outcome of the latest climate change shindig in Bali. Furious about the whole thing, perhaps: 15,000 people fly to this sunny little island from all corners of the world, emitting as much carbon dioxide to do so as Mali emits in a year. They spend a week yakking about the biggest threat to the world since humanity walked on all fours; they get right down to the wire; then they announce ... a 'breakthrough!'..And the plan is ... well, the plan is to agree that at some stage in the future we will set some targets to slightly reduce our emissions at some stage after that, if at all possible...Still, I am not depressed. Why? Because I have given up expecting better. I am cultivating an almost Buddhist detachment....What will save us? Who knows if we even need 'saving'? I know it's Christmas, but we don't have to think like fundamentalist Christians all the time - don't have to keep worrying that apocalypse is around the corner. Even if it is, there's nothing Gordon Brown and Greenpeace can do about it. What will save us? Digging our garden, being in love, writing poems, standing up for our inevitable place, belonging, fighting off the encroachment of corporate culture, walking in the woods, knowing who we are, grounding ourselves - and not believing the talk of those who expect the suits and the bankers and the big-picture thinkers to get us out of what they so long ago dragged us into. This system has its own momentum now. This tide will not turn until it is ready. And us? We have to ride it. And you know what - I am beginning to believe that we can.

This is akin to Derrick Jensen's POV too:

Frankly, I don’t have much hope. But I think that’s a good thing. Hope is what keeps us chained to the system, the conglomerate of people and ideas and ideals that is causing the destruction of the Earth...To start, there is the false hope that suddenly somehow the system may inexplicably change. Or technology will save us. Or the Great Mother. Or beings from Alpha Centauri. Or Jesus Christ. Or Santa Claus. All of these false hopes lead to inaction, or at least to ineffectiveness. One reason my mother stayed with my abusive father was that there were no battered women’s shelters in the ‘50s and ‘60s, but another was her false hope that he would change. False hopes bind us to unlivable situations, and blind us to real possibilities.

A WONDERFUL THING happens when you give up on hope, which is that you realize you never needed it in the first place. You realize that giving up on hope didn’t kill you. It didn’t even make you less effective. In fact it made you more effective, because you ceased relying on someone or something else to solve your problems—you ceased hoping your problems would somehow get solved through the magical assistance of God, the Great Mother, the Sierra Club, valiant tree-sitters, brave salmon, or even the Earth itself—and you just began doing whatever it takes to solve those problems yourself.

Time to have a re-think, I think...

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