COP15 (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) is coming up next month. This is the latest UN Climate Change Conference, where the world’s leaders will gather in Copenhagen to reach a deal which puts the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change. We know how crucially important this conference will be to the survival of our species as well as many others. We know too, that our culture of ‘Western industrial capitalism’ has grown monstrous and is responsible for appalling human suffering in Third World countries, and has already caused massive environmental damage.
No one can deny the world is warming up now, and it seems clear beyond doubt that it is linked to unprecedented levels of carbon emissions from the industrialised nations. We have seen its effects already: the horror movies, the floods, the bodies floating down the streets, the gradual extinction of species – their habitat and escape routes gone and no means of survival. What is wrong with our predominant world-culture, that we can destroy the very environmental systems that sustain our lives? What is wrong with us that we can destroy our own home? Have we gone mad?
Things have to change. We cannot go on like this.
photo: courtesy Great Images in NASA
Nearly everyone I know is working quietly, each in their own way, to change the situation, and to find wholesome and sustainable ways forward for us all. And, in the run up to COP15, this momentous conference, millions of people around the world, who wouldn’t normally do so, are taking action and making their voices heard.
Myself, I tried to do a solitary walk for the delegates – but it didn’t feel right, so I am writing this post instead. I shall do the walk for the Earth and all its creatures. And I shall take part in a special event organised by our Arts & Ecology group at Dartington on Dec 5th.
My wish for COP15 is that our leaders talk less and listen more, make wise, fair and compassionate decisions and have the courage to carry them out.
‘The Age of Stupid’ which I have mentioned before on this blog, is a great climate change film. There is also a huge number of videos online – good, bad and mediocre, but here are a couple I picked out as worth watching…
Most of the artists I have mentioned in this blog have been working for years in relation to the natural world : ecological artists, like the Harrisons (see http://greenhousebritain.greenmuseum.org/), Alan Sonfist ( www.alansonfist.com), Brandon Ballengée (Throughstones post), and Jean-Paul Ganem. There are many others that you can find on sites such as Green Museum and WEAD (Women Environmental Artists Directory) . And there are also others who are connecting and touching hearts one by one, at an ordinary everyday level. It is not necessarily size that matters. I am thinking particularly of ‘Walking the Land’, a small artists’ collective in UK.
And whilst I am on the subject, I would like to pay my respects to all those, who work without fuss (unlike myself) to restore and maintain proper relationships with the Earth… I am thinking at the moment of farmers, gardeners, those who protect wildlife and complex eco-systems, and those who keep vital traditional crafts alive, such as dry-stone walling, thatching, earth-building and hedging. Also those who are just kind to animals and little children, and always have time to stop for a friendly chat.
Here is a clear and brief overview of the UN Conferences on Climate Change – from the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit of 1992 up to today. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Framework_Convention_on_Climate_Change.
And the UK Gov Department for International Development publishes some excellent articles on climate change topics. (www.dfid.gov.uk). In particular, see their section: “Climate Change and Copenhagen” for latest videos, photos and news.
Neither of these is my normal sort of reading – but they do give a useful frame of reference for all that confusing and conflicting information out there.
Finally, there are a few COP 15 links in my sidebar that might be of interest. There are many, many others worth investigating, on the internet.