Rio+20 = A testament to human stupidity, arrogance and greed?

I have been alerted to the impending failure to agree anything substantive at the Rio+20 Summit, thanks to Christine’s latest post on 350orbust.com: ‘Health Warning Attached To Rio+20 Text: If You Care For The Future Of This Planet, This Document Will Make You Sick’… I read it and it made me feel more than sick; it made me positively angry (does it show?). As for ending fossil fuel subsidies, somewhat unsurprisingly, that seems to have been taken off the table by someone – I’m still not clear who… e.g. http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_rio_save_the_planet Forget Twitterstorms. Everyone who believes in the concept of democracy should write to their political representatives. For goodness’ sake; these people are supposed to represent us. They need to be told that this is simply not good enough! This is what I have said to my MP: Dear [x], Adam Vaughan’s blog from Rio for the Guardian newspaper is not for the faint-hearted.  At 2:07 pm today, he quoted David Nussbaum (WWF-UK) as follows:

“It would have been naïve to pin too many hopes on a single conference, but undeniably we expected more from the outcome document. Entitled ‘The Future We Want’, the text doesn’t live up to the aspirations of the title – it’s more a case of ‘The Future We’ll Get If We Rely On Politicians’. Full of weak phrases, and re-confirmations of previous aspirations which they haven’t realised, the text fails to commit governments to actions, targets, timeframes and finance to which we can hold them accountable….What we have is an agreement within the bounds of what they thought politically possible; what we needed was an agreement to address what is scientifically necessary. This is no way to manage our planet!”

Neither would I recommend George Monbiot’s column today – Rio+20 draft text is 283 paragraphs of fluff; unless you are feeling brave:

“World leaders have spent 20 years bracing themselves to express ‘deep concern’ about the world’s environmental crises, but not to do anything about them…Several of the more outrageous deletions proposed by the United States – such as any mention of rights or equity or of common but differentiated responsibilities – have been rebuffed. In other respects the Obama government’s purge has succeeded, striking out such concepts as “unsustainable consumption and production patterns” and the proposed decoupling of economic growth from the use of natural resources.”

I would like to be able to dismiss this as facile criticism from the liberal left. However, in reality, to do so would be to second-guess the scientists who have been telling us for decades that we need action not words. Our children and grandchildren will not forgive us for failing to act. Yours despondently, etc.

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About Rick Altman

Possibly just another 'Climate Cassandra' crying 'Wolf' in cyberspace. However, the moral of the old children's story is that the Wolf eventually turned up!
This entry was posted in Climate Science, Economics, Environment, Intergenerational Injustice, Politics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Rio+20 = A testament to human stupidity, arrogance and greed?

  1. Pingback: Looking down the wrong end of the telescope. « Learning from Dogs

  2. Pingback: Why I am not a Capitalist « Anthropocene Reality

  3. Pingback: The nonsense of “Sustainable Growth”* | Anthropocene Reality

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