Before I begin I must confess to being a climate change skeptic and worse than that, according to climate change believers, I neither care about the alleged threat nor do I care to listen to reasonable arguments hoisted to support the cataclysmic prophecy of a 2 degree increase in the temperature.
However, I don't see anything at all wrong with being good stewards of the environment over which we have dominion. I'm not against caring for the environment with reasonable measures but I am against the hysteria of fear campaigns. The last one was the fabricated terrorist threat, but don't get me started on that.
So it is that I read with interest Clover Moore's article on her attendance at a meeting of 80 mayors at the Copenhagen climate change festival. These mayors represent roughly 700 million people from across the globe and they call themselves the C40 group. In a short space of time the mayors have apparently reached "extraordinary consensus on what needs to be done" to combat climate change. David Miller who is chair of C40 and the mayor of Toronto, Canada said in his closing speech at the conference, “Mayors from cities all over the world gathered here in Copenhagen to show that we are on the frontline of climate change. While climate change demands global action, we have shown that we are not waiting for others to act."
The Climate Summit for Mayors sounds like where the real action is happening in Copenhagen. So what's happening at the main event? At the international level? With all those world leaders and environment ministers? Absolutely nothing. They can't even agree on what to have for lunch.
Australia's Prime Minister,Kevin Rudd is an environmental champion and is urging the leaders of the world to action. Using strong emotive language and references to clear consciences and the future for our children and grandchildren, he called on the summit to reach a "grand bargain" on climate change. But even as he delivered this plea the mood is souring and hopes are dimming in Copenhagen. Although trying to remain positive, Mr Rudd said, "I fear a triumph of inaction over action."
Bottom line? We have a useless committee meeting going on in Copenhagen. I am mystified as to why the C40 group of mayors has achieved consensus and are already taking action while the main event is fizzling into embarrassing torpor.
The truth of the matter is that no matter what they say, nations always act, and have always acted in their own national interests and where mega amounts of money are involved, compromise is asphyxiated.
MARIAN WILKINSON ENVIRONMENT EDITOR (Sydney Morning Herald)
December 18, 2009