Is the Copenhagen COP meeting irrelevant? Australian climate professor Barry Brook thinks so.
So, this is the pragmatic reality check: the Copenhagen UN Climate Change Conference is worthless, and we just shouldn’t care. It could never be any other way.
The hard fact is that there’ll be no gain until we’ve felt the pain, until we really know that we have our collective ’skin in the game’. For all our intellect and wisdom, we’re still evolved, instinctive animals, and we respond best to obvious, in-our-face threats. It seems we need a new Pearl Harbor, our next Thermopylae. I seriously doubt there’ll ever be a global price on carbon (or a meaningful one in any individual country) — by the time we truly understand why this was (in hindsight) necessary, it’ll be a useless gesture, because there’ll be the imperative for much more drastic action than any ‘economic instrument’ could possibly deliver.
Yet, mine is patently not a ‘doomer’ vision. … I don’t accept the argument that a peaking oil supply will cause our society to collapse. Yes, it will help force our hand, but it ain’t gonna be our undoing — we’re way too resilient and ingenious for that — at least when the pressure is on. If society realises that it has to build 10,000 nuclear power plants in a period of 20 years, then it’ll do it (as others have pointed out, things happened incredibly fast in the early years of nuclear power — the first 15 years saw a staggering rate of technical development). We’ll find the way to make it happen — of that I have little doubt. …
In the meantime, it’s up to people like you and me to work hard to try to concertina the length of time between the current fallow age of procrastination, and the coming age of action.
Follow the link to find out why.