Leaders of the western world have explained to their electorates that when it comes to the credit crunch “we are all in this together”. Of course that is simply not true. When it comes to economic wealth and economic turbulence we are not all in it together. No one for a single moment believes that Mr Fred Goodwin, former Chief Executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland is really suffering as much as a family whose breadwinner has lost his or her job, or that the back room clerk faced with redundancy is in the same mess as a city banker who has to suffer because forty percent of a bonus worth hundreds of thousands of pounds is deferred for a few years. No, we are not all in it together.
However one thing from which the poorest peasant, clerk or factory worker or the richest person cannot escape is our planet. We are committed to mother earth for all our lives and for the lives of future generations as far as we can see. The economies which we live by are those that our planet can contain. The economies depend on confidence and fine words can increase confidence. Our planet is governs by the laws of nature and although we may not understand them all, we have enough knowledge of them to know what is harmful and what is not.
At Cancun the UN Climate Change Conference has ended with a “draft” document – not even a signed document, which is high on platitudes and low on action.
This draft document is being reported as a compromise. It may be a compromise between nations but the laws of nature do not compromise with humanity. The compromise seems to comprise money which rich nations will pay poorer nations and an agreement that emission cuts must happen, but no how and when. There is talk of paying nations not to cut down forests. It seems that the nations with forests need to be paid to do the right thing.
There is talk by politicians that the draft agreement being a small start, but an important start. They have said the same thing at every climate change conference but still the climate is changing and the rate of change is increasing and emissions remaining in the atmosphere still increase year by year. We had better stop these small starts and get on with starting measures to curtail a changing climate. Then we can stop talk of a small start and say that the work is in progress.