The Durban Air is Warmed by Platitudes

I have not written much so far about the UN Climate Change Conference at Durban because, from what I have been able to follow in the press, in truth not much is happening there. No doubt the Durban air is warmed by platitudes, but platitudes will never solve the problem of the continuing warming of the atmosphere.

Some folk honesty believe that there is no such problem and dismiss climate change as a fairy tale, dreamed up to frighten the children. But the people attending the conference atDurbanare not of such persuasion; they know in their hearts that climate change is happening and its impact on humanity ought to be restricted.

However, this knowledge affects them in the way that people know that you have to build sewage treatment plants – we need them but not in my neighbourhood. So at  Durban the nations most likely to be affected by climate change, their prosperity and survival threatened first, are clamouring most loudly for action. Those whose nations are a little further down the line in the climate change threat are making noise, but doing little. Those whose immediate prosperity is enhanced by the very actions that bring about climate change are making no noise, doing nothing and even proposing to shed themselves of the shackles ofKyoto.

It is a shame that the UN Climate Change Conference has become so meaningless. The poets and philosophers have said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions and so it is. But the road to hell is rapidly becoming a descent – a descent into Averno; time is precious and the climb back up is so hard that it may fail.

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