Cop Out in Copenhagen

This week saw the end, a rather lacklustre ending albeit, to the most important climate change summit of the century.

The world sat waiting in anticipation for its leaders to come together and slow the destruction of the planet's environment to a crawl. You’d think this would be a goal we’d be willing to hammer through to find an agreeable conclusion. But what we got was a penciled in agreement to continue next year to solidify a vague target and figure out how to get there. Given we couldn’t figure that out whist we had experts from around the world telling us how to get there, proving to us how to get there successfully, I hold little hope for the world coming together in this regard. Our leaders can’t really make these choices for us; it is a conflict of interest for them to put their people at risk financially, even temporarily.

Environmentalists said Ottawa's target for reducing greenhouse gases is "among the worst in the industrialized world." Canada’s Minister of the Environment, Jim Prentice, said Canada's goal will be to see the accord become a binding international treaty in 2010, while brushing off criticism that Canada didn’t show up at the table with China, India, Brazil, the U.S. and South Africa. Prentice excuses Canada indicating we weren’t there because we’re only responsible for 2 per cent of the world's emissions.

Although I’m embarrassed to be Canadian right now from an environmental standpoint, I still feel a tremendous amount of pride to be Canadian. The Canadian people are not satisfied with this atrocious display of apathy on the part of the Canadian government, and Canadians are really good at spreading the shame of the country around instead of 'ra ra ra – ing' a government that deserves to be kicked in the butt.

Personally, I have been making small choices through the year about how I will approach consumerism in my future, what companies I will support and what initiatives I will support. I think it’s time for each and every human being to assess their own footprint on the planet, to decide what they can and can’t live without, what they can pay a bit more for to have it produced locally, and what should simply not be supported, period. It takes more work, but we can’t wait for our governments to do the right thing, so in my mind, personal accountability is the only solution.

And Mr. Harper – please get better at providing a rationale to your people. Being Prime Minister of this beautiful country is a privilege that we entrusted you with – and since then you closed the door and kicked us out of your office. Shame on you for being the worst leader Canada has ever had, I never thought Canadians could feel the shame you have produced. Too bad we can’t sell it as a natural resource.
We’re in the height of the consuming season. I challenge you to put quality of conversation back into your life, put the emphasis on love and compassion instead of stuff. Grab an old toboggan instead of something fancy and new, and get out there and have some fun with the people you love.

Photo Credit ~ Sylvia Armstrong

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