To begin on a lighter note, I am really going to miss the many ways one can manipulate the word Copenhagen.
The most high profile play-on-words here at the climate summit was probably "Hopenhagen," my favorite was "CopenDeniers" and the one I regret not using was "CopenHanging" to describe Greenpeace's often acrobatic forms of protest.
I don't know what we're all going to do at the next treaty summit in Mexico. Might I humbly suggest "High Mexpectations?"
Sadly we're going to have work on those Mexican word plays because our world leaders have failed us here in Copenhagen and we're going to do this all over again next year. To be sure, many of the leaders of the developing nations fought hard here for a fair deal, but their voices were drowned out by the grandiose political spin of the developed nations.
So today, with no deal in place that will begin to see an immediate reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, I say we should all wallow in gloom and play a good round of the blame game.
A lot of people have dedicated the last two years of their lives in the run up to the Copenhagen summit, away from their families for most of the time and working unbelievably long hours. For these amazing individuals to be anything other than deeply disappointed would be strange.
And with such a massive fail, there's a lot of people to blame. Many blame President Obama and the other developed nations for not being the leaders they need to be on an issue that their countries are almost solely to blame for creating.
I myself blame the fossil fuel industry for their decade-plus campaign to mobilize pseudo-scientists, right wing think tanks and fake grassroots organizations to muddy and confuse the issue of climate change.
So take your pick, it's a healthy exercise in anger management.
But tomorrow we pick up the fight where we left off, because I think if there is anything positive that came out of the Copenhagen treaty process it is that it has created the perfect storm of public awareness and mobilization.
Over the last two weeks, people I know who are aware of the issue of climate change (how could they not with me hanging around), but not really engaged, are talking with a slightly different tone. They are concerned in a way I've never heard before. Now with word leaders in Copenhagen confirming that they are not willing to act on this important issue, I suspect that this tone of concern is only going to grow stronger amongst formerly unengaged citizens.
Couple this shift in public sentiment with an unprecedented convergence of disparate advocacy groups representing billions of members and its a perfect storm.
In the run-up to Copenhagen we saw the mandates of organizations involved in all sorts of causes ranging from human rights to poverty make the issue of climate change their mandate.
Environmental organizations were obviously already whipped into a fervor, so with the addition of their partners from other sectors of civil society, there is now a movement so large that politicians will ignore it at their peril.
The time is ripe for change and while it would have been great to have a deal in Copenhagen, we can instead use it as a launching pad for the final push that will hopefully force leaders to do what we need them to do.
But that can wait until tomorrow.
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