Next month's United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has much of the world poised for life-sustaining forward motion in our response to climate crisis. The world's people are crying out for a more constructive start to climate crisis response.
The goal of this convention is to bring together all nations of the world to do together what few nations are willing to do alone-- to accept meaningful enough limits to our greenhouse gas emissions to help us avoid climate catastrophe.
The best experts who believe we still have a chance to cope say we must immediately implement available clean technologies like organic agriculture--and work on new ones--that will enable sustainable development without emitting massive amounts of carbon dioxide. We must create a treaty that participating countries will endorse, and will then work to implement.
Everyday I am greeted with more news that the promise offered by the conference is slipping away due to governmental inaction and to think, right here in the United States. So many of us voted for change in 2008, yet where is it?
Reluctant Governance and Committed Action
This reluctance of our policy makers seems directly in contrast to the action and determination expressed by citizens all around this country and the globe on October 24, which was 350.org"s International Day of Climate Action. Now that UN leaders have publicly expressed their concern about the lack of a binding treaty coming out of the convention, what should we be doing?
This is a crucial moment in determining our common future. It's clear that while the current climate crisis is already affecting many nations through natural disasters, future disruptions will affect us all. Climate refugees from Bangledesh share many struggles with climate-displaced folks worldwide, including our own citizens who have not returned to homes in the aftermath of hurricanes, floods and tornadoes. No one can afford to wait any longer for more proof of the problem or more sure-fire answers without applying what we know will work, now.
Especially after the election of President Obama, the United States is looked to for global leadership in this process. Our administration acknowledges that changes are necessary and a strategic global effort is the only means to accomplish the necessary but incredibly difficult goal of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.
Our engineers and farmers have successfully developed clean technologies like wind power and advanced organic agriculture that can address this crisis, but the negligence of our elected leaders to champion a clear set of climate-saving goals now puts a legal agreement from COP 15 at risk. Daniel Kessler of Greenpeace and others are asking, "How can we hold governments and polluters accountable for the damage done to our earth?"
What can I do?
1- Sign the Global Campaign for Climate Action's Petition and become part of world's largest mandate for action. This website allows you to share your commitment with others. We need to maneuver around the roadblocks and delays thrown up by those who don't want responsible action to limit greenhouse emissions. We must retain our optimism about the outcome of this process.
2- One of the most available opportunities each of us has is deciding what we put in our mouths three times a day. Eating organically means less pollution, improved health, and an efficient, soil-based way to biologically sequester (store) atmospheric carbon. Organic farming is one of the best ways to lessen the severity and speed of global warming. This way of growing food is a bright hope for the planet, regenerating our soil and protecting our future.
3- Even Al Gore remains hopeful about the chance to construct a framework to guide future policy as we near the endpoint of the existing Kyoto Protocol. He believes our shared global future can benefit from increasing sources of renewable energy, regenerating the soil, and as always, reducing, reusing, and recycling in all its forms.
4- As citizens, we know too much, have too much potential and are too personally responsible to tolerate the status quo--it is unethical to sit on the sidelines any longer. Demand action at Copenhagen. The delegates are there speaking for you. Make sure your voice is heard.
We are running short on the one resource that has always worked in our favor--time. Because our elected leaders are not fulfilling their obligations, we must fulfill them ourselves for our children as best we can by right-sizing our carbon footprint and by applying pressure on our representatives.
Without being over-dramatic, I can say that humanity's very existence on this long-suffering planet depends on our decisions this December. It's not about believing a theory, it's about positively impacting a chain of events that are already unfolding.
We must act.