If I take a step back to look at the historical moment we find ourselves in, I have to say that the negotiations in Copenhagen are different than any other negotiations I’ve ever assisted to.
Political negotiations are about compromise between the parts, it is about agreeing on the kind of grey that will rubberstamp the agreement. Survival negotiations are not negotiations; they are black or white. In Copenhagen there are two kinds of people; those who take this as a political negotiation and those who take this as a survival decision. Needless to say, a compromise will be more than difficult.
But, as I said, I wanted to look at this with a certain distance; humankind finds it self in a religious moment, in a purely philosophically existential dilemma, in a maturity test, in a “to be or not to be” situation…
We are in a religious moment because the world is about to “flood” for a second time (according to the old testament), the “sinners” have been warned by science (!) that if we continue with our life-style, with the business as usual, we will be flooded. Fair enough. The human race didn’t listen to the warnings of God the first time, the earth was flooded but God gave us a second chance. If we prove again that we are incapable of listening, of taking action to save ourselves… why should nature (or God for that matter) gives us another chance?
We are in a philosophical existential dilemma because as a race, as the big herd that we are, we have to choose between survival and extinction. The evolution of our philosophy has produced a society built on the basis of individuals, with irrational and artificially created material needs, and in which short term profit is put before the preservation of the species. Our philosophical evolution has also equipped us with phantastic logic reasoning, common sense, prudence. What will prevail?
We are in a maturity test because nature is testing our sociological and psicological evolution as a “team” to see if we are ready to survive as a whole or we rather prefer to test our luck. This means that blinded by the short term profit we chose to play our long term existence in a Russian roulette which in the best case will mean the sacrifice of some of us for the sake of the rest but which in 9 out of 10 cases means the disappearance of us all.
It is a “to be or not to be” situation because we have to take a common decision to “be”; to “exist”. Even if climate change would be an invention what is at stake in Copenhagen negotiation is the trust in ourselves as human beings beyond our national borders. If the developed and most polluting countries chose to abandon the developing countries with another treachery compromise the situation will deteriorate and the trust gap will increase. The south will become more and more suspicious about the north; whatever is left of trust will evaporate. And lack of trust in the team is the root of serious and long-lasting conflict.
Sadly, the text leaked today in which Denmark, US and UK worked behind all the other countries is a perfect example of how to destroy confidence with an otherwise very logical short-sighted move from the developped countries.
As redundant as it might sound humankind can only get out of this as a team… Today in Copenhagen I could see Africans screaming and crying out of rage, desertification is literally killing them. It is the second day and this risks getting emotional. Emotions? That animal instinct?
In my opinion the only way we will get anything useful out of Copenhagen is if our repressed animal instinct comes out and we make the irrational decision that “YES! Even though it will cost us money, sacrifice, power, you name it we still want to take the irrational decision to exist.”
Will we be that illogical? I doubt it…