Home' Nova National : February 2010 Contents OUR EARTH
© NOVA FEBRUARY 2010
If the growing number of reports about
rising global temperatures is right, we
live in dangerous times, as dark as any
threat we felt during the Cold War. But
in the darkest moments of the 1950s and
1960s, it seemed to be moments of trust
and goodwill, not fear and blame, which
helped us out of that thermonuclear mess.
So, too, trust and goodwill may take us
away from last December 's climate-lite
Copenhagen debacle to a genuine path of
sustainability, giving true accountability and
But we will need to call a spade a spade.
Copenhagen failed, when much more was
needed. There were no legally binding targets.
At first it looked like Britain and United States
had ducked their responsibilities, selfishly
exposing developing countries to disaster.
But then Mark Lynas, climate author and
Maldives delegate in the room, published
his eyewitness account, noticed around the
world, arguing China masterfully sabotaged
the whole process. Lynas cited, for example,
how China's representative insisted the
promise by industrialised countries to cut
emissions 80% by 2050 should be removed
from the agreement. German Chancellor
Angela Merkel was confounded why she
couldn't even mention her own country's
targets; Australian PM Kevin Rudd banged on
his microphone. But China insisted; Merkel
relented; and the backroom meetings and
the absence of targets and accountability
became the glaring flaw in the accord.
The dilemma has been developing
countries blaming industrialised nations'
prodigious carbon pollution over the last
200 years; and developed countries warning
of the dire effects of Chinese and Indian
development, if they follow the same path.
This time round, China effectively stitched
up Obama and rich countries to look like
the climate perpetrators, while avoiding any
targets or accountability themselves. The
plot to undermine a climate treaty thickens.
Yet it is difficult to reduce the failure of
Copenhagen to particular countries. Climate
change scientists have been relatively
conservative about the dire consequences
ahead, but they are finding it increasingly
difficult to not sound a louder alarm, and it
covers the globe, not one part of it. We will
all lose out with that lack of trust. There
After the failure of Copenhagen, awareness of our
global "oneness" has never been more important,
says Adrian Glamorgan.
are spectres of a Saharan Spain, a drowned
Bangladesh, an Australia with bushfire
seasons extended to half a year, an icecap free
planet, and hundreds of millions left hungry,
homeless and thirsty in a world which has
only a third of its current freshwater by 2100.
We are all in this together.
Yet the best the media can do is
foreground climate sceptics and the nuclear
lobby, whose greenhouse record with waste
and plant building is carefully overlooked.
Our own country's laughable target of
reducing emissions by 5% by 2020 shows
a disturbing level of delusion, unreported
and under-analysed by the national press,
with major parties effectively offering to
pay polluters billions of dollars' subsidy to
keep polluting. We will change the way we
do things, the major parties keep saying,
only once every one else overseas does. It is
against our interest.
We cannot wait for the other to act well
before we act well ourselves. It is a time for
risking trust and goodwill, for offering up
virtuous actions in the face of danger. To
risk doing what is right, because it is right,
knowing it inspires others and because it
sets the tone for what humanity needs as a
During the Cold War, people of goodwill
from all sides made such choices regularly,
thus avoiding a nuclear war. So, too, now
people of goodwill from China, Europe,
the United States, Australia, and developing
and island countries need to regularly and
immediately find ways to solve the dawning
threats of climate change by taking unilateral
actions for sustainability. We may stand out to
begin, but that's what it may take.
In October 1962, a nuclear world war
seemed distinctly imminent. Said Arthur
Schlesinger Jnr: "This was not only the most
dangerous moment of the Cold War. It was
the most dangerous moment in human
history." With the Soviet Union placing
nuclear missiles in Cuba, only five minutes'
trajectory from continental United States, the
Pentagon urged President John F Kennedy
to go to war, pre-emptively. The whole world
held its breath.
Instead, Kennedy chose to enforce a
naval quarantine blockading all offensive
weapons from Cuba. It bought time, and
the chance for cooler minds and warmer
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W orkshops 2010
20th February -- Numerology & ABFE
21st February -- Kinesiology & ABFE
13th & 14th March -- Level 1
Contact Uschi Wilmer (02) 9450 1388
27th & 28th February -- Level 1
27th & 28th March -- White Light Essences
Contact Gabbie Enright (08) 8377 2415
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27th February -- Women's Wellbeing
28th February -- Astrology & ABFE
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27th & 28th March -- Level 1
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'Emotional Care and WellBeing'
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