On the COP … well … I began my personal crusade about global warming back in the late 1960s and early 70s when I first read Lovelock’s Gaia principle. Perhaps, if anyone had taken notice and done things then we might have had a chance but now is best part of 50 years too late. This is a planet we’re talking about not a business corporation! She’s well into what she’s doing, gave us our chance to see in the 60s as hippies and through Lovelock. But so many of the 60s hippies turned into the propertarians of the 70s and 80s that it all went to hell in a handcart! It’s like some people actually think we could do anything about a meteor hitting the Earth, like wottisname in the “disaster movie” … sheesh! Similarly, we cannot now do anything about global warming and, in any case, all the hot air of the talks has just come out with a “politico/business compromise” not solutions … there are none!
The 3rd Rock from the Sun has her plans. What we humans need to do now is learn how to manage with what she gives us, and how not to make the same dreadful mistakes over again, the few of us that will be left! The COP seems to me like the “bread and circuses” of the Roman age, keep the populace happy so they don’t panic and revolt while we muddle along until the disaster strikes, then it’s every rich man for himself. I think I should have been a French philosopher … I sound like one … arrrggghhh !!!
You cannot compromise, it just cannot work! And it’s not about what the people want, or are willing to do, it’s about what Earth is already doing and learning how to live with that! Diplomacy and politics don’t save the planet, and in any case it’s not the planet that needs saving! She’s already saving herself, she’s done it before in her 4.5 billion years of life, along with her mate the Sun, and she’ll do it again. How much of humanity she decides is worth keeping is a whole other ball game! The Earth will survive and grow better and healthy and well, whether we humans will be there to see it is an open question. Hard, difficult, terrifying conclusions and decisions may save some of humanity but these are NOT what was discussed at the COP. Many of these conclusions mean realising that nothing can be done except to learn to live with the Earth and to cease any desire to change things!
Do you know the story of Pandora’s Box? The silly girl lets out all the ills of the world but manages to shut the lid down before “hope” escapes, so we still have hope! Unfortunately most of the world doesn’t realise that “hope” is the worst ill of all as it prevents us seeing reality, what is really there and really happening, because we “hope” for something else! Hope is what is preventing most of the humans in the world seeing that we are well on our way towards a mega-change and there ain’t no stopping it, we’re all along for the ride and a few of us may survive. Hope is the root of the concept of if I don’t look it isn’t really happening!
If we humans must have hope then let us hope to learn from the incredible mistakes we’ve made, first since we invented farming and then since the industrial revolution. Neither of these two things need have been the disasters they’ve turned out to be but they changed us radically. As hunter-gatherers we owned nothing and knew ourselves to be fellow creatures of the Earth, our mother, and we worked with everything. We also had a very good lifestyle, working maybe 10-15 hours a week, with lots of playtime and think-time and art-time … not like the 3-jobs-life people many live now in order to maintain a lifestyle they’re never at home to enjoy!
Farming changed us, we began to own land – my field! I want your field! I’ll kill you for it! We grew a hierarchy – I own lots of stuff so you work for me or I hurt and/or kill you! I’m the boss, superior to you, so you’re a slave, serf, employee. What I say goes because I’m more powerful than you! All this went into hyper-drive with the Industrial Revolution. Ambition got a real boost then. And, as the Mock Turtle says, along with it came distraction, uglification and derision. The idea of “Me! Me! Me! Now! Now! Now!” began to go exponential.
The desire for luxury, other people to do your work, lots of money/power, status, kudos, the envy of your peers and neighbours, eternal growth of the amount of money you could make and the power you could have over everything, wiped out any idea of caring for others except in a hierarchical way. All our westernised governments work this way now. Most of our populations want money, power and luxury. And most civilised humans are afraid of what is not man-made. We are well along the slippery slide. Arrrggghhh !!!
If we want to be one of the survivors what we have to do is to let go of all this crap about ownership, power, money, luxury. We have to stop wanting to change or control the Earth. We have to learn to live with her. And we have to realise that human beings are the newest (and most destructive) species on Planet Earth, and get over the idea that the worst thing that can happen is for humans to die out. And we have to get over being afraid of death, of our loved ones dying being the worst thing since sliced cat food! Humans really do have to get over themselves altogether!
So … my opinion of the Paris COP is somewhat below my desire to eat a dead slug! I mostly keep my head down when these conferences happen, I go for a walk, read a book, write a book, play with the cats, or watch a good film. I practice some useful bushcraft like fire-lighting, cleansing drinking water and hedgerow cooking. I never watch the news, my blood pressure won’t stand it! But hubby watched the news yesterday so I accidentally saw some of the crap “statements” by the “leaders”, full of eye-wash, sugar, criminal lies, statistics and stupidity, before I climbed out of my chair and went to make a calming pot of tea!
As Lewis Carrol said got the Mock Turtle to tell Alice, all we learn at school is, “Ambition, Distraction, Uglification and Derision.” So our Snark is a Boojum, you see …