David Levy – When did the World lose its Optimism? – Dec 15

Recently I revisited the life’s work and campaigning of the Honourable Al Gore.

His devastating lecture which he portrayed in the Inconvenient Truth was delivered, with the confidence of a professional politician, to audiences all over the globe.

The question I would ask him now is: What is your assessment of all your efforts?

It would be wonderful to be able to talk to him and to ask him whether his efforts were worth his personal costs. To be able to question him about his current commitment, and whether he felt the World is further forward in protecting itself from its previous carbon induced climate-changing course.

Or does he still feel the deterioration is on a downward trajectory? Also, does he see the Paris Climate Conference as having turned the environmental corner?

The recent news articles from China could easily have been from London in the 1950s during the years of the pea-souper smogs. The daily build of coal-fired power stations in China runs contrary to global advice. However the reticence of other super-powers to make the carbon change themselves gave a weak message of the need for change to this emerging super-power.

It is not clear whether any country is able to view its place in the World without forging ahead with its national interests. Does anyone speak and act for the planet?

What we have heard from the Paris Climate Conference is optimism, offset by a failure to agree formal action on carbon mass-reduction. The rhetoric from the communiqué following the conclusion of the Paris Climate Conference is very upbeat, with the spin that the world has turned a corner.

The wordage certainly is the best we have heard so far. But the reality is that it is only words, and not delivered in action points. When will they realise that words are not enough?

The sacred 2°C increase in world temperature has already been half-way breached. Scientists globally agreed the world could not tolerate a two degree rise in temperature. Without any agreement for major worldwide carbon reduction, and certainly no enforcement agency with teeth to make sure this will happen, then the prospects don’t seem good for us.

The fact is despite whatever the message, mankind’s leaders believe in short-term decisions and that the science isn’t believable. In other words, their thinking is that we can survive Armageddon. Maybe the round of fantasy films distorts perception of our survival opportunities in the minds of our global representatives because their present decisions bear no relationship to the consequences of inaction.

This makes me wonder when the World lost its optimism, or is this the optimism of the delusional?

Real optimism was around during the days of John Lennon when we could all imagine.
And it certainly was in the classroom of the college student Al Gore. He was inspired, and had a belief that we could bring ourselves back from the brink. I too had that feeling that we could work together for something better.

But the reality for the NGO Movement is not about working collaboratively with others on the urgent issues. For most, it’s all about finding salaries and paying the rent; taking opportunities from charitable status to make money, and using energies to sell bee kits or sponsor a wild animal. All of these are “active” interactions along with others which I have been approached to commit to, and this represents the particular focus of some major NGOs.

Meanwhile from my point of view, the reflection of the Paris Climate Conference is full of the optimism of the delusional.

Deborah Wright’s work Conserving the Great Blue reveals — for all who wish to see — that the world is full of laws, agreements and important wordage which, if applied, could resolve the urgent situation of the degradation of the marine ecosystem. The truth revealed in Conserving the Great Blue is that words are just empty intentions, and I fear that Paris will turn out to be more of the same because they could not agree to do anything more than just defer action to a future date.

We start 2016 with little to encourage us. Paris was a meeting of minds but was not a meeting of intention of any significance, despite the energies of some serious people.

I am of the generation that led by example, but our hold over the issues is waning whilst the Blue Peter generation come to the Earth’s rescue with lowest common denominator solutions.

Enforcement means you may be unpopular, but unless we engage in the reality we will witness week-by-week disaster scenarios.

As a race, we do need to believe in something : in Gods, in humanity, in ourselves.

The planet as an entity has a need, and we as a race have to address that need or suffer the consequences.

2016 New Year Message from Marinet Chair, David Levy


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