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Bicycle Buddha » Blog Archive » Climate talks fail. So what.

Climate talks fail. So what.

I don’t believe international accords mean squat any more.

I’m not a cynic or a fatalist, I am a realist. There’s no evidence whatsoever that climate change can be reversed at this point. Exponential increase is what defines this process and the clock can’t be turned back. However, global realization of the interconnectedness of all matter is also growing exponentially, and that is changing the whole game. Our governments will not save us, but maybe we will save us. “Save”, as in, adapt to the new realities of existence—not as in, return to some Eden from back in the day.

I’m not a political science geek but as far as i can tell all governments, whether they are populist or democratically elected or military dictatorships, act in the interest of their most powerful backers and supporters. Most people in the world are in the strong grip of delusion/denial, and it is the corporate matrix which we have so cleverly created which  ultimately manipulates most of our actions. OK sure, Americans (for example) will vote for Obama—who i think is very courageous and intelligent man—but will they vote for him again four years later when they still don’t have a job, because there are no new factories in America, and gas prices have risen due to, um, peak oil? And are they able to wrap their heads around the concept that they could get rid of the car and live much simpler and better lives? Some, yes. Many, no. It’s not because we are bad. It is because we are living organisms, and that is how living organisms generally behave: motivated first and foremost by desire for comfort and aversion to pain.

I’m getting really sick of hearing people shit on the human race. Humans are no more greedy or evil than any other civilization or species that has existed on this planet. Our tendency is to consume and breed until we reach carrying capacity and mass die-off, and then to start again. That is the cycle of survival. But no matter that we act like the animals  we are, we need to stand by our species now.

And amazingly, there continue to be more and  more humans who are bucking the ancient historical trend. There are many who will persist in doing everything we can to live in integrity, to be able to face our hypothetical grandchildren, no matter how inconvenient our current actions may be. You won’t see dogs or locusts doing that. Why act counter-biologically? For one thing, I find that beyond the feeling of moral righteousness, it is just way more fun to do something than to do nothing. And, the Doing Something camp is where all the sexiest and most interesting people are hanging out.

And so on we go, writing and protesting, planting gardens and changing lightbulbs, and supporting leaders who demonstrate real courage. Speaking our truth. Why not? After all, we have managed to develop these great big frontal lobes and who knows, this time around we might be able to override the hardwired animal response. It could happen. The odds of a fish crawling out of the ocean in the first place were pretty slim too.

5 Responses to “Climate talks fail. So what.”

  1. Eddie Says:

    nice piece. thanks for taking the time to share your perspective.

  2. bruce wood Says:

    Great article. It’s all true we are all just a collection of atavistic amoeba except we got the opposable thumbs and frontal lobe. So we should be able to think outside the box and remember just like foraging wild mushrooms you don’t clear it all you leave some for next year. Unfortunately these days political leadership is a tautology and so we need to take matters into our own hands. Make it, bake it or grow it. Use less dump the car and get off the computer. It remains a beautiful world full of wonder wander around and enjoy it while we can.

  3. Heather Says:

    Hi Carmen,
    Thanks for the uplifting thoughts just as I was getting really depressed at the state of the world. In that spirit, I would like to share with you a story from a fellow East Vanner. It’s a really amazing tale of intention and possibility. And i think the actual jump is happening tomorrow.
    http://kainagata.com/
    Scroll down to the video link Renaissance Man.

  4. Neale Says:

    Refreshing take, Carmen, thanks. You may be right. But international agreements have meant something in the past – reduced the ozone hole; may have reduced some slavery; got some countries to disarm some weapons; and so on. I think it would be better if Canada didn’t renounce Kyoto, but I agree, endorsing or not may not make a big difference in the scheme of things. And I certainly agree “it is just way more fun to do something than to do nothing.” And, I also agree that “the Doing Something camp is where all the sexiest and most interesting people are hanging out.” Somewhat self-congratulatory, but true non the less.

  5. ian Says:

    great piece – i’d like to offer my short film as another perspective on what humanity is waking up to
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRtc-k6dhgs

    interdependence, for sure, but also the recognition that the crises we’re facing are in some ways manufactured by us, FOR us, to challenge us to evolve.

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