Sat 11 Dec 2010
Well, Cancun did not totally collapse . . . but the outcome was maybe worse. What we now have is a one-year stall with very little to show for it. The targets are basically useless. The only thing this agreement has created is an excuse to keep talking without doing anything. As I argued the other day, we might be better off if the whole thing just collapsed, creating the space and urgency needed to really push forward the various state, city and local initiatives that seem to be the only effective measures that are moving us toward real emissions reductions and a sustainable future. Instead, this agreement creates a counter-argument – just hang on, don’t do anything yourselves, and the countries will figure this out soon.
First, I doubt the countries will get to a place where a real, meaningful agreement could be put in place in a timely manner. Second, as I argued in the post the other day, there is empirical evidence, via the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment’s Scenarios, to suggest that a global agreement isn’t the best way to get to a sustainable future anyway.
I know everyone working on this was well-intentioned, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions . . . and we’ve not yet taken the off-ramp.