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Who will write the history?

12/19/09

It was the last day of COP 15.  One hundred seventy-nine heads of state came together to deliver their nations’ positions. Keeping in mind that the Danish government had produced a three-page-long political declaration meeting no one’s needs, I was a little reluctant to listen to what they had to say. According to the Danish text, which was negotiated behind closed doors, there will be no second commitment period under Kyoto and no new commitments. After all these conferences and speaches, is everyone being manipulated?

But being a big fan of President Obama, I did dash through the large gathering of people at the NGO headquarters  just to watch him talk.  Uncharacteristically, he failed to captivate the audience. Despite his opening statement that, “I come here not to talk but to act,” the audience refused to accept the targets he was proposing—17% by 2020 and $ 10 billion by 2012.

The most popular speakers with the audience appeared to be Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez. Morales said, “If there is no agreement at the level of Presidents, then put it to the people. We must listen to them, That is a participatory democracy. I would even say in April, when we celebrate Mother Earth Day, that we hold a referendum to the people.  Why form all these groups?”

Chavez, speaking on behalf of Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Venezuela, was frustrated at not being invited to a behind the door meeting. “If the friends of the President (Denmark) are invited, are we not friends?” he commented. He proclaimed that they will never accept a document produced in their absence.The audience went into cheers as he questioned the authenticity of a text lacking transparency and democracy. As he left the floor by accusing the US of the genocide, the afternoon high level segment was closed.

As I headed back to my table, I wondered who the real culprit of the climate misery is. Sitting desperately and eyeing aimlessly around the Ostenhallen,I spotted some young people with their heads newly shaved. Being inquisitive, I approached and asked. They said they are joining the Shave Action to show world leaders that they stand with 3 billion people who desire a common goal—a legally binding treaty to save mother earth. I was so impressed! I could not help but being moved by their benevolence and sacrifice.

Yes, it is definitely not the US or the rapidly growing economies like China and India, which are hiding under the title “Developing Countries,” but rather the self interest and greed bred into human beings that is the cause of our climate misery. All through these decades, we have exploited resources and threatened our planet owing to greed. Now, big business and coal companies are trying their best to block the negotiations and climate justice to maintain their profit. To restore balance, we need to get rid of greed from society. If everyone could just be content with what he or she has, there will not be any more debate about how to stop climate change. And, the young volunteers show that the 2050-generation is ready for it. Copenhagen is such a wonderful opportunity and yet the worlds failed to fulfill the need of people owing to greed and self interest. It is very inspiring to see the young people who had come together, committed themselves and boldly fought for climate justice. I believe without a shed of doubt that they won’t let their history written for them but written by them.

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