Ardent Eden

Ardent Eden is a place to explore my thoughts about the interdependence of life - humanity and nature - and to engage with others for collective problem-solving.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Listen to the Silence

The climate summit in Montreal has come and gone. As I mentioned before, we didn't hear much about it even after Bill Clinton showed up to refute Bush's claims that Kyoto or any measure like it "would wreck the US economy." Even Bill McKibben couldn't get geared up for the talks. Check out his piece in Grist this week. Two lessons come to mind from the uproar that never was:

1. The bad news: corporate control of our government is out of hand. I know, I know--this is not an earth-shattering revelation. But McKibben's description of how the US representative in Montreal was handpicked by ExxonMobil and delivered to the administration on a platter is striking in its simplicity: the folks at our favorite big oil company send a fax to the White House and Dennis Hastert's senior aide is hired to serve as its chief climate negotiater. It's as easy as that. Ah, blessed democracy! (By the way, reading Ross Gelbspan's book Boiling Point is a good way to get fired up about this...just be prepared to have a glass of wine, take a walk, or do whatever it is you do to calm yourself down after reading a few pages of it.)

2. The good news: inspired individuals are not giving up the fight. In the face of our government's egregious blockade of meaningful progress on global warming (or any other environmental issue for that matter), McKibben highlights the efforts of young activists keeping the faith about the power of engaging in the work of democracy. They're taking the simple, optimistic steps from which I derive so much hope: holding meetings, handing out low-energy lightbulbs, and creating community. Just like the kids protesting Wal-Mart, the message is simple and clear. We need to change the way we live - now. Is anyone listening?


  • At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Questing for Truth said…

    Poorer nations want the richer countries to drop subsidies because they say their producers cannot compete against the lower, subsidised prices.


    What do you think? Is free trade in agriculture fairer trade for the 3rd world?


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