Sometimes, you hold on to a faint hope, that human beings and especially those who by all logic should have the highest wisdom and responsibility, should be able to finally reach a consensus like the responsible adults they presumably are. Evidently, they are not capable of that. This despite that the increase in world temperature seems to be greater than anticipated. There might still be hope for an – as usual – watered down agreement which would aim to unify “economic growth” with “sustainability”, which at the current conditions feels like mixing fresh water with gasoline and throwing a burning match on it all.

climate change 1

I do not believe that the current world leaders are fools, but I believe that they are prisoners of an emergent system which has established itself during the last 200 years. A system characterised by financial, industrial, social and economic emergence that gradually decreases the manoeuvre space for those caught inside the system. We might – figuratively – be standing on the deck of Titanic. Given that an analogy could be made between Titanic and the world. And now the climate change issue is not the only debilitating environmental crisis in the world.

Another analogy would be that the Doha conference is a rehab meeting where everyone are addicts. But that would be too cheap. To a great extent, the climate change adjustment meetings are reminiscent of the Prisoner’s Dilemma. Everybody has a motive to cheat, an agreement would lead to a loss in economic growth figures, but a disagreement would basically mean a major loss. The only difference is that it is the children’s children of the current world leaders who would live with the end result.

For a moment, imagine the relocation of the population of the Nile Valley Delta, or Bangladesh. We will be talking of over a quarter of a billion people. Most of them poor and more or less innocent to the destruction of the environment undertaken by a shortsighted and irrational system. Instead of only talking reduction of emissions, we should also discuss how to begin to relocate people, because some of the world’s most populated regions will be less habitable by 50 years.

Enrique Lescure, Relations Director, The Earth Organisation for Sustainability (EOS)


  1. Simon Wild said,

    December 8, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Reblogged this on Simon Wild and commented:
    A great post on the action in Doha

  2. Simon Wild said,

    December 8, 2012 at 9:43 am

    A great post Enrique. I blogged recently about some work that Kevin Anderson has done around the lack of action at some of these gatherings.

    What do you think will change our lack of action?

    • Eos Umeå said,

      December 8, 2012 at 9:55 am

      The EOS route is to try to identify the disease instead of the symptoms. The Earth will live with leprosy scars for centuries, but the main cause must be removed first, and that is an unsustainable socio-economic system. We cannot have infinite exponential growth on a limited planet. We need to abolish planned obsolence, cut back on traffic, agriculture and other emissions and organise our communities to become more resilient. We should aim to organise ourselves for a large-scale objective to transform the world from the bottom up. Human well-being and the well-being of the biosphere are not competing, but inter-related.

      While EOS has blueprints how a potential alternative new system would look like, we need to test all ideas first and allow people to evolve new systems organically. It is important however that people organise themselves, and we hope that EOS could be one of the movements that people are organising themselves in.

      Of course, civic action in other areas are preferable, but we cannot postpone critical action.

      We are an open grassroot science network, and you are free to come with new proposals and help us help the world.

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