COPOUT26 - The ‘Glasgow climate pact’ has just been adopted with the 37-strong Alliance of Small Island States expressing “extreme disappointment” after a last-minute intervention by India to ‘phase down’ rather than ‘phase out’ coal use and a failure by rich nations to agree a mechanism for poor countries to receive 'compensation', a word rich countries say they 'cannot countenance’ – KJ
ADELAIDE - Phil Fitzpatrick, in recent comments on PNG Attitude, has pointed out the true implications of any serious attempt to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
This has been amplified by Paul Oates and Bernard Corden, while Kindin Ongugo has voiced legitimate concerns about the COP26 climate change conference further disadvantaging the world's poorest people.
The bottom line in this whole debate is that the world cannot exert effective control over climate change unless and until the neo-liberal economic model, which requires constant growth in the production and consumption of goods and services, can be reined in.
In turn, this requires that the seemingly endless accumulation of debt being used to fund an absurdly wasteful and grossly unfair economic system must also come to an end.
This will necessarily mean that we citizens of the developed world, now recast in the role of consumers and debtors, must give up our obsession with the accumulation of the 'stuff' we often seek to give our lives meaning and comfort.
By stuff I refer to what Papua New Guineans call 'bilas', which I use here in the context of superfluous decoration, objects that glitter and make us feel better but are otherwise useless.
Much like bower birds, many of us are now thoroughly conditioned to want a great deal of stuff that has no practical purpose and little utility and which usually ends up in landfill or littering the landscape.
This stuff is simply the ultimate expression of planned obsolescence because it is manufactured solely in the expectation it will be thrown away.
It is possible to live a much simpler life and now, as the world’s climate becomes increasingly brutal, it is urgently necessary to do so.
I believe that embarking upon hugely less consumption-based lives will not only be good for our finances and the environment, but will liberate us from the pervasive influence of the marketing industry that helps under pin neo-liberal capitalism.
More and more people now realise the truth of this but I fear they are still a tiny minority.
Our political class probably knows what must be done but it seems unwilling to explain this to the people for fear of suffering serious electoral damage.
Not even the so-called Green Party has been explicit about what sacrifices the achievement of its policy goals will require.
I have written before of my expectation that the massive suffering caused by climate change will ultimately create the conditions under which the political class will have to admit the truth and apply the measures needed to try address a quite dreadful situation.
Right now, that moment is still a long way off.
Perhaps the only hope lies, rather perversely, in the collapse of the vast Ponzi scheme that we call international finance.
If the world's gargantuan debt mountain finally implodes, a crisis will ensue that may provoke the necessary introspection and the political resolve to do things differently.
As for the poorest people in the world, I fear that Kindin is correct and they will, as is usually the case, suffer many adverse impacts whatever the so-called developed world does.
In a world where billionaires fire themselves into space in rockets, sail vastly expensive cruisers and fly in corporate jets to discuss remediating climate change, we cannot expect much to change.
The very people who most benefit from the current system seem highly unlikely to dismantle it.
Until they begin to share the suffering from it.