It saddens me to read in The Straits Times that at the end of the whole Copenhagen COP15 summit, the only statement issued was just a whimper, a short simple declaration that does not commit anything very much promising. The US$30b fund is an improvement that I found encouraging, but otherwise all the wrangling and politicking was disgusting and disappointing.
As an environmentalist, I guess I always had greater expectations about COP15 and what governments should be doing. But even as my expectations were lowered by the day as I tracked the summit through the newspapers, I am still disappointed that there will not be real leadership and guts to tackle climate change. Reading The Economist, in particular, seems to increase that pessimism. Local politics ultimately rules the day, and sadly local politics are heavily influenced by lobby groups like the oil industry, as well as naysayers who do not believe in the concept of climate change.
It does not help matters that recently there were <a href="leaked emails of data collected on climate science being ‘massaged’. It only proves the skeptics and naysayers that climate change is an agenda usurped by those against capitalism and the Western world, against development and industrialisation. It was already difficult to convince people, or to convince even ourselves, that the economy would not be affected by measures to fight climate change. This ‘Climategate’ might only sour perceptions about environmentalists, environmental scientists and those who support the climate change notion as rogues who are trying to stop the world from getting wealthier.
Very hard to feel very optimistic. I visited the Hopenhagen website, and on its index page it asks for input from visitors to its website for what hopes the visitors have for the environment / climate and what is it that keeps them optimistic. I could not think of anything positive to write about, knowing that the legal, political and economic hurdles were so huge. I closed the website window without typing anything.
So tell me, what keeps you optimistic about resolving climate change?