It could however have been a different day because today is the 28th February. This is the day that the world’s governments agreed at the Durban climate change talks as the deadline for submitting proposals to increase the level of co-operation on climate change.
You may remember the Durban Climate Change Conference. This was the great event that was billed as an outstanding success because a couple of women toiled through two consecutive nights to produce the Durban Platform agreement. Everyone went home happy. Delegates patted each other on their backs as they got in their private jets. The world’s press did as it always does. It toed the party line and reported the world was saved. They said we did not need to worry because everyone had agreed on a legally binding agreement on climate change to come into force in 2020.
If you had that sneaking suspicion that something was wrong and you were being fooled, then you were right. Today was the first test and the world had failed totally and utterly. Because today not a single credible proposal for co-operation on climate change has been submitted from anywhere. There has not been a single report in any mainstream media outlet about this failure. Everyone, including the environmental movement has either ignored it or is so defeated by the fight that they could not summon the energy to read the Durban Platform.
Maybe co-operation on climate change is just too difficult a thing to talk about. Faced with a collapsing ecosystem and energy shortages, co-operation means agreeing mutual sacrifices. This is a concept incompatible with a market-based economy that must keep on growing for its very survival. It is a concept that is incompatible the massive military build-ups across the planet that collapsing nations need to secure the last available resources. It is a concept that is incompatible with beating other nation states through economic competition. These are all the things that we love.
So bizarrely we have a paradox. The media will report on the coming horrors of climate change. The media will report and on the horrors of war in Syria. But there is not a single piece of mainstream media that will advocate the alternatives needed to allow co-operation to take place and prevent these unfolding horrors.
Our government tells us how we must all do our little bit on climate change and it shelters behind glossy reports such as the Low Carbon Transition plan. None of their documents cover the CO2 budget for our military and the military that we build for our oil-producing allies. It certainly does not cover the carbon budget for Trident. Could these have been omitted from the reports by some strange accident?
So while you are told to cycle to work and survive on the carrots that you can grow, the military industrial complex will go and build the biggest and most destructive weapon systems possible such as Trident and force our competitor nations to do the same.
All this needs taxes and taxes are only generated by continued consumption and pollution. The resulting military and economic competition makes it impossible to agree to carbon reductions. So, it is absolutely no surprise we cannot co-operate on climate change.
If we are serious about co-operating on climate change, then the first thing that we must do is force our government to publish the carbon budget for our nuclear deterrence and force our competitor nations to do the same. It is only by demonstrating the ecological disaster these weapons are forcing upon the planet and eliminating these that we can create the space to properly co-operate on climate change. The events of today show these systems that are supposed to provide our defence are actually locking us into a downward spiral of climate change devastation.