Sunday, December 13, 2009

Baby steps tire the soul

My friend Octavio used to have this dream of a field of strawberries, as far as the eye could see, located somewhere in and around California. In my friend's dream the strawberries were being picked by lines and lines of working white people.

Octavio (the heroic) was a terrible cynic, but what does his dream mean to our understanding of environmental justice?

I will write a longer blog once we are certain what is going to come out of Copenhagen. For now I will say that watching political posturing concerning climate justice, emissions reduction, etc., has been painful. This, despite knowing that this meeting is a) essential and b) better-than-before. Politics and science are two different beasts, and the former can make little sense to me. I find it difficult to accept small political advances.

Baby steps tire the soul.

A colleague today posted draft text for the reduction in emissions through deforestation and forrest degradation (essentially REDD) that might actually be ratified by the participating countries at the climate meetings. The text called for acknowledgement of indigenous rights and respect for traditional knowledge. This is good, a step forward... and yet, all I can really think is: sure... non-binding, at the discretion of the nation-state,  subject to interpretation, with no means of regulation. Good luck. Same old. Ink spots on a page. A lung full of air.

I promise one thing: if all that happens at these meetings is that world leaders agree to kick forrest dwellers out of their home-lands and encourage mono-cropping I am going to quit my PhD program.

I promise another: I will try not to be cynical all the time.

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