Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Newspapers in 45 countries in 20 languages speak as one

'Social justice demands that the industrialised world digs deep into its pocket and pledges cash to help poorer countries adapt to climate change...'
The transformation will be costly, but many times less than the bill for bailing out global finance - and far less costly than the consequences of doing nothing...'
Many of us, particularly in the developed world, will have to change our lifestyles. The era of flights that cost less than the taxi ride to the airport is drawing to a close. We will have to shop, eat and travel more intelligently. We will have to pay more for our energy and use less of it'
But the shift to a low-carbon society holds out the prospect of more opportunity than sacrifice.'

Comment & Analysis
by Johan Lidberg

These four quotes from the 56-newspaper editorial lead published by The Guardian in the UK communicates clearly what our political leaders have not wanted to or have not been brave enough to spell out in the last 10 years.
Some of us have pointed it out time and again, but the scale and reach of this coordinated editorial is unprecedented. The Guardian and the other 55 newspapers should be commended for their courage and clarity.
Apart from long-term prosperity, the climate challenge also offers an opportunity for humankind to pull together in a common project of great importance to every single individual. It's hard to think of any other challenge in the history of humankind that is as daunting, but at the same time, offers such possibilities - because it's, 'all about the biosphere stupid'.
Too often in the debate do you hear references to 'saving the planet' or 'rescuing earth'. This is yet another version of hubris.
Earth will pull through whatever humankind throws at it. Even if we detonate nuclear devices simultaneously and create a nuclear winter or warm the globe by 10 degrees Celcius, Earth would pull through.
On a geological time scale, it would be a mere blip.
It's about HUMANKIND's terms of existence.
Do we choose a sustainable and connected way of life or do we continue towards social upheaval and unrest which will be the concrete results if we don't take action on climate change?
There are thousands of journalists covering COP15. But imagine if you were an 'extraterrestrial correspondent'. How incredibly weird this gathering would seem?
Here you have an entire species discussing how to deal with the fact that the branch it's sitting on is being sawed off.
Come to think of it, you don't have to be from another planet to find that weird ...
It's disappointing that none of the major US newspapers dared to lead on this. From an Australian perspective you feel ashamed that NO newspaper signed up. Then again, when you think back to the countries that did not sign the Kyoto agreement from the start it's not surprising.
Yet, the 56 paper editorial offers great hope and it sends a clear message summarised in the conclusion:
'If we, with such different national and political perspectives, can agree on what must be done then surely our leaders can too.'
Be inspired Copenhagen delegates - be very inspired!

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