I can’t believe Copenhagen’s all over

I can’t believe it’s all over – and that global leaders are going to leave Copenhagen without agreeing a meaningful deal. They have let themselves and the world down.

Families like Hasina and Mizan’s deserve better. They deserve the right to live in dignity.

Some 160 million children are already seriously affected by climate change and up to 250,000 could die before the next major climate change meeting in Mexico at the end of next year.

Children – especially those from poor communities – are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and yet they are the least responsible for causing them. Their survival should have been the first priority for world leaders at Copenhagen.

Earlier on in the week, one Mexican delegate who was forced to wait in the cold for hours just to get into the conference said exasperatedly: “It won’t be like this in Mexico.” I just hope he was referring to more than the queues.

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  • Nicola Etherington

    Dear Anna,

    Here is a copy of an email I sent to Adrian this morning. I´ve just read your blog & thought I´d send it to you too. Call me naive to imagine such a thing, but… just imagine if it could be in Mexico!


    Dear Adrian,

    I am writing to you because I couldn´t sleep last night for thinking about the failure of our world´s leaders to come to any meaningful agreement in Copenhagen on how to save the planet from global warming. As a parent myself, and someone who cares deeply about the legacy we are leaving behind for future generations I cannot help but feel so terribly sad and hopeless about this failure and what it means for our children.

    Like everyone who cares, I find myself desparately thinking about what could be done, what would change their hearts, what would show them in simple terms how agreement can and must be achieved, what would capture the imaginations of the worlds adults to act on behalf of the children of our planet.

    I came to the conclusion that the world needs a children´s summit. That this summit should be hot on the heels of Copenhagen, (and before any more summits take place and that it should consist of representatives from every country of the world, and that those representatives must be under 18. The aim of the summit is for those children to talk and play together and to come up with a clear message to the leaders of their countries: This Is What We Want You To Do…

    The summit would capture the world´s media (look at how the newspapers of the world agreed to print an editorial just prior to Copenhagen). It would easily spread through the internet, it would benefit from the goodwill of millions of children and adults. It would attract sponsorship from governments (what government would not want to be seen as supportive of such an enterprise?) and would attract corporate sponsorship ( again, what company would not want to be seen as supporting…? Although you would have to be very careful who you aloud to put their name to it!) There could be a free televised concert with artists offering their time for free of course) The role of the adults is merely to facilitate the summit.

    I honestly believe it would be a meaningful summit, that would have meaningful outcomes and could be instrumental in saving the lives of children. I realise it is a huge undertaking, but I believe it could and should happen, and that it should be called The Save The Children Summit. I am writing to you (and you alone!) in the hope that you think that this is a good idea. Thank you for your time.

    Yours sincerely

    Nicola Etherington

  • Graham Lawrence

    Do you believe in facts, or in emotional drama? I thought Save the Children was about just that – helping to save children. Not about promoting some political agenda based on questionable science, or about extreme and hysterical statements. Children need help whether or not man’s activities have anything to do with “climate change” – which has always been with us and always will be. “Saving the Planet from global warming” is a delusion – read “Air Con” by Ian Wishart, for example. “160 million children are seriously affected by climate change” – this is just an assertion, not a demonstrable truth backed up by evidence. 250,000 children will die before the Mexico meeting even if there is not one ounce of climate change in the meantime. This is hype and feelings, not improving the world. The biggest possible failure our world leaders could make would be to dismantle world economies in pursuit of a vain attempt to influence something which is so much more about the natural cycles of the forests and oceans, and about solar activity, and inevitable cycles and complex compensating natural mechanisms, than about silly beliefs about what man’s activities are responsible for.

    I am inclined to support saving children – I am not inclined to support pushing a political agenda about something which is as effective, and scientifically sound, as King Canute holding back the waves. Save the Children should stop thinking it is scientific or political and go back to just helping children. You can’t argue about whether that is worthwhile.

    In the meantime, (a) there are thousands more polar bears than there were in the 1970s, (b) Al Gore is making a fortune through his companies out of trading carbon credits, (c) there are 800,000 square kilometres more ice in the Antarctic than there were thirty years ago, look up the satellite data;(d) the world temperature hasn’t gone up since 1998 although carbon dioxide emissions have, (e) 1934 was hotter than 1998 anyway, long before the substantial increase in fossil fuels consumed by aeroplanes and cars, (f)there have been no, repeat no, evacuated low-lying islands because of allegedly rising sea levels (yes they are rising but not at dangerous or catastrophic rates), (g) a solar activity cycle peaked at the end of the 20th century, since when there has been no further warming, (h) man’s contribution to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is roughly equivalent to throwing a bucket of water into Lake Windermere and imagining that you have a significant effect on the lake, (i) the Arctic sea ice comes and goes all the time, so Amundsen was able to sail through the Northwest passage back in 1903, long before all that nasty petrol from planes and cars. We all need to stop being so neurotic about this, and start paying a bit more attention to the science. Save the Children should be about compassion, not about the modern hysterical pseudo-religion of man-caused “climate change”.