The United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change, Durban, South Africa, 2011


The Durban climate conference began yesterday.  According to the Financial Times, the conference is given “low expectations of success.”



No surprise here.



(Cherry trees are blooming again, down by Fox Point here in Providence (latitude forty-one degrees).   They were blooming downtown two months ago, if you recall.)



(So climate change has at least driven the trees crazy.)



(That’s something, at least.)



The President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, wrote an editorial in the FT last weekend to say that his country (a small group of very low-lying islands, none of them more than a few meters above sea level) was striving to become carbon-neutral and environmentally responsible, and asking other countries to do the same.



Then again: George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the United Kingdom, was recently quoted as saying that he would not “kill Britain to save the planet,” or words to that effect.





Does he realize that, if the planet dies, Britain goes with it?



Last, and most somber of all: another FT article seriously discussed the possibility that the human race is endangered.  One scientist, quoted in the article, thinks that we will hang on – but marginally, the way that Native American languages have survived in Mexico and South America.



Doesn’t that make you feel hopeful?



Me neither.


About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

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