Wouter: We have to act now!

We have to act now! We are running out of time! On our first official conference day we heard many engaged and motivated people speeching about the necessity to do something now. If we don’t change things now, the earth will keep on warming up, at a rate which we cannot control. A lot of people want a lot of things here. But not much seem to happen in terms of progress. At every moment of the day there are multiple activities going on at a COP. Negotiations, informal meetings, side-events, side-events with lunch, direct ( but still coordinated) actions, everything you can imagine that possibly can happen at a convention of parties. But the main goal of the COP is of course: the negotiations. Like an elephant stuck in the mud they are discussing all kinds of ecological themes, going forward, backwards, a bit to the left, a bit to the right and back forward but only little steps at the time. An adaption in that particular sentence in that particular phrase was changed! Let’s celebrate. That is called ‘going forward’? At first sight, it looks like peanuts. The elephant managed to move it’s right ear! That is just great. Now let’s wait a year and try to save it then. Problem solved.

Well that was what it looks like. But when you take a closer look you notice that it is not that easy. Those negotiators aren’t all trying to block the talks and earn a lot of money by doing that. Well, maybe some of them are, but most of them aren’t. Most of them are doing their best and want to do something about the climate change. But the problem with big problems is that the solution isn’t served on a plate. There aren’t just two roads that we can take to the future. There are thousands, millions maybe. The negotiators are trying to take the right road. For their own, for their country. Whatever motives they might have..

But the negotiations are only one part of the attempt to stop the climate change. How should it be organised? Top down or bottom up? What about both? If the negotiators aren’t going fast enough, the ‘bottom’ can show the ‘up’ how it’s done. And so: ‘top’ can motivate ‘down’, and ‘down’ can encourage ‘up’ to keep working on a major change in life. And together, in this interaction, the elephant manages to free itself from the mud.

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