In the 20 plus years since Rio, none of the issues identified and discussed have yet to be properly addressed or resolved. All the years of meetings, debates, and watered down accords have amounted only to baby steps at best. This is foolhardy, negligent, ecologically irresponsible, and wholly unacceptable.
Our Culture has created a crisis of caring, where people have been conditioned to give up on hope and subconsciously believe we are doomed. Yes people might care, but they have learnt to feel powerless to change anything about what is wrong. Lip service is paid to environmental considerations; green washing through our sound byte culture trains us to have a short attention span and to not examine details, unless of course they are trivial, entertaining and pabulum-fed to us. We are sleepwalking on the pathway that is leading us to our own extinction. It’s time to wake up and chart a new course away from the edge of the abyss that looms ever closer!
2012 marked the time of a the emergence of a new Era according to Mayan prophesies, an end of a cycle and beginning of something new…. but this can only materialize if we seize the moment and co-create the shift that catalyzes the watershed change needed. The shift that is required is a shift of thinking, a shift of focus… one from overconsumption, environmental destruction, carelessness, greed, denial and ecological irresponsibility, to one of living within our means, environmental stewardship, caring, sharing, facing reality and becoming ecologically responsible.
The shift required of us now is to a new ERA of Eco-Response-Ability.
How can we “care for the needs of our present generation, without compromising the needs of future generations” without taking our ecological response-abilities? We can’t. We need ERA, and it is an individual and collective effort that demands the attention of each and every one of us, along with the commitment to work together to co-create the needed changes. This means of course, that collaboration is required rather than bickering, with the focus on the common good instead of narrow self-interests, which are illusory in any event, because they are based on competitive, perverse incentives fuelled by the errant notion that the bottom line is making a buck! The bottom line is in fact survival and living a good life!! We cannot live a good life and survive if we continue to be ecologically irresponsible. There are limits and we are crossing them. We had better pay attention, and snap to it fast!
During World War II the allied countries banned together with a common purpose to prevent an identified threat from continuing to advance, in this case, The Nazis taking over the world. The Governments, Industries, Technologies, Economic foci, and hard work of each and every citizen, be they soldiers going to fight, or women going to work in factories, were channeled into the War effort and the Nazis were defeated. The threat neutralized and the goal achieved. If this level of common focus and collective effort could be galvanized then for war, why can it not be done now for adverting disaster and co-creating a flourishing future?
The issue of Sustainable Development (SD) necessarily requires Environmental Responsibility (ER) at its heart and center for it to have any substantive meaning. Without ER applied, any discussions about SD are hubris and futile.
It is so sad to say, but the Rio + 20 Summit in 2012 was an infantile and useless exercise. UNCSD was a bad joke, a puppet show, a serious waste of time and resources, and a despicable manifestation of just how very far we are from beginning to realize our true potential.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!