Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Rhino Express

While the international headlines pick up the story of Durban as one of futility and undercut expectations, there are in fact aggrandized efforts in motion. The herds have arrived, single-minded in their hunger. Best-case scenario, these negotiations will result in decisions that would operationalize the hard work of the last several years: technology mechanisms to promote clean energy, a valid REDD+ mechanism, adaptation frameworks
to support developing countries, a Green Climate Fund. “Still, negotiations limp on.” So say the headlines, disheartened by the politics of climate change. But even if this is what they call the last ditch, even if hope for major breakthroughs have long since been abandoned, the compounded efforts have not slowed down. The Convention of the Parties has 195 countries attempting collaboration. The labor involved, not only in gathering here in South Africa, but in the daily toil of the run-up could never be called limping. There are still myriad opportunities to deliver both operational decisions and long-term signals on the future direction of the international process. If anything, there is too much work on the table, too many gears spinning in a fractured process with a thousand important goals. But in this unprecedented cause, it is not for nothing. Tomorrow is always undecided and even if everyone goes home disappointed, we still have the future to contend with. It is never easy to live up to expectations, but it is also never easy to give up. We have to believe we can steer this train away from wreckage. With collective strong will and strong opinions, the rhinos are full steam ahead.

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