Copenhagen - The Aftermath
So, a pathetically weak "deal" that is not binding and basically, if not improved on, condemns large number of humans and other species to perishing as temperature change exceeds 2 degrees in the direction of 3 degrees and beyond. Were we really so surprised? We knew how weak most governments are in the global age - the power is increasingly not with them, it is in corporate boardrooms, banks and the offices of media moguls. The task remains the same as before Copenhagen - to build a movement that can apply pressure on a global scale in the short and medium term and in the long term that can help develop the kind of alternative society and economy that is needed for sustainability and social justice.
In the English speaking world this means taking on both the corporate powers that be and their shills and apologists in media, politics and culture. It is ever more evident from reading Internet discussion boards that the agenda of some of those leading the assault on ecological awareness, social justice campaigns and any mention of ethical concerns is one of nihilism. It is a capitalist-individualist nihilism that rejects politics, religion, collective organisation and ethical concerns not due to corruption and exploitation in these fields (that is the basis of entirely justified left wing critiques of mainstream thought) but philosophically because they all demand restraint and the nihilist will not wear any restraint, regardless of the effect of this stance on others.
The nihilist tries to pretend that every demand for restraint, not matter how politely and gently requested is a totalitarian imposition that is the road to some primitivist hell. Reason and science are abandoned in favour of conspiracy theory and productivist fantasy. The average Internet nihilist lives in a mental universe of abundance where there are no real environmental or economic problems that cannot be solved by the achievement of the nirvana of the totally "free" market.
Despite the prevalence of this attitude online perhaps we should not worry too much about it - it is a basically unsustainable stance that reveals emotional and spiritual immaturity. In the end truth, reason, fellowship and the deep human longing for justice and equality are far stronger than the tantrums of unrestrained egos.
To end on a festive note, perhaps the rightist climate change deniers, the bankers, the political puppets and the nihilist-comment-page-ranters should sit down and watch A Christmas Carol or It's A Wonderful Life this Christmas, they might find food for thought.