Twenty years ago, in 1992, the so-called leaders of the world met in Rio de Janeiro to discuss climate change. At that conference, actual meaningful measures to combat the issue were discussed, and legally-binding agreements were signed.
Today, 20 years later, in a follow-up conference, the story is very different. Rio+20 is little more than a corporate-sponsored sham.
(Open Salon readers can watch the video here)
This, dear reader, is not an abstract problem. This is an issue which threatens the very survival of our species on this planet, (not to mention the survival of literally thousands of other species). Yet the "leaders" of the world's major nations seem blithely unconcerned. Are they blind? Are they stupid? Are they simply incapable of opposing the will of the big multi-national corporations? The first two seem unlikely, and the third possibility still doesn't explain the utter lack of apparent long-term concern.
We've all read science-fiction novels in which the Earth has become either partially or completely uninhabitable. In 1943, Henry Kuttner published, (under the nom de plume of Lawrence O'Donnell), a story entitled Clash By Night, which took place on Venus, where the remnants of humanity struggled to survive after Earth had been consumed by runaway nuclear power plant accidents. This was very prophetic stuff for the year 1943, and shows that there was considerable publicly-available information on "Atomic" energy several years prior to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Laugh at Science Fiction if you will, it has proven again and again to be the best venue for imagining future events. And if we cannot imagine the future, how then shall we prepare ourselves for it?
And what, you may ask, does this have to do with Rio+20? Or is your favorite beady-eyed marsupial varmint simply maundering pointlessly about days gone by, and days to come? The answer is simply this - the future will come, whether we will or no. The future will happen to us, prepared or unprepared. If we do not take action now, to shape that future for our own benefit, (indeed our own survival, if the ugly truth be spoken aloud), if we do not act now, then that future will be a nightmare shaped only by chaos and the ruthlessly inhumane greed of the rich elites and the corporations which they control.
What are we going to do about it?