Thursday, December 17, 2009

Quotes from Copenhagen

One tradition observed at U.N. Climate Change Conferences is that representatives from each of 193 countries in attendance get to give a five minute speech about their country's concerns.  Here are some highlights of a few leaders' speeches: 

We face a daunting choice. The nightmare of humanity becoming the species that dies out just as a parasite does that devours its host. Or the dream of a humanity that rises to the challenge of cooperation and solidarity to create a new deal with our planet. -- George Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece

Each and every one of us here will be judged….On how we as individual women and men gathered at this great conference have responded to the scientific reality of climate change. And whether we have responded in conscience to the indisputable facts that science has put before us. And history will be a harsh judge of us all. – Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia

Belize is a country blessed with the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere…thousands of beautiful coral islands, and abundant mangrove, broadleaf and pine forests. Unfortunately, we are not able to list our natural riches merely to extol them. Rather, it is to lament their destruction; to testify to the havoc that is being wrought on our environment and on our people by anthropogenic climate change. -- Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize

Without common action extreme temperatures will create a new generation of poor with climate change refugees driven from their homes by drought, climate change evacuees fleeing the threat of drowning, the climate change hungry desperate for food. – Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

I thought Prime Minister Papandreou's analogy comparing humanity to a parasite that is devouring its host and thereby condemning itself to die with it, was particularly apt and disturbing.  I also like how he urged the world to make a new deal with the planet.  How about a deal to treat it with love and respect?  Can these 'leaders' ever come to any intelligent agreement on the controls that must be set in place now???  What have we done?  What are we doing?


  1. Thank you for posting these quotations and commenting on them. I agree with you that Mr. Papandreou's comments are the most provocative and memorable. I'm not sure we know what we're doing or have the wisdom or the will to respond usefully to our situation. In any event, if we manage to find the appropriate response it won't be the planet we're saving (I'm sure it will do fine without humans mucking it up); it will be ourselves we're saving.

  2. nice. i like the parasite analogy too...we better make the deal, but sometimes i wonder...parasites have a hard time stopping sucking...

  3. In the end it always comes back to the same It is profitable to argue against human-caused climate change. There are powerful forces which will do what is necessary to muck up positive change. I fear the parasite will never stop sucking.

  4. And Canada what do we say or do.......

    Nothing, nothing at all.

    Hello darling.


  5. I'm saddened to agree that it always comes down to the money. What people don't understand is this is REAL. My husband and I lived in Alaska and have physically observed the recession of the glaciers at unbelievable speeds. This is being caused by the pollution from greenhouse gases. The great flood certainly may happen again as well as the ice age and many of the other natural disasters. If mankind is foolish enough to believe that it won't affect them, they are wrong! Every man, woman and child in this world can make a difference. We must all make an effort to use the clean forms of energy (sun, wind, water). Make a statement that forces the politicians to listen. Big business doesn't matter as much as one's family and friends. Thanks so much for posting this. Let's pray it's not already too late.


Comments are always read and appreciated.

(I am grateful for all awards received. However, I ask that this be an "award-free zone" and meme-free zone. Thanks for understanding!)