Rhein on Energy and Climate

It has never happened before in any of the preceding climate conferences!

Delegates take to hunger strike! Demonstrations have become more vociferous: against Polish coal-fired power plants, Australia scaling back climate targets to ridiculous five per cent reductions of C02 and Japanese further rise of C02 emissions!

Finally, Warsaw has shown the beginning of an awakening!

Committed citizens from all parts of the world have dared to stand up and protest against the ineffectiveness of the UN climate process. They no longer tolerate a “business as usual attitude” of the 20 000 (!) delegates. They are furious at the Australian government daring not to send the cabinet minister in charge of energy and climate policy to the second part of the conference when ministers are to discuss political conclusions.

The coincidence of the catastrophic Hayian typhoon on the Philippines and the Warsaw Conference has been fortunate! Thanks to it millions of people across the planet begin to realise that “natural” catastrophes like typhoons, floods or droughts are linked to increasing volumes of fossil energies burnt by Humanity.

However positive this awakening, human beings keep suffering from schizophrenia. With the left half of our brains we continue rejoicing at rising sales of aircraft or cars, both of which responsible for polluting mega-cities and the atmosphere, and with the right half of we regret this happening.

Most probably we need to revise our way of life, scale down our material needs, curtail consuming too many futile products and learn enjoying a happy life without consuming fossil fuels.

But this is most unlikely to happen. It is against our nature. Human beings must be forced to adopt radically different life styles and return to the lower comfort standards. The necessary changes may take longer than what Nature requires us to do. Future generations will have to pay the price and blame their forefathers for the fatal errors they have committed. Young people, those who will still be around towards the end of the century, have to take to the streets!

Eberhard Rhein, Brussels, 20/11/2013


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  1. Dear friends,
    Thank you for your interesting article
    Here you can read article in (METRO-dinsdag 19 november 2013) in Dutch
    “Europa moet aan één zeel trekken op klimaattop”=Europe must draw to one rope on climate top
    The newspaper man or journalis wrote in the free newspaper “METRO” in Brussels
    Translation with http://www.systranet.com/fr/fr/traduction/
    Wat gaat u doen in Warschau?
    Joke Schauvliege (foto) CDV
    Ik zal tijdens de klimaatconferentie in Warschau optreden als Belgisch vertegenwoordiger in de Europese raad voor Leefmilieu, en het Belgische standpunt dus verdedigen.Heel belangrijk is dar wij een mondial klimaatakkord willen tegen 2015″=What will do you in Warsaw?
    Joke Schauvliege (photograph) CDV
    I will act during the climate conference in Warsaw as Belgian a representative in the European Council for environment, and therefore defend the Belgian point of view. very important drone – Mondial the mondial agreement-climate we are want in 2015
    Have a nice day

  2. Good morning I think this article is superficial in exploring the topic. What’s the point of this article? Firstly i think it is undelicate to say the typhoon is an “fortunate” coincidence (with a ! mark??!!) One could say, “unfortunately” or “sadly enough the news helped…” etc…
    Secondly, after all these years one could speak about sustainable development with a bit more preparation and profoundness then “people want this and that, we want to change but we wouldn’ t”…one could explain:” we can find development with new green technologies if we orientate investments without changing our modern lifestyle ” or other explanations etc…
    Finally, “young people should take the streets”…Is this an highschool brochure..? Even if I personally agree, young people should TAKE the decisions about their future, we also need better journalism. Maybe young peolpe do not understand the importance of these conventions because they are badly informed by articles like this. (Nothing personal to the author, but some more work is higly recommended)

  3. Youth are being bombarded with thrash reading material which robs their quality time and instills poor moral values. Save on this paper with campaigns aimed at youth.

    Teach about the earth: natural resources and sustainability (not only biology) as a standard school subject to impart life skills and base it on day-to-day living experience. Its not necessary to have the stress of an exam because the students will be living the knowledge.

  4. Dear Vera,
    I do not quite understand your concern as a citizen
    could explain better
    Have a nice day

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