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The Mendacity of Hope: Rio +20 Commences

June 20th, 2012 |

In regards to Rio+20, here is a lacerating opinion piece from George Monbiot. While Mr. Monbiot is no friend to common sense on the size and growth of the global population I suspect he has it about right on Rio +20. See: http://www.monbiot.com/2012/06/18/the-mendacity-of-hope/

The Mendacity of Hope

The summits which promise to save the world keep us dangling, not mobilising…

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 19th June 2012

Worn down by hope. That’s the predicament of those who have sought to defend the earth’s living systems. Every time governments meet to discuss the environmental crisis, we are told that this is the “make or break summit”, upon which the future of the world depends. The talks might have failed before, but this time the light of reason will descend upon the world.

We know it’s rubbish, but we allow our hopes to be raised, only to witness 190 nations arguing through the night over the use of the subjunctive in paragraph 286. We know that at the end of this process the UN secretary-general, whose job obliges him to talk nonsense in an impressive number of languages, will explain that the unresolved issues (namely all of them) will be settled at next year’s summit. Yet still we hope for something better.

This week’s earth summit in Rio de Janeiro is a ghost of the glad, confident meeting 20 years ago. By now, the leaders who gathered in the same city in 1992 told us, the world’s environmental problems were to have been solved. But all they have generated is more meetings, which will continue until the delegates, surrounded by rising waters, have eaten the last rare dove, exquisitely presented with an olive leaf roulade. The biosphere, that world leaders promised to protect, is in a far worse state than it was 20 years ago. Is it not time to recognise that they have failed?

These summits have failed for the same reason that the banks have failed. Political systems which were supposed to represent everyone now return governments of millionaires, financed by and acting on behalf of billionaires. The past 20 years have been a billionaires’ banquet. At the behest of corporations and the ultra-rich, governments have removed the constraining decencies – the laws and regulations – which prevent one person from destroying another. To expect governments funded and appointed by this class to protect the biosphere and defend the poor is like expecting a lion to live on gazpacho.

To read the full article, please go here: http://www.monbiot.com/2012/06/18/the-mendacity-of-hope/

 

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