The wizards of Copenhagen were just men after all


Yesterday Lord Stern, UK chief climate economist, gave his two pence on Copenhagen failures.

Up shot - we missed our chance because the top dogs at Copenhagen wanted to show the world who's boss. In the end pissing all over the agreement to mark out their territory took precedent over solid solutions.

When we talk about 'China' and 'America' as if they represent the millions of people in those countries it's easy to forget that essentially behind those abstractions are a couple of men not much over 6ft tall, a penchant for ballroom dancing , nice Italian and a point to prove. And that point - as it usually is with 'world leaders' - is how much of the world they're leading.

Copenhagen turned out to be a sad episode in World Leader Big Brother - Ben Stewart wrote, the "Chinese Premier who is in the process of converting his Communist nation to that new faith (high-carbon consumer capitalism) takes such umbrage at Obama’s speech that he refuses to meet – refuses, in fact, to do much of anything beyond sulking in his hotel room, as if this were a teenager’s house party instead of a final effort to stave off the breakdown of our biosphere."

Wall to wall media coverage around the summit further eulogized their role as Planet Superheros and had us plead for a benevolent dictatorship. Like in the Wizard of Oz, these wizards have projected booming voices and towering faces. But behind the wizard’s curtain are just a few ordinary men pulling the levers for billions of people around the world who never elected them there.

Which is why only democracy can save the planet. The processes of getting a bunch of celebs elected to represent the countries but suddenly promoted to world saviours is just too much ego.

Meanwhile momentum builds towards Bolivia's "alternative people conference" to be held in April 2010.

94 countries will be represented. And a referendum held to decide on the setting up of a climate court justice and suggestions of a global vote.

Like Bolivia's United Nations Ambassador Pablo Solon a key organizer of People's World Conference on Climate Change said, "The only thing that can save mankind from a (climate) tragedy is the exercise of global democracy,".

- May