Year 2, Month 4, Day 13: Okay, You Can Have My Lunch Money.

The Irish Times’ Frank MacDonald writes about the continued push to get people to pay attention to climate change, dammit:

WITH WORLD attention grabbed by a succession of natural disasters in New Zealand and Japan as well as popular revolts in north Africa and the Middle East, the United Nations will be seeking this week to put climate change back on the international agenda.

Nearly four months after last year’s moderately successful climate summit in the Mexican resort of Cancún, delegates from 193 countries have gathered in Bangkok for a preliminary round of talks aimed at paving the way for progress at next December’s summit in Durban.

They’re conscious that global warming “hasn’t gone away, you know”, as Gerry Adams TD once said of the Provisional IRA.

Indeed, 2010 was officially one of the hottest years on record, with heatwaves, floods, landslides, forest fires and other “extreme weather events”.

I’ve just about lost my patience. I submitted the following (ahem) modest proposal to the Irish Times on April 4:

If we are really serious about getting climate change back on the international agenda, we need to recognize that the world’s governments are universally dominated by corporate influence. The biggest and most powerful of these giant economic actors are the ones which sell us oil and coal; since a paradigm shift in planetary energy use will impact their profit margins, they’ve opted to hold the future of human civilization for ransom. I’d like to propose a new approach: total capitulation to their demands. How much would it take to persuade oil CEOs (who’d otherwise have to sacrifice a tenth vacation home or fourth private jet) to support a planetary conversion to renewable energy? I should think about three trillion dollars would do it; that works out to about $450 for every person on the planet — a small price to pay for the continued survival of our species.

Warren Senders