United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019

On 23rd September 2019, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterre hosted a one-day Climate Action Summit in New York.

With a line-up of all the world’s governments ... well most of them ... most of the important ones anyhow ... with a notable exception or two ... you could be forgiven for thinking that at last something is being done.

You could be forgiven for patting yourself on the back, for the days you went on strike from school and just getting on with the rest of your life.

You could certainly be forgiven for believing that all it really took in the end was to make it quite clear to the 'great and the good' just what is actually happening to the environment.

After all what kind of person can see the future of the planet being poured down the preverbal and do nothing.

Well I am sorry to inform you, if you thought that, then you were naive.

At this point I need to point out that that is not an insult.
Naive is the natural state of the human race.

After all we are all ... well most of us ... the vast majority of us ... born with a very large amount of empathy and optimism. And these are, it would seem, the foundations of naivety.

Most of us start from a position of thinking ... no believing ... that other people are just like us and want the best ... not just for ourselves and our immediate friends and family, but the planet as a whole.

This naivety gets kicked out of many people, overtime: not because there are just enough people, often in influential places, who like seeing our future getting tipped down the toilet and even enjoy accelerating the rate of tipping; but because those that we think are pulling the strings, who might even think that they are pulling the strings, are just as much puppets as the rest of us.

All they can do (if you’ll forgive me mixing a metaphor or two) is surf the tide of the spirit of the age (zeitgeist) and hope they don’t hit too many really hard rocks on the way.

Margaret Thatcher, a politician whose position on the empathetic scale was a little to the left of Genghis Khan, delivered a speech to the United Nation outlining the dangers of climate change.

Margaret Thatcher - Speech on Global Environment to UN

Listening to that speech today, you could be forgiven for thinking it was written yesterday. With a few minor corrections, it would have gone down a storm at the recent Extinction Rebellion ‘uncooperative crusty’ sit in.

It is important to remember that it wasn’t delivered yesterday. It is a 30 year old speech. It is a speech that has been, in essence, repeated countless times at countless summits over the last 3 decades.

None of this is new to the powers that be.

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So why hasn’t anything significant changed in that time?

Is it because the ‘great and the good' have no desire to do anything about it?

Or is it simply that they do not actually have the power to do anything about it?

I cannot believe that the first is true. As Greta Thunberg put it, that would make them evil. And I won’t let myself believe that either.

Greta Thunberg condemns world leaders in emotional speech at UN

I go with the second option. They don’t actually have the power. Because we haven’t given it to them. Not fully. Not yet.

The UN Climate Summit was not without a few positives.

More than 60 nations announced they were working on or exploring plans to reduce greenhouse gas to virtually zero. Another 60 said they would boost their targets.

What was achieved

Greta Thunberg said, on behalf of the younger generation, in her now famous speech to the UN Assembly, “We will be watching you”.

Well, we will have to do more than watch.

We have to give those at the next summit the power to act decisively.

To do that we have to do things that will shift the zeitgeist (spirit of the age), and shift it so much it becomes a swell of public opinion that rises to be the the surf that the politicians and the economists and the industrialist and the consumers and the rest of us have to follow.

Protest! At every opportunity!!

Change your life style! To offset the current carbon footprint of Nottingham alone we would have to plant a forest ... the size of Scotland ... every year!!! So give up or at the very least vastly reduce the amount of meat you eat!! Stop driving your car!! Stop flying!! Hand wash your dishes!!! And dry your washing on a washing line, duh!!!

Be the change that you want to see! And tell everyone you are doing it and that they can do it too!! Stick something on facebook or twitter or Instagram or whatever else there is out there !!! Shout it from the roof tops!!!

If enough of us do this.

If enough people become the change they demand.

You never know ... we might just get there.


But we will not be forgiven if we don’t at least try.

After this year’s Climate Action Summit, what happens next?

Oh My Nottz is a HotHouse Theatre production. Co. No. 6505843 Charity No. 1154523. Tel 07963020259 email guy@hothousetheatre.com website www.hothousetheatre.com
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