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Rio+20 can be used as a depth sounder. If we compare how clean / dirty the air was say 20 years ago to how it is today we will have at least one indicator of the environments general direction.

WHEN the 1992 Earth Summit took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil two decades ago, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations were 357 parts per million (ppm). As the recent summit, dubbed “Rio+20” Conference, was remembered in the same city from June 20-22, concentrations averaged at 395ppm, and even reached 400ppm in the Arctic. Perhaps this is an early indication that over the last 20 years things have not lived up to expectations even though the 1992 event was marked by the largest gathering of heads of state.’

I would suggest this does not bode well for our world. Indeed I believe it shows that what we have been trying is just not working. If you had a friend who smoked fourty cigarettes a day and had developed a nasty cough what advice would you give him? Would you suggest that he smoke 40 cigars a day instead? Would you tell him to take up pipe smoking? Of course not!
And yet that is exactly the advice the scientists have given us in relation to the environment. We need to modify our habit. We need to move from this type of carbon fuel to that type. We need to simply burn our poison more efficiently. Surprise of surprises the advice to change from cigarettes to cigars would not help and the advice to simply pollute more efficiently has not helped either.
I believe it is time to seek a second opinion. At Rio+20 there was an alternative gathering. A gathering of Tribal peoples who still know, love, and honour Mother Earth. I suggest that we all begin to pay attention to what they are trying to teach us:

We see the goals of UNCSD Rio+20, the “Green Economy” and its premise that the world can only “save” nature by commodifying its life giving and life sustaining capacities as a continuation of the colonialism that Indigenous Peoples and our Mother Earth have faced and resisted for 520 years. The “Green Economy” promises to eradicate poverty but in fact will only favor and respond to multinational enterprises and capitalism. It is a continuation of a global economy based upon fossil fuels, the destruction of the environment by exploiting nature through extractive industries such as mining, oil exploration and production, intensive mono-culture agriculture, and other capitalist investments. All of these efforts are directed toward profit and the accumulation of capital by the few.’

This is certainly more than changing from cigarettes to cigars. In the upcoming Blogs I shall explore a way of thinking and living that could save us all.

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