Thursday, December 17, 2009

Copenhagen: We Are Sweating in Winter!

Read some depressing news on the talks going on in Copenhagen. Yesterday evening was very warm, I should say hot. I found, suddenly, that I was sweating in winter. I had to remove my sleeveless LL Bean jacket I wear during winter for protection against sudden cold. Even then I was uncomfortable, the shirt was wet, the bodies around me in the train were hot and were shifting uncomfortably, seated as I was face level against the round lips of a man's ample behind. Yeah, that's how I travel these days on the Harbour Branch of Bombay's famed suburban railway system.

The heat is inexplicable. Usually Bombay is pleasantly cold in the morning and evening, and slightly warm during the day in winter, which is okay. But yesterday I found myself fretting, frustrated that I wasn't able to concentrate on the book I had in my hand (Meena Alexander's Manhattan Music).

The world's chattering classes and faltering masses are now in Copenhagen trying to arrive at a consensus on global warming issues. There has been no consensus so far. I have been following it for some time, with frustration and above usual level of anxiety. No one is agreeing that the planet is going through a dire crisis and cities are being overloaded with people displaced by the after-effects of warming. (I know some people will dispute this, but I am reserving my reasons for a later post.) While they play their petty politicking games we the miserable citizens of the badly affected cities – mostly in developing and under developed economies of India, China, Brazil and other high in the misery index - are sweating it out.

Can we have some consensus soon please? We are sweating and guess you need to switch off your air-conditioners, climate controllers, whatever, to see what we are going through.

2 comments:

ms said...

india and china are harping on the fact that developed nations should do more to curb climate change, then they turn around and point the finger at the leading nations. so, conveniently, india and china do not consider themselves "developed" nations who need to do more. to the people living below the poverty line in these two countries, the invention of plastic was the best thing ever - it does not bio-degrade during their lifetime! it is used for storage, construction of their hovels, as flooring and as clothing even. they will burn anything combustible to cook and keep warm. to the urbannites, plastic is a godsend, discarded within moments with disgusting ease. look around you even as you read this, how much disposable plastic surrounds you? we use cheap petrol, diluted beyond imagination by stuff you don't want to know about.our roads are crowded by ageing transport which emit black smoke, along with 100s of factories which also pollute our rivers. india and china are in the death-grip of "development", that only means de-forestation, water shortage and rising depletion of natural resources. drive through rajasthan, each mountain has been gouged and reduced to rubble, years ago they were majestic hills of red stone, with some greenery. people are talking about river diversions and creation of dams to generate power, demolition of entire villages. the chain of life has been broken, our land is given no time to recuperate and rejuvenate. some concentious westerners who will reduce their use of fossil fuel and plastic, recycle everything and do without life's luxuries, will never make any difference to the levels of resources-degradation that asian countries will wallow in. instead of creating a big shameful tamasha in copenhagen, our delegation should return and do something good for a change. how long will the taxpayer pay for these "phoren holidays" our corrupt ministers enjoy during their term of office.

Hari Batti said...

Everyone wants to blame someone else. Yes, the blame rests more with the US than with any other country. But if we really believe that, then we have to be willing to push harder on them--and we have to be willing to do more internally, as well. Not because we have to, but because it's the right thing to do.