Sex, lies and global warming

Big doings going on in the world this 18th of December. In Nova Scotia it’s the last day of school before the Christmas break. On the roads early this morning, there are crossing guards decked out as Santa Claus. Behind every wheel of passing school buses there are more Santas each sporting an hygienic mask – an H1N1 accessory.

The Tallahassee Pre-School kids are buzzing with excitement. Their parents, grandparents and family friends are seated in the gym, or chasing after younger siblings. We’re all waiting for the show to begin, the big Christmas concert. Outside the small dusting of snow and an icy wind add a real winter wonderland dimension to the festivities.

The teachers have worked their charges lovingly. We’ve been hearing about the preparations for at least three weeks, since rehearsals started. We’ve heard snippets of some of the songs and they’ve nested in our personal soundtracks. Noah was very excited to take Nellie and I up onto the stage a couple of weeks back to show us where he had been rehearsing.

The concert is a hit. At just under ten minutes it’s an up tempo production. The kids are having a great time – singing, smiling, waving, fidgeting. Stage fright hasn’t visited this group. Maybe Santa is keeping it at bay.

There’s a small reception after the show, an opportunity to talk with some of the other parents. The kids take this time and use it wisely. They run wild – chasing, bumping, pushing, tagging and laughing. This is the first outing to the school for Lila-Jeanne. She’s whisked away by one of the teachers intent on loving her up. The one and only inaugural Christmas concert for Noah has been un succès fou. A great morning for everyone.

Across the Atlantic in Copenhagen, the UN Climate Change Conference – Cop15 – is winding through its last day. There is no great hope of the conference resulting in a breakthrough. President Obama doesn’t have quite the command of the audience as he had a few days earlier in Oslo. Arguably he’s doing the best he can with what he’s got. His presence alone is not expected to result in miracles.

Let’s make no mistake though, this meeting in Copenhagen is directly linked to our Christmas concert. In fact every child in the world will be positively or adversely impacted by the outcomes of these deliberations. We have a responsibility to clean up, reverse trends, mitigate the mess produced by 20th century manufacturing and the carbon emissions happy lifestyle prevalent in the industrialized countries.

It wouldn’t hurt for us to sit up and take notice individually and collectively. There is an imperative to contribute to solutions, change behaviours, reduce footprints. My household could do much more. We just need to identify what that ‘more’ is and get on with it. Sometimes an imaginative rendering of the problem can help serve as an inspiration to start questioning, to look for alternatives to the status quo. The story this fall from The Malidives on an underwater Cabinet meeting struck a chord with me as an inhabitant of a coastal area. However it seems like common sense, backed up by scientific evidence, is being snookered by economic greed.

A quick note on the title of today’s post – thanks to Marilyn Waring, former New Zealand MP, author and academic. In the 1990s with the National Film Board of Canada her writings and research were the subject of Who’s Counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics.

There’s a rash of climate change pinnochioisms spreading across the globe – half truths, quarter truths and completely devoid of truth assertions masquerading as the gospel according to… As far as the ‘sex’ goes, let’s look at it more like ‘gender’ as Waring did. In many parts of the world the impact of climate change will be weighted more on women. The UNFPA State of the World Population 2009 says it all in the subtitle, Facing a changing world: women, population and climate.

Making things okay for our kids is a primary directive for responsible and loving parents. Let’s hope we heed the call. Women have a great track record for pursuing social justice issues –Women for Peace and all the women around the world who have campaigned against torture, human rights abuses and war come to mind. They are working on the side of the angels, campaigning for sanity in the world and the safety of our kids. Some, like the made in Canada Raging Grannies, take this on with a twist of satire and parody.

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3 responses to “Sex, lies and global warming

  1. Well done, Alex! That bit on the underwater board meeting was an eye-opener. A great way to get some people thinking…

    • Thanks, The Maldives Cabinet meeting was very striking. Just read in this morning’s paper how a couple of homes close by us out in Cow Bay were flooded because of storm surges,

  2. Pingback: The Finest Gift

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