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A Bird’s Eye View

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Who cares? Who listens?

Another two-week useless conference on climate change is about to end in Poznan, Poland. Delegates from 190 countries are participating in a two- week conference (conveniently costly) aiming to pinpoint the details of a climate change treaty to replace the 1977 Kyoto Protocol, which required 37 countries to lower carbon emissions by an average of five percent from 1990 levels by 2012. This same expensive exercise in futility was done once before last year in Bali without much success.

So why again? Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of a Nobel Peace Prize-winning panel of UN climate scientists, reminded the conference, in vain, of the consequences of failure that included the possibility of extinction of nearly one third of the earth's species, a threatened meltdown of Greenland or western Antarctic ice sheets that could raise sea level by several meters and a growing lack of water for millions of people. But who cares and who listens to his warnings?

Definitely not the human politicians who only care about their short-term survival in politics. The financial crisis is also an item of concern to the participants of the conference. As the Prime Minister of Poland said: "All of us are today concerned with the financial crisis. But we must understand that financial crises happened in the past and will happen in the future, but our work for the environment should be timeless." But human politicians still cannot see that the present financial crisis is without precedent. And it has not started yet. They cannot also see that the financial crisis could be the solution in preventing global warming. As a result of the crisis it is quite likely that many industries will close down on a global basis, thus reducing the emissions that go to the atmosphere and create global warming.

Another conference that took place at the end of last month in San Francisco was more successful. The conference was entitled "Happiness and its Causes." Among the topics that were discussed were "Compassion and the Pursuit of Happiness" and "Why Zebras Don't get Ulcers." It gives us birds courage to see that a small minority of humanity is dealing with happiness. We do hope that it continues.

Rice playing Brahms
Condoleeza Rice gave a wonderful performance on December 1. No, it was not directly linked with foreign policy making. She played Brahms in a piano concert that she gave in Buckingham Palace in the presence of the Queen. She performed with the wife of the UK Foreign Minister and three members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. We hope that she played for global peace. We also hope that she continues playing her piano after she leaves office since she is so talented in this field. We will be listening for her.

Human madness has no end. One human being was trampled to death when a Wal-Mart in Long Island, New York, opened for sales the day after Thanksgiving, by a throng of unruly shoppers who broke down the doors. So much for Thanksgiving.

Ponder our thoughts dear humans, for your benefit.