June 5, 2008

World Environment Day: Alain Robert calls for action

Today is World Environment Day and an email drops into my inbox about Alain Robert climbing a sky scraper in New York to raise awareness of climate change.

You can send a message to world leaders gathering for the forthcoming G8 summit through his website:

The email alert explains more:

---email alert quote

He says "The Solution Is Simple":

1 – Stop Cutting Down Trees. Plant More Trees.
2 – Make Everything Energy Efficient.
3 – Only Make Clean Energy.

The cost of action is a simple matter of math. The cost of acting
NOW is far smaller than the cost of acting TOO LATE. But the time
for action is running out, fast.

World leaders know this, but are still not acting fast or bravely
enough. Last year in Bali, they failed to agree to ANY emissions
reduction targets, but rather to two more years of more talk.
TALK is no longer cheap; but we can't afford any more of it
instead of ACTION.

But there is hope in the changing of the guard among world
leaders. America's next President could help lead the way.
There's reason for hope. We urgently need a global agreement for
at least a 50 percent cut in emissions.

World leaders meet again next month at the G8 conference in
Japan. YOU can help make sure they get the message. Go to
http://www.thesolutionissimple.org and join your voice with ours.
Together we WILL be heard.
---email alert ends

But why are leaders not taking action and is the changing of the guard really that much cause for optimism? Certainly we have to try, but there could be another element to this campaign: supporting the Simultaneous Policy (SP).

I sent the following message in response:

---Mike to I Am an Activist email alert campaign
Many thanks for your email and link to:

I’m passing it on. What would be great, however, is if the message included a call for politicians to pledge to implement the Simultaneous Policy (SP) alongside other governments. The reason action is so lacking is because each government puts its own national economic interest first in international negotiations and is limited in what action it can take at home because business leaders oppose strong action with the threat that production and jobs will move overeseas.

Certainly we need to lobby politicians to stand up to this pressure and look beyond winning the next election (which is won on the economy, not environmental issues) to the future of the planet and our place on it.

At the same time people around the world are coming together to discuss the policies they wish to see implemented to address global problems. Simultaneous implementation of these policies overcomes the fear of putting the country at a competitive disadvantage. In annual voting rounds, the ‘Contraction and Convergence’ proposal has gained significant support, but other proposals may win through in the democratic process.

Campaign supporters, known as SP Adopters, call on their politicians to pledge to implement SP alongside other governments when all, or sufficient, governments have made the same pledge. Politicians around the world are doing so, bringing us closer to the point when SP can be finalised and implemented.

You can find out more about the campaign and the policies already put forward by Adopters at:

For me, SP has many benefits as a parallel strategy to other campaigning. It allows us to focus on solutions, rather than simply opposing. It allows us to think beyond what policies will be tolerated by powerful vested interests (the incremental approach) to what is really necessary. It allows us to make links between different areas (such as climate change, trade and disarmament – see the latest policy update on ‘Turning weapons into windmills’:

SP transcends national boundaries, so does not impose the policies of activists in the rich world, but invites and encourages people in all countries to discuss, develop and ultimately approve the policies to be implemented.

I hope it is something you can investigate and perhaps add a call to support SP to your campaign messages.

Best wishes,

---Mike's message ends.

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