LAKE MACBRIDE— It is hard not to engage in the news from outside Big Grove Township. U.S. and partner states are bombing Syria, the United Nations is taking up the expiration of the Kyoto accord, and more than 100 world leaders will address security issues at the U.N. It has already been a busy week.
Today, the U.N. Climate Summit 2014 convenes on an optimistic note:
Climate change is not a far-off problem. It is happening now and is having very real consequences on people’s lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow. But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies.
There is a sense that change is in the air. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders, from government, finance, business, and civil society to Climate Summit 2014 this 23 September to galvanize and catalyze climate action. He has asked these leaders to bring bold announcements and actions to the Summit that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in 2015. Climate Summit 2014 provides a unique opportunity for leaders to champion an ambitious vision, anchored in action that will enable a meaningful global agreement in 2015.
While many states recognize the validity of what Ban Ki-moon has said, in the U.S., a positive outcome in the form of a binding and meaningful legal agreement seems unlikely. Even if some of us are pessimistic about U.S. participation, it will be worth our attention today and in coming days, to see what the Climate Summit produces. It is noteworthy that President Obama will be trying to get a resolution on counterterrorism passed by the U.N. Security Council rather than making any bold announcements on mitigating the causes of global warming.
In the universe of a single life, there can be hope. So that’s how I will spend this day on earth. Believing that we can sustain our lives in peace despite so much evidence to the contrary.