September 30, 2013

If the ordinary citizen, not just “civil society”, is not part of the climate change challenge, we are all toast.

Sir, my first reaction when I read Nicholas Stern’s “World leaders must act faster on climate change” September 30, was “How could they? There are none.

When about a decade ago I was an Executive Director at the World Bank, I often held that since at our board no one spoke for the world at large, and really only parochial interests were represented, we should perhaps in the name of transparency, rename us the World Pieces Bank, or perhaps the World Puzzle Bank.

And I also held and hold that if we allow acting on climate change to become just another rent seeking opportunity, or a political agenda pushing opportunity, we are all toast!

Having had the opportunity of flying over many environmentally affected areas, I really do not need a lot of scientifically studies to know that something is very wrong with how we maintain our planet, or our pied à terre as I like to call it. But what can we do about it?

I have no definitive answers of course, but I do firmly believe that impeding “climate change” to become an issue which belongs solely to an elite, and engaging the full attention of the ordinary citizen, is an absolute must.

For example when reading about the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference of 2009, I got upset about how often it was implied that the solution was the exclusive responsibility of the rich countries, as if the poorest human being, in the poorest of the countries has not exactly the same right, and duty, as an indigenous of the world, to participate in the challenge.

And to stimulate such citizen participation, and by which I mean immensely more than “civil society”, creating a visual aide, such as an environmental Google-map that tracks the climatic and environmental changes, and make it accessible in all schoolrooms around the world, could help.

If the threat to our earth is truly serious, something that I have no real evidence to doubt, it is clear that we cannot leave its solution to politicians, and green rent seekers. If we do so we are toast.