Unfortunately politics, and maybe Gaps in the Dialogue, has, perhaps, fallen into the same trap we all attempt to avoid – long, worn-out sentences calling for action. It is indicative of the green agenda and of climate change dialogue that it is easier to talk than to actually find a way through the morass that is international politics and the environmental debate.

            The much maligned plan of President Obama to not appear at the Copenhagen summit is one move that I, hesitantly, agree with. He, and so many others around the world, is not going to waste his time in what looks as being a few days of the same national lines repeated over and over again. How many times can the President of the United States listen to China reaffirm its commitment to a environmental protection and then not commit to any agreement? How many times will Obama have to defend his own country’s rather cautious position to African countries, or to a UK Prime Minister desperate for a breakthrough for his own electoral reasons? I may be proved wrong – and I hope so – but this “wicked issue”, as Louis described it in the previous article, will not lose its wickedness through discussion alone. It is certainly worrying that climate change is being likened to heroin abuse and gang violence – with the frightening lack of success in dealing with these problems.

I, not as versed in green politics as some others involved in this month’s debate, can not see a solution. The current trend, in international organisation circles, to frame the problem as a security one is not to be discounted because this brings the United Nations Security Council into the game – an organisation, whatever some may say, with teeth and the ability to bring major resources into play. Calls from elected (non-permanent) countries in the council, such as Burkina Faso, for a global fund to combat the effects of climate change may well focus the international mind – especially with figures in the tens and hundreds of billions floating around.

The debate needs not to be dealt and discussed at the ‘macro’ level but at a more manageable micro level. By that I do not mean national and local rather than international – but the issue should be broken down. Carbon emitting industry is not going to concern itself over climate change, but it may take notice of World Trade Organisation moves to make global trade greener. Chinese governments may not take notice of the growth of the Sahara but they may start sitting up if developing countries, who hold the resources China so desperately needs, gang up against China at the Security Council. Steps have to be taken to address the micro to properly address the macro issue of climate change. These steps should be tangible – results are needed to maintain, or establish, momentum. Action in this form may help to win the debate, rather than grand speculation and hot-air.