Copenhagen and what it means to you - the air traveler, the backpacker, the flashpacker, the mile high club tourist, whatever ticks your box. Travel is a major contributor to the excessive units of carbon that are released into the worlds atmosphere. A major part of the environmental time bomb in our hands.
As backpackers crunching up controversial carbon as we cross countries, are we part of the problem or part of the solution??
Backpacking has always been part of a larger, much more collective community of like minded people. Now the world faces unprecedented challenges, with rising sea levels, melting polar caps, soaring temperatures, irregular and extreme weather conditions, a disintegrating ozone protection and the extermination and elimination of some of the earths most precious natural resources. The worlds community must come together. They have. Copenhagen, coined the worlds most important environmental action awareness meeting ever.
The world leaders have come and gone. Resembling a parade of non confrontational appearances, acknowledging each country has a role to play, acknowledging that the earth and its 6 billion inhabitants face an environmental catastrophe.
Humans, only 200,000 years old, living on a 4 billion year old earth, have conquered this world, exploited it, sustainably abused it. In just 50 years, our earth has been more radically changed, than all previous generations of humanity.
We are all responsible, but are some more responsible for these factors than others? This was the cry from some of world's least developed countries, and a fair enough one I believe. But its too late for bureaucratic processes of accountability, its time for action. its time to stand up. Are we part of the problem or part of the solution?
Will flashpackers now think twice before taking that domestic flight to save a few hours? Hopefully travellers at the very least will attempt to offset their carbon footprint.
And so Copenhagen comes and goes. There has been a deal reached. A flimsy framework has been floated. World leaders from the 5 major seats on the UN security council are hailing it a success. The developing countries and countries most at risk from immediate global warming repercussions are not so enthused. Understandably.
It is non binding, there are no numbers or dates, it sets no target or timescale for curbing greenhouse emissions. It is what it is. A political catwalk with a lot of talk and little action.
Its too late to be a pessimist. Eco warriors keep fighting the good fight. Backpackers, travel with a collective conscious. Politicians stop talking. Leaders, start acting.