Is it amazing that 195 nations were able to draft an agreement for Climate Change in Paris last week?
Euphoria, celebrations and emotional highs marked the conclusion of the gathering. COP21 had been a long time coming with holdouts, recriminations and resistances marking its predecessor gatherings and the planning for this event.
But I wonder if the agreement could have been reached in any other location or year than Paris 2015?
Paris has suffered a year of unspeakable effrontery and pain with the Charlie Hebdo and November 13 attacks. Paris could easily have receded into a cave of cowering fear and justified cancelling COP21 as too demanding and irrelevant to Paris’ security, safety and sanity.
But with counter-intuitive courage Paris stepped into the refiner’s fire and affirmed its commitments to host COP21. What’s more, the participating countries took this opportunity to fly in the face of VUCA global-sized threats and attend the conference with the highest levels of state and working delegates.
In contemplating the Charlie Hebdo and November attacks as evolutionary eruptions of the human condition, I wonder if the terrorists behind these attacks have inadvertently created a “fever crisis” of the human system that demanded/demands a global size immune response?
While the Paris terrorists thought they were attacking representations of infidel practices, perhaps they actually created the conditions for the demonstration of a global immune response? If so, the terrorists may have perpetrated a major unintended consequence that holds the seeds of undoing for their espoused system of barbarity and the seeds of the doing/being for global wellbeing?
COP21 had the intention of gaining global agreement to hold the impact of human-created climate change below 2C. And it celebrated the achievement of agreeing to an even more rigorous goal to limit temperature rise to 1.5C.
At the core of this agreement was the recognition that each person, organization, community, city, region and nation can contribute to the outcome. Self-responsibility is required at every level of scale.
And while the critics bemoan COP21’s lack of verifiable national targets, inspection processes and mechanisms for climate equity, the key vision and intention was named and endorsed. That is a significant beginning.
In evolutionary terms, what was set was a superordinate goal – one that transcended individual national interests – along with an intention to attain it through self-organizing means.
In the face of logic, scientific evidence and rational behaviour, critics lambaste the COP21 as hypocritical and illusory. But what they don’t recognize is that the agreement defies reason because of the emotional climate created by the Paris attacks. Underlying COP21 was a global need to demonstrate solidarity around an issue that matters to everyone.
The climate of outer change that was sought at COP21 was foregrounded by need for a climate of inner change for which Paris became the focal point.
Ironically the “fever crisis” of outer climate change has been proposed to be no higher than 2C. But the climate of inner change to achieve that will demand that the world work together in a way where metrics may well be measurable in evolutionary terms of the functionality of Gaia’s Reflective Organ (humans and our Human Hives).
What has been festering and boiling over in Paris’s cultural divides is a metaphor for what afflicts the inner climate of our human being (on a global scale). And the COP21 agreement as a global agreement sets the wellbeing targets for our outer climate. Together, the responses of Paris and COP21 provide both metaphorical and metaphysical grounds for a climate of change.
Thank you Paris for reflecting Gaia’s Light and displaying the courage we will need to make these inner and outer changes our new reality. You have shown me three new ways of appreciating the Master Code through taking care of self/ others/ place/ planet.
Je Suis Paris
Je Suis COP21.