Like a lot of people I try to take a balanced view of politics and world affairs. I watch the BBC news, Channel 4’s usually excellent coverage of events, Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News and the alternative, online, Democracy Now, I read the Guardian, the Metro when travelling and the Washington Post, New York Times and Le Monde, I even been known to thumb the Daily Mail. I try to absorb as much mainstream and Indy media as I can in an often frustrating effort to make sense of the world in order to hopefully construct an informed opinion.
Like most of the world I’m of the opinion that the recent Copenhagen Climate Change summit was a disaster, it got off to a bad start and simply got worse.
One lasting memory of recent weeks and something which I hope isn’t a warning to us all was Barack Obama’s stuttering and unfocussed press conferences, (when he finally found time to honour this world gathering with his presence). Dare I say these reminded me of George W Bush at his finest/worst (delete as applicable). He was totally unconvincing as he worryingly um’d, ah’d and paused his way through badly prepared speeches, seemingly and slightly disturbingly, completely unconvinced himself by the words he was uttering. His statements and presentations were monumentally disastrous. I want Obama to be a success and I share this hope with a great many millions across the world, but if Copenhagen is anything to go by then….but maybe this was just a blip. Although he actually summed up, perfectly, the whole event and the feelings shared by most of us following it with his absolute inability to appear, or sound, convincing.
This isn’t very festive post, and I apologise, but the words, gestures and manoeuvrings in Copenhagen have been ringing in my ears and playing on my conscience as I endlessly queue in shops and surf the internet searching for gifts for the people close to me, being a consumer, wasting resources and feeling guilty, as I have for many years whilst doing this. I try not to purchase goods from major chain stores, but sometimes I do, I try to shop in a way, and purchase products, which have a minimal negative effect on our environment, but sometimes I fail and always promise to myself to do better next year.
The dialogue I've used in the my piece below features Barrack Obama, Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman and The Guardians brilliant George Morbiot.
Whatever you believe and wherever you are I wish you...
Zorionak eta Urte Berri On!,
Bon Nadal i un Bon Any Nou!
Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok,
Hyvaa joulua, Joyeux Noel,
Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah, Buone Feste Natalizie,
Sung Tan Chuk Ha,
Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar,
Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!
Nodlaig mhaith chugnat, Maligayan Pasko!
And a peaceful 2010.
And maybe we could all do worse than spend just a little time over this holiday period reflecting on our responsibilities towards the planet which we’re currently charged with looking after.