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‘Tracking the Efforts’ on Paris: In a Climate Emergency, Where’s the Ambulance?

Wilson Hui/flickr

Energy Mix subscriber Ruth Pickering posted this comment in response to our recent story on the United Nations General Assembly. We’re republishing it with her permission. Are you as frustrated as I am at the language used to describe what is needed in this existential crisis we are facing?

For example [1], “By December, leaders need to agree on what’s known as the Paris rulebook, which sets out how countries will track their climate efforts in a way that is transparent, fair, and meaningful.” 

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“Track their ‘efforts’?” Like “I’m trying to lose weight, or eat healthy or exercise more.” We know that usually represents the intention of a half-hearted effort to reassure ourselves we are living a healthy life…or to be seen to be!

It is not “efforts” that matter here, but actions and results!

If we came upon a mangled, bleeding body of an accident victim, would we “track the efforts” of those standing around, not wanting to bother to help (like some governments and the fossil fuel industry)?

Certainly not. We would yell “CALL AN AMBULANCE”!

(I know there is no ambulance to call…and it seems there is no easy way to convince our (Canadian) government to keep tar sands bitumen in the ground.)

All the more reason to increase our efforts in mobilizing, organizing, and acting in solidarity with those on the front lines of climate, air, and water protection while working for a just transition.