Mother Nature is confused. Birds in the Northern Hemisphere haven’t yet started their migration, and I see flocks of birds gathering everywhere, as well as green grass and flowers in the city parks, for the weather remains warm with temperatures around 14-16 Celsius.

While the Chinese were suffocating in smog at unprecedented levels, the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference was happening in Paris. The odds were not high. Watching the gathering of world leaders made me think of a quote by Fred Alllen that says:

A conference is a gathering of people who singly can do nothing, but together can decide that nothing can be done.

We cannot deny that the Paris Climate Summit, achieved a rare fate to…finally agree on something. But how about the content of their decisions?  And in more practical terms, how about any specific agreed actions? Nope.
  • All countries must participate.

However, countries committed only to communicate and maintain national plans 

  • Rich should help the poor meet the decarbonisation targets.

But the provision of finance is an aspiration not a commitment. 

  • Keep global temperatures rises below 2C and to pursue efforts to keep them below 1.5C.

No limits were imposed on emissions from aviation to shipping. No mechanisms to set global carbon price. No sanctions will exist. Their intentions are already insufficient to deliver the 2C goal, let alone 1.5C!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a pessimist nor a doomsday prophet, and I’m happy that eventually they reached a common view, even including China. This is the beginning of a journey, which nevertheless has a rough path ahead and would have been better served with a more precise ‘travel plan’ and resources.

I for one agree with Martin Wolf, Financial Times columnist, who asked: “Is the Paris agreement a breakthrough in the struggle to limit the risks of climate change, as weary negotiators claim? Or is just another way station on the road to calamity, as critics insist.  At this stage is neither. It is far more than the world could have reasonably expected a year or two ago. But is also far less than the world needs.

The question is whether humanity has the will or even the time to finish a journey that it has started so late.

— Martin Wolf


Submitted to:

WP Photo Challenge: Gathering

And to my favorite Wednesday’s (oops)  challenge from Colleen and Ronovan.

Silver Threading: Writer’s Quote Wednesday

Ronovan Writes: Be Writing on Wednesday

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Sharing sights & insights captured with diverse angles. Ex-corporate, now my own boss. Cycling, hiking, cooking, reading, yoga, writing and photography, are no longer only hobbies listed on my resume. It's what I do when I want.

26 thoughts on “Gathering

  1. Sadly, I suspect too little too late, Lucile. I won’t be around to see it through but you can’t help but worry about the legacy. Let’s hope our youngsters are up to it.


  2. Lucile, I love your quote and wonder much the same thing. There is irrefutable evidence that the climate has changed and still many in power in America refuse to believe the evidence presented. The weather is definitely warmer than even 10 years ago! A great job on your quote! ❤


    1. Thank you Colleen. It’s amazing that politicians still deny what’s so apparent. Global warming is not a bad joke. Winter this year has been unusually warm. So far we haven’t gone below 6 C and are experiencing 14-16 C max at this time of the year…
      New York today had 23C…
      We will see!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful picture, as usual. 🙂 I agree with you about the Conference. It’s not perfect but it’s a start. I have my fingers crossed that this will lead somewhere better.


  4. Nice and accurate quotes – and I, of course, agree. I want to see the advantages and joys in the results, as a starting point, but my inner thoughts says this is too weak a start. I work with young people though – which means I have to be slightly positive and not let loose my own negativism too harsh on them. They must keep the faith that this is possible to solve, it is possible to live on …


    1. Thank you, Leya. I very much appreciated your insightful comment. I side with you. We have to help them understanding the reality and gravity of the problem as well as encouraging them to take action. After all they will be here much longer than us. It’s a matter of choice on how you you want to live.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this quote! “A conference is a gathering of people who singly can do nothing, but together can decide that nothing can be done.” Wonderful! As well as this one: “The question is whether humanity has the will or even the time to finish a journey that it has started so late.” Bravo for a great post!


  6. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I agree the current international goals and commitments need to be elevated, but they could be the beginning of a real push for change. There are organizations that will keep pushing, politicians now have a greater mandate to act having signed the international agreement, there will be regular international meetings to review targets, and results. Each of us I believe can in small ways push for success…by voting, by supporting difficult changes rather than complaining, by reducing our own carbon output even in tiny ways. I hope his doesn’t sound like a ‘speech’, it’s just something I’m passionate about and I’m thrilled that you have talked about it . So few people do on wordpress.


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