The only thing we can be sure of about the future is that it will be absolutely fantastic. So if what I say now seems to you to be very reasonable, then I have failed completely. Only if what I tell you appears absolutely unbelievable, have we any chance of visualizing the future as it really will happen.

- Arthur C. Clarke (h/t Brin)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bali Story on DKos

Easily the best essay to come out of the Bali conference so far, and probably the best that will. Read it. [Note: link fixed; thanks Anna.]

Here's an excerpt:

Ultimately, as the government heavyweights arrive in Nusa Dua, the truly key questions to ask – the answers to which form the crucible in which all the answers to all the other key questions must be tested – is whether our political leaders are serious about going far and going quickly on global warming. And whether we – Americans, Chinese, Balinese – are serious about making them get serious if they fall short.

With that in mind, let me recommend that one climate delegate from each of the 188 nations in attendance take an hour’s trip eastward from Nusa Dua along the coast to Candi Dasa. Pronounced ch├ín-di-dassa, Balinese for "Ten Temples," it’s that little dot on the eastern horn of crescent Amuk Bay about two-thirds of the way to Bali’s easternmost point at Amed.

When the tide comes in at Candi Dasa, the concrete sea wall causes a rent in the water. At night the sea wall can look as black and solid as granite, and in the early misty morning light, pearly as a shell. By day, it is a blackened, rippling scar, an ugly reminder of what it replaced.

3 comments:

Anna said...

Link should be A Tale of Myopia from Bali

Anonymous said...

Typical emotional greenie tripe.

"In talking their talk and making their deals about the future of our entire planet, is it too much to hope, too naive to ask that the delegates keep the experience of Candi Dasa in mind?"

Sure. The lesson is obvious: if you're going to develop, due it with a lot more investment so you can afford some expensive environmental impact consultants. Let's face it, if Candi Dasa had been developed by leading western resort developers, the place would still have a beach, but it would also be consuming megawatts of coal-fired electricity.

Doing things the first-world-way means doing it properly and using a lot of energy in the process. Let's not jeopardize that with vastly premature concerns about a little bit of CO2.

Michael Tobis said...

It's an analogy, dude; try to engage your higher brain functions to understand the point being made before going off and arguing about something beside the point.

We are shoveling away our own future bucket by bucket. The main differences between what they did and what we do is that our impacts are less local. Oh, that, and we have much bigger buckets.

As for "vastly premature" concerns about "a little" CO2, I wonder what planet you are reporting from. Do you suppose you might be begging the question a little bit?