COP15 Live Blog

Updates from bloggers and new media LIVE from Copenhagen

Is It For Real?

United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNCCC) 2009 or COP15 has been one of the most hyped multilateral event on the radar in recent times. The conference has gained unprecedented attention, both political and sentimental. The print media and NGOs coming together have resulted in mass public awareness and generated sentiments across the planet.

If we take an unbiased view of it, it appears to be a tussle between developed countries led by US and developing countries led by China. If we go deep, it appears to be a clash of two world powers with larger than life egos. While in earlier times, United States could have had it their way by the leverage they had on other countries and world politics, not to mention, EU rarely breaks away from United States official policy. Since it came to the term 'developed countries', it actually helped bind EU and US. While it might appear China along with India is leading the massive block of developing countries, in reality, both these countries have nothing in common and their wide ranging differences haven't helped the position of developing countries.

What may conspire in Copenhagen is a farce, a game, a show-off that world leaders are coming together and trying to reach a consensus on the climate change issue. But in reality, the gulf between the two blocks is wider than most see. It’s not just about binding or voluntary emission cuts, as the general positions suggest. It’s more political. China wants a stronghold in world politics and wants a bigger say for itself. While India is still coming to terms with its new found importance and certain leverage, more moral than political, it has on certain countries around the world. Whereas the economic turmoil around the world have deeply hurt US and EU positions, both politically and influentially. Countries around the world no longer look at the developed nations for cheaper loans or grants. Asian giants such as China and India have spread their wings far and wide in Africa, which though politically, have marginal say on world scene but have far higher number of people being affected by the perils of climate change than Western world. The ongoing economic turmoil has resulted in a shift of power and Asia is clearly the driving force on the road to recovery. But differences among themselves, China - Japan, China - India, have resulted in US taking advantage. China did announced a voluntary target of 40-45% emission cuts from their 2005 levels, while India announced 20-25%, its still upon US (17% emission cuts announced) and EU to do more. China and India will be looking for deeper emission cuts from developed countries and also for financial compensation.

The truth is that COP15 is a glimpse in the future. A preview of things to come, where no single country or group of countries hold absolute majority or say in decision making when it comes to UN. It is also a reminder that the world politics is getting multi-polar or at least bi-polar from uni-polar.

What's The Worth?

What good have you done for someone else today?

You have a well paid job, a fancy car, a decent place to live in and almost everything that makes your life comfortable. You can easily spend an average East African resident's  monthly earning on your daily evening entertainment. On top of that, you complain! Complaints about trivial things- Oh my, the grocery store next door is selling Evian for 7 dhs!! That's wrong! - without realising that clean drinking water, forget evian, is still a dream in many parts of this world!

It's not just about how much money you have in your bank account or what cigar you smoke? At the end of it all, you aren't taking nothing with you. It all ends right here, right then. All the materialism dies with you. What leaves behind is how you lived. What good you did for someone else for them to remember and preserve your legacy? What difference you made in the lives of those unfortunate and suppressed, whom you could have or perhaps should have helped?

To complain about something and not doing anything about it, is called HYPOCRISY. And slowly, but surely, we are all moving towards that point.

Take time to think what good you did today for someone else. The realisations might just give a meaning to your life.

Mistaken Identity

Today, I am revisiting a topic which was probably the most sensitive of all in the 20th Century. But I want to revisit it from Professor Robert Langdon's point of view or for those of you who don't follow Dan Brown, symbolical point of view.

Swastika a symbol in existence in world for more than 5,000 years, have often been seen as a legacy of Adolf Hitler's Nazi era by many around the world, till they opened their eyes to the reality, the world existed to their east as well.

What has often been referred to as a symbol of hatred and racism is actually a very lucky and auspicious religious symbol. Ask any follower of Hinduism, Buddhism or Jainism, the Swastika is one of the holiest symbols in all these faiths.

[caption id="attachment_53" align="alignleft" width="278" caption="The Indian Swastika"]The Indian Swastika[/caption]

Swastika originated from the Sanskrit word Svastik - "????????". The earliest evidences of Swastika appear as early as 10,000 BCE, in the upper paleolithic age, in the Indus Valley Civilisation. Indian Swastika is different from those used by sun worshippers. Perhaps the usage of Swastika by Nazi party as their political symbol can be explained by the Aryan descent of Germans. But Swastika is a symbol used by civilisations all across the planet and is generally used as a lucky charm for prosperity.

In, India, the two symbols represent the two forms of the creator: facing right it represents the evolution of the universe (Devanagari: ?????????, Pravritti), facing left it represents the involution of the universe (Devanagari: ????????, Nivritti)
The Indian Swastika