COP22, Cockpit Country and common ground

The United Nations Climate Change Conferences are yearly conferences held in the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Subsequently, the twenty-second session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) and the twelfth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 12) is being held in Marrakech, Morocco from 7-18 November 2016.

On 5 October 2016, the threshold for entry into force of the Paris Agreement was achieved. The Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016. As a result, the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1) will take place in Marrakech in conjunction with COP 22 and CMP 12.

This is a pivotal time for global decision making on the state of the environment and the actionable steps needed by governments and countries to ameliorate against the effects of climatic changes and environmental degradation. Its hard to believe but there are still persons with their eyes wide shut, as that is the only explanation for them, denying what is a clear and present danger.

Those opposed to the science based evidence of the occurrence of climate change are sometimes scientists themselves, but primarily are those of the capitalist economy minded business sector. The laissez-faire /captalist model is referenced as having contributed to the highly natural resources extractive approaches that have left many countries in the developing world reeling with the after-effects.Concomitantly, the growth and development of many countries in the ‘North’ have been at the expense of countries in the ‘South.’ The dichotomous environment-development  nexus is debated in many lecture theaters, college hallways, scholarly publications, in social media, and treatise and theses.

The SDGs which came into being in September 2015 has highlighted the need for sustainable development…a more mindful approach to how we treat resources and how countries should relate to each other in making its policies and programmes in a widely connected world. Global recessions, in quick succession, harsh economic climates and banking crises all have forced an introspection at the individual all the way through household and country levels. It is not surprising that many of the economic paradigms of the last decades have been reviewed and are now being examined for the factors that have led to the significant meltdowns and also to determine whether or not there are key salvageable and meritorious elements that can be utilized to assist with a re-engineering of our thinking. The following link below is an interesting catalogue of NASA Then and Now earth images aimed at evoking empathy for the earth as we see the adverse changes unfolding over time.


I remain hopeful as an environmentalist and advocate that we will achieve common ground through mutually beneficial work plans. I also note that Jamaica’s own Cockpit Country’s boundary matter, the subject of a boundary dispute that is decades old, may soon be settled. The highest order of the country’s leadership has indicated this at the COP22. Legislation and the like will be promulgated regarding this matter. This matter was the subject of my graduate studies thesis and so I have a direct interest in how this evolves.




Managing expectations…and fears

The results are in. You now know. What next?

I don’t know about you but this is the usual mental checklist post any test related activity. In academia, as a student, this is an innumerable occurrence. This scenario can also be applied to real life situations such as:

  • following a visit to the doctor’s office and also upon the return of  lab results,
  • at the garage when your motor vehicle is placed on the computer diagnostic machine,
  • when you are at the store after binge shopping and the clerk just swiped your credit or debit card and,
  • definitely after you have cast your ballot and you await the final counts.

Some instances are more nerve-wracking than others but nevertheless a commonality is anxiety. Nordqvist (2016) writing for Medicalnewstoday states that ‘anxiety affects a person’s whole being. It affects how we think and how we feel, and it has physical symptoms too. Anxiety resembles fear but when a person experiences fear, they know what we are afraid of. Anxiety is often less specific.’ I can relate. We all can relate. Meaning that we have had anxious moments in our lives.  It would seem that with all the environmental stressors of anxiety that it is quite necessary that we determine ways to mitigate against anxiety. I find that we need to develop ways to manage expectations as a way to accomplishing this.

Expectation (noun) is, according to the Oxford dictionary, a strong belief that something will happen or be the case. In addition to simply having a preference for the Oxford’s definition of English words I realize that this definition is often true of what we do when we have expectations. If we are to really understand, using this definition, what happens when we EXPECT we would realize that inextricably linked to this is a faith based belief system in action… if not then we need to really evaluate what we are doing as we live out our existence. Quite frankly we should not carry-on  zombie-like and comatose lives when we are breathing living beings. Introspecting on just HOW we exist must become a priority ‘spring cleaning’ action.We should take stock of not only WHAT we do but HOW we do and WHY we do the things we do. Go right back to the basics …even with the processing of our thoughts.

In so doing we will consciously be aware of what we desire and the implications, in the event that we do or NOT get what we desire, such that we will be prepared to have a healthy reaction. Back to the definition… if one holds a strong belief then commensurately one should have evidence to the high probability of said belief being fulfilled and /or manifested. The absence of tangible and scientifically proven ways of achieving the thing or outcome (object or subject of one’s desire) may make one seem … well frankly a fool…. yet if one intrinsically trust and value other ways of doing and other means of achieving then that individual frees his/herself from synthetic systems fed to mainstream society, meant to lock society into expecting particular outcomes. It is when people do not see or have the results expected – due to the society led belief systems- that there is anxiety and panic.

Thus expectation cannot be void of faith.

However misplaced faith is a pitfall to avoid at all cost. In selecting a candidate to represent you for example, as it pertains the governance of your community, country and dare I say the free world, an assessment of the person and their position on the core principles you stand for is not an exercise in futility. When you are confident in the candidate’s ability and when you are clear on what they value then you can only exercise your franchise and hope that the majority of the eligible voters do the same. Now this is within the context that the electoral process operates in the manner where it is the majority of the ‘peoples’ vote that counts. If this is the anomaly then you will expect that your candidate who will be a part of government will fight on and eke out meaning victories in the foreseeable future where it will really matter. There is no luxury afforded to wallow in disappointment and victim like sorrow. In fact it is a charge to be more resolute, to work smarter and fight harder.

Each individual must resoundingly amplify the faith that will herald the expected outcome, if not today but in the time allotted. Eventually there will be a collective and holistic realism to existence on earth.