The Earth Summit is mercifully over, leaving us all to wonder: What the hell happened last week? Did the end result justify the 3,600 tons of CO2 generated by the U.N. delegation alone? And has anyone seen my pants?
Rio+20 was like Carnival without the party -- unless you consider 50,000 people cramming into conference centers, soccer stadiums, and makeshift meeting halls, all struggling to access the internet and navigate between venues as much as three hours apart by bus a good time.
The official summit and negotiations were, as we predicted, a bomb. The final “outcome document” [PDF], signed by world leaders last Friday, brings empty political speak to new heights. The 49-page tome amounts to a long list of “acknowledgements,” “affirmations,” and “underscorings” of statements and agreements already put in writing years or decades ago.
In a nutshell, the leaders of the world said, “We recognize that we are in deep doo-doo, and we need to do something about it.” What that “something” is remains unclear.