Before Copenhagen we were told the world would stop at nothing to get an equitable, fair agreement. Then, we were told, a deal could be done in a week. After Copenhagen, it was so important for the future of humanity that we could expect a deal within the year. That then morphed to two or three years, and now ministers and senior diplomats are playing down expectations even further by suggesting it may take another four years of talks to come up with a plan that could, possibly, come into effect in 2020.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up