On the clock

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 June, 2016, 5:26am

There are 141 days to go until world leaders meet in Copenhagen, Denmark to decide the future of the human race. Between now and December 7, when the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change begins, the people of this planet must convince our leaders that minimising the rise in global temperature is their most pressing concern. Not corporate greed (or how to justify it); not swine flu (or how to look good combating it); and not conflict in the Middle East (or how to profit from it) - preventing the world from feedback-looping its way to hell must be the challenge of the day, every day, until it is met. (Feedback loops will kick in at certain temperatures, accelerating the warming process.)

'If enough people from around the world show support, our leaders will have the courage to act,' is the rallying cry from TckTckTck (that's the ticking of a time bomb, folks; www.tcktcktck.org), which styles itself as an 'unprecedented global alliance of non-government organisations, trade unions, faith groups and people like you - all calling for an ambitious, fair and binding climate change agreement'.

I admire the optimism, but in my office, probably representative of many in Hong Kong, employees instinctively switch on the lights when entering sun-drenched rooms; a television plastered with 'energy-saving device' stickers plays away all day to nobody; and the canteen routinely serves plain toast in a napkin - and a plastic bag.

It looks as though the next 141 days are going to have to be very busy ones if we are to avert catastrophe.