Observing the President of COP26 stifling emotion as he apologised for the shortfalls of the limited agreement obtained at this critically important conference, I find myself reflecting on the words being variously wielded and warped on such a Global stage.
There are two primary games of symbolic communication (i.e. language) at work in these large climate conferences:
1) Short to mid term economic (as political) convenience.
2) Long-term existential crisis at a planetary scale.
Being that game 1 perennially trumps game 2 as a function of short-term political and corporate self-interest, I would say that future thermodynamic trajectories and all associated, downstream catastrophes are somewhat “locked-in” at this point.
The irony of course being that we have been treating political convenience as the center of gravity while remaining utterly incapable of acting as though the large scale existential context in which all these selfish dramas occur is in fact far, far more significant.