I have begun to reframe the results of Copenhagen Climate Forum in light of my experience over the years with changing the political will/mind.

Two decades ago, in the small city where I live, I served as President of the Chamber of Commerce. Actually the Chamber served two municipalities which had grown together so closely you could no longer tell where one stopped and the other started. For years the Chamber had wanted the two muncipalities to merge into one city. But no one would risk calling a vote, for fear of losing customers!!??  I made it one of the key elements of my strategies for the year as President, to support a referendum on amalgamation. I fully expected a yes vote and was shattered when the ballots were counted and the referendum to amalgamate failed. Everyone thought it would be another decade before this issue would come back to the ballot box again. But we learned a lot from this first result and the voters returned a yes vote at the election held in three years. Within a year the two municipalities became the fifth largest city in BC.

What has this got to do with Copenhagen? At the first referendum, we learned exactly where the 400 votes that voted against amalgamation were located. And we learned why national and transnational interests preferred an amalgamated city. That gave key politicians enough information about the individual local interests and the collective national social and economic capital investors, to take affirmative action in changing those 400 minds into positive votes.  

So post-Copenhagen the world has the same opportunity now. I think it was a necessary step to have the December forum. We shouldn’t look on it as a failure — but a natural stage in the natural flow of evolutionary change. It drew out into the open the positions of key players. With the power of social media, f2f contact, and political brokering, I think we will see positive results happen faster than we think possible. The interests of social, economic, environmental and cultural capital will make it happen. It is a matter of re-framing the manner in which we express the power of our votes (with feet, pocket-books, intentions, votes and trans-national connections) for the wellbeing and resilience of our shared space station, aka Earth.