Many of you have been nice enough to inquire about Copenhagen and our screening of “Haynesville.” The discussions seem be the same, often meandering from curiosity about the screening directly to questions about the conference and its results. This usually leads to people letting me know how disappointed they were in the results reached in Copenhagen. And that’s where I put the brakes on the conversation.
I find myself explaining again and again that I never had the expectation that the global community could agree on carbon limits. Call me a cynic, but the international community can’t even agree on a standard distance for a 3-point shot in basketball. What makes you think they can get it together on something this big?
With that in mind, while chewing on a danish (Danish, I might add), I started looking for (and found) something different in this global event. I saw Copenhagen as serving a larger purpose than what was reported in the papers or discussed on cable television. Copenhagen served as a launching point for a new energy and environmental movement. More importantly, the summit/conference served as a place where these two disparate groups came together and pledged to work towards a common goal. Believe it or not, this is a big deal. The combination of the energy industry and the environmental advocacy movement working together will add up to some powerful results.
Think about it: We all consume energy. We all can agree that we’d like that energy to be as clean as possible. These two simple statements (which, anecdotally, I actually heard the two groups agree on) will lead us to a cleaner and greener energy future.
As I watched and listened to the audience’s enthusiastic reaction to “Haynesville” at the Climate Summit, I noticed that the this summit could be much more than heads of state squabbling over eggshell-like agreements. Hardcore energy advocates and hardcore environmental advocates were nodding at the screen and agreeing with the film’s message. To me, this meant that, finally, they realized that they were sitting on the same side of the table. And this realization was that essential first step towards coming up with a real solution for our energy future. And this first step was the true accomplishment of the summit in Copenhagen.