Tag Archives: National Parks

The Luncheon Society/Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope/Palio D’Asti/San Francisco/10.16.09

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Carl PopeThe Sierra Club’s Carl Pope poses the question. “Let’s say you’re canoeing down the river and it forks to the right and left. As you look one way,” he says, “you see a jarring set of rapids that travels down a treacherous route, with whitecaps that crash against the jagged rocks. However, when you look in the other direction, you see a smooth current, clear sailing, and none of the dangers found with traveling in the other direction.”

Which way do you go?

After all of the hands went up for the less rigorous route, Pope pulled a surprise. “The problem,” he said, “is that water follows gravity. The more dangerous route, while difficult, gets you to the safety. The smooth route to the right, which may appear safe at first, gets you to a waterfall. By the time you’ve discovered your error, it’s too late and you’re finished.”

In that short parable, Carl Pope underlined his concerns about the upcoming Climate Conference in Copenhagen, which will take place for two weeks in December. As the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012, many hope that the Copenhagen process becomes the next framework to decrease the realities of global warming. However, as Pope looks at the process, he sees it as a global canoe trip down the smooth side of the fork, the one which leads to a lethal waterfall. Continue reading