IT'S been a tough week for the human race. As officials from the world's nations gather in the sunny resort town of Durban, the consensus is that nothing will be done to avert or even lessen the effects of climate change. Even UN chief Ban Ki-moon publicly admitted that a meaningful deal is almost certainly out of reach.
The sticking points are nothing new. Developing nations, hungry for the energy required to lift millions out of poverty, don't want to pay the price for a problem created by the developed world. Industrialized countries, in turn, are desperate to stabilize their fragile economies. Deliberately damping down growth is the last thing on their minds.
Canada is neither hungry nor desperate. We have the opportunity to show international leadership on the most important challenge humanity has ever faced.
But instead, we persist in being part of the problem - a big, growing part of the problem.
Having already broken promises made in Kyoto, the government of Canada is making vague noises about "working towards" a new pact that will delay any genuine action for the better part of a decade.
Nature isn't waiting around. There is simply no doubt that the ice caps are melting and will have vanished entirely by the time a new cohort of politicians shrugs their shoulders over broken promises made in Durban. Rising sea levels are one thing, but the effects of radically changed temperatures and salinity in our oceans are quite another. Our children's Planet Earth will be unrecognizable - and it's our fault.