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Climate message received, but still waiting for action (09/24/09)


UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- The burst of laughter and round of applause from about 300 delegates attending a U.N. Leadership Forum on Climate indicated the participants understood the message.

The delegates, mostly trend-setters in business and social circles, were laughing, not because of the prominence of the story-teller, but because of the philosophy within his anti-climaxblack humor.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, founder of the Alliance for Climate Protection, illustrated the cost of failure - failing to speak one's true feelings - with a farmer-and-cow joke during a U.N.-hosted working lunch on Tuesday.

A farmer who got into a car accident was being sued in court. "After the accident, did you or didn't you say you were fine?" Gore quoted the prosecutor as asking the farmer during cross examination.

The farmer replied that he was driving his truck with his cow at the back when another motorist hit him from out of nowhere.

The lawyer broke short. "This is a 'yes/no' question. After the accident, did you or didn't you say that you were fine?"

"That's what I'm trying to tell you," the farmer said. "I was driving my truck with my cow in the back when the other motorist ran into me out of nowhere."

The farmer flew out the window one way, Gore said, while the cow flew out the other.

The man who ran into the farmer jumped out of his car and looked at the cow.

"That's no good," the man said. "He's in too much pain." And with that, he got out his gun and shot the cow between the eyes.

"Then the man walked around the truck to me and asked how I was doing," the farmer said. "I told him I was doing fine."

Failing to speak his true feelings under that circumstances landed the victim of the car accident as the defendant in lawsuit.

During and after the U.N. Climate Change Summit, government and business leaders who flocked to New York talked a lot about failure in Copenhagen.

They fear that failing to speak out due to whatever context would lead to further delays on implementation of the Kyodo pact and on signing a past-Kyodo pact for more action against climate change.

"We have the technology but not the legislation," said Suntech Holdings chairman Shi Zhengrong. "So, from a business point of view we really want actions (in Copenhagen)."

The United Nations is holding another summit in the Danish capital in December in an effort to reach a more clear-cut action plan for all to oblige themselves with.

The business leaders attending the U.N. forum agreed that failure in Copenhagen would not be an option.

Those in attendance appealed to world leaders to put long-term sustainability ahead of partisan politics in the proposed fight against climate change.

They believe that with such sustainability in mind governments across the world will manage the paradigm shift to low-carbon greener economies.



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