Climate negotiations as class war?
As the UN's Copenhagen climate talks near a close with great uncertainty about a positive outcome, maybe it's time to sit back and ask if they've shown that we've progressed much over recent years.
It's worth bearing in mind that it's not often you get so many countries together in one place for a politicial shindig, and even less frequent that you'll have them on such even footing.
As the Presidents, Prime Ministers and other world leaders do their show boating in the plenery debate, almost all speak of the need to come together, put petty differences aside and act for the good of the planet and generations yet unborn.
But what they seem to really mean is 'come on guys, sign up to our demands' as few of them are keen to throw national concerns to the wind.
What has been a real eye opener is the developing world's refusal to be browbeaten or pensioned off - and its leaders have come to the table keen to show they are the equals of those who rule the super-economies.
There's something about it that smacks of a good old fashioned class war - you see journalists from the Middle East chuckling at Hugo Chavez's digs at the corrupt Western powers, and Africans nodding in approval at Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's attack on the injustices of the current global balance of powers ad there's a kind of 'we showed them we're no push over this time' comeraderie going on.
It seems the same old wounds are bubbling under the surface, we've seen it over and over before. But the progress, if any, is this striving for equality now sweems to be taking place on a global scale, rather than within the boundaries of seperate nation states.
That's a step forward of some sort, surely?Sam Bond