Back from Rio, 20 thoughts and notes gathered at and after the Rio+20 conference (in no particular order):


  1. A success, some important progress has been made
  2. A failure of epic proportions, not much was accomplished, not worth holding large summits like this
  3. Assertiveness of developing nations, minorities and individuals
  4. Lack of vision, lack of leadership, results in near worthless document
  5. As were Copenhagen and other conferences, Rio+20 was not about a document or treaty anyway
  6. Rio+20 is a catalyst, another starting point to do more, a call to action since governments do nothing
  7. Incredible energy and enthusiasm of individuals: Rio showed a hint of what they can do
  8. Growing capacity of local organizations and corporations to take effective environmental action bypassing governments
  9. Europe although economically weakened, much more active and influential than the US
  10. Activity outside the main negotiating sessions produced hundreds of side agreements bypassing governments
  11. Like any trade show, the opportunity to meet people, make announcements, and the promise of many future smaller events
  12. Addressing the planet’s most serious problems is more urgent than ever
  13. The solution is us, not governments
  14. One bright area on oceans (protection from pollution, overfishing and acidification), although no treaty to protect ocean biodiversity
  15. Countries, communities and companies can and will take action  themselves
  16. World’s people can assert their will and power to fix our problems
  17. 50,000 people came to Rio. Hundreds of thousands more participated remotely. They are spreading the word.
  18. Rio was a pause, to make us consider the world we are leaving to future generations
  19. Collectively, we must force government leaders and corporations to do what is right for our planet and its resources.
  20. But let’s not wait for them...

And one of my favorite (anonymous) quotes:
There is no greater fool than the one who does nothing because he thinks he can do so little”